Aside the spiritual renewal churches provide to their members, they also contribute immensely to the social life of the Ghanaian Community. The euphoria after the church service, as people chat with their friends, is a pleasant scene. Despite these benefits provided by the church, they are not doing enough towards the development of the Ghanaian Community in Hamburg.
Problems linger within the Ghanaian circle in Hamburg in the context of community development that the church does absolutely nothing about. Many Ghanaians in Hamburg have lower status in Germany because of their employment. These issues can be addressed by improving the educational and professional situation of second-generation of the Ghanaian community. To undertake such projects requires institutions with established structures such as the church, however most church policies and projects does not address these issues.
The developmental policies of big Ghanaian churches in Hamburg such as the Ghana Catholic Mission Hamburg and Ebenezer Methodist Church are focused in Ghana. These big churches, with such potential to lead in the development of the Ghanaian Community in Hamburg, remain blinded to the gradual retrogression of the community. The activity of church leaders towards the wellbeing of the Ghanaian who was recently shot remains to be seen.
Interviews of Ghanaians captured in the recent report by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) reveal development of negative views of Churches. One of the interviewees feels church is an avenue to make money. ‘The incredibly large number of church communities are fragmented. Two or three years ago, Hamburg was said to have 90 church communities. But they always manage to find an astonishing number of members (...) that is also an economic factor, they are profitable. We went to one of them, it was just a money collecting machine.
Who does a mother expect to feed her kids, if she keeps giving all food stuffs away? It is time for the Ghanaian Churches to take care of their own in Hamburg. It is time to improve our educational and professional situation collectively and strategically. Church leaders shouldn’t forget that the great Martin Luther King was also a clergy man who paid his dues to the black community development in USA. If the churches’ will is stirred, they shall find a way to do so. After all, it is written: “We can do all things through Christ who strengthen us”
By Felix Amoako Boampong