George Müller (27 September 1805 – 10 March 1898)
His early life was not marked by righteousness. He was a thief, a liar and a gambler. At 10, he was stealing government money from his father. While his mother was dying, he, at 14, was playing cards and drinking. He began attending meetings in a private house in Halle, conducted by a devoted Christian. He longed for a peace and rest in his spirit. He became deeply interested when he saw that the simple believers at these services had something which he did not possess. He realized that Christ by His sacrificial death on Calvary had borne sin's penalty, and Christ died that he might be eternally saved. Through believing on the Lord Jesus he became a new creature. He immediately stopped drinking, stealing and lying, and began hoping to become a missionary. I did desire to be used by God to benefit the bodies of poor children who had lost both their parents and wanted God to use me in getting these dear ones trained up in the fear of God. He said, But primarily I desired 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 anyone being asked by me or my fellow labourers. In this way it may be seen that God is faithful still and hears prayer still. The work of this man of God and his wife with orphans began in 1836 with the preparation of their own home in Bristol for the accommodation of thirty girls. God used this man to build orphanages where 16,000 orphans have been received. He received £1,500,000 in answer to prayer and faith alone, asking no one but the Lord. On one occasion at the orphanage, they all gave thanks to the LORD for breakfast when all the children were sitting at the table, even though there was nothing to eat in the house. As they finished praying, the baker knocked on the door with fresh bread to feed everyone, and the milkman gave them plenty of fresh milk because his cart broke down in front of the orphanage. He declared, " The word of God alone is our standard of judgment in spiritual things; it can be explained only by the Holy Spirit; who alone can teach us about our nature, show us the need of a Saviour, enable us to believe in Christ, explain to us the Scriptures, help us in preaching, ….Holy Spirit In 1875, at the age of 70, this man began a 17 year period of missionary travel. The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray. A quote by this man devoted to the God.The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.
The work of this man of God and his wife with orphans began in 1836 with the preparation of their own home in Bristol for the accommodation of thirty girls. God used this man to build orphanages where 16,000 orphans have been received. He received £1,500,000 in answer to prayer and faith alone, asking no one but the Lord. On one occasion at the orphanage, they all gave thanks to the LORD for breakfast when all the children were sitting at the table, even though there was nothing to eat in the house. As they finished praying, the baker knocked on the door with fresh bread to feed everyone, and the milkman gave them plenty of fresh milk because his cart broke down in front of the orphanage. He declared, " The word of God alone is our standard of judgment in spiritual things; it can be explained only by the Holy Spirit; who alone can teach us about our nature, show us the need of a Saviour, enable us to believe in Christ, explain to us the Scriptures, help us in preaching, …. In 1875, at the age of 70, this man began a 17 year period of missionary travel. The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray. A quote by this man devoted to the God.
David Brainerd (April 20, 1718 – October 9, 1747)
He was orphaned at the age of fourteen, as his father died in 1727 and his mother died five years later. The 53rd chapter of Isaiah revealed to him his own heart, corrupted by sin. He recognized that his deepest need was a new birth whose price was paid through Christ Jesus death on the Cross. In 20, he had an experience of 'unspeakable glory' that created in him a lifelong desire to "seek first GODS Kingdom. Brainerd had a great burden for the American (Red) Indians and at 24 went to be a missionary at Kannameek, New York. This man of prayer camped outside their settlement for a night of prayer to intercede for the American Indians before he even started his work with them. Unknown to him the Indians were following him secretly. Their only intention was to kill him. As the American( Red) Indians drew closer to Brainerd's tent, they saw the him on his knees, praying. Suddenly a rattlesnake slipped to his side, flicked its forked tongue almost in his face, and for no reason, glided swiftly away. "The Great Spirit is with this man!", the Indians were convinced; and the following day in their settlement, when he arrived, they gave him a prophet's welcome, much to his surprise.
It was at Crossweeksung in New Jersey, he had his most fruitful ministry. - preaching to the American Indians, visiting them in their wigwams, comforting and helping them in every way, being their beloved friend. In these years, he refused several offers of leaving the mission field to become a church minister. He continued his work with heroic strength and devotion to the LORD; despite a worsening condition of tuberculosis and hardships. His diary- "I have now baptized, in all, forty-seven persons of the Indians. Twenty-three adults and twenty-four children...Through rich grace, none of them as yet have been left to disgrace their profession of Christianity by any scandalous or unbelieving behavior." Nov 20, 1743 His exhortation- When you cease from labour, fill up your time in reading, meditation, and prayer: and while your hands are laboring, let your heart be employed, as much as possible, in divine thoughts. He died in 1727 at the age of twenty-nine, but his life influenced innumerable people including William Carey, Marsden and Martyn who became missionaries to India, New Zealand and Persia.
