Amy Carmichael was known as being a missionary to India, founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, and for her devotion to saving neglected children. At an early age, Amy experienced God's word and had a great desire to become a missionary. In this paper we will examine Amy Carmichael's life as a child, her inspiration to become a missionary, the trials and tribulations though her travels to Japan and India as well as how her missionary work had an effect on the lives of those she encountered.
In today’s society there are many atrocities going on in the world. Everyday we
hear on the news about killings, raping, and how the people of the world are becoming more and
more corrupt. There seems to less instances where you will hear about someone so great they
actually become news worthy. People have heard of Gandhi, Mother Theresa, but rarely you will
hear the name Amy Carmichael. She was one of the most significant missionaries of her era,
devoting herself for over fifty six years. Within this paper, you will learn of who she was, what
she committed herself to, where she had traveled in her missionary works, her impact on the
world and culture, how she accomplished so much and why.
Amy Carmichael was born on December 16, 1867 in a small village of Millisle, Northern Ireland. Her parents, David and Catherine Carmichael were devout Presbyterians and Amy was the oldest of three sisters and four brothers. Her father owned a successful mill business and Amy went to the best boarding schools. Eventually, that would end when her father's business took a turn for the worst. Not to mention, her father had also made a poor decision of lending money to a friend who could not repay the debt. Due to financial stress, David Carmichael caught pneumonia and passed away April 12, 1885. Amy came home from boarding school to help her mother take care of her siblings.
Once Amy came home, a life changing event happened. One day while leaving church, a beggar came from an alley stumbling, barely being able to walk. Amy and her brother went to assist the beggar and while doing so Amy put her head down, embarrassed by the beggar. Even though onlookers may see her helping the beggar as a kind jester, Amy knew what she felt inside was wrong. It was at that moment she heard a voice. She looked around but no one was there. When she went home she searched in the bible and found the words she had heard by the voice earlier. "Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble -- everyman's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be declared by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide. --" (Elliot, 1987 ) It was the voice of God. She then decided going forward she would hold her head high and no longer be embarrassed. This was the turning point for Amy as she wanted to be true to God and help others in need.
After Amy's family lost the mill and the passing of her father, they moved to Belfast. "She also began a Sunday work with the "shawlies." These were factory girls so poor that they could not afford hats to wear to church and wore shawls instead. Respectable people didn't want anything to do with them. Amy saw that they needed Christ just the same as their supposed "betters." (Graves, 2007) Amy decided she needed a church for her and the "shawlies" to attend but did not want to ask the rich for money. Amy prayed and asked God for a church and eventually God did provide it. As time passed, Amy decided it was time for her travel, spreading the word about Christ.
Although Amy Carmichael wanted to pursue missionary work and give to others, she too had her own struggles. "In many ways she was an unlikely candidate for missionary work. She suffered neuralgia, a disease of the nerves that made her whole...