Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family with Jim Daly

Heeding God’s Call in Faith

Heeding God’s Call in Faith

Dickson Mully's family was living in an African desert, with hundreds of children to feed, and no clean water. On today's broadcast, he tells his inspiring story of miraculously discovering water some 10 feet underground – an amazing find that would help transform thousands of lives.


John Fuller: Well, he saw thousands of orphans on the streets of Kenya, and he did something about the isolation and suffering. Today, Dr. Charles Mully and his family have rescued more than 13,000 fatherless children. And he was here recently, sharing about the amazing ways God has worked in the lives of these kids.


Charles Mully: This has been, uh, a really, mission accomplished. It is because all these young people – children – getting to know the Lord as their personal Savior and, again, be able to become self-reliant in their future and to be able to become transformers – be able to talk and to transform others through their knowledge and, uh, skills that they have learned and knowing about God, as God is love. And so all these things coming together to reach out to the poor and to bring hope to the most poorest, as well, as hopeless, uh, young people – children – and the babies.

End of Teaser

John: Well, you may have heard Dr. Mully on our broadcast a couple of weeks ago. And we’re offering a free download – of that interview, and you can get that at Today, Dr. Mully’s youngest biological son, Dickson, is here with us to talk about the many miracles God has performed in this incredible family story. And your host is Focus on the Family President Jim Daly.


Jim Daly: John, the Mully story is truly amazing. It’s a God story, you know. Uh, there’s no other way to say it. And the documentary film is coming out next week, October 3rd, 4th and 5th. And we want you to see it. It’s gonna be worth your time. You need to bring your – your kids. They will love the story, too. It’s one of those stories where you walk out going, God is real. And that’s the kind of way you want to build up their faith.

Dickson Mully grew up in the middle of this journey of miracles. He’s one of 13,000 children for the Mully’s. (LAUGHTER)That’s a funny way to say it.

John: And you thought you were busy.

Jim: Yeah, right. Imagine having 13,000 kids. Uh, but a delightful young man. And we wanted to come back and ask Dickson more questions about his mom and dad, their faithfulness to the Lord, how they have applied not simply speaking the Word, but doing the word and the impact doing the Word has had in Nairobi, Kenya, and beyond. And, uh, Dickson, it is wonderful to have you back.

Dickson Mully: Thank you for having me here.

Jim: Yeah, you were here at chapel not long ago, and the folks loved hearing from your mom and dad, and from you. I really want to get started – because some people listening – many won’t know the story. But your dad, he was a millionaire. The family was doing well. He was an orphan himself, as a young boy. His – your grandma and grandpa– and the kids left him alone in the hut, when he was a little boy. And he ended up moving – walking three days into Nairobi, begging and trying to make a way in this world. And, uh, he did. I mean, the Lord had his eye on your dad, Charles Mully. I mean, it’s like a modern day story of the old-time folks that had orphanages and saw God’s blessing through them. But your dad, uh, had an oil and gas business, a real estate business, a taxi business, and was doing what he thought he did best and that was make money. And then God got a hold of him and said, you know what? There’s more to this life than making money. And what did he do? Fill in the blank. What was your dad’s next step?

Dickson: I think – um, and again, thank you for having me here. To put it in a nutshell, he became crazy. Now…

Jim: He became crazy.


Jim: I like that. That is a nutshell.

Dickson: Crazy. Crazy for God, and just crazy enough to, um, to accept such an hard calling. And because having gone through so much, like you’ve – you know, you’ve talked about it. And maybe what I’ll try to go back is, when he was 16, and he was very desperate after his parents had left him. And he had gone through so much pain and suffering. He wanted to commit suicide. And he was there sitting under a tree, uh, trying to think about how he’ll take his own life. And this young man came and told him, you look like you’re in despair. And he said, yes.

So, the guy didn’t tell him I want to take you to church. He said, I want to introduce you to certain people. I want to take you for a meeting. Um, and when he got there, it was church, and it was a youth convention, and that’s where he gave his life to Jesus. And for me, I think that was his biggest turning point in life, because once that happened, even if he did not become rich and all those things, then he got the wealth that comes from God, which is the peace of mind, the peace of the heart.