This Sikh boys mother died when he was fourteen. He plunged into violence and despair. He was angry with missionaries, persecuted Christian converts, he bought a Bible and burned it page by page in his home while his friends watched. However, within three days he could bear his misery no longer. He prayed that God reveal himself to him if he really existed. He said Otherwise, I planned to throw myself in front of the train which passed by our house." He prayed intensely for God to reveal himself. The hours passed. Suddenly he had a supernatural meeting with the Lord Jesus- the last person he was looking for. To him Jesus was the foreign God worshipped by his teachers at his Christian school. Amazed that his vision of Jesus, he was convinced that Jesus was the true Savior, and that He was alive. He announced to his father, that henceforth he would follow Christ. Despite family persecution, on his sixteenth birthday, he was publicly baptised as a Christian.
He set out on his journey wearing a turban and the yellow robe. He viewed himself as a Christian sadhu. He travelled all over India and Ceylon. visited Malaysia, Japan and China. went to Western Europe, Australia and Israel. He preached in many cities; Jerusalem, Lima, Berlin and Amsterdam among others. He was referred to as "the apostle with the bleeding feet" by the Christian communities of the north. He suffered arrest and stoning for his beliefs, and had supernatural experiences. Though he became increasingly popular, he remained a man who sought nothing for himself but only the opportunity to offer the message of Messiah to his people. "I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord Jesus," he said, "but, like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all men of the love of God."
Charles Thomas Studd (December 2, 1860 – July 16, 1931)
This young boy came from an incredibly wealthy family. An evangelist who was invited to stay in the home was used of God to lead the young man to Christ. The boy remembers his experience, "I got down on my knees and I did say 'thank you' to God. And right then and there joy and peace came into my soul. I knew then what it was to be 'born again,'. The Bible which had been so dry to me before, became everything." This boy gained fame as a cricketer. At 19, he was captain of his team at Eton College; At Trinity College, Cambridge, he was also recognised as an outstanding cricketer. He asked himself, "What is all the fame and flattery worth... when a man comes to face eternity?" He concluded, "I know that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worthwhile living for the world to come." It was during his period at Cambridge University that he dedicated his life and inherited wealth to Christ.
He decided to pursue his faith through missionary work in China and was one of the "Cambridge Seven" who offered themselves to Hudson Taylor for missionary service at the China Inland Mission. Of his missionary work he said, Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell. Between 1900-1906 he was pastor of a church at Ootacamund in Southern India and his ministry was marked by numerous conversions amongst the British officials and the local community. He first visited the Belgian Congo- Africa- in 1913, he established four mission stations in an area inhabited by eight different tribes. His work in Africa resulted in founding of the Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade (WEC International). In 1931, still labouring for the Lord at Ibambi at the age of seventy, he died from untreated gallstones. In all he spent 15 years in China and 6 in India on his missionary work and he devoted the rest of his life to spreading the Gospel message of the Lord Jesus in Africa.
Eric Liddell (January 16, 1920 – February 21, 1945)
He was called the "Flying Scotsman" after the record breaking locomotive. He born in Tianjin in North China to Scottish missionary parents, and later enrolled in a boarding school in England, for the sons of missionaries. At Eltham, he was an outstanding sportsman, the best athlete of his year, later he became captain of both the cricket and rugby union teams. His headmaster described him as being "entirely without vanity though he was well known for being the fastest runner in Scotland. The Olympics were hosted by the city of Paris. As a devout Christian, he refused to run in a trial race held on Sunday and was forced to withdraw from the 100-metres race-which was his best event. He spent the intervening months training for the 400 metres. On the day of the event an American Olympic Team masseur slipped a piece of paper into his hand which read 1 Samuel 2:30: "Those who honor me I will honor." The young man raced the first 200 metres, well clear of the favoured Americans. He continued on to to win the race breaking the existing Olympic record and world record. His performance in the 400 metres in Paris stood as a European record for the next 12 years.
