Amy Carmichael, Her Life & Legacy. Written by Elisabeth Elliot.
Amy Carmichael was born in December 16, 1867 and died on January 18, 1951. Amy grew up in a Christian household were she spent all of her childhood days with her three brothers. When she was old enough she went to boarding school which she quickly found that she absolutely hated. When she came back she helped the ‘shawlies’ or the girls who were mill girls who were so poor they could not afford to buy hats and so instead covered their heads with shawls. Amy ran bible studies for these girls, doing all she could for them. 1886, she was invited to her friends house in Scotland, their she went to a convention. She was uplifted to heavenly heights. Whilst she was in Scotland she started a magazine with her correspondence with her brothers. This magazine, Scraps, lasted for many years after this trip to Scotland.
When Amy came back from Scotland she threw herself into the work with the ‘shawlies.’ She managed to build a tin shed were she could hold meeting ext. She called the tin shed The Amy Mill Girl’s Society. Here is her busy schedule related to her work with the mill girls.
Sunday 4:30 – Bible Class
” 5:30 – Sunbeam Band meeting
Monday 7:30 – Singing Practice
Tuesday 7:30 – Night School
Wednesday 7:30 – Girl’s Meeting
Thursday 7:30 – Sewing Club
Monday and Friday 1:20 – Dinner Hour Meeting
Wednesday 1:20 – Dinner Prayer Meeting
Thursday 4.00 – Mothers Meeting
First Wednesday every month – Gospel Meeting (Phew! What a schedule!)
In 1889 Amy was asked to come to England to set up something similar there for the factory girls. Her mother was also invited to be superintendent. Whilst she was there she met an old man, she spent a lot of time with him and ended up staying in his house for a while. He was like a father to her and she called him the D.O.M. = the Dear Old Man. When Amy felt she was being called to be a missionary, the D.O.M. was heartbroken. But Amy decided she had a responsibility to the Lord and she left on a boat to Japan. Japan was marvelous to Amy. She sketched hundreds of pictures which she sent home in letters and Scraps issues. She started wearing clothes like the Japanese, and found out that being a missionary meant no privacy whatsoever. Soon however she was told by doctors that if she didn’t leave Japan with its climate behind she would get very sickly – so she decided to go to Ceylon.
She only stayed in Ceylon for a while however because ten months later the D.O.M. had a stroke, she packed up and went to Colombo. When the D.O.M. had recovered Amy wanted to go back to Ceylon – but doctors warned she should steer clear of the tropics. That spring she got a letter from a friend in Bangalore, India telling her the climate would be good suggesting she should come to India. Amy left the D.O.M. when he was 70 years old.
India had lots of places to see and preach. Amy found herself 10 years later traveling around with what she called a ‘band.’ They went from village to village preaching the gospel but she felt unrest. She started rescuing girls from the idol temples were they were given by their mothers to the priests to serve the idols their whole life. They were mistreated, and they were children. Amy found as many as possible sometimes taking them off of there mothers before the mothers found a priest to take their daughter and sometimes they smuggled them out of the temples themselves, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Soon, Amy realized she needed a home for her children. So, at Dohnavur she built a large house where people would bring her girls rescued from the cruel life, and where she planned to smuggle girls out of the temples. She filled the house and had to extend more than once. Amy got missionary teachers in to teach her girls, when the older girls where old enough they helped clean and cook.
After many years, Amy soon rescued some boys from serving the idols. She kept boys and girls in separate houses and she looked after them as much as she could with those hundreds of children. But when Amy went to look at an old house maybe good for their mission she fell down the outdoor loo – broke her leg, dislocated her ankle and twisted her spine. It took hours before the people with her could get help. She was 63 years old and from that day one worsened in her condition and was bedridden for the rest of her life. She still ruled the Dohnavur Fellowship (which is what she called her organisation) with a heavy hand. And she wrote. She wrote lots of books and love notes to children who had their birthdays and love notes to the missionaries. Sometimes she would get up and to try and struggle a couple of steps. On one of these mornings when she gathered her strength to hobble a few steps with someone holding her arm she fell, from then on she grew worse every day. Amy Carmichael died on January 18, 1951. She was 83 when she died. The Dohnavur fellowship exists still today.
I would highly recommend reading this book or any of the books written by Amy Carmichael. I would say this would be a biography for ages 13 and up.