--Rose From Brier, Amy Carmichael
Missionary to India; founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, a societydevoted to saving neglected and ill-treated children
Her birth and death
Amy Beatrice (a.k.a. Wilson) Carmichael (December 16, 1867–January 18, 1951) was a Protestant Christian missionaryin India, who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur. She served in India for fifty-six years without furlough and authored many books about the missionary work.
She was born in the small village of Millisle in Northern Ireland
to devout Presbyterians, David and Catherine Carmichael
and was the oldest of seven children. After her father's death,
she was adopted and tutored by Robert Wilson, co -founder of
the Keswick Convention. In many ways he was an unlikely
candidate for missionary work. She suffered
neuralgia, a disease of the nerves that made her whole body
weak and achy and often put her in bed for weeks on end.
It was at the Keswick Convention of 1887 that she heard
Hudson Taylor speak about missionary life. Soon afterward,
she became convinced of her calling to the same labour.
SouthernIndia and the Dohnavur Fellowship
Initially Amy travelled to Japan for fifteen months, but she
later found her lifelong vocation in India. She was commissioned
by the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society.
Much of her work was with young ladies, some of whom
were saved from forced prostitution. The organization she
founded was known as the Dohnavur Fellowship. Dohnavur
is situated in Tamil Nadu, just thirty miles from the southern
tip of India. Under her loving guidance, the fellowship would
become a place of sanctuary for more than one thousand
children who would otherwise have faced a bleak future. In
an effort to respect Indian culture, members of the organization
wore Indian dress and the children were given Indian names.
She herself dressed in Indian clothes, dyed her skin with coffee,
and often travelled long distances on India's hot, dusty roads to
save just one child from suffering.
In 1931, Carmichael was badly injured in a fall, which left her
bedridden much of the time until her death. Amy Carmichael
died in India in 1951 at the age of 83. She asked that no stone
be put over her grave; instead, the children she had cared for
put a bird bath over it with the single inscription "Amma",
which means mother in the Tamil.
Her literary works
Amy Carmichael's work also extended to the printed page.
She was a prolific writer, producing thirty-five published books
including His Thoughts Said . . . His Father Said (1951),
If (1953), and Edges of His Ways (1955). Best known,
perhaps, is an early historical account, Things as They Are:
Mission Work in Southern India (1903).