By Rasa Von Werder, May 2nd, 2021



from Rasa Von Werder

Two hundred years ago, at the time of Charles Dicken’s ‘Oliver Twist’, children who roamed the streets of England were considered ‘vermin.’ Orphans had to beg or steal to survive – people would look the other way when passing them.

In Bristol rose a special man who would ‘rob the streets’ of thousands of victims.
George Muller started out bad, his life was drinking, gambling & chasing women. He woke up in jail one day, fearing his Dad’s wrath, he’d been stealing from him since age ten. Dad & his friends supplies the booty for his decadent lifestyle, but it caught up with him when one time he couldn’t pay his bill at an Inn – the owner called the authorities, had him arrested & jailed.

He spent one month there with people like himself & worse – murderers & thieves, until finally his Dad bailed him out & paid his debts, but still, he didn’t change.

How did he, later on, save 120,000 orphans, with housing, nurturing & education? When he found his calling, he had, in today’s money, acquired 180 MILLION in resources for the poor – without ever asking for donations. He would present his plans to the public but ask ONLY GOD to make it possible, & resources came. How did he do it?

A life of Church work was something George’s Dad craved for him – Not because of devotion but being a clergy in Germany brought respect, good money & a great pension. John Frederick Muller provided the education George needed, in what is now called Martin Luther University in Harley.

George began his studies but his old ways were still there. Then something great happened. He met a young man, quiet & thoughtful, Christof Frederick Beta – they were close. Beta was a lapsed Christian, he hoped George’s worldly ways would rub off on him, while George hoped Christof would help him improve. Beta was going to religious meetings every Saturday – Muller wanted to go, but Beta thought he’d hate it & said no, finally relented as he was being hounded & there they went.

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The meeting was praying, singing, reading the bible, then a sermon. How would the playboy react? He LOVED IT. On the outside, he was living the high life, but inside he was empty & miserable. This was a powerful CONVERSION, not dry, harsh religion but the LOVE of God sprang up in his heart & he jumped for joy with new hope & desire for life.

But George did not want to be clergy, he wished to go to the missions, so that would not satisfy his Dad’s needs – they had to end his sponsorship. God provided George with work for his last two college years, but he worked so hard he collapsed from exhaustion.

At the suggestion of friends, his destiny was now the Seacoast town of Teignmouth. Here he found a soul mate – a Scotsman & pastor same age as he – 24 – named Henry Cray. They were both converted in college.

Henry Clay introduced him to the great follower of Christ, Anthony Norris Groves – who lived by faith alone, following the ‘Go sell all you have, give to the poor & follow me’ precept of Jesus – he actually did this literally, giving away all his fortune – with his wife – trusting in God to take care of them & their ministry.

George Muller was impressed & decided to follow the same path, relying on God alone. He also fell in love with Groves sister, Mary Groves, who was equally fervent, & married her – a good choice to stay right with God & mission.

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He saw the path as adventure – sell all you don’t need, trust in God – few had done this, it was new.
It was time to move on, & both George & Henry Clay moved to Bristol where they partnered in ministry. Financially Bristol was in bad condition, having lost their lucrative slave trade, but they survived.

Good people took note that poor children were dying in the streets. There were no antibiotics, they got sick from cold & damp & died. The government responded by putting them into ‘work houses’ along with grown men – it was something everyone dreaded. {Jack London did research on this, passed himself off as impoverished & experienced these ‘work houses’ as well as the institutions that gave out ‘free food’ which was just bread, & these were frightening, dangerous & deplorable. They were torture to the inmates, they were given only food for hard work, {just bread} maybe a dirty place to sleep, & forced to listen to harsh sermons for hours.}

Charles Dickens was writing of this in his newspaper column, he visited George Mullers orphanages & gave them high marks.

George had availed himself of free lodging for poor divinity students in Germany, a huge organization created by Professor Angus Herman Franka – who housed 2,000 orphans. It was a little city in itself, with all the amenities, all were treated humanely.

In England orphanages existed only in London, but they excluded the poor, only those of middle class, who could pay, were welcome.
Muller’s vision began to take shape imitating Prof. Franka. He beg

an to think, pray & ask God to build the orphanage & God answered within days, with more money than he had prayed for.

And so it started – throw all one’s faith in God – divest yourself of all you don’t need, & rely on God alone. Do not ask people for money or resources, but tell them what you are doing, what you will do, but don’t say I need your money, I need you to do this – don’t tell them anything but your plans & they will provide.

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People started bringing gifts, donations, food, housing supplies, everything. They got a landlord to give them a good building for low rent. It went great for two years, then followed seven years of ‘famine’ where they had to buckle down & all workers had to sacrifice, sell things of their own to keep it going, but they did.

He never stopped working, built four major institutions in a beautiful natural area, all were housed, fed, clothed & educated properly.

Mary died & George married again, then she died, he kept working. He said God never allowed him to be lonely as God was the center of his life & filled the void. He worked until God called him to his eternal rest, a happy old man of 93.


Robber of the Cruel Streets: The Story of George Muller (2006) | Full Movie | Adam Stone

George Müller (1805-1898) was a German playboy who found Christ and then gave his life to serve Christ unreservedly. His mission was to rescue orphans from the wretched street life that enslaved so many children in England during the time of Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist. Müller did rescue, care for, feed, and educate such children by the thousands. The costs were enormous for such a great work. Yet, amazingly, he never asked anyone for money. Instead he prayed, and his children never missed a meal. This docu-drama presents his life story and shows how God answered prayer and met their needs. It is a story that raises foundational questions regarding faith and finances. Also included are two special documentaries on Müller and some of the lives affected by his work.
Director: Crawford Telfer
Starring: Adam Stone, Andy Harrison

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