by Sarah from Indianapolis
A missionary in India, Amy Carmichael spent her life helping young harassed children
|Amy Carmichael with Indian children|
How many times would you willingly allow God to change your plans and goals? Would you perceive God’s hand in the redirection and readily surrender to His will and prepare to follow this new path? Many of us are reluctant to sacrifice our plans for an evening, but Amy Carmichael freely and repeatedly surrendered her life to God, letting Him change the direction of her life in major ways, at least four times. Wishing her brown eyes blue like her mother’s, young Amy prayed at bedtime that God would change the color of her eyes; confidently she awoke in the morning but saw the same brown eyes reflected in the mirror. Amy then realized that the color of her eyes was unchangeable, and she accepted the way God made her. At seventeen, Amy started an active ministry for young mill girls, but when she heard Hudson Taylor speak, she felt the calling to leave home and become a missionary to China. With her boat ticket purchased and her bags packed, an excited Amy received an unexpected message from the missionary society stating that her poor health made their sponsorship impossible. Disappointed and bewildered Amy still felt a calling to foreign mission work, yet she surrendered her plans to God’s timing; finally, the opportunity for overseas missions came, and Amy left for India.
The twenty-four year old arrived in India, immersed herself in the language, and then began going village-to-village evangelizing. Soon Amy Carmichael learned of the horrifying Hindu practice of selling young girls as prostitutes to the temples. When a seven-year-old temple girl ran to her for rescue, Amy recognized God’s call to change her ministry from traveling evangelism to offering refuge for harassed children. Word of Amy’s ministry spread across India, and young girls and boys flocked to her for protection. Throughout the next fifty-five years, Amy saved over 1000 “lotus buds” from pain and taught them about Christ’s love. Affectionately called Amma by her adopted children, Amy untiringly worked in India without a single furlough. Even when bedridden from a fall, Amy accepted her confinement and wrote thirteen books during the last twenty years of her life.
Amy Carmichael is my hero because of her willing submission to God’s plan even when these changes were unforeseen, hard to understand, and difficult to accept. Her fulfilling life reflected her ability to trust that God was at work in the difficult changes He asked her to make, even when she did not understand until several years later. Reading about Amy’s lifelong, submissive, and vibrant walk with God makes me desire God more. I want to spend every day studying His word and letting Him develop in me a heart willing to submit to whatever He asks. Once a young woman wrote to Amy and asked her to describe missionary life. Amma replied, "Missionary life is simply a chance to die." With coffee-stained skin and unchanging deep brown eyes, Amy completely gave herself to God. Many have lived because she died.
Jackson, David and Neta . Hero Tales. Minneapolis MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1996.
Wikipedia . "Amy Carmichael Biography ." [Online] Available http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Carmichael.