Amy Carmichael was one of the most famous Christian missionaries in history, serving 55 years in India. Raised in Belfast in Northern Ireland, Amy studied music, singing and painting and found the Savior while in boarding school. Following her conversion she had a longing to learn how to live a holy life, pleasing to God. She found the key in Jude 24 – “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.”
She begin working in a Belfast Mission teaching children, visiting the slums and bringing them to church services. The conditions she worked in caused her to become desperately ill. However, at a conference she heard Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, speak about missionary life and became convinced of her calling to missionary work. She went first for a short stay in Japan and later for the rest of her life in India. In India, Hinduism encouraged the temple slavery of children for prostitution. Amy begin to work to rescue the children. Her mission station in Dohnavur in South India grew to accommodate hundreds of children. With other Indian women, Amy created a large hostel and a hospital for the children. She prayed to God for all the money and medication that was needed and He provided. Amy faced opposition but eventually her efforts led to the laws being changed in India to protect children from abuse and the elimination of temple prostitution. While in India Amy dressed in Indian clothes and dyed her skin with dark coffee to fit in with the culture and better reach the people.
After an accident in which she broke her leg and ankle, Amy spent the last 20 years of her life confined to bed as an invalid. They proved to be productive years, as she wrote books (37 in all) and poems which speak of her intimate relationship with God, through all that Jesus did in His life, death and resurrection. She died never returning to her home but the Dohnavur Fellowship continues in India to this day caring for children rescued from situations of danger.
Amy’s prescription for a happy life was as follows – “If you hold fast to the resolve that in all things Christ as Lord shall have the pre-eminence, if you keep His will, His glory, and His pleasure high above everything, and if you continue in His love, loving one another as He has loved you, then all will be well, eternally well.”