Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Church History
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (Matthew 6:31-32)
If you were to drive through Bristol you might notice some large buildings at the top of a hill in Ashley Down. If you were a fan of Casualty or Holby City back in the day you might even recognise them as the old exerior of Holby General, but locals would tell you that they are the old orphanages begun by George Müller in 1835 (two years before the publication of Oliver Twist bought the plight of orphans to the public).
The buildings provided accommodation for just over two thousand orphans, which was forty per cent of the entire orphanage capacity in the country. They are vast, dominating the hillside, and were built after £319,404 was raised to pay for the project (some £40,000,000 in today’s terms).
That is extraordinary enough, but it is even more surprising when you realise that Müller did no fund raising. In fact, he wanted to demonstrate to the country at large that God answers prayer. All he did was pray for the money he needed. He never made requests for any financial support, and he never went into debt. When he died, he had received £1.5m (£150m today) and had provided for over 10,000 children. Such is the God who answers prayer. As Müller put it:
“It is the Lord’s order, that, in whatever way He is pleased to make us His stewards, whether as to temporal or spiritual things, if we are indeed acting as stewards and not as owners, He will make us stewards over more.”