Keeping the Orphans Warm
May 2019

“Keeping the Orphans Warm,” Friend, May 2019

Courageous Examples

Keeping the Orphans Warm

The author lives in Michigan, USA.

Bristol, England, 1857

children watch a man work on an old-fashioned heater

Illustration by Mike Deas

George Müller buried his head in his hands. He had just learned that the large heater in one of his orphanages was broken.

What is to be done? George asked himself. I must find warm rooms for 300 children until it is repaired.

George didn’t know what to do. But he did know who to ask for help. His Heavenly Father! When George was a young man, he didn’t really believe in God. He lied and stole money from his friends and family and only read the scriptures because he had to for school. Then one day George met some people who loved God and tried to follow Him. George began to pray every day. He learned that God was real and would answer the prayers of His children.

When George Müller opened his first orphanage in 1836, he wanted to provide a home for children who didn’t have parents. He also wanted to share his testimony of God’s love. So George decided to trust that God would help him. When George needed money or food or even jobs for the orphans who had grown up and were ready to leave, he would get on his knees and pray. George had faith that if he prayed to know God’s will and then asked for help, God would help him. And God did! Donations and help always came just in time. The children in the orphanages had what they needed, and George helped them see that God loved them.

As George looked at the broken heater, he knew this time would be no different. George had faith that God would help. He called workmen to come and fix the heater, but before they could come, a freezing north wind began to blow. George was worried. How would the children stay warm until the heater was fixed?

Then George remembered a story from the Bible where the walls of Jerusalem were built quickly because the builders had a “mind to work” (Nehemiah 4:6). George got on his knees and began to pray. “Lord,” said George, “would you be pleased to change the north wind to a south wind? And would you give the workmen a mind to work?”

When George woke on the morning of the repairs, the weather had changed! Even though it was December, a warm south wind was blowing. The children would be warm and wouldn’t need a fire while the heater was being fixed. The repairs could begin!

The workmen spent all day trying to fix the heater. But there was too much work to finish in one day. At the end of the day, George went down to the cellar of the orphanage. The man in charge of the workers told George, “The men will work late this evening and come very early again tomorrow.”

George nodded. He hoped the weather would stay good until then.

Then one of the workers spoke up. “We would rather, sir, work all night,” he said.

George smiled. He remembered how he had prayed that the men would have a mind to work hard and finish the repairs as quickly as possible. By morning, the heater was fixed and the orphanage was warm and snug before the winter winds returned. George knew that God had answered his prayer.