And the journey that he walked with God from that moment, from looking for a job, to building a business, to becoming a multi-millionaire, and towards giving it to all out for the glory of God – and which brings me back to what you’re talking about. In the year 1989, he, uh, he came home, and, um, and he sat at the table, and he looked very disturbed. And it was unlike him because most of the time, he’s – you know, my dad, he’s very joyful, and he’s always smiling. But then, um, and he said he was not going to work anymore for money. Like, he’s not going to go back into business. He was not going to do any investment that will bring him money.

Jim: How old were you at this point?

Dickson: I was about 5 years old.

Jim: You can remember this, though.

Dickson: I tell you what – what I remember is everyone looking like a bus had hit them. Like, everyone was feeling so confused. And I remember the kids, we went to – we all had our rooms. And then I went to one of my sister’s rooms, and there was a small congregation of people there, basically my sisters and brothers and everyone, you know, talking and expressing themselves.

Jim: There’s eight of you kids, right?

Dickson: Yeah, eight of us kids. Um, and you find that there was – there was a lot of pain and confusion.

Jim: Maybe some panic?

Dickson: Well, yeah, panic, because you don’t know what – what is Dad saying? Now, if he doesn’t work – you come from a country where there’s so much poverty. Does it mean you’re gonna go to poverty? For me, it was very simple. Does it mean I will not have toys, and I will not go for a holiday and all that? So everyone’s burden was different. But for me, life became a little bit more different and real when I had to go to boarding school, because of that.

Jim: And that was you and your brother, because of your age. You were the youngest…

Dickson: Yes.

Jim: …I would assume.

Dickson: Yes.

Jim: And they wanted to take care of you, so they sent you to boarding school to get a good education, I’m sure.

Dickson: Absolutely. They took us to a wonderful school, a nice British school – very expensive. I mean, we had a wonderful time. It was a nice, nice – one of the best schools in Kenya. However, for us, it did not substitute the fact that we were far from family.

Jim: Right.

Dickson: And before we moved on, Dad brought some of the kids. And I remember them coming to share the room with us. And I’ll never forget this kid going to the toilet to relieve himself on the corner of my bedroom. That was the…

Jim: In your room.

Dickson: In my room.

Jim: But that’s – he knew no better, right?

Dickson: No, he knew no better. But, like, I’m five.

Jim: Right.

Dickson: And I don’t understand. You know, I’m…

Jim: Right.

Dickson: …I was almost turning six. And even when I came for holidays, at even seven years old, the kids were still in the house during our holidays. But then, you know, that kind of shock, where people don’t know how to take care of themselves, and someone—seriously– going to the toilet in your bedroom was – that was really hard.

Jim: Even at five and six, you knew, or seven, you knew something’s not right.

Dickson: No, I knew it wasn’t right. And because some of them were very rowdy. Others were just – they just want to take something from you.

Jim: Kind of bullies.

Dickson: Yeah, they were bullies.

Jim: Yeah.

Dickson: Some of them were bullies.

Jim: That had to feel horrible, as a young boy. Did your mom and dad – did you feel like they knew the pain that you guys were in, that they’re opening up their home to this kind of shenanigans?

Dickson: I think, and I know they appreciated what we were going through. You know…

Jim: Is that one of the reasons they sent you to boarding school?

Dickson: That’s exactly why they sent us to boarding school. Like, in retrospect, like later on, and even as we spoke, you know, they will say, no, we want what’s best for you. And when you are right to come back, you can come back and study with the children. But for now, I think it’s better you focus. And I think, as a parent, that was the best decision they could make, whereby they’ll give us time to adjust slowly, as we come during holidays, and you will give them time to focus on that. Because my elder brothers and sisters didn’t have an issue. But Isaac and I were the ones who were younger…

Jim: Yeah.

Dickson: …And got in, yeah.

Jim: You know, the key thing here, Dickson, and I think one of the exciting things, uh, about the family story – because this is really beyond even your dad’s story. It’s your mom and dad’s story, certainly, but it’s also the kids – the eight of you that were born to them, and the way that you guys moved with this revelation your dad felt, that he needed to sell the businesses and start helping orphans in the slums of Nairobi. And kids began to come into your home. And like you described, people you didn’t know, people that had bad habits, people that were tough.But, here you were watching your mom and dad take a step of faith. Um, that had to be an incredible lesson for you.

