Father to 10,000 Children

People liked seeing him come into work. Despite the fact that he had a huge responsibility, he was a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Instead of acting as though life was a chore, he was genuinely cheerful day-in-day-out. Hard worker though he was, he didn’t let the heavy burden of his job steal his joy nor his good attitude. Instead of letting that stress make cold and stoic (someone people avoided) his positive attitude made people love and respect him.

The year was 1835, and because of Cholera epidemics, his city was full of orphans. Without the funds or the endowment of a huge philanthropist, he began an orphanage. And over the years he housed over 10,000 kids.

Think of that! Half a century ago, the average American couple bore 3.7 children. Today that number has decreased to 1.9. But can you imagine what it would be like taking in 10,000 kids?!  PLUS, this now-father didn’t quit his day job of pastoring a large congregation.

George Muller’s life was busy (to say the least). But instead of being stressed out, walking around with a black cloud over his head, he chose to live happy and that made people flock to him. Many came from all around to his orphanage wanting to help him.

One must ask…How did he maintain a steady happiness that drew people to him? According to his autobiography,

  1. He started every day thanking God, reading the bible and praying for his needs. He wrote, “The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day is to have my soul happy in the Lord.”
  2. He made lists of things he needed, and routinely prayed over that list. He would continue to ask God for answers until he saw them come to pass. “I believe God has heard my prayers. He will make it manifest in His own good time that He has heard me. I have recorded my petitions so that when God has answered them, His name will be glorified.”
  3. He believed hardships produced great faith. Even when hardships meant wondering where he get money for buildings, food, resources to care for so many children. “The only way to obtain strong faith” he said, “is to endure great trials.” Instead of simply asking for money, he would pray and others would give.
  4. He left a legacy. Johann George Ferdinand Müller became a world re-known Christian evangelist and the director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England. During his lifetime, he established 117 schools which offered Christian education to more than 120,000 children.

Great success came from Muller’s dependency on God and what was true for Muller is true for us today.