“If we shut this down, those kids over there have no hope in the world of getting an education,” said Franklin Martin. After a series of devastating losses, that resolve was all that kept Southern Africa Missions afloat.
In the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 110 children attend school and three churches are financially stable, thanks to the generosity of Southern Africa Missions. Franklin Martin has been the president of the mission for more than 25 years. Now at age 85, Franklin has seen the ministry outlive numerous hardships, including the loss of his own brother on the mission field.
The mission is bringing the life of Christ to the city by also building churches.
“After my brother died, our forwarding agent also died of cancer about a year later,” Franklin said. “We got another one who was a retired bookkeeper, and she did a very good job for us. And then she needed to be there for her husband when he got very sick, and he died shortly after she quit. So we had to get someone else—and they quit on me before they ever started.”
Like many people in ministry, Franklin has found himself taking on unexpected roles.
“I just talked to the board and said, ‘I’ll do it myself.’”
While many people his age might hesitate to take on new challenges, Franklin’s determination is rooted in his belief in the mission. They have a system, and it works—so long as all of the roles are in place.
Bringing Life to a City Named for Death
“We work mainly with a children’s home over there,” Franklin said. “I send the money, and they distribute it to a worker who stands in line and pays for school—fees, uniforms, everything.”
And Southern Africa Mission is not just giving kids an education. They are giving an impoverished community hope. Bulawayo means “a place where he is being killed.” Yet the mission is bringing the life of Christ to the city by also building churches.
The mission has helped build three churches—a process which came with some unexpected costs. “We ended up having to pay for the property after we built the church,” Franklin said. “We didn’t know that they do things different in Africa than we do here. If you want to build a church, they will give you a piece of ground, but you don’t pay for it until after you’ve finished. If you build an office building, the price of the land becomes three times higher. The church came to us with an $8,000 bill on the property.”
Surprise expenses comes with the territory for mission work. Determined to see the Kingdom spread in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa Missions happily covered these post-construction costs. But there have been other financial burdens over the years that have required a little extra help.
Helping Churches Grow Around the Globe
About 20 years ago Franklin invested in CDF Capital. As someone dedicated to spreading the Kingdom, it was a clear choice for him.
“I had other investments,” Franklin said, “but I decided I wanted to invest with a group to help build churches. My other investments are always trying to get me to put more money into them, but I told them I would not stop supporting CDF with my money because of what they’ve done for me and what I have seen that they’re doing with churches.”
“I decided I wanted to invest with a group to help build churches.”—Franklin, CDF investor
Years after Franklin started getting to know CDF, Southern Africa Missions was having a problem. It was too expensive to get their resources into the hands of the people that needed them.
“It was costing us $75 every time we transferred money to Zimbabwe,” he said. “When I came on as the forwarding agent, I talked to CDF about how much it was costing us to support the children.”
It was like trying to pass a fistful of sand.
CDF makes wire transfers constantly, so Franklin wondered if there was a way for Southern Africa Missions to send support without losing it all to fees. Now CDF makes the wire transfers for the ministry—for a lot less than $75 a pop.
This mission-focused approach to finance is why thousands of people like Franklin have invested with CDF for decades.
“They don’t pay as much interest, but I want to stay involved with a Christian organization that’s helping churches grow,” Franklin said. “It’s for the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. And promoting his Kingdom is very important to me.”
Find out how you can be a part of the mission of CDF, whether it be with your resources through Financial Capital or supporting churches in prayer through Spiritual Capital. You can be a part of helping churches grow.