Dickson: It was. It – you know, one of the things – I thank God for my parents. And I think, uh, many parents should do this all over the world – is involve your children in a decision you make, even if you’ve already made it.

Jim: Why? What’s the benefit of doing that?

Dickson: The benefit of doing that – and I’ll take you back to my dad coming and put it in, also, a context of being from our country. I mean, he can make a decision. You know, he’s the man of the house. But then he came and talked to Mom. He came and talked to us and said, I will not be working. And what it does – it brings people together, to reason together. He made himself vulnerable to us to ask him why, so that he could explain his calling. And what that does, even if it takes time, the children, your family, will honor your vision. No, you don’t feel like dad or mom is just trying to force this thing down our throat, because Jesus told him to do so. But then they feel like dad and mom have a calling. Yes, they’re going to go forward, but they want us to go forward together.

Jim: Yeah.

Dickson: And there’s nothing as important as that.

Jim: Well, and that’s one of the great things I love of your family’s story is how your mom and dad mentored the eight kids and watched this process unfold. One of the most amazing parts of the film that really caught my attention – number one, the cinematography of the film is outstanding. I mean, no one will be disappointed going and seeing the scenes of Africa, and what your mom and dad did, and particularly the property that they bought for their retirement. And, of course, to paint that picture, they’re bringing kids home all the time. And the house is probably busting at the seams with children that your dad particularly is bringing in, right?

Dickson: Uh huh.

Jim: And then they had that property. So they went out, and they began to think and dream that maybe that property could become the future orphanage. But they needed water. And so your dad had a dream, right? Fill in the blank on this. Because, if I were your dad’s son, this would have made – and does make, in the film, an incredible impact on all of us watching his faith. What happened?

Dickson: So, we moved out from Eldoret, which was in the Highlands. The land was small. We moved, uh, out in his retirement place. Mom and Dad had set up a place that, even if they get, into ministry – like, people here have a lake house or something – like, if they get out of, uh, ministry, or when they retire, they’ll have their own place with the family. But it was very dry. Um, and the river there had hippos and crocodiles. And basically, it was a nice place if you want to set up a ranch. But, it’s terrible if you want to bring people and children to live there. And it got so hard, because the water was contaminated, because of the river. We did not have a purification plant. And, um, when the children started becoming sick…

Jim: And how many kids were there at that point?

Dickson: About 300 children.

Jim: About 300 kids.

John: Three hundred kids.

Dickson: Yeah, and, you know, we were meeting under a tree, uh, for church. Like, church was under a tree. And this is really off, but one of the things…

Jim: That’s a big tree.

John: I was thinking the same thing.

Dickson: He was saying – he kept on telling us, and just back – as I go to that, but when you focus on God being in your heart, then you can focus on more on the things of the Spirit than on the things of the earth- and when, uh, the kids were having issues and they were dying, he called these professionals – geologists. And they went all around, and they tried to put a bore hole. And they could not find water. They went over 150 meters deep. Now, that’s a lot of feet down.

Jim: Three hundred feet, roughly.

Dickson: Yeah, and the crew didn’t get any water. And so he was crying, and he was really having a hard time. And at night, uh, my mom woke up and asked, “Why are you crying?” And he’s like, people – this child has died, and he’s died because I’ve led them here, and there’s no good, clean water. And fast forward – as he was crying, he felt God speak to him and tell him to wake up and stop crying and just walk out, and He’ll show him where the water is. And he walked 100 meters straight and three meters to the left. And God showed him that there’ll be water. And he picked up the soil, and Mom, and they prayed. And in the morning, they called all of us and called the children and were like, God has promised, and He has shown me that there’ll be water here. And you should have looked at us. Our faces were like, what?

Jim: It’s out in the desert, right?

