Amy Carmichael, God’s Missionary (Part 2)

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  • **We continue with Part 2 of Amy Carmichael for our quarterly theme of Elisabeth Elliot’s Heroes of the Faith.

    She wrote fifty or more books and stayed in India without a furlough until she died. In my study here at home I have nearly two shelves full of Amy Carmichael’s books, most of them bound in blue cloth with beautiful sepia-toned photographs of the picturesque Dohnavur compounds and the happy little children—few of whom can have any notion of what would have been their fate had the Lord not sent them to this place of safety, quietness, and overflowing love.

    “There was a time when a gift of healing was given. Soon there was a buzz of talk, and colored stories flew all over the countryside—A place of healing! Miracles! Come, let us see! For still the multitude loves a spectacle… There was a day when we asked Him, if He willed it so, to give us the gift, the charism, that had been in apostolic times. Would it not glorify His Name? Though we did see a putting forth of power, there was not anything comparable to the healing of the first century. The charism was not given. Why was that most blessed gift not given in its fullness?

    “We know not what we should pray for as we ought. Not our poor thoughts, but the counsels of the Holy One be our guide.”

    Amy Carmichael (Amma to her children) has been with the Lord for many years, but her work goes on, reaching little children who without her vision would surely have perished. My husband Lars and I had the privilege of visiting Dohnavur some years ago—a lovely place of order, quietness and, of course, much joy and laughter among the children. The single women who care for them in the bungalows are called Accals. They have given themselves unreservedly for the care of the children.

    A letter I received from Dohnavur a year or so ago made me think of the mountains to the west of a place called Three Pavilions, a constant reminder of Isaiah 54:10, “‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” The practical truth of those words has been seen as God meets all physical needs and Dohnavur experiences His loving-kindness in countless ways.

    This was their testimony as they entered into the 100th year of the mission. I am sure Amma and all her colleagues now in glory (as well as some still with us on earth) would echo the words of David found in 2 Samuel 7:22, “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you.”

    **Excerpt originally published in the May/June 2002 Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter.