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Obeying God's Call to Rescue Orphans

Air Date 09/13/2017

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Dr. Charles Mully shares his incredible testimony of growing up as an orphan in Kenya and later becoming a wealthy businessman who felt called by God to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned children living on the streets.

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Episode Transcript

Opening:

Excerpt:

Charles Mully: God through the Bible says that do we go to them when they are lost and bring them - also the Bible says that one sheep getting out of the hundred sheep that we leave the 99 and then go to the - that one, which is lost. So no matter what it takes, then you are there.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Dr. Charles Mully. He’s a former businessman and millionaire. And he gave up everything he had to follow God’s call to rescue abandoned orphans in Kenya. You’ll get to know this remarkable man and hear more of his story today on “Focus on the Family.” Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, this is literally a rags-to-riches story and a powerful witness of God’s grace and compassion for the least of these, for street children, particularly, that had no one who loved them and were left to die or scrounge for garbage in order to survive. God used this one man, Charles Mully, and his family to transform the lives of, literally, thousands, to bring these children into a home and give them a family, which they did not have, and has now become the world’s largest family. I’m thrilled to let everyone know that “Focus on the Family” is partnering with Dr. Mully and his ministry Mully’s Children’s Family to promote the filmMullythat comes out nationwide here in the U.S. in theaters the first week of October, October 3rd through 5th. And I want to encourage you to go see this movie. It is powerful. You want to see the work of God through a man’s life? This is it. This is the Book of James. And you see the Scripture come to life. When you buy your tickets, a portion of the proceeds are going to go to support orphans in both North America and around the world.

John: And you’ll walk away knowing that you helped kids. And I’m sure you’ll be inspired to move a little bit more toward that James 1:27 call that God has for us. Details about theMullyfilm and getting your tickets at focusonthefamily.com/radio. Or call 800-a-family to learn more. And Jim, you and I had the privilege of sitting here in the studio with Dr. Mully a few months ago and to hear about his remarkable, faith journey.

Body:

Jim: Charles, let’s paint that picture. I’ve been to the slums of Kenya. I have been there a couple of times, meeting with people, walking those streets. Describe it for the radio listener. What is it like in Kenya; in that particular part of Kenya?

Charles: That are so many, many children who are literally, you know, not knowing what to do and where they are going.

Jim: They live on the street, basically. There’s no mom and dad.

Charles: They live in the street without mom and dad. And some of them mostly due to the HIV, AIDS over the years and then having lost their own parents then nobody within a family to assist them, to help them. And then the only place there where they can go is on the street to beg or - and get themselves into stealing, inhaling petrol gas, as well as also taking marijuana so that they can forget all their past problems.

Jim: All their pain.

Charles: Yes, all the pain and everything. So they get engaged into all this kind of habit and thievery as well as also begging and snatching handbags from women, and all evil, awful kind of business.

Jim:Yeah, the beauty of your story is you rose above all of this. And I want to get to your childhood in a minute. But you literally gave up everything to do this effort, to reach these children that have nobody. In fact, we mentioned it in the opening, you, I think, are probably - you and your wife are mom and dad to the world’s largest family, over 13,000 children that call you mom and dad. Think of that grocery bill, John.

John: (Laughter).

Jim: I mean - I mean, that’s amazing, 13,000 kids that you have helped over these years do better than their circumstances would suggest. I got to ask you this. Why do you care about orphans so much? Nobody else seems to. I mean why do you, the successful businessman? Why do you care?

Charles: Yeah, you know, behind - behind the scene is a big story about myself at the age of almost six years, five, six years. When I was young, I was abandoned by my own parents. And they really left. And I didn’t find them for a long time. And during that time, I suffered so much lack of food, shelter and parental care. I didn’t have anybody. And so through that...

Jim:So you migrated into the city as well, right? You became one of those kids.

Charles: I was engaged and involved into begging. And I moved from house to house and pleading for people to help me, to give me food, as I was desperate. And, you know, a desperate child means you have nowhere to call a home, no mother, no father. And therefore, I went on begging from place to places and that I hindered later, you know, when I was big boy to the city of Nairobi to do the same, to beg or to look for a job.

Jim: Yeah.

Charles: The biggest miracle was that I was by then 16 years old and having tried life, what can I do? And I was again, so terrified. I was not sure about my future life. At the age of 16 years, I was standing somewhere. I wanted to commit suicide. And I was ready to do that.

Jim: You were desperate.

Charles: Yeah, desperate completely, no hope.

Jim: No hope.

