I just finished reading Father to the Fatherless, the biography of Charles Mulli, the founder of Mulli Children’s Family Orphanage in Ndalani, Kenya. It’s a powerful read, perhaps especially because a friend has shared with me his personal experience of meeting Mr. Mulli and working at his orphanage.
Charles Mulli grew up a poor orphan who was nevertheless able to find work and excel at any job he found. He eventually became a rich Kenyan who even had connections with the president of the country. But his heart went out to the orphan boys and girls of Kenya’s cities – children just like he once was. He began selling everything he had accumulated to begin helping street children until he had spent virtually all his wealth. Now, however, he believes he is richer than ever before.
Around the point they finally spent the very last of their wealth on orphans, Charles’ wife Esther asked him if he was completely sure of what they were doing. He replied:
I’ve never regretted this decision… It isn’t boring, is it? …This is the edge. This is real life. The burden on us is too much to bear. That’s how we know we’re in the right place. Don’t be afraid. God has to provide. We have no other hope. (p. 151)
Charles contends that we know we’re in the right place when we’re forced to depend entirely on God. It reminds me of the first beatitude in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
Along the same line of thought, Charles was once asked how he knew so certainly that God would come through for him and that things would work out. Charles said:
The critical thing is faith, the belief that God will provide. I ask myself the question: Why am I doing what I’m doing? Is it for me, or is it for God? And whether you are in ministry or in business or whatever you are doing, that’s the same question for all of us. (p. 232)