This two year project is finally complete! How in the world did I complete thirty-two paintings for The Biggest Family in the World??
I first heard about the Mully Children’s Family several years ago when they visited my church and performed for us – a choir and an acrobatic group, along with some of the children and Charles Mulli himself telling us the story behind the children’s home that has rescued over 10,000 street children and orphans over the last 25 years.
At the time of the performance at my church, I felt a gentle nudge from God that I should help them with my painting.
Of course I had no idea how painting could possibly assist them in any useful way! The feeling persisted until I made an appointment with Arvid & Ruth Loewen, a couple from my church. Arvid is a cycling philanthropist (GrandpasCan)who has supported the Mully Children’s Family for many years, raising money and awareness for the charitable organization. Arvid & Ruth visited at my home, and I discussed with them my urge to help, but it became clear that there didn’t seem to be any project that was feasible.
Discouraged – but not giving up, I followed my instinct to just paint portraits of the children. Their faces were irresistible. After asking for permission from MCF, I started doing a few portraits, and in 2011 “assigned” myself a new summer project called The Heart of Kenya. It was a 42″ x 42″ portrait of Charles Mulli and dozens of smaller portraits of the children, agricultural and educational projects of MCF. I had an art showing at my home to display my recent work, including the MCF portraits and the larger project. Paul H. Boge, author of two books about Charles Mulli, came to this showing.
In 2012, Charles Mulli and Paul Boge conceived the idea to pursue a project to create a children’s book version of Mulli’s miraculous life story. Because he had been at my showing, Paul thought of me when they were looking for an illustrator…and showed up at my front door one day to ask me to participate. He suggested that I pray about it and get back to him soon.
At the time, I knew that this is what God had originally intended for me – I was so very excited and relieved! Of course my answer was YES!