He returned to Northern China to serve as a missionary, like his parents, from 1925 to 1943 – first in Tianjin and later in the town of Xiaozhang. In 1941 when life in China had become dangerous, this young man accepted a position at a rural mission station in Shaochang which was severely short of help and the missionaries were exhausted. A constant stream of local people came at all hours for medical treatment. He arrived at the station in time to relieve his brother, who was a doctor there. In 1943, he was interned at the Weihsien Internment Camp and became a leader and organiser at the camp, where food, medicine and other supplies were scarce. He was immersed in helping the elderly, teaching at the camp school Bible classes, arranging games and teaching science to the children. Authorities revealed that he had refused an opportunity to leave the camp and instead gave his place to a pregnant lady. He died of an inoperable brain tumor, five months before liberation. He was greatly mourned at the Weihsien Internment Camp and in Scotland. "The entire camp, especially its youth, was stunned for days, so great was the vacuum that his death had left."
Pandita Ramabai (April 23, 1858 – April 5, 1922)
She was born into an intellectual Hindu Marathi-speaking Brahmin family at Karnataka. She was awarded with the title of Pandita by Calcutta University, and with the title of Sarasvati due to her ability to interpret Sanskrit works. By age 12 she knew 18000 verses of the Puranas and had great knowledge of Hindu scriptures but she lost faith in Hinduism. She wrote, "One thing I knew by this time that I needed Christ and not merely His religion... I was desperate... I had at last come to an end of myself, and unconditionally surrendered myself to the Saviour; asking Him to be my righteousness and redemption, and to take away all my sin.... A young widow herself, she felt a tremendous burden to work for the education of women, and child widows, and the eradication of child marriage.
Between 1876 and 1901, India was devastated by two famines in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat respectively. She rescued about 2000 women and girls from perishing from hunger and housed them at a farm at Mukti Mission (The Home of Salvation). Every Hindu woman who came was offered a Bible. Many, through reading the Bible and observing her godly life, became followers of the Lord Jesus. She longed to see a powerful revival among the neglected and helpless widows of India. In answer to consistent prayer at Muki Mission the Spirit came upon them in life transforming power. In 1904 she started translating the Bible in Marathi and by 1913 the New Testament was published and by 1924 the complete Bible was published. To acknowledge her many outstanding works, a commemorative stamp was launched in her honor by the Government of India.
Amy Carmichael (December 16, 1867 – January 18, 1951)
She was born to devout believing parents in Ireland. As a child, she prayed that Jesus would change her eye colour from brown to blue and was disappointed it never happened. At 18, she was the co-founder of a Church in Belfast, starting a successful Sunday morning class for the Shawlies, - the mill girls who wore shawls instead of hats. At the Keswick Convention when she heard Hudson Taylor, speak of the China Inland Mission and being a missionary, she became convinced of her calling to missionary work. After a brief period in Japan and Ceylon she found her lifelong vocation in India. She felt burdened to save very young girls who were dedicated to the Hindu temples and forced into prostitution to earn money for the temple priests She herself dressed in Indian clothes, dyed her skin with dark coffee, she saw the Lords purpose in giving her brown eyes instead of blue. She often travelled long distances on India's hot, dusty roads to save just one child from suffering.
She founded the Dohnavur Fellowship in India which became a sanctuary for over a thousand children who would otherwise have had a horrendous future. A little girl once asked her, Amma, Tell me how I became your daughter? Amma told the girl, Your father wanted to give you to the temple priests when you were two months old. They would never let you play in the sunshine like you do here, but would marry you to the false gods, and make you a prostitute in their honor. God was watching over you though, my dear Gem, he knew you needed to become my daughter. A young lady considering life as a missionary asked her, "What is missionary life like?" She answered simply saying, Missionary Life is simply a chance to die! In 1931, a bad fall left her mostly bedridden until her death in India in 1951 at the age of 83. The children she had cared for put a bird bath over her grave with the single inscription Amma". Give me the Love that leads the way / The Faith that nothing can dismay, / The Hope no disappointments tire, / The Passion that'll burn like fire / Let me not sink to be a clod / Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God" Her Poem.