Dickson: It’s out in the desert. And those guys with the big drills couldn’t get water. And the geologist said there’s no water. And there’s a big rock – a volcanic rock. I mean, they gave us all these crazy reports. But then he told us to dig. And he asked some of the members of staff to join us. And they told him that they’re not in the business of joining crazy people, like, it’s enough working for him…

John: You were already in the desert with 300 people.

Dickson: …like but, but no.

Jim: Yeah.

Dickson: Yeah.

Jim: Dig here.

Dickson: Yeah, and we dug, and it – in about two weeks, it was really a step of faith. We believed what he said. And we started digging and digging, and two weeks in, I was actually inside at that time, with my friend—he’s called David. And I grew up with him since grade 3. He was from the streets. And he’s actually one of my best friends. And, as we were digging, when I hit somewhere on the rock, there was some sand, and all of a sudden, water just (imitating water rushing) went out.

Jim: So you put the pick in, and bang.

Dickson: I put the pick in and just, bang. But it was just a normal thing, like, I didn’t know what we’ll get, so I just bang and then it just started (imitating water rushing). And then he just threw the pick out, and water started coming in, and everyone, and everyone was so happy.

Jim: That was about 10-12 feet down?

Dickson: Oh yeah, yeah. And everyone – it was really interesting – and people started running around. And they forgot that we were down there, so then, like, get us up.

Jim: You needed a rope or something.

Dickson: Yeah, they sent us a rope…

Jim: But that’s funny. But what anamazing…

Dickson: It is.

Jim: …truly amazing step of faith. And it just seems like your dad has got God’s ear, and there’s favor there that The Lord has given him. And even like that, to have a dream, or an impression, go 100 meters out this way, three meters to the left, and dig there, and there’s going to be water. We’re not used to hearing that, here in the West. I mean, we’re used to reading that through newspapers, you know?

Dickson: But listen, if you hold the Lord by his Word, you know, call on me, I’ll answer, and I’ll show you great and marvelous things you cannot fathom. When you read the Bible, and he had, you know, the Bible talking about why don’t you have, is because you did not ask. And when you ask, you do not get because of your intentions. If your intentions are right, and they are to glorify God and you ask – knock on the door, he shall open. And the funny thing is that a miracle is not just water in the desert. It may be restoration of a marriage. It may be restoration of your kids from drugs. God does work in his own mysterious ways that suit us in our point of need. You do not need to hit water in America for you to believe God is there, but when your kid comes back to God – that’s a miracle. And when your kid doesn’t go into drugs, that’s a miracle in itself, because he or she is out in the wilderness. And I think people also must focus on the miracles within their own hearts and within their own families. Yep.

John: This is Focus on the Family. We’re talking to Dickson Mully, and his father, and his family, his extended family of about 13,000 siblings – all the very point of a movie that we’re very excited about. It’s calledMully. And it’s in theaters October 3rd, 4th and 5th. And you can find out more at or call 1-800-A-FAMILY. And this reminder that at the website, we have a free download of the interview we did with Dr. Charles Mully, just a few weeks ago.

Jim: Dickson, as we are trying to encourage people to go see the film. It’s to encourage them to step out in faith, not just to speak about the Word of God, but to do the Word of God. And that’s something, here at Focus on the Family, we are championing for all of us, whether it’s orphan care through our Wait No More program or Option Ultrasound, saving babies’ lives – you know, with ultrasound machines and the many, many more things that you alluded to, saving a marriage, etc. God wants to see our faith in action, just like the book of James talks about.

And so often, as Christians, we can become rather complacent, especially when our cup is so full, when our needs are met, and most of our wants are met. As you have seen this transition within your own family, what are some of the great lessons that you have learned, as the youngest in the family, being that little boy, and all these strangers coming into your home, the risk of it, feeling alienated, all those things that you had to go through. Now, all the kids are part of the ministry. They’re all engaged. They’re all doing different things. Together, those 13,000 kids that you have – over 13,000 that you and the family have helped rescue, they’re becoming engineers, doctors, lawyers. They are going on to do wonderful things in the name of Christ. When you step back from it, what do you see?

Dickson: Wow. I see God’s goodness, His greatness, His favor and His power.

Jim: Is it worth the pain?

