James (Jim) Franklin, Jr.
169 Kuhn Avenue
Lebanon, MO 65536
September 26, 2005
Pictures at Bottom
To: Brethren who have supported and encouraged the work in Malawi.

RE:   My Final Malawi Report

Dear Brethren,

I take this opportunity, first, to thank God for allowing me to be a part of that great work in Africa, and, second, to thank each of you for having expressed confidence in me to do the work that I was sent to do. I am most grateful, not only for your prayers—prayers that, in my humble opinion, have been answered—but for the financial support for both myself and the African brethren, whether it was for relief or for financial support for the African preachers who deserve it because of their dedication to the Cause of Christ.

This is a report that I have not looked forward to writing. It is to be my last in regard to my activity as the responsible preacher working with the Malawi brotherhood.

I realize I am somewhat late in sending this report to you. I’ll not give you all my excuses for the delay. I respectfully request that you please forgive me for what may appear to be a lack of appreciation. I assure you that all that has been done, both for the work in Africa and Marlene’s and my personal requirements, is appreciated more than mere words can express.

Making preparations to leave Malawi was quite involved and time consuming. The last three months in the country were hectic. Becoming a resident of Malawi was an experience within itself. But, leaving the country in good graces with the Government is yet another experience. In order to “immigrate” back to the States, I had to go through several drawn out procedures to secure “clearance” to make the move.

Then there is the culture of the Malawian people that was necessary to honor. In order not to offend the brotherhood, I scheduled meetings in every area of the country just so that I could “take my leave” of the brethren. These meetings were arranged for the express purpose of our saying goodbye to one another. Attending such meetings was not an easy task for me. Nor was it all that easy for the brethren. After fourteen years, we had developed a mutual respect for one another, built a solid, close relationship, and bonded together in sincere brotherly love. Not knowing whether we would see one another again on God’s earth made our meetings sad occasions. Yes, there were times when there were, unashamedly, tears.

Of course, I shared the good news with the Malawian brethren that the American brotherhood was still interested in their spiritual development and was sending Doug Edwards to take my place. I assured the brotherhood that Doug was well qualified to teach them the Scriptures and that he, like me, was personally interested in them as well. Doug, along with his son Jonathan, was able to accompany me the last week of my meetings that were located in the extreme part of the Northern Region of the country. This trip provided the opportunity, not only for me to say goodbye, but to introduce Doug to the brethren in that area.

Brethren, the Lord has blessed His work in Malawi and the bordering area of Mozambique beyond our wildest expectations! Without a doubt, the Lord has heard and answered the many prayers of the faithful here in America who not only prayed for the African work but sent financial support as well. Without your fulfilling God’s ordained responsibility for the Church to bear the responsibility of supporting the preaching of the Gospel throughout the earth, many people (literally numbering in the thousands) would have suffered the loss of their souls. I write as a first-hand witness of the success of the work; there is much fruit laid up for you in your heavenly account.

Just a brief comment for those who may wonder why I left Malawi. Know for a fact, I was not asked to leave Africa by the Africans. To the contrary, they asked me to stay until I died. Neither Little Rock nor the brethren who supplied the finances to ensure the success of the work asked me to return home to the States. The decision to return was my own. When I made the decision to return home, it was not that I had become discouraged or dissatisfied with the work or with the African brethren with whom I labored. Leaving Africa became one of the most, if not the most, difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life. My body, not my spirit or enthusiasm, was growing tired from the continuing heavy work load; and it needed some rest for a while. My heart remains in Malawi with the multitudes of sincere, loving, caring Christian brethren and will be until I die. It is my prayer that God be with them all and bless them abundantly with all they require, both now and forever. May he look favorably upon the brotherhood, as well as the people of Malawi, and by His providence gather an abundant harvest.

It is not possible for me to name every one of you congregations and individuals in this report who have contributed so much to the success of the work in Malawi over the years. Nevertheless, I do express my sincere appreciation to the Mabelvale Pike Congregation in Little Rock that never displayed a lack of confidence in me to accomplish the objective for which I was sent. A special thanks I give to Maurice Chandler through whom I communicated with Little Rock and the brotherhood.

Also, I am indebted to the Northwest Twenty-first Street Congregation in Oklahoma City, that, though not directly responsible for my support, never abandoned the work even though Little Rock accepted the direct responsibility. They were always willing and ready to render unselfish assistance when it was needed.

In addition, we are indebted to the Chapel Grove Congregation in Tennessee. These brethren lifted a great burden off Little Rock's and my shoulders. They have made sacrifices to bear the responsibility of seeing to it that the brotherhood in Malawi and Mozambique have an adequate supply of grape juice so that the brethren would be able to conduct scriptural worship every Lord's Day. We thank all of you who joined with them in this noble effort.

Also, I wish to personally thank David Risener for his contribution to the effort here in Malawi and Mozambique. By means of his internet program, he has brought the efforts for the Cause of Christ in Africa directly into the homes of a large number of people in our brotherhood. Many brethren became acquainted with, and responded to, the needs in Africa as a direct result of his posting our reports on the Web.

The responsibility for coordinating the work between the brotherhood in the States and Malawi has now been relinquished by Little Rock and assumed by the Green Oaks congregation in Arlington, Texas. Our prayer to God on their behalf is that He ever be with them to strengthen and encourage them in this great undertaking. Their support of Doug and the work will not be in vain!

In conclusion, please keep in mind that the need for evangelism in Africa is ongoing. Will you please, if it is possible to do so, continue your support of that great work? When we stand before our Lord Jesus Christ in the Judgment, it will be then that you will realize to the fullest, the significance of your support. The Lord Himself will be satisfied with you for having carried out the "Great Commission." You will be so thrilled when one by one you greet those whom you have helped to secure their salvation as they too take their place with you on the right hand of the Savior. "Oh what a Day, A glorious Day that will be!"

With brotherly love and appreciation for all you have done,

Jim Franklin
Marlene and Jim Franklin receiving a farewell gift from the church leaders in Blantyre, Malawi.
Farewell meeting for Jim Franklin with brethren at the Musa congregation, Thyolo District, Malawi on April 21, 2005
Farewell meeting for Jim Franklin at the Muluma congregation Zomba DFistrict, Malawi on April 28, 2005.
I am on the far left and Marlene is the third from the right. These are the dear ones who accompanied us to Chileka Airport, Blantyre, Malawi to see us off on June 29, 2005.
--Jim Franklin