Monday, March 9, 2015

Amy Carmichael-The Shawlies

By Mary Vee
Year: 1885 
Amy Carmichael: 18 year old

From Amy's Journal

Photo Courtesy Amy's family moved from the
rich city of Millisle to a poor section of Belfast
My name is Amy. Even though I'm eighteen, I'm living at home with my mother and siblings. 

My dad died when I was seventeen. Even when dad was alive we didn't have very much money, but we were happy. Now that I'm older I'm looking for what I can do with my life. In my heart, I know that God wants me to serve him.

For now, I need to stay at home and help Mother care for my sisters and brothers. One of my brothers is only a year younger than me, so he helps, too. 

During my free time, I gathered boys and girls from the neighborhoods and streets and taught them Bible stories. On Sunday mornings, I noticed the poor girls from factories walking around. These girls couldn't afford to by hats to wear to church, so they didn't go. People in the city called these girls, Shawlies because they were poor working girls who usually wore a shawl.

I felt bad for these girls. Few people want to be around them. They needed to learn about the Lord as much as anyone else. 

I went into the city neighborhoods, everywhere the girls hung out on Sunday mornings and invited them to a Bible study. Sometimes people warned me not to go to certain streets where gangs lived. I couldn't stay away. The girls needed to hear about God's love for them.

The shawlies who came to the meetings wore dirty clothes, many hadn't bathed in a long time. Their clothes had holes and patches. Thanks to God, they saw how much I truly cared about them. This made me love them all the more and pray that they would grow up to be godly women.

I looked forward to each Sunday morning. 

The word about our Bible study spread among the factory girls. The number grew. We prayed together for God to send enough money to buy land and to build a building. 

God did send the money and we built our own Bible study meeting place. On the first Sunday we met in our new building we voted to name the place The Welcome, Because the building was for all who needed help, both physically and spiritually, to enter there and find hope.

I had hoped this Bible study could last forever. But life doesn't always turn out the way we want them to. I don't really understand what happened, but it seems someone took all of our savings that Father left us. Without money to pay the rent, Mom, my sister and I decided to move to England to look for work.

If you think of it, please pray for the girls at The Welcome.

Resources used for this series:
Benge, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 1998. Print.
Davis, Rebecca Henry. With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones UP, 1987. Print.
Dick, Lois Hoadley. Amy Carmichael: Let the Children Come. Chicago: Moody, 1984. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Amy Carmichael: Rescuing the Children. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 2002. Print.
Wellman, Sam. Amy Carmichael: A Life Abandoned to God. Uhrichville, OH: Barbour Pub., 1998. Print.

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