Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Secret Joy

Most evenings, our routine includes reading out loud to our children. Currently we are finishing up "George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans". It is a biography from Janet and Geoff Benge's Series, "Christian Heroes: Then and Now". George Muller (1805-1898) has a faith inspiring story. After much rebellion, he came to saving faith while in university. It radically changed his life. While serving God as a minister, George longed for far off mission fields. Then God revealed to George that he didn't need to travel any further than his own back door in Bristol to serve Him. He had a mission field of his own serving the needs of poor and abandoned children.

In the beginning, it started with a simple "Breakfast Club." Children arrived at their home for a hot meal and Bible devotion. Their home quickly outgrew the ability to provide for all the children and adults that arrived to be fed physically and spiritually. One thing lead to another. In the end, George and Mary established a ministry that included the building of five large houses that ultimately provided a safe home for over 10,000 orphans! What makes it even more amazing is that George and Mary barely had a dime of their own. They rested in the knowledge that if God provided the vision and they demonstrated a willingness, God would also provide whatever means were necessary to accomplish His task.

At one point, George saw a need to build another building to accommodate more orphans. The cost seemed insurmountable to most. George wrote in his journal: "The greatness of the sum required affords me a kind of secret joy; for the greater the difficulty to be overcome, the more will it be seen to the glory of God how much can be done by prayer and faith." When I read this out loud to my kids, I caught my breath. How great IS the sum when God calls us to respond to the need of a child? Is it financial? Is it emotional? Is it a spiritual stretch? Most likely it is all three and so much more! Although George planned and organized, it seemed like he did not get distracted by the "big" picture. He didn't get bogged down. He simply stated, "If God is in this, He will supply." The beauty of reading biographies about godly men and women is that they served the same God we do! It is such an encouragement to be reminded of what God has done in the lives of others. As you consider in what ways God is calling you to serve the orphan, my prayer is that you can recognize the "secret joy" that is the result of hurdles that only God can jump. - Monica Lonergan

"If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.
If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides,
so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
I Peter 4:11

We will be attempting to post each month the Broadcaster article for the Open Hearts, Open Homes ministry. In the future to read these articles you can do so by clicking on the "Broadcaster" link on the side.

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