Revival Among the Children
During the past twenty-two years the Spirit of God has been again and again working among the orphans who were under our care, so that very many of them have been brought to the knowledge of the Lord; but we never had so great a work, and at the same time one so satisfactory, within so short a time, as during the past year. I will enter somewhat into details for the benefit of the reader. There are one hundred and forty elder girls in the new Orphan House No. 1, of whom, at the beginning of the last period, ten were considered to be believers.
On May 26, 1857, the death of an orphan, Caroline Bailey, took place. The death of this beloved girl, who had known the Lord several months before she fell asleep, seems to have been used by the Lord as a means of answering in a goodly measure our daily prayers for the conversion of the orphans. It pleased God at the beginning of the last period mightily to work among the orphans, so that all at once, within a few days, without any apparent cause, except it be the peaceful end of the beloved Caroline Bailey, more than fifty of these girls were brought to be under concern about their souls, and some with deep conviction of sin accompanying it, so that they were exceedingly distressed. And how is it now my readers may ask; for young persons are often apparently much concerned about the things of God, but these impressions pass away. True, dear reader, I have seen this myself, having had to do with many thousands of children and young persons within the last thirty years. Had, therefore, this work among the orphans begun within the last few days, or even weeks, I should have passed it over in silence; but more than a year has now elapsed since it commenced, and it will, therefore, give joy to the godly reader to hear that in addition to those ten who were previously believers, and of whom one has been sent to service, there are twenty-three girls respecting whom for several months there has been no doubt as to their being believers; two died in the faith within the year; and there are thirty-eight more who are awakened and under concern about their souls, but respecting whom we cannot speak as yet so decidedly. All this regards only one branch of the Orphan Establishment, the elder girls of the House No. 1. In addition to this, I am glad also to be able to state that among the other girls in the New House No. 2, and among the boys also, some are interested about the things of God; yea, our labors begin already to be blessed to the hearts of some of the new received orphans.
Later he writes…
Though during the past year we have not had so great and so sudden a work of the Spirit of God going on among the orphans as during the previous year, when, within a few days, above fifty out of one department of one hundred and forty girls were suddenly brought under deep concern about their souls; yet, the blessing of the Lord has not been withheld even spiritually. There are already many caring about the things of God among the four hundred and twenty-four orphans who were received within the last eighteen months, and who ask it, as a privilege, to be allowed, in the summer, to take their Bibles with them to bed, so that, should they awake in the morning before the bell is rung, they may be able to read it. Out of the thirteen girls who were sent to service, nine had been believers for some time before they left the establishment.
Taken from the Narratives Part III, regarding events taking place in 1857 and 1858..