Amy Carmichael Biography

Amy Carmichael was an Irish Lioness, born in the village of Millisle, Northern Ireland, in 1867. She grew up riding her pony along the Irish sea shore and exploring the world around her with a child like wonder for life and everything in it. She would lay down beside tide pools for hours, and watch the little creatures caught in them. She emptied her beautiful doll house and put in moss and beetles and earwigs, fascinated by Godʼs creatures and feeling sympathy for the least of them.

When Amy was still a young lady, she heard Godʼs audible voice while helping a poor woman carry her heavy bundle through town on a sunday after church. “Gold, Silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble. Every mans work shall be made known. It will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the character and worth of the work each person has done. (1Cor 3;12)”. Amy was so moved by the experience, she spent that entire afternoon in her room with God. When she came out she was not the same.

She began gathering kids in her neighborhood to talk about God. She took trips with a friend through the city streets on saturday nights to see how other people lived.She started the “morning watch” to encourage kids to spend time regularly in worship/prayer.

After her family lost the grain mill, Amy had to go to work. While she was working at the YWCA she started a class for “shawlies”; girls who worked in the mills and were too poor to buy hats. They covered there heads with shawls. She invited the “shawlies” to come to her church, but some of the members were uncomfortable with such “common” folk invading their fellowship. Amy saw an ad in the paper one day for “tin buildings” that you could buy for 500 pounds and have them built. She soon received a donation and was offered land to put it on. The Tin Tabernacle was built. It was called The Welcome Hall. The sign read, come one, come all and come in your work clothes!

Amy was a risk taker and not afraid to go or do what she felt the Lord telling her to. After a short time in Japan and China, at the age of 28, Amy went to India. She spent the next 53 years there without returning home. She established the Dohnavur Fellowship, an orphanage to save young girls from cult prostitution in Hindu temples and later to take in boys sold to temple service, as well. The Dohnavur Fellowship is still in operation today and has grown to include schools and a free medical clinic.

Amy encountered many hard times and opposition while spending herself on the needs of the least of the Indian people. Dear friends and children died before her, but she never lost her faith in the Lord or her ability to worship Him through it all. In the last 20 years of her life, after taking a hard fall, she was basically confined to her room and bed.

Of the nearly 3 dozen books she wrote, many were written during this time. There is a simple bird bath with the name “Amma” on it, marking the place where she is buried. The birds of joy still sing in her tree, even though she is now with Thee.

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