… she died only 5 years before I, Mrs McKOY, was born! Does that make me old or what!
So let’stake ajourneytogetherand find outabout thisveryawesomelady!
Amy Wilson Carmichael 16 December 1867 – 18 January 1951Amy was a Christianmissionary in India, whoopened an orphanage andfounded a mission inDonahue. She served inIndia for fifty-five yearswithout leave andauthored many booksabout the missionary workthere.
Early lifeAmy was born in thesmall village ofMillville, CountyDown, Ireland toDavid and CatherineCarmichael. Herparents were devoutPresbyterians andshe was the eldest ofseven siblings.
God knows best One story of Amys early life tells that as a child, she wished that she had blue eyes rather than brown. She often prayed that God would change her eye color and was disappointed when it never happened. As an adult, however, she realized that, because Indians have brown eyes, she would have had a much more difficult time gaining their acceptance if her eyes had been blue.
ComplicationsFrom early childhood, Amy Carmichaelbelieved God had told her to go be amissionary overseas. At age fifteen shegave her life completely to Christ, realizingthat strength for living for His glory was agift from him. She couldn’t do it on her own.
No one saw mission work as a verypractical calling for Amy. She sufferedoften with a painful nerve diseaserequiring at times weeks or months ofbed rest.
Add to that her need to write down herthoughts about everything thathappened. Her urge to write took lotsof time.
Not only that, Amy was busy withother jobs. After her father’sdeath when she was eighteen, shelooked after her six youngerbrothers and sisters. And whenshe did seek a mission field, no onewanted her. For all the problems inAmy’s way, it seemed that shewould never do anything heroic.
You Go, Girl!Still believing that God hadcalled her personally to goserve Him in a country Hewould show her later on, Amystarted telling people aboutJesus in her own hometown.
ShawliesHer great hunger to rightthings for mistreatedpeople lead her to helpgirls who worked in localfactories.These “shawlies,” as peoplecalled them, were too poorto buy hats to wear tochurch as people did inthose days, so theycovered their heads withshawls instead.
Amy’s Bible classes grew so large that sheneeded a building big enough to hold morethan three hundred shawlies. Amy and thegirls prayed, and people donated money andland for a new building in which to worship andstudy. She called it “The Welcome.”In Amy’s years of living with the needy girlsand working for their equal treatment, her oldillness still seemed to stand in the way of herministry. Again and again she had to be in bedfor weeks at a time.
JapanAn opportunity opened up, and Amywent to serve God in Japan, whereshe witnessed for Christ forfifteen months. In the cold climateof Japan, Amy became ill again.Instead of going home to get well,however, she believed God wantedto use her to witness in India.
Work To DoAfter Amy arrived in India,she learned about how theykept little girls as slaves todo bad things in the temple.At once, she began whatwould be almost fifty yearsof defending girls of Indiafrom slavery. She acceptedgirl babies fromfamilies who thought theywere of no value. Girlrescue was her specialty,even if it meant kidnappingthem!
DohnavurAmy’s growingcollection of girlsbecame the villageof Dohnavur, arefuge for themore than athousand childrenshe saved andloved.
In an effort torespect Indianculture, members ofDohnaver wore Indiandress and thechildren were givenIndian names. Sheherself dressed inIndian clothes, dyedher skin with darkcoffee, and oftentravelled longdistances on Indiashot, dusty roads tosave just one childfrom suffering.
While serving in India, Amy received a letter from a young lady who was considering life as a missionary. She asked Amy, "What is missionary life like?" Amy wrote back saying simply,"Missionary life is simply a chance to die."
God’s Hand On Her Life Amy’s enthusiasm, chargeahead style and years of telling it straight, turned out to be good things. Her detailed handwritten histories, her diaries and love letters to her children, friends and co-workers became thirty- five published books. Every book points to God’s power at work in her life.
Quotes from Amy"One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving.“
Final days and legacyIn 1931, Amy was badly injured in a fall,which left her bedridden much of thetime until her death. She died in Indiain 1951 at the age of 83. She asked thatno stone be put over her grave; instead,the children she had cared for put abird bath over it with the singleinscription "Amma", which meansmother.
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