Ashley Downs

Dwight L. Moody stood on the rolling Ashley Downs admiring the two vast buildings that stood magnificently before him. They were not the only reason he had crossed the Atlantic to England, but they were certainly one of them. To see them and to speak to the man that had brought them into being.

Before he left Chicago, Moody had overseen the construction of one of the largest churches in Chicago, and he knew what was involved in raising the funds for such schemes – an effort that had largely fallen on himself. Few would have doubted his qualifications for the task. He was a natural salesman, with an unmatched ability to persuade people to invest in the works of God. It helped that he found a willing audience. People knew the work he had done in leading people to the gospel, and they knew hew was completely sold out for God. They were willing to invest their money in his projects, because they knew he was God’s man and could be trusted. Still, the strain had left its mark, and he was glad to be in England for a rest. Yet, as he stood before these two buildings he found himself humbled by what he now saw.

The two buildings before him were in a different league, and would have taken far more effort to raise the money. He was keen to learn how the frail old man before him had managed to be so effective in gaining financial support. He was certainly not too proud to learn. If all he achieved on his trip was to pick up a few tips on fund raising, then his trip would have been worthwhile.

He began by describing the efforts he went through to see the church built back in Chicago, and then he asked the old man how he had achieved what he had done, hoping for an answer that would help him in the future, which on its own might justify this trip.

The old man smiled. “You don’t understands” he said. “I did’t ask anyone for money to build these.” He saw the confusion creeping over Moody’s face. The question had amused the man slightly, because he knew where it was heading. He continued his explanation,  “You see, I did not ask anyone, because I took all my needs before God, and He provided everything that was needed without me needing to ask anyone.”

Moody was humbled by the answer that day. It was not how he operated, but it raised in him the challenge of what was possible. He learned something that day from an old man, called George Muller. They say Moody was never quite the same again.

Written By Ken

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