George Mueller: Hungry Orphans Fed Miraculously

“The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat,” the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.”

Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.

From Christianity.com

John Piper writes about George Mueller’s motivation for establishing the orphan homes and for running them completely by faith in God’s provision for their daily needs in this article. He had no money of his own. God provided every bit of money for them without George’s help in making appeals or working to earn the money for them.

George Mueller always denied that he had the gift of faith.

“Think not, dear reader, that I have the gift of faith, that is, that gift of which we read in 1 Corinthians 12:9, and which is mentioned along with “the gifts of healing,” “the working of miracles,” “prophecy,” and that on that account I am able to trust in the Lord. It is true that the faith, which I am enabled to exercise, is altogether God’s own gift; it is true that He alone supports it, and that He alone can increase it; it is true that, moment by moment, I depend upon Him for it, and that, if I were only one moment left to myself, my faith would utterly fail; but it is not true that my faith is that gift of faith which is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:9.

The reason he is so adamant about this is that his whole life—especially in the way he supported the orphans by faith and prayer without asking anyone but God for money—was consciously planned to encourage Christians that God could really be trusted to meet their needs. We will never understand George Mueller’s passion for the orphan ministry if we don’t see that the good of the orphans was second to this.

The three chief reasons for establishing an Orphan-House are: 1. That God may be glorified, should He be pleased to furnish me with the means, in its being seen that it is not a vain thing to trust in Him; and that thus the faith of His children may be strengthened. 2. The spiritual welfare of fatherless and motherless children. 3. Their temporal welfare.

And make no mistake about it: the order of those three goals is intentional. He makes that explicit over and over in his Narrative. The orphan houses exist to display that God can be trusted and to encourage believers to take him at his word. This was a deep sense of calling with Mueller. He said that God had given him the mercy in “being able to take God by His word and to rely upon it.” He was grieved that “so many believers . . . were harassed and distressed in mind, or brought guilt on their consciences, on account of not trusting in the Lord.” This grace that he had to trust God’s promises, and this grief that so many believers didn’t trust his promises, shaped Mueller’s entire life. This was his supreme passion: to display with open proofs that God could be trusted with the practical affairs of life. This was the higher aim of building the orphan houses and supporting them by asking God, not people, for money.

George Mueller said:

“It seemed to me best done, by the establishing of an Orphan-House. It needed to be something which could be seen, even by the natural eye. Now, if I, a poor man, simply by prayer and faith, obtained, without asking any individual, the means for establishing and carrying on an Orphan-House: there would be something which, with the Lord’s blessing, might be instrumental in strengthening the faith of the children of God besides being a testimony to the consciences of the unconverted, of the reality of the things of God. This, then, was the primary reason, for establishing the Orphan-House. . . The first and primary object of the work was, (and still is) that God might be magnified by the fact, that the orphans under my care are provided, with all they need, only by prayer and faith, without any one being asked by me or my fellow-laborers, whereby it may be seen, that God is FAITHFUL STILL, and HEARS PRAYER STILL.

That was the chief passion and unifying aim of Mueller’s ministry: live a life and lead a ministry in a way that proves God is real, God is trustworthy, God answers prayer. He built orphanages the way he did to help Christians trust God. He says it over and over again.

Now we see why he is so adamant that his faith is not the gift of faith in 1 Corinthians 12:9 that only some people have, but was the grace of faith that all Christians should have. Now we are ready to see this crucial distinction he made between the gift of faith and the grace of faith. His entire aim in life hung on this. If Christians simply said: “Mueller is in a class by himself. He has the gift of faith,” then we are all off the hook and he is no longer a prod and proof and inspiration for how we ought to live. Here is what he says:

“The difference between the gift and the grace of faith seems to me this. According to the gift of faith I am able to do a thing, or believe that a thing will come to pass, the not doing of which, or the not believing of which would not be sin; according to the grace of faith I am able to do a thing, or believe that a thing will come to pass, respecting which I have the word of God as the ground to rest upon, and, therefore, the not doing it, or the not believing it would be sin. For instance, the gift of faith would be needed, to believe that a sick person should be restored again though there is no human probability: for there is no promise to that effect; the grace of faith is needed to believe that the Lord will give me the necessaries of life, if I first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness: for there is a promise to that effect. Matthew 6:33.”

I personally believe a bit differently about the healing part because I do believe that God’s word promises healing by the stripes that Jesus took on His back, but George Mueller’s faith for God’s provision for daily needs of life is very inspiring nonetheless.

The bottom line is that he proved to us that WE can trust God to provide for our daily needs, and it’s very wrong for us to worry or fret about having our daily needs met. In fact, it is sin. So let’s trust God and stop worrying. Remember Philippians 4:6!


    1. I went to the link you provided to check it out. It looks like a really good book. I will check it out. Thanks for telling me about it. And congratulations on writing such a neat book.

    2. I have a small ministry of sending faith building materials to Christians in moslem countries. I just added a man who is a native missionary in Myanmar, which is primarily Buddhist. I have shared this material to some of them who are involved with orphans, hoping that it will help them to believe God for provision instead of whining to everybody that they need money.Thank you very much for this lovely article. I will probably send it out across the seas many times, praying always that the hearts of the recipients receive the truth and put it into action.

  1. the great men of god had a immeasurable & Arrogant faith in god , we should have faith like him
    in this world

      1. Hi Matt,

        I found the story about the hungry orphans being fed supernaturally at Christianity.com. I put the link in the article where it says Christianity.com.

  2. Thank you for this post. It came as a blessing to support the work am doing. I needed a story to lift up the faith of people about divine provision. Thank you so much for been a blessing to the body of Christ.

  3. Indeed God is eternally committed to his word. This story about George is a blessing to anyone trusting God for divine provision. I needed a story to support the work am doing and I find this article very useful. Thank you so much.

  4. I want to read this book again as I read it some 40 years ago when I first became a Christian. It has always stressed me the way many believing friends and family do not trust God. Right now the issue is the obsession with getting covid and the shot. I look to Psalm 91…”surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and the deadly pestilence…a thousand may fall at your side,ten thousand at your right hand but it will not come near you…if you make the Most High your dwelling-even the Lord, who is my refuge-“ And all through the Bible we’re commanded to trust our Lord with our lives. When people argue about the shot I refer them to Romans 14:1-4 to not pass judgment on disputable matters because who are we to judge someone else’s servant, for the Lord is able to make each of us stand.
    God bless!

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