Brother James Matimati, Sr.

Brother James Matimati Sr. died peacefully on September 17th and was buried on the 18th. Born in March of 1903, Brother Matimati was 99 years old and a Preacher of the Gospel.   A soldier of the Cross leaves his African homeland and many loved ones and family members. Please remember his family in your prayers.

Davidson Kasambwe and Jim Franklin Visit on August 11, 2002

Brother James Matimati, Sr. is the eldest of the preachers in our fellowship in Malawi. If the Lord permits him to live until March of 2003, he will be 100 years of age. Bro. Davidson Kasambwe and I visited him on Sunday, August 11, 2002, to cheer him up. We brought him some sugar and tea because the one thing he really enjoys is sweet tea. He was very, very happy to have the visit--and the tea!

In the last few months, Bro. Matimati’s body has become quite frail and he is now confined to his home to be cared for by his family. Two of his grandchildren (he has 73 of them) carried him outside the house and put him in a chair for our visit. Even though his body is very frail, his mind is still very good. This made it possible for us to have a most enjoyable chat with him about a number of things. He mentioned that his body was not strong any more, but did not really complain about it. I told him that his body might be old and frail, but such was not the case with his spirit. He laughed and said something to this effect, “The Lord has taken good care of me.” Then he surprised both Davidson and me. He began to sing the notes only (do, re, mi, etc) of the song, “The Great Physician.” He sang the notes of both verse and the chorus. Then he sang the entire song, every verse of it, in Chichewa. Make no mistake about it, his voice was clear and beautiful! I asked him, “Did Paul Nichols teach you how to sing those notes?“ “Yes,“ he replied. That of course brought up the past and the lasting impact of Paul Nichols’ work in Malawi. It was after I arrived home that I remembered that this year of 2002 is the 50th anniversary of Paul and Wilma Nichols’ arrival in Nyasaland, which is now Malawi. In years that followed after Paul and Gayland’s service to the Lord in Malawi was ended, Bro. Matimati worked with Jerry Cutter, James Orten (who usually asks me about Bro. Matimati when he sees me), and all the others who have followed them.

When it was time for us to take our leave, we had prayer. Davidson and I had visited Bro. Matimati to encourage him and ended up being the ones who had been encouraged! Brethren, do not neglect your elderly. They are a source of inspiration! --Jim Franklin

Matimati02.jpg (191769 bytes) As you can see from this picture, Bro. Matimati’s spirit is not of self pity, but of happiness and thankfulness for the blessings the Lord has given him through the years. If you look carefully, you can see that Bro. Matimati was a very tall man. --Jim Franklin
Matimati03.jpg (190123 bytes) Two preachers of the Gospel from two different generations--Bro. James Matimati, Sr. the elder who is seated, and Davidson Kasambwe. --Jim Franklin
Matimati04.jpg (208109 bytes) My friend and Brother in Christ, James Matimati, Sr. on Sunday, August 11, 2002. --Jim Franklin
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