Dickson: Oh absolutely. Absolutely because let me give you – when you get a child – I’ll give you an example. There’s this kid called George Kairo. I’ll go very fast. He – his mom died of HIV and AIDS and asked my parents to take care of him. My mom was changing his diaper. He grew up in our home. He was one of the first 50 kids who came to MCF. And two years ago, he graduated as a doctor. And right now, he’s a head of department in a big hospital. Now, his story can take an hour, but then how do you beat that? Like what else do you need?

Jim: He was an orphaned child…

Dickson: He was an orphan child.

Jim: …and now he’s head of a medical unit.

Dickson: He’s head of a medical unit. He would have died. But then, the salvation that has come – when Jesus talked to Zachariah and told him salvation has come to your house, what Jesus does is he visits us in our point of weakness. And he brings salvation. And that’s what I’m saying. For me, it is worth it. When you see that, then you understand. And just to put it into context – when you are patient with God, when you focus on the cross, when you believe that He is able, despite the struggle, then you will reap the fruits. Because a tree can never produce fruits until it goes throughout the process. So, I just encourage Christians and families like, to keep – let’s keep our eye on the ball to serve God. And the most satisfying thing in the world is transformation of lives. That’s it. Nothing can beat that.

Jim: You were challenged, in this way, though. One of your good friends, as a young boy, died. And you had to process that. Describe that story and what happened to you. And how did it encourage your faith? Or how did you struggle through that?

Dickson: The boy who died was my classmate, and that was – it’s tied into the water story, because he became sick with typhoid from drinking the river water. And he was sick for some time. And it was really hard on us. And when he passed on, it was a very big struggle, because, first of all, losing a friend, when you’re about 13, who you’ve grown up with, is something that can traumatize you. Two, losing him to something that you know can be controlled as a disease, because of water. And three, not being able to do anything else, but pray about it. It grew faith, but it also brought bitterness.

And so, tied into the water story – when dad talked about we – God has shown me that there’s water here. There are like five stories into play. There was dad, the parent, crying for a child that he lost. There was dad, the prophet and visionary, that he’s asking God, “Why have you led my people here?” And there was us, as the children, in pain, and thinking, do we trust this man? Is he really – does he know what he’s doing? And then, on the other side, do we trust God? What does God want with us? And then, in between ourselves, is there a solution? Kids were like, do we run away? Do we stay? So, there are so many aspects of the entire thing. And that is why the water story was so good, because when I saw the water, when people were crying with tears of joy, when I was crying with tears of joy, it was because I know I’ll not lose another Oscar. His name was Oscar. I’ll never lose another friend because of that, and…

Jim: He had life.

Dickson: Yeah, we had life.

Jim: Water brought life.

Dickson: We had life. So it wasn’t just about the drinking. It was about life. It was about health. It was more than water.

Jim: Yeah. Dickson, it’s so important for us, in the closing minutes, just to talk about your faith in Christ and really to encourage us, as your western brothers and sisters. Again, I want to drive that point home. We can get lost in the fog of modernity, that you know, it’s all kind of process related to us now. And for us to take a step of faith, like your family has taken, seems so foreign, so different from how we would approach things. When you look at it, when you look at the investment – the fact that your dad sold everything, in order to save the lives of these kids that were living under the porches in Nairobi, in the slums of Nairobi, kids that, when they came into your home, would urinate in your bedroom, because they didn’t know how to use the bathroom, would bully you and your siblings – in all of that, I mean,you could be very resentful. I know a lot of people in America would be like that.But, how do you put that all into perspective, now to say these children, now growing up to become adults, serving the Lord, vocationally accelerating and being the head of a medical unit, or the lawyer, or the engineer – when you look at the full spectrum now, five years old to how old are you now?

Dickson: I’m 31.

Jim: Thirty-one. You’ve seen all those years. What wisdom do you see, between chasing material things and investing in the kingdom of God, like your family has done?

Dickson: First of all, I must say it takes time and pain. And the struggle – it’s part of it.

Jim: It’s ok to be…

Dickson: It’s ok.

Jim: …upset.

