Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)
TITLE: Child-Catching Missy Amma
By Leigh MacKelvey
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Amy put down the pen, rubbed her knotted fingers and closed her eyes.
“Lord, I am thankful for the privilege to stand alongside of your suffering, but I ask relief from this pain in my hands. I desire to finish the book. You have set before me this work and will surely complete it. Thank you for the power of your Spirit and your grace sufficient for me.”
The richly woven India silk bed covering always soothed her achy skin. She pulled it around her body until she was encased completely. Only her graying head stuck out of the soft cocoon she had made for herself.
“How ancient and crippled I must appear, she mused. Then she laughed, “As if I’ve ever cared about how I appear!”
The bed confined her. The room in the compound was her only surrounding yet she was not lonely. She enjoyed constant conversation with her Savior. Sometimes they had lively chats amid much laughter. Their talks were always thoughtful and personal. Many times Amy just listened and responded with songs of worship. She had long ago abandoned herself completely to her Lord and had entered into a “deeper life.”
“Oh, what a life I’ve lived! I’ve not been bored and that’s a certainty! Even now, at a time I cannot leave this room, the children come to visit every day. My precious gems! The pleasure it gives me to look into their eyes and see your reflection, Lord! I never tire of hearing their native Tamil tongue call me “Amma, Amma.” My mind is kept active with their endless questions about you! They’re so confident I’ll be able to give them just the right answers. I’m sure that amuses you as much as it does me, Lord!”
She pulled the chain and turned off the faded rose lamp, then scrunched her pillow until she became comfortable. Before the injury that had bedridden her permanently, Amy had lived no ordinary life. She answered the call to “go ye” and had traveled to Japan and down the hot dusty roads of India. It was her beloved southern India where she spent fifty-five years in the mission field and rescued more than one thousand children from unspeakable abuse as temple prostitutes. Amy had dedicated herself to save these children who had been “married to the gods” and offered for sexual slavery in exchange for money given to the priests. In the village of Dohna she provided shelter, an education and presentation of the Gospel of salvation through Christ. Her organization, the Dohnavur Fellowship, thrived throughout kidnaping charges against Amy. There had been dangerous opposition to her interference to Hindu custom and frequent bouts of neuralgia which left her exhausted, achy and in bed for weeks at a time.
“If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it ... then I know nothing of Calvary love,” wrote Amy of her life as a missionary.
“ Lord, I think of Preena, the first child I rescued. How could I have left her to a life of forced prostitution? Remember how the neighbors began calling me child-catching Missy Amma? Well Lord, I may be too old to darken my skin, put on a Sari and go into the temple disguised as an Indian like I once did. You led me to uncover the sores of the secret sins of Hinduism. It was you who protected me and saved those little children. But here I am in this room where the warm Indian moon comes in through the window to comfort me at night and the sounds of children’s laughter satisfy me by day. I am content, Lord, with the mission to which you have now called me. Yes, Lord...I will write!”
Amy Carmichael died on January 18, 1951 and was buried at Dohnavur. She left us many inspirational poems, songs, and thirty six books ... the bulk of which were written during her confinement in her room at the Fellowship compound.
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