Charles: And I felt like, why should I live? There was no point. And therefore, before then, God sent somebody. I saw a young man who came across and asked me, hello. And he never knew my name. But he said, will you join me? I’m going to attend a meeting somewhere there. It’s not far from here, where you are. It was a church meeting. And then I felt this man would be a good person. Let me follow him. And so I went with him. I followed him, went to the church, found young people who were singing and clapping their hands. They were really full of joy. Me, I had no joy. A few minutes, I wanted to commit suicide. And I was completely separate. My face looked pale. And there was nothing good for me, no future, nothing. And therefore, the preacher, he came up and preached about the forgiveness of our sin and how the Lord Jesus Christ came down to the earth to redeem us through that salvation, through his blood. And I’d never knew about this Jesus. I heard about him and the salvation, redemption, his love to mankind. And therefore, I felt the message was about me. And, you know, that time when I was desperate, I was thinking about my own father, that one day, I would really fight him, beat him when I was big. And because of - when I remembered about how he fought my mother, he - he beat us so much, you know, aimlessly and mercilessly. And so when the preacher spoke about the forgiveness of our sin and that we can be reconciled with God, I remembered about my own father, whom I had not seen for over 11 years. And therefore, the - I was convicted through the Holy Spirit. I raised my hand. And I said, Lord Jesus, come into my heart. And I was ready to surrender. And I surrendered my life. And through that, I was prayed for by the pastor. And I started now engaging myself into prayers, reading the Bible. And a time came when I thought I needed to go and to walk all the way to the city of Nairobi.

Jim: How far away was that?

Charles: It was about 80 kilometers.

Jim: Eighty, so about 40 miles.

Charles: Yes, about maybe 50.

Jim: Fifty miles.

Charles: Yeah, 50 miles. And I had no money. I had no shoes. I was like, OK, I’m going, no hold my hand. And there, I was 16 years old. And there I was, on the road. Water, I found water on the drainages along the road that I could get the water. And, uh...

Jim: Scoop out.

Charles: ...Drink.

Jim: Yeah.

Charles: And I keep on, no money, no food. It was so, so hard. But I was filled with the hope and faith in Christ Jesus.

John: We’re sharing the remarkable life story of Dr. Charles Mully on today’s “Focus on the Family.” And Dr. Mully is the founder of Mully Children’s Family. That’s a ministry in Kenya, which rescues abandoned orphaned children. And over the years, they’ve helped more than 13,000 kids. And in just a few weeks, on October 3rd through the 5th, there’s a new film coming out calledMully. It’ll be released in theaters nationwide.

Jim: Go see the film. I mean, I can’t be more, uh, direct than that. It’s a wonderful story about Dr. Mully’s life. And you can see Christ working through him in so many ways. And the film brings it to life. We can’t even hope to capture a small part of that today on the program. So I want to strongly recommend you see this film. It will not, uh, be a waste of your time.

John: No. And we’ve got details about theMullymovie and where you can get tickets and focusonthefamily.com/radio, or call 800, the letter A and the word family - 800-232-6459.

Jim: Uh, for the sake of time, we’re gonna skip ahead in the storyline just a little bit. Um, the film gives all the details. But as we just heard, young Charles walked three and a half days to Nairobi to begin a new life. There, miraculously, he found work and soon became a successful businessman, so successful, in fact, that he eventually became a millionaire. Charles married Esther, and they have seven grown children plus a young sister that they adopted. Uh, they were living a very comfortable life, but all of that changed one day when Charles was brought face to face with the reality of his past.

Charles: So three years from 1986 to 1989, when I saw haunted and by spirit, as you may be aware, that in the movie, I lost my car in the hands of the street boys.

Jim: Who stole your vehicle, yeah.

Charles: Yes, before I started the ministry in 1989. Before 1986.The incident that took place and that was about these boys whom I never even gave them a shilling or a dollar to buy bread. Or I would have taken them somewhere and to - to buy them food - I did not do that. For three years, I had no peace. When I saw street boys, when I see them, I saw my face. I saw my eyes in their eyes, in their face. And I saw I had no peace. It haunted me because when I remembered myself, God brought me, again, to, uh, a real preacher. I was pretending to be - because I had never told people that I was a street child. I went through all these problem. People saw me as I came from a wealthy family. That’s - when they saw me, they - that’s what people saw.

Jim: They connected you to that wealthy family.

Charles: Yes.

Jim: Yeah.

Charles: Because the way I - and that the other people said, ah, this young man should have been - gotten a lot of education. They didn’t know my background. They thought I...

Jim: They saw you born with a silver spoon.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Not - not the real story. Um, this is what answers the question, why do you care about orphans? And, uh, it’s a beautiful thing to see how the Lord has brought you full circle, but it also, um, again, demonstrates, for me, something that is so rare today, and that is living the scripture. And when I saw the film, Charles, what so impressed me, being an orphan kid myself, here in America, is how you have lifted up people’s potential in such a beautiful way and how the rest of the world, not God, but how the world looks at throwaway people - these children that have no future, have no hope. And you said, let me be Christ to you. You used to go at night. You’d have dinner with your family, and then about midnight, you’d go out into these, uh, areas, these slums, and you’d start talking to children. Describe what you would see and what you would say. You know, most of us are fearful. I mean, you’re taking your life into your own hands. Describe that - the evening walks.

