Mark 10:17-21 — As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
…Jesus answered… “You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
In this story that is told in three of the four Gospels, Jesus invites a young man to sell all he has and follow Him. The young man, however, walks away from Jesus and the offer of eternal life, for “he had great wealth.” Jesus does not tell everyone to sell everything they have and give it to the poor. Different people are called to make different sacrifices. But a new movie tells the story of a man who came to believe Jesus was calling him, literally, to sell everything he had and serve the poor. And unlike the young man in the story, this man said “Okay, I’ll do it.”
The name of the movie is “Mully,” short for Charles Mully, who was born in Kenya. His father was jobless and regularly beat his mother. Food was scarce, and the family’s prospects were worse. One morning Charles, who was six, woke to discover he had been abandoned by his family, and not even his uncle would take him in. So overnight Charles had effectively become, like 2.6 million children in Kenya, an orphan. He was forced to live on the streets, begging for food, and sleeping wherever he could– at the age of six!
As he grew, Charles said, “I hated my life; I wanted to throw away my life because there was no meaning.” Somehow, however, he heard a message of hope through faith in Christ and personal hard work.
At age 17 Charles walked 70 miles to Nairobi. There, he began doing household chores at the home of a wealthy family that gave him a chance. Soon, he was promoted. Eventually Charles started his own taxi service, got married, and embarked on a rags-to-riches story that’s almost too good to be true. Within a few years he was a globe-trotting millionaire respected by all. In two decades Mully had transformed his one vehicle operation into an agricultural, oil and gas business conglomerate that made him a very wealthy man. Mully had it all; a happy marriage, seven children, wealth, and success.
One day he encountered a group of kids who lived on the streets like he did as a child. He refused to help them, but then his conscience bothered him. He could not get the boys out of his mind. His life once depended on the kind of help he now refused to give. The reality of his hypocrisy devastated him, and he knew he had to do something.
Miserable, he wrestled for hours with God, eventually praying, “God, use me.”
Soon Mully stopped his career, sold everything he owned, and spent his fortune and his life to rescue, house, nurture, educate, and help orphaned and abandoned kids from the streets of Kenya. He gave up everything to help those who had nothing.
If you think Mully’s family was overjoyed, you’ve been watching too many Hollywood movies. That’s what makes this documentary so special. The pain, anguish, and uncertainty Charles brought upon his own family, in a way similar to how his father abandoned him, are agonizing to watch. The film “Mully” shows, in a remarkable way, how the Lord can use imperfect clay pots like us to accomplish great—no, in this case astounding—things in this sin-scarred world; if we’re willing to make available to Him all that we have.
In a short amount of time Mully and his family had hundreds of street kids living with them. This threatened the stability of his family and presented many challenges to his own children. But Mully knew it was part of a bigger plan. He wasn’t just providing shelter. He was creating a much bigger family where all these abandoned children became brothers and sisters, and Mully became their father.
The growing family moved to a farm that became a self-sustaining community and home of Mully Children’s Family (MCF).
The story is astounding. Through Mully’s faithful persistence, even Kenya’s physical environment and climate are being transformed. Thank God for this man, whose soul is totally sold out to Jesus.
It is estimated that since 1989 Mully and his wife have taken in 23,000 abandoned children, many who have since attended college and become successful teachers, doctors, nurses, business professionals and entrepreneurs. Other children have returned to MCF as adults to transform the lives of the next generation of Mully’s children.
Think about it– 23,000 children with no home, no family, no future– have had their lives transformed. All this was accomplished by one selfless couple gave up their fortune and comfortable life to change the world, one child at a time.
The number continues to grow as there are currently 3000 more children housed by MCF.
Mully is known as the father of the fatherless and the father to the world’s biggest family. Those who know him and meet him say he is a saint. Most of the world knows of Mother Teresa, and hopefully they will know about Mully too.
The movie “Mully” had a limited release to theaters for three days in early October. There will be an encore presentation in some theaters November 9th. The movie can also be purchased at Amazon (after Nov. 21).
(Loosely based on http://www.breakpoint.org blog, September 28, 2017)
“Mully” movie trailer:
Mully Children’s Family website:
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise…
Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
–Frances Havergal (1836-1879)