Catherine Booth (January 17, 1829 – October 4, 1890)
A devoted Christian and by the time she was twelve, she had read the entire Bible eight times. She also raised money for sending the gospel to foreign lands and even denied herself sugar in order to contribute to missions. At age 14, she was seriously ill and spent a great deal of time in bed. She kept herself busy, however, and was writing articles for a magazine against alcoholism which encouraged people not to drink. She met her husband, a Methodist minister, when he came to preach at her church in 1852. This couple wanted to use all their time and money for the Lord. When she and her husband were moved to a town of fifty thousand people, their little church numbered less than 100 members when they began their ministry there, but soon the church was crowded with nearly two thousand people. This church became known as the "Converting Shop".
She was also a mother with a growing family of eight children and was dedicated to bringing them up in the fear of the Lord. Later this husband and wife together began the "Salvation Army" which was wrought in the slums of London. "The three S's best expressed the way in which the Army administered to the 'down and outs': first, soup; second, soap; and finally, salvation." She also worked tirelessly so that women who had long hours of labour could be paid better and those who worked in almost fatally dangerous work conditions in the matchstick industry could have safer work materials. She one of the key people in the Salvation Army. Their mission was to warn of eternal punishment for those who refused to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They fervently preached repentance from sin, and the promise of holiness which would be manifested in a life of love for God and mankind. She said, The Gospel that represents Jesus Christ, not as a system of truth to be received, into the mind, as I should receive a system of philosophy, or astronomy, but it represents Him as a real, living, mighty Savior, able to save me now.
She was diagnosed with epilepsy at childhood. She had a sickly in childhood with a neglected education. She was married at 16 and she had unhappy marriage. She became a widow at the age of 28. Adding to her sorrow her half sister, her mother, her beloved son, her daughter and father died within days of each other. She said I have learnt to love the darkness of sorrow; there you see the brightness of HIS face. She continued believe in God's perfect plan and that she would be blessed in suffering. To this end she was, when she bore another son and daughter shortly before her husband's death. "Prayer is the key of perfection and of sovereign happiness; it is the efficacious means of getting rid of all vices and of acquiring all virtues; for the way to become perfect is to live in the presence of God. He tells us this Himself: "Walk before me, and be thou perfect" Genesis 17:1. Prayer alone can bring you into His presence, and keep you there continually." John Wesley said of her, "How few such instances do we find of exalted love to God, and our neighbor; of genuine humility; of invincible meekness and unbounded resignation."
She traveled throughout France and Switzerland teaching people how to pray and challenging them to live holy lives. She mainly met with people privately and avoided "preaching." All the while, she sought an ever-deeper union with God. Finally, the church had her arrested and sent to prison for seven years for publishing a book on prayer, the last two in solitary confinement in the Bastille. She continued to write, having produced a 20-volume commentary on the Bible, an autobiography, and many short works. After she was released her from prison, she lived another 15 years, suffering patiently and glorifying God in her illnesses, until she died at age 69. God does not contradict Himself. It is true that he who seeks God, yet is unwilling to forsake his sins, will not find Him. But he who seeks God and forsakes sin will certainly find Him. God is greatly grieved at the lack of trust among His children. Yet He delights when we come to Him in simple, childlike confidence.
Susanna Wesley (January 20, 1669 – July 23, 1742)
She was the 25th of 25 children. She had 19 children in 19 years. At her death, only eight of her children were still alive. She was the mother of a large family. Often her husband was away preaching. In his absence she felt she should look upon every soul as a talent committed to her under a trust. She felt she ought to do more than she had done, beginning with her own children; She diligently resolved to take a proportion of time as that spare every night to talk to each child separately about the LORD. She shared, On Monday night I talk with my daughter Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles. Their house was burned down twice; during one of the fires, her son, xxxx, nearly died and had to be rescued from the second story window. The lack of money was a continual struggle for her. She was the primary source of her children's education.
She certainly never went to university or had any of what we would term formal education; that simply was not available to women in 17th century England. But her father taught her to read and to think for herself and as the twig is bent, so grows the tree. She would assemble her children on Sunday afternoon for family services. They would sing a psalm, read a sermon from her husband's or father's sermon file and then sing another psalm. The local people began to ask if they could attend. At one point there were over two hundred people who would attend Sunday afternoon family service while the Sunday morning service was attended by very few people. She wrote: I will tell you what rule I observed when I was young, and too much addicted to childish diversions-I decided never to spend more time in mere recreation in one day than I spent in private religious devotions. She wrote, When I had forgotten God, yet I then found He had not forgotten me. Even then He did by His Spirit tell me the tremendous price that was paid for my soul, by telling me that Christ died for me.