Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Review: George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans by Janet and Geoff Benge

For some reason I thought Muller was a missionary that helped orphans in India. I think meshed him and Amy Carmichael (who was a missionary who started an orphanage in India) in my brain. So it was good for me to read this biography and learn that he actually opened orphanages for children in England in the 1800s.

I had often heard people talk about how Muller relied only on prayer alone to meet his needs. As in, he only told God his needs, not anyone else. He never asked anyone for money, he never sent out a support letter, he just prayed. Saying “just” makes it sound so simple. But this man had great faith and trust in his heavenly Father to provide for not only the needs of him and his family, but those of nearly 10,000 orphans over the years. Through prayer alone he saw the Lord faithfully provide for the funds, supplies, buildings and personnel to care for thousands and thousands of orphans.

The specific examples are so encouraging, and they challenge me to place greater faith in my God to provide! For instance, when he initially felt he was supposed to start an orphanage, though he felt so led, nothing was really working to get started. So one day he prayed that if he was supposed to start an orphanage, that the Lord would provide twenty pounds, and with it he would buy Bibles. That night while he was eating dinner, a woman from his church knocked on the door and handed him an envelope with money in it. She said that she just felt led to bring it to him. He asked her what she wanted the money to be used for, and she said that it should be used for Bibles. In the envelope were twenty pounds. Wow.

Once the orphanage had been established for some time and they had expanded and were housing 300 children, there was a morning when there was no food. The tables were set for breakfast, they had prayed for provision, but there was simply nothing in the kitchen. Muller believed the Lord would provide just as He always had, and he said a prayer of thanks for the meal that wasn’t yet there, and the staff and 300 children sat down to empty plates. A minute later the doorbell rang and the town baker was there with bread enough for the whole orphanage, saying that he woke up in the middle of the night feeling like he was supposed to make bread for them. And as he left a man with a milk cart came by asking if they could use bottles of milk. Why? Because the cart had broken and in order to get it back into town he would have to take the milk off, and it could either go to waste or be given to them. So. The Lord had provided yet again.

These are just two examples; the book is filled with dozens of equally inspiring stories from Muller’s life and ministry. I really appreciated this biography, and I was inspired by Muller’s example of humility, trust in the Lord, hospitality, and faithfulness in prayer. 

No comments: