The Founder of the Ashley Down Orphanage, Bristol, England, was born in Prussia, September 17, 1805. In his young manhood he lived a godless life, but at the age of twenty-one he was suddenly converted to God at a prayer-meeting held in the house of a pious tradesman. Shortly afterwards, he came to England, bringing with him no letters of introduction, no money, no name, no recommendations, and only a very imperfect knowledge of the English language. What, then, did he bring? He brought God with him. Shortly after landing, he wrote in his journal: My whole life shall be one service for the living God. His principles were deeply rooted in the Holy Scriptures, and he adhered to them through the course of his long life. He never asked help from anyone and never hinted that help was needed. Solely in answer to believing prayer more than seven million, five hundred thousand dollars, was sent to him for the building and maintenance of “God’s Orphanage,” for his missionary enterprises, and for the circulation of the Scriptures.
Some of his responses to a reporter:
“You have always found the Lord faithful to His promise, Mr. Muller?”
“Always! He has never failed me! For nearly seventy years every need in connection with this work has been supplied. The orphans, from the first until now have numbered nine thousand five hundred; but they have never wanted (lacked) a meal. Hundreds of times we have commenced the day without a penny; but our Heavenly Father has sent supplies the moment they were actually required. There never was a time when we had no wholesome meal. During all these years I have been enabled to trust in the living God alone. Seven million five hundred thousand dollars have been sent to me in answer to prayer. We have needed as much as two hundred thousand dollars in one year, and it has all come when needed. No man can ever say I asked him for a penny. We have no committees, no collectors, no voting, and no endowment. All has come in answer to believing prayer. God has many ways of moving the hearts of men to help us, all over the world. While I am praying, He speaks to one and another on this continent and on that to send us help. Only the other evening, while I was preaching, a gentleman wrote a check for a large amount and handed it to me when the service was over.”
“I have read your life, Mr. Muller, and noted how greatly your faith has been tried at times. Is it so now?”
“My faith is tried, as much as ever, and my difficulties are greater than ever. Besides our financial responsibilities, suitable helpers have to be found constantly, and suitable places provided for hundreds of orphans constantly leaving the homes. Then often our funds run very low; only the other week we had come nearly to the end of our supplies. I called my beloved helpers together, and said to them, ‘Pray, brethren, pray!’ Immediately five hundred dollars was sent us, then a thousand, and in a few days seven thousand five hundred came in. But we have always to be praying, always believing. Oh, it is good to trust in the living God, for He has said, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee’ (Heb. 13:5).