Inspirational documentary reveals one man’s journey to serving orphans in Kenya
“Mully” is the true story of a hardworking man named Charles Mully from Kenya who helped create a ministry that started to help the orphans in the area have a safe place to live.
APU’s Theology department hosted a preview showing of the upcoming documentary in Munson Chapel on East Campus Thursday, Sept. 21.
The preview showing lasted about 90 minutes, followed by a 30-minute Q&A session with film distributor Paul Blavin, producer Lukas Behnken, Charles Mully and his wife, Esther.
In the beginning of the film, viewers learn that Kenya is home to over 100,000 orphans and that one out of five will not live to see their fifth birthday. The film goes on to show all the hardships that Mully faced early on in his life. His father was addicted to alcohol, and his family became very poor as a result.
“When I was young, I was abandoned at the age of five years by my own parents, and this is because of extreme poverty,” Mully said. “After that, I got to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior at the age of 16 years, and then I wanted to commit suicide because I was really upset about my own parents.”
After a brief period of sadness with his new religion, Mully explained that he went to a Christian gathering and saw all these young people jumping up and down and looking very happy. The speaker there talked about the forgiveness of sins. Mully felt that the message was his own, so he gave his life to Christ.
In his younger days, Mully started work at a private home where he worked in the gardens and washed dishes or clothes. He was promoted to a farm assistant after that, and from there talked about creating his own taxi service, which then morphed into tires, insurance and then real estate.
Mully’s hard work paid off as he and his children enjoyed a comfortable life in Kenya. However, he did not feel a complete sense of purpose after a run-in with street boys turned ugly—they stole his car when Mully refused to give them money.
Mully was ashamed for not helping the kids, and that was when his outlook completely changed. “That motivated me so much, and that awakened [me] to think about the children, the young people who are in the street but there is not anybody who can help them,” Mully said.
The ministry was named Mully Children’s Family (MCF). MCF gives the children food, clothes, education, healthcare and more until they are about 20 or 22-years-old, when they can move on and provide for themselves.
Mully and his family have done many great things in their village and country. Mully has helped plant trees to change the climate and, as stated in the film, they have planted 1.5 million trees since 2004.
“In Africa, we can only move forward,” Mully said during an interview in the film.
Mully said his ministry and school currently have 3,256 children, and he and his family give them food and clothes and try to love them as real parents. The children call him “Daddy Mully.”
“I would like to be part of the great changer for those young people to be able to help many other people in Africa and all over the world,” Mully said. “We are changing children one step at a time and one child at a time.”
MCF has five locations in Kenya and has witnessed to thousands of children for over 25 years, according to the end movie credits.
Mully said in the film that he sees his work with kids as “Moses living through life faithfully.” Moses did as the Lord wanted him to do through a very difficult process. Mully wants people to know about our true purpose and whom we should be serving.
“I would like to send this message to all the people that we are created in the image of God and all of us belong to one Father in Heaven,” Mully said. “Therefore, they need to be mindful of others’ welfare.”
Some of the key people who worked on this film were director Scott Haze and producers Lucas Behnken and Elissa Shay, as well as executive producer and Academy Award-winner James Moll.
Behnken is the founder of Sterling Light productions and has been a producer for approximately 7 years. Behnken liked this movie after reading the book and it’s story about compassion, generosity and forgiveness. Behnken said the movie took two years to complete, and they used 300 tapes of research footage.
“The one thing I hope people walk away believing about themselves is that they can do whatever they intend to do if they have faith, pray and press on through adversity and have determination,” Behnken said. “I hope the film inspires people to do one additional thing more than they would’ve done if they hadn’t seen it.”
Sophomore film major Johnathan Huertas said the movie was jaw-dropping and uplifted his spirits because it spoke to him on another level. Huertas said he heard about the movie preview from one of his professors.
“[MCF] perfectly demonstrated how to love like Jesus in everything that they went through,” Huertas said. “It just makes me want to help out others just like they did no matter what, because God is always on your side and will provide for you.”
Behnken said he is planning the film’s partnerships, distribution, marketing and even premiere in the upcoming weeks. There will be a private screening in the San Quentin prison after the Oct. 5 showing in Santa Barbara, similar to the screening they held on Skid Row at a rescue mission.
“Mully” can be seen in select theaters on Oct. 3, 4 and 5. More information about specific theaters can be found on fandango.com or fathomevents.com.