Scott McDonald Brubaker, 63, along with his wife, Rebecca Patterson Brubaker, arrived in January to serve as President of the Ghana Missionary Training Center in Tema.
The Brubakers, who reside in the Dutch Canyon Ward, Midway Utah Stake and have previously served as the President of the Belgium/Netherlands Mission, are enjoying the challenging and fulfilling work here in Africa, and have been very impressed with the caliber of missionaries they see coming to the MTC.
“[When we served] in Europe about 95% of the missionaries were from North America, and [when we came here] we were surprised to see how many missionaries came from the continent of Africa. There are 80-100 new African missionaries coming every three weeks, and it’s just astounding to see how they are fulfilling their own need for missionaries in Africa so shortly after the gospel has been introduced here,” says Pres. Brubaker.
“[These missionaries are] coming from lots of different countries with lots of different languages, and that’s a challenge. In Nigeria alone there are 26 to 23 major dialects for mother tongues, and if you are to take all of the countries in West Africa, there will be hundreds of different languages so most of them can’t understand each other in their mother tongues, but they’re very patient and helpful with each other.”
The typical stay for missionaries that do not have to learn a new language is three weeks. “Each class is divided down district lines. Usually we have 10 missionaries in a district. The majority of the missionaries will serve in their own country’s language (English or French), but we do have a few that are learning the other. For instance, you may have someone from the Ivory Coast going to go to Ghana on a mission, then they have to learn English and it’s a six-week program. If they don’t know either English or French, then we have to decide which base language they fit into and put them in the district with the same basic language and help them to learn the new language.
“With the growth of the church in Africa the demand for more missionaries is increasing dramatically and the MTC in Ghana is quickly outgrowing its capacity. Every three weeks we have what we call an ‘intake’ (when we receive our new missionaries) and will receive somewhere between 60 to 90 missionaries.
“We are very close to capacity now. We plan to be at the maximum throughout the year. The new MTC is going to be a big change. Right now we can house up to 104 missionaries. The new MTC will accommodate around 340 missionaries. You will see from the graph that this year we will push past the maximum line. There is demand that we can’t fulfill.
When asked what he saw as the challenges going forward, Pres. Brubaker replied that there is a concern that the rapid growth of the Church will outstrip the need for leadership. “But from the worthiness I see in these young people there is a huge pool of leadership coming up. They are just amazing and will be wonderful leaders.”
In conclusion President Brubaker summarized his impressions since coming to the Ghana MTC in this way, “In the early times of the church there was a great movement in England when thousands were baptized. This was followed in our day by a great movement in South America when thousands were baptized. But now, it’s Africa’s turn, and we will see thousands upon thousands baptized in Africa with exponential growth. The number of missionaries will easily double in three years. We’re so excited that we can be a part of this thrillng time in this locality of the restoration of the gospel.”