(LAUGHTER)

Charles: You know, the key area is engaging yourself into going to the very level where these kids are. And God through the Bible says that we go to them where they are lost and to bring them, as those with the Bible say, that one sheep getting out of the 100 sheep - that we would leave the 99 and then go to the - that one which was lost, so no matter what it takes, then you are there. And therefore, going them, I always wake up and it very late at night and then go to those areas and see the situation, feel with them the cold and, uh, dirty and, uh, very dangerous place.

Jim: You bring food to them. You talk with them, ask them about...

Charles: Well, I bring bread.

Jim: ...Their hardships.

Charles: ...Feed them. And, uh, well, that gives me satisfaction because I know, as the missionaries are sent to those people, we have to be ready and full of passion - full of passion to them and rescue them.

Jim: Yeah, and I love that in the - in your story just that the kids would come and sing songs - (foreign language spoken) meaning peace. But they also sang songs that you had taught ‘em...

Charles: Yeah.

Jim: ...In those evenings or those late nights with them, right?

Charles: Yeah.

Jim: Gospel songs. And, I mean, how beautiful and what an impact for the police to see how the Lord could change a heart. And, uh, that’s beautiful. You had another struggle, and that was with your family to change their heart. Because your wife and your kids, in the beginning, thought you were crazy. Why are you giving out, you know, millions of dollars in all the things that you did vocationally - again, real estate business, taxi business, agricultural business? I mean, you were in everything. When I watched the movie, I was in awe. The Lord gave you a nose, as we would say, for business.

John: Yeah.

Jim: You’re good at it. And, uh - and you had to come and tell your wife and your kids, hey, we’re gonna get rid of the burden of this world. I’m gonna sell the companies, and we’re gonna help orphan kids. And they were like, what?! (Laughter) I mean, how did that - how long did it take for them to get on board? And did you have some fights with them about it?

Charles: It was the hardest time ever in my life because now, having been in the car for four hours, uh, where now I was confronted, uh, by the power of the Holy Spirit and God said, you are the one. I have appointed you to be the father to all these orphan street children, men and women and bring them the light. And, uh, that, of course, when I was in the car, I refused. I was saying, no, not me, Lord. But then when I said yes to the Holy Spirit, I got the greatest joy in my heart. And the Lord really assured me because this was about, uh, the wealth of the money and the business - the properties that I owned as a young man and a very successful, very respected person in our communities in this town of Eldoret. And therefore, when I drove all the way, I remember I was very happy, and I was singing going back to my house. And in the evening, I broke the news. And this news was about I will never ever work for money. I’m going to give all and everything to the poor.

Jim: Charles, for those of us who lost parents either through abandonment or death, in my case - the death of my mom. Our stepfather walked out the day of her funeral, and I ended up in foster care. And I can remember, you know, walking out of that fourth grade class when I was living with that foster family feeling like nobody knew, nobody cared. It is a desperate loneliness that very few people experience. You experienced that as a boy. I did. The children you’re trying to save in Kenya - it’s true for them. When nobody cares about you, that is a - I don’t know. It’s the bottom rung of the ladder, isn’t it?You are exhibiting hope to these kids that I - if nobody else in the world cares about you - I care about you. Here’s a loaf of bread. Here’s a bit of water. Here’s some milk. Tell me your story. That’s what I love. And that was a football coach for me who said, I care about you. And he was tough. He was a tough football coach. But he also cared about me. And I knew that. It’s amazing. It’s like a flower that gets water. You bloom when a human being feels loved. Isn’t it true?

Charles: True.

Jim: And you’ve seen it over 13,000 times - all the flowers you’re watering. What does the ministry do to water the souls of these kids? What do you actually do at MCF? At the place where God has transformed that land, you found a well of water. The Lord told you to dig in this spot. You’re in the middle of a desert. You start digging. Eight feet, 10 feet down, bang, you hit a well. And now you have water, and it’s turned into an oasis - trees and vegetation. And you have a fish farm. And you are teaching these kids how to do business. And it’s wonderful. What do you think of when you look at the place that the Lord has given you?

Charles: I’ve been really very much encouraged to see those broken pieces because when I find them, it’s like broken pieces. And I bring those broken pieces together - at the same time, nurturing them through the word of God and let them know that they are loved with everlasting love through Jesus Christ. And that’s the key point out of many others - for example, on health care, on medical care on daily basis as well as source of feeding, which is also a key component in the life of a child - clothings and then education, which brings and opens doors for them to become self-reliant in their future life through education. And education of course is, uh, key, they say, to success - and then, like, again, building their self-esteem. Building their self-esteem is something very important because they feel like less, you know, people because they are poor. They are neglected by society or poor. But you have to build. We build their self-esteem, love them as parents and that are present to them and that even the workers whom we have trained - they take them with the care, with the love, with the kindness and passion and that will bring a new life - that as a child grows and with that love and a commitment to them, they feel like, we are loved. Their future is bright.

