here. Go to the Charles Mulli website by clicking here.
This book is about a man named Charles Mulli. Charles was born in Kenya to a very poor family. His father was a violent, drunk man who would often physical abuse Charles, his siblings, and his mother. Eventually, the family became so poor that they decided they would be better off without so many children. So they left the hut where they lived and headed for a new location. When they left, they decided not to tell 6 year old Charles that they were leaving or where they were going.
So, 6 year old Charles came home from playing and expected to find his drunk, violent father. But instead, he found an empty hut. That began his journey from being an abused child to being an orphan. He would later find his parents only to have them leave him again at age 9. A grandparent took him in for a period of time and Charles developed a very good relationship with this kind and loving man. But, after a few years the grandfather also decided that he was too poor, and so he put 12 year old Charles on a train and sent him to a large city to try and once again find his parents.
Charles eventually learned how to fend for himself and live as an abandoned street child. He worked odd jobs and put himself through the 8th grade (school was not free). He could not afford to go to high school or college. Later, he started his own business and after many successful business ventures became wealthy. It was prior to beginning his successful business life that he met Christ and learned what it meant to be loved and forgiven and welcomed into a spiritual family by his eternal Father.
After achieving much success and comfort through his businesses, Charles felt called to sell it all and begin an outreach to the street children of Kenya. It was remarkable that he would even consider walking away from his successful life since he had grown up so poor. But, then again, God's voice is irresistible, and so Charles followed!
Charles didn't know what the ministry would look like, where they would meet, how he would sustain it financially, or how to even begin an orphan ministry. But he knew God was calling him, and after much prayer, he began selling his businesses and properties. His wife thought he was crazy at first, but later fell in love with the street children and the ministry to them.
Charles was rejected by his church for bringing street children there. This was a church that he originally helped to plant - starting with just three families - that grew to 1800 people. He became poor again through giving everything he had to the new ministry. But, in the end, God blessed he and his wife tremendously as they built schools and orphanages that ministered to hundreds and hundreds of street children. At one point, he had over 700 children under his care - giving them an education and trade school training. His ultimate goal was to share the gospel with them and watch Christ transform their lives as He forgave their sins and healed their soul. Only He can turn mourning into dancing.
It's a beautiful story of what God can do through a willing vessel. It also gives a lot of insight into the Eastern African country of Kenya. A country that has also been riddled with poverty and HIV/AIDS similar to Ethiopia.
The book puts into proper perspective what success is and what it isn't. Success is clearly not the accumulation of wealth or comfort. We all know that, and yet we all like wealth and comfort. Because, of course, it's comfortable! Success however, is pursuing God, following His path, being filled with His purpose, knowing His peace. All of that comes through experiencing His grace and forgiveness and surrendering to Him. If an orphan in Kenya can achieve wealth and comfort in life and then decide that it is better to follow the King and lose everything, than to be without physical need, this kind of peace is worth pursuing. This is worth giving up everything.
Now.....what to read next?