When Quitting is Not an Option …
destitute children’s lives will be saved and transformed forever
Dear Friend of MCF,
On May 20th, 2019, I cycled the first kilometre (locally) in honour and celebration of the first child rescued by Mully Children’s Family 30 years ago. By the time you receive this letter, I will be well into cycling 15,000 km on behalf of the 15,000 children that have graduated from Mully Children’s Family in 30 years. Lord-willing, my “Celebration Ride” will conclude on August 8.
We are celebrating:
- Mully Children’s Family (MCF) 30-year anniversary
- My 15th year of extreme cycling events on behalf of children at MCF
- Charles Mulli’s 70th birthday year
For more information and ride updates, go to www.grandpascan.com.
Check out our facebook page at ‘Arvid Loewen, Cycling Philanthropist.’
In 2005 I transported 3 MCF beneficiaries (in rotation) on a modified tandem bike across Canada. We are planning on bringing those same three “kids” Paul Gachoka, Lydia Akinyi, and Joel Mumina back for celebration events Aug 8-10. They will share their stories of life before being rescued, of life at MCF, and now living as young adults after MCF. Charles & Esther Mulli hope to be present to join Ruth and myself in thanking God for the many years of partnership with Canadians.
In November 2018, Ruth & I visited MCF with 12 of our friends and supporters of MCF. On this trip, we were able to visit one of MCF’s newer projects. This initiative is still in the start-up stage and is located in Lodwar, Turkana
County. Here we worked alongside MCF in serving 600 children their only meal of the day. Some of these children had walked more than 5 km with a younger sibling on their back in the gruelling
heat. When they finally arrived, they stood in line for up to two hours for their only meal of the day.
MCF serves one hot meal each day as part of their K-grade 8 school. This ‘special’ meal usually attracts an additional few hundred siblings. We had the privilege of serving that day’s special meal of rice, cabbage, beans, potatoes, and goat meat to over 600 kids. The event was surreal and conflicting for me. There was certainly beauty and humility in being the incarnation of the generosity of thousands of MCF supporters around the world. And yet the scene was disturbing in the most heartbreaking of ways. It is impossible to reconcile the divergence of the our life at home with the lives of the children we were serving. Why do we have so much while there are children so poverty-stricken that they willingly walk endless kilometres in the 38-degree heat of the African sun, then stand in line for two hours to receive their ONLY meal of the day?
As I served a plate of food to a child who showed signs of malnutrition, I was overcome with emotion. My thoughts went back home to our 12 precious grandchildren. What if they had to stand in this line to receive a plate of food? Or worse yet, what if they were part of the thousands that were still waiting for an opportunity to join a line to receive food? As we drove back to our hotel that night, I found renewed strength and an even greater commitment to do what I can to help.
During the Question & Answer time after one of my recent presentations, a gentleman summarized what had clearly moved him with these remarks and then followed it up with a simple question; “Arvid, fourteen years ago you walked away from a 31-year career at the height of your earning years to volunteer full-time for kids you don’t even know. You chose ultra-marathon cycling as a platform, from which to be a voice for formerly destitute kids. The stories you shared from the road make it obvious that it has required an incredible amount of effort and sacrifice, not only from you, but also from your family. If you knew then what you know now, would you do it again?”
My answer was, “In a heartbeat!”
I have visited MCF five times in the last 15 years. Never has a child come to me and said; “Grampa Arvid, my life, and the lives of my friends still in the streets and slums of Kenya, are NOT worth the effort and sacrifice you are making to help Daddy Mulli and Mummy Esther provide us with a home filled with love and hope for a better future.”
If we truly believe that God is big enough to love all of us equally, then we must also believe that the abandoned child living in the most desperate conditions is loved by God and is deserving of a life filled with hope. No amount of sacrifice on our part will ever exceed the value of a child’s life created in the image of God.
In North America, God has blessed us with more resources than we need. He is asking us to use those resources to feed the hungry.
Your support will go to the General Fund to help MCF purchase food, the most basic need of every destitute child.
In addition to the 3,500 children MCF currently cares for at their six locations, MCF also provides one meal a day to students in approximately 15 public schools in extremely impoverished communities around MCF.
Charles & Esther and Ruth & I want to say Asante Sana (Thank You) for helping us feed the children standing in line waiting for someone to care.
Make cheque payable to: MCF Canada
Memo Line: GrandpasCan Send to:
MCF Canada PO Box 87558
Thornhill Square Thornhill, ON L3T 7R3
When God prepares your heart
In 2005, when we did our first biking event on behalf of MCF, I asked Charles Mulli to send me a number of rescued children’s stories. For no apparent reason,
I chose a little girl named Charity. I carried her picture and story with me for 30 days across Canada. Charity was born to a teenage mom. Poverty and family problems eventually led this teenage mom to a state of desperation. She left her infant to die on the rocks by the river.
Someone found Charity in an emaciated state and rescued her. On another occasion the young mother tried to strangle her infant daughter. Charity was rescued and eventually placed in the care of MCF.
She was part of my mission statement representing thousands of destitute
children. It was just a picture, like many others we see in the media. The kind we make go away by changing the channel, or flipping the page in a magazine or newspaper.
In November of 2006 Ruth and I visited MCF. At one of the evening programs, the youngest children were wandering around. I held out my arms. A little girl jumped on my lap. She sat and played with my fingers. It happened to be Charity. I had carried her picture for 30 days and 7000km across Canada. Now she sat on my lap for 30 minutes. It was at that time a picture of a child in need became a real person. God removed the wall of indiﬀerence with which I had surrounded myself. I am so thankful that God opened my eyes to see past the picture. I discovered a compassionate love for children that I will never meet. It changed our life completely.
My prayer for you is that when you see a picture of a destitute child, you allow God
to show you the child instead of the picture. Allow God to prepare your heart.
The things we do for ourselves will be forgotten when we are gone. The things we do for others will live on.
– Grampa Arvid