Jim: Sure. And what’s so amazing in that film, John, is the transformation that you see not only in the hearts and lives of the children but in the actual location. You see that in the film. That really caught my attention, the way that you have turned this desert community, this plot of land that the Lord gave you and your wife into a vibrant oasis. I mean, it’s green. And you have done an incredible job. And for me, that’s the metaphor. What you see in that - in your filmMully- what you see is the transformation of that farm and how you turn it into something that is blossoming and then apply that to the kids’ lives and how their lives went from withered, dying roses into vibrant colors, a beautiful bouquet before the Lord. You are quite a gardener.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Thank you, Charles, again for being with us. This has been wonderful.

Charles: Thank you so much. And I feel so much love and being part of the “Focus on the Family” and us, as Mully Children’s Family. We are focusing all together and also looking onto Jesus Christ so that we’re a source for him. Thank you so much.

Closing:

John: And what a privilege to have Dr. Charles Mully on this edition of “Focus on the Family.”

Jim: John, I was so honored to meet Charles in the studio here. And I’m thrilled that we’re partnering with his ministry to let people know about this great film that’s coming out next month because here’s the bottom line. God cares about orphans. That message is so clear in the Bible. If you really want to do something that pleases the heart of the Lord, this is it. We need a lot more people like Charles in the world. And guess what? We don’t have to start a huge ministry or try to serve thousands of kids just on our own. Why not start right here, where you’re at, today? There are probably foster families or adoptive families right in your own neighborhood, who could use your help. They need assistance with groceries or home maintenance or laundry, maybe school supplies for the kids. Who knows? But find out what they need most and step up. And if you’re willing, learn what it takes to become a foster parent or provide relief. You have to be licensed. But in that way, it’s kind of like grandparent. And you just give those foster parents a break for a long weekend and take the kids. Jean and I have done that for several years now. Or consider adopting one of the more than 100,000 children who are legal orphans right here in North America. These kids need our help and the love of a forever family, like we’ve just heard about today.

John: And you’ll find information about ways you and your family can get involved at our special website, I Care About Orphans. We’ll link over to it from focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Jim: And finally, can’t you help us get the word out about orphan care? You can start by inviting your family and friends to come see the movieMullyhere in October. Remember, part of the ticket sales will support orphans both here in North America and across the globe. And if I could ask you to support Focus on the Family, when you make a donation, man, your dollars go right to work to help women and children and marriages and parents. It helps bring healing to families. And if you buy a resource through Focus, those proceeds don’t go to somebody’s profit margin. They go right back into ministry. You, in that way, by purchasing a resource, help support ministry broadly. We need to hear from you. And if you send us a gift at any amount today, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of the CD of today’s conversation with Dr. Mully. Keep in mind, our conversation went a lot longer than what we were able to include in the broadcast. And we will share that with you.

John: Yeah, you can donate and get the CD at focusonthefamily.com/radio or call 800-232-6459, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. When you’re at the website, be sure to look for details about the theatrical release of the movieMully. That’ll be October 3rd, 4th and 5th. And be sure to mark those dates on your calendar as well. Coming up next time on Focus on the Family, you’re going to hear about the impact of infidelity on a marriage and family.

Teaser:

Audrey Meisner: Finally, the voice inside my heart that said that there is nothing about this that is you, Audrey. This is not you. This is not you. You love your husband. You love your children. You love your family. You love God. This is not you. It’s screaming, stop; stop; stop.

End of Teaser

John: It’s a powerful program about broken trust and God’s redemption. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire Focus on the Family team, I’m John Fuller. Thanks for listening. Join us again next time as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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More Episode Resources

Guest

Dr. Charles Mully

View Bio

Dr. Charles Mully (sometimes spelled Mulli) is the founder and director of Mully Children's Family, a ministry that rescues and rehabilitates abandoned orphan children in Kenya and surrounding countries. His is a powerful rags-to-riches story. Born into poverty and abandoned by his parents at age 6, Charles grew up begging and stealing in order to survive. He later enjoyed great business success, starting as a casual laborer and quickly advancing through promotions and a series of jobs until he had enough money to start his own business. He eventually became a millionaire and international traveler. Charles' family lived a privileged life, but all of that changed when he felt called by God to sell everything in order to care for helpless orphan children living on the streets of Kenya. A movie about his remarkable life and ministry is being released in October, 2017. Learn more about the film Mully at mullymovie.com.