Saturday, March 24 , 2018, 5:27 am | Fair 48º


Cinema in Focus: ‘Mully’

4 Stars — Inspiring

Christians often keep God in a box. We do this for two reasons: First, to limit Him to a measurable size so we can attempt some measure of human understanding.

But second, and perhaps more important, we do so to contain Him. We want to only let God out in small quantities so we can add Him to our lives at our discretion to help us achieve our desires rather than surrender all we are in obedience to him and His plan.

But for those very few who are willing to surrender everything to do His call, we can only describe such a resultant life as miraculous. One such person is Charles Mully of Kenya, the subject of the new movie, Mully, which opens in theaters Oct. 3.

Directed by Scott Haze, Mully is an inspiring, true story that uses a blend of actual footage, interviews and dramatization. We walk with Mully as an abandoned street child through an amazing journey of trust and obedience until God uses him to create the most effective African, and perhaps international, children rescue ministry ever formed.

Since 1995, Mully and his family have taken more than 10,000 orphans off the streets and into the loving care of the Mully Children’s Family. We have to admit we expected a long advertisement for this children’s rescue ministry, but instead we saw the miraculous provision of God through an obedient servant — and on in which the impossible occurs and still does so today.

As noted, the story begins when Mully was only a boy and his drunken, wife-beating father abandons him. Left orphaned, he became one of the millions of children wandering the streets of Kenya’s cities.

For 10 years, he begged and struggled and survived until a compassionate Indian woman (Elissa Shay) gave him odd jobs around her home in Nairobi. It was then that Mully was invited to a Christian service and met the Suffering Servant who knew his lot in life, and Mully began a journey of hope.

Going literally from rags to riches, not only did he marry and have eight children, but Mully’s knack for business propelled him into a variety of endeavors until he controlled the gas and oil in half of Kenya.

But one day, he was in the city on business and a group of angry, street teenagers asked for money for helping him park his Mercedes-Benz. He refused and they stole his car.

Having to ride home in a public bus, a business he owned, God began to work on his heart. In a time of conviction that felt like an illness, Mully wrestled with God for four hours, and finally said yes to God’s call to sell everything and rescue street children.

This transformation is told with such honesty, by himself, his wife and his children that we can all identify why it is that most of us do not answer God’s call. But with unconditional love, his wife joins him in this journey and they start bringing abandoned children home and raise them as their own. The resentments of their biological children are real as is the transformation that takes place in all of their hearts by his reckless love.

The creation of their ministry had many miraculous and wise moments. One miraculous moment was when he moved his owerflowing family into the desert on land that had no vegetation because of the lack of water. Though he tried to dig wells with machinery no water was found, until one night in prayer, Mully was led by God to a specific spot that looked barren.

But, as his own sons believed and dug, about 20 feet down they came upon a volcanic rock, and like Moses in the wilderness, when it was broken through it burst forth in water, not just for them but to turn their desert into a verdant valley. With this miracle it is then that we see the wisdom.

Mully noted that most of Africa survived on the donations of the West and he had vowed after his time in the street to never beg again. So he formed a self-sustaining farm with the water God provided, and, after creating an ingenious greenhouse system, their desert produced not only food for his thousands of kids, but to sell on the European market. He also planted thousands of trees and created a microclimate that brought rain, which he then took the runoff from the greenhouses and created fish farms for food.

Today, the Mully Children’s Family has five locations and has made it possible for these children without hope to become leading members of society as they practice medicine and law, teach in the universities, govern in the cities and compete in the Olympics.

Perhaps we should all let God out of the boxes in which we have placed Him and join in reclaiming the people our world has discarded.

Click here for more information about Mully Children’s Family. Click here to make an online donation.


» It is easy to look at the massive numbers of street children and think that we cannot make a difference. But that is not true. How are you making a difference in a hopeless person’s life?

» Perhaps the greatest miracle of all is that Mully’s eight children did not become permanently resentful of him and of his God for their loss of wealth and worldly prestige. Imagine how you would have responded had you been a part of his family?

» Mully is obviously a gifted person who can manage businesses. What are your gifts and how could God use your abilities to bring hope and love into this world?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is the retired pastor of Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara and lead superintendent of Free Methodist Church in Southern California. For more reviews, visit, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.

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