Sunday, January 11, 2015

Book Review: Amy Carmichael: for the children of India

Book Review:
Amy Carmichael:  for the children of India
By Sam Wellman
Barbour Publishers
© 1998
1998 Book Cover
1998 Book Cover
This book chronicles Amy Carmichael’s life and journeys from Ireland to England to Japan and China and finally to India.
As a child, Amy was adventurous, even getting her brothers into trouble with her.  She was well studied in classical literature; more important than that, she had the Word of God engrafted into her heart.  Even as a child, before she realized the need to ask Christ into her heart she had a soul aware of spiritual things and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  She was a compassionate soul, a trait that would help her in her lift ministry.
As a youth, Amy wanted to help those less fortunate; she became part of a ministry that helped others, especially the young girls that worked in the mills of her area; she utilized her skills of entertaining her younger siblings in her ministry and was a popular figure at the meetings.  She was invited to attend Keswick Convention, a convention of believers to study and discuss the Bible.  Keswick Convention is still an active convention today.  Through Keswick, Amy realized that she needed to accept Christ into her life.  This was a changing point for Amy.
After getting sick in Japan, Amy was on her way back to Ireland to get better & she stopped in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).  It was around this time that she became involved with missionary work in India.  After she recovered and was at the British missionary stations, Amy became disgusted at the very “British” settlements and “lack of conversions” and preaching.  This drew her deeper into India.  She also choose to become native – she dressed, lived, ate like those she was desiring to share Christ with.  This included learning Tamil, the ancient language of the area.  Another missionary, Thomas Walker, took her under his wing and tutored her in the language.  While in Japan, she became aware that she needed to become “native” in order to relate and connect with the local people.
Amy also rejected the British ways of missionary work and convention; instead, she worked & learned how to reach the people, so special to her, to show them a different way.  Appalled by some of the customs of the day/land, Amy set out to do something about it.  Through this, Amy, a single woman, became Amma (mother) of many.
Her greatest desire was to have blue eyes; a prayer never answered by the Lord became one of her greatest assets in saving many of her lotus buds (her nickname for the temple girls she was working at saving).  Dressed as a native, with her brown eyes, she was able to move among the people she so loved easily; she was able to save so many more children and women.  Had her prayers been answered for blue eyes, this would not have been so.
She chose the 6th day of every month to pray for those she was working at helping.  After several unfortunate illnesses, Amy’s closed confidents were no longer at the fellowship working.  Amy realized that she needed to be surrounded by godly sisters who would pray for and with Amy and be a group for fellowship and study.  She called this group “Sisters of the Common Life”; for this group, two things were essential:
  • Prayer was essential (focused, deep prayer)
  • Service was essential (with joy, they did the jobs no one else wanted to do)
After a disastrous fall, Amy was forced by immense pain to her room; as much as possible, she still encouraged, lead & taught her beloved children.  After 20 years of pain and weakening, Amy slept.  She was laid to rest in her beloved land on the fellowship grounds.  She didn’t want a headstone, so her children honored her resting place with a bird bath (Amy was an avid bird lover) simply marked “Amma”.
This is a story of a minimally educated young woman and how she stepped out in faith and love for her Lord and founded and developed a fellowship to save young children from a life of slavery.  That fellowship still exists today, almost 110 years later.  It still has the same mission that Amy founded it on.  Amy’s motto was “The Cross is the attraction”.
(These are not affiliate links; these are just for more information)
Here is the link to the book.
Here for more information on Dohnavur Fellowship
Here for Keswick Convention
(All quotes from Amy Carmichael, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc.  Used by permission)

No comments:

Post a Comment