Dickson: When you go back, and as I talked to my father– let me just go back to the Bible. When you look at Jesus, he, when you read about the Bible, that He did not consider himself equal to God. Right? He was humble, humble to become human, humble for death, even death on the cross,And all I’m saying is that for you to be able to overcome anything in the Christian walk of faith, you must go through the struggle, because the struggles make us stronger – it’s not just a saying. It is the truth. And therefore, focusing on what we are talking about here, is that when you look up on to Jesus, then you are able to realize that He can take you through. Now that sounds ambiguous, but to put it into perspective – when you have the helmet of salvation, such would that be saved. Then from there, have the belt of truth.Always be honest with what you’re saying. Then have the sword, which is the Word of God. Read your Bible. Then you’re able to go through the things. And then you have the shield, which is the shield of faith, so you can be able to take all the arrows that the Devil throws at you. And then you have the breastplate of righteousness. Don’t try to be righteous before you are saved. It’s not going to work. So have that, and then, from there, be willing to spread the Word of God. If you have that, then you’ll have the fruit. Just take it step at a time.

Jim: Dixon, that is so – that’ll preach man. I mean, that is so good. And I hope you are encouraged, as you’re listening, saying I got to know more about this family story. And thankfully that’s been captured in a wonderful documentary calledMully. and that will be in theaters October 3rd, 4th and 5th, so you can go, and I’m planning – Jean and the boys, we’re going, John.Because I want them to see this film as well. Because it’ll make such a great impression upon them. And, you know, again Charles Mully – his faithfulness, his devotion to the Lord, from being 16 and then going through everything that he’s gone through, the wonderful testimony that he and now the family possesses is so powerful. Everyone will enjoy it. So get out. Get the tickets. You can preorder the tickets at our website for October 3rd, 4th and 5thand you will not be disappointed. Do it as an investment in your family and an investment in the Focus on the Family family, and in fact we have some friends. If you preorder the tickets, now – this won’t be available at the window on those dates. But if you preorder the tickets now, they’re going to match that dollar-to-dollar and all the proceeds are going to help orphans at MCF in Kenyaand Focus on the Family’s Wait No More orphan adoption program. So you can’t lose! Go to the website now. Order the tickets. Help orphans, both in Kenya and here in the US. And together, we will show them the love of Christ.

John: Yeah this is a great way to make a lasting difference.

Jim: Dickson, again, I am so thrilled with the testimony really. That’s what it is. The testimony of your mom and dad and eight siblings. The kids, you being the youngest. What a powerful story that God has worked through you and given you to teach, not only those in Kenya, and in Africa, but all around the world, through this filmMullyabout being engaged, about not just speaking the word of truth, but doing the word of truth. And that is the testimony of your family. And I’m so grateful to you all. Please, hug your mom and dad. Tell them hi and all the siblings too. Give them a big hug. And we’re looking forward to seeing this film. And we’re looking forward to seeing the film, October 3rd, 4th and 5th. And for that ministry to occur to all those thousands of people that are gonna see this. Thank you for being faithful to the Lord.

Dickson: Thank you. And thank you for having me here. And we are really grateful for your love and support. And just one thing I want to say is that, at the end of the day, we are different parts of the same body. And Focus on the Family and Mully Children’s Family are focusing on the family.

Jim: We are.

Dickson: When we bring back restoration of the family, be it children in the streets, be it orphans, and be it people who are in a difficult place, I think we are doing this for the glory of God. And so we are really grateful for your love and support for MCF. Thank you.

Jim: For Him.

Dickson: Thank you. Amen.


John: Oh what a privilege to hear from Dickson today. And I trust that you’ll follow up and get the free audio download of the conversation with his dad, Charles Mully, and also get details about your tickets for seeing the movieMullycoming up October 3rd, 4th and 5th, and once again, all those details at Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller. And on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, join us next time, as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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Sara Hagerty, author of Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

Being Seen by God

Offering encouragement found in her book Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to be Noticed, Sara Hagerty describes how we can experience God in ordinary, everyday moments, and how we can find our identity in Him apart from what we do.

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Being the Hero Within You

Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Community Affairs at Chick-fil-A, encourages listeners to make a heroic impact on the world in an inspiring discussion based on his book, Heroes Wanted: Why the World Needs You to Live Your Heart Out.