Monday, March 19, 2018

Amy Carmichael

December 6, 2006 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Amy Carmichael

by Amanda Coffel
 In a small village in Northern Ireland, the Carmichael family welcomed their firstborn child, Amy, on a snowy December night in 1867. Amy was the oldest of seven children, all of whom she helped her mother care for. Her father died from a tragic accident when she was at the tender age of 18. This made her think more seriously about her life, eternity, and how she was serving God. God would use her in great ways later on.
When Amy was very young, her Mother had told her if she prayed for something, God would answer her. That night, Amy prayed that God would give her pretty blue eyes as opposed to her dull brown ones. When she woke up in the morning, she was extremely disappointed to be staring back at her dull brown eyes in the mirror. God had answered, but His answer was “No”. Amy would need her brown eyes to carry out His will for her life.
As she grew, Amy began to develop a heart for missionary work in other countries. She left for mission work in Japan with a church group in 1883. Although she enjoyed ministering to the Japanese people, she felt that Japan was not where she was meant to be. She soon left and returned to her family.
During the next several years, God laid the country of India on Amy’s heart. She began to have a huge burden for the Indian people. God was calling her; India was her destiny. In 1895, she left her family in Ireland and moved to India.
Almost immediately, Amy noticed the oppression on the people. Something that especially caught herattention was a strange ceremony being held secretly by the Hindu priests in their temples. With the help of some converted Indian women, Amy used coffee to darkned her complexion. With the darker skin and the brown eyes God made her keep when she was younger, she looked just like an Indian woman. With this disguise as a Hindu, she slipped into the temple during one of these ceremonies. What she found appalled her. Young girls were being taken from their families, dedicated to the false gods of Hinduism, & forced into temple prostitution. Disgusted by what she saw, she made it her life’s mission to rescue these young girls from the Hindu priests and, in doing so, show them the love of Christ. God blessed her immensely, and within her first twelve years of doing this, she had 133 rescued children living with her. Rescuing these children put a great physical burden on her, and with her age came the disease neuralgia, which made it harder for her to continue. But still she persisted.
A small village was formed to house her and the children she helped, “her” children. She also found the time to write 35 books. Inspired by all of this, Christian men began a neighboring village for young men. Many children dwelt in these villages and were led to Christ.
Amy Carmichael died in her village in 1951. She had dedicated the last 56 years of her life to India. She died at age 83. Wanting all praise and adoration to go to the Lord, Amy wished to be buried without a tombstone. After her death, her living children headed her grave with a bird bath on which was engraved the term “Amma”, which they had affectionately called her. She was laid to rest in her garden, where the children who had died before her were buried.
Amanda Coffel, a featured teen writer, is a high school senior in Northern Illinois.  She is a gifted young woman with an obvious passion for writing.  Please watch for more articles by Amanda in the future!

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