The Extraordinary Story of August Francke (1663 - 1727)

Be inspired by this story of faith in action!

August Francke was a preacher. pastor and professor of theology and he lived in Halle which is near Leipzig in Germany. Francke had a huge influence on George Müller, the famous orphan lover.

By a series of wonderful and providential events, he completed a huge building whose programmes included – a library of over 20,000 volumes, six schools, an orphanage, a home for poor widows, a hospital, an establishment for strolling beggars, a museum of natural history and a printing house devoted to making Bibles, hymnals and Christian literature. This man had both faith and a broad cultural vision. He reminds me of both William Carey and Abraham Kuyper.

One day he had to pay the construction workers but he did not have any ‘geld’ and so he prayed to God for provision. At the end of that day, the paymaster came and asked if he was going to be able to pay the labourers. The answer was – no. Just then a student knocked on the door and reported that someone who wished to remain anonymous had brought a pouch with thirty gold talers. Francke then went back into the other room and asked the foreman how much was needed for the payment of the builders. He replied, “Thirty talers.” Francke said, “Here they are,” and asked if he needed more. He said, “No.”’

Francke said this event strengthened the faith of both him and the foreman and they “recognized so evidently the wonderful hand of God.”

One day when he desperately needed funds to carry on his work, a destitute Christian widow came to his door begging for one gold ducat. Hard up, he politely but regretfully refused. Disheartened, the woman was so desperate she sat down and began to cry.

Moved by her tears, Francke asked her to wait while he went to his room to pray about the matter. Seeking God’s guidance, he felt that the Holy Spirit wanted him to grant the request. Trusting the Lord to meet his own pressing needs, he gave her the money.

Two mornings later he received a warm letter of thanks from the widow saying that because of his generosity she had asked the Lord to shower the orphanage with gifts. That same day he received 12 ducats from a rich lady and two from a friend in Sweden.

He thought he had been amply rewarded, but shortly afterward he was informed that Prince Lodewyk Van Wurtenburg had died, and in his will had directed that 500 gold pieces be given to the orphanage! Francke wept in gratitude.

In the year 1727, when Francke died, there were in all the schools connected with his establishment two thousand two hundred pupils!

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