Mully

My friend Becky knows about my interest in Africa and so invited me to see a documentary called Mully at the Hot Docs festival. We went to the 6pm showing on May 5th. The documentary was very well done and portrays the life story of a man, along with his wife and children, who makes a lot of sacrifices and leaps of faith to serve hundreds of the poorest children in Kenya. It’s one of those stories you almost can’t believe is true because there are so many crazy and miraculous parts to it. I want to share a bit of the story to remember and be encouraged by it.

The story follows a Kenyan man named Charles Mulli who is abandoned by his family at a young age. After begging in his village for some time, he soon makes the decision to walk to Nairobi to try and build a life for himself. He finds simple work, quickly moves up to bigger roles, and eventually starts his own taxi (matatu) business that really takes off. He becomes a millionaire as he begins to move into the oil and gas industries. In the meantime he marries his wife and they have eight children.

One day his car in Nairobi gets stolen by street children and this becomes a turning point for him. Charles feels God is asking him to do more with his life. After a lot of struggle and prayer he comes home to his family and tells them that he is never going to work for money again. He begins walking the streets at night, finding street children and taking them into his home. His wife and family think that he is crazy. His wife Esther remains steadfast and faithfully cares for the children. His biological children are at first resentful that these street children have come and impeded on their lives. His church no longer accepts him and his extended family into their community because many come from addictions and prostitution. As the number of children in the house grow, God provides through donations at just the right moment as resources begin to dwindle.

Eventually their home get’s so full that they move several hours outside of Nairobi to a piece of land that Charles owns. It is a dry and desolate piece of land because of recent droughts but he sees a big vision for the place. They start by living in tin shacks but slowly build houses. They build a bridge in a completely dried up river bed because he believes that God will provide water and that sometimes we need to act in faith before God does the rest. They do drilling for wells but come up with nothing, but one night while praying, God tells Charles to dig in a specific spot. They dig and dig on this spot, until finally an abundant stream of water sprays out! The spring is a continuous supply and they are able to store it and use it to plant trees and crops. Over time the local climate begins to transform and the land becomes green!

Today Mully Children’s Family is an organization that is a home and place of learning for hundreds of street children. The children affectionately call Charles “Daddy Mulli”. The organization has children homes and also puts them through school. Beyond that they have many programs in the community. To become more self sufficient so as not to depend completely on outside donations, the family farms vegetables and fish to sell on the global market. Charle’s and Esther’s biological children have joined in their father’s vision and serve in various positions within the organization. Charles is eventually welcomed again by his church and is also reunited with his parents. Mully Children’s family continues to grow and impact the surrounding communities. You can visit their website here to find out more.

I thought the movie was well done because it is very raw. Charles and his wife act out their adult selves and all of the members of the immediate family contribute to the telling of the story. Some parts of the story are reenacted, but many parts are real footage that was taken over the years. What was even more amazing then the movie itself was that Charles and Esther attended the showing along with the producers and came up for questions afterwards! Although he is a man of many accomplishments, he said that it was all in God’s power and leading. It is a reminder of what God can do if we but put our gifts and resources into His hands and say “use me”. Just be prepared that God’s response might be for us to do what everyone around us thinks is crazy.

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