Monday, July 6, 2015

Amy Carmichael-Malaria Killed The Missionaries In Charge

By Mary Vee
Year: July, 1894 
Amy Carmichael: 27 years old

From Amy's Journal

Photo Courtesy-Amy's route added to map
My name is Amy Carmichael. I am a missionary helping the Barclay Buxton family and other missionaries tell the people of Japan about the God who loves them.

At least that has been my job for the past fifteen months. 

I can't understand why I felt such a strong desire to serve God on a missionary field when I constantly experienced such terrible illnesses. The doctor in China diagnosed me with Japanese head. It was a name doctors randomly gave for these same symptoms experienced by many people. My only hope was to rest.

I bought passage to China and met with a doctor. He recommended I go to Chefoo in northeast China. The idea made me sad. 

Chefoo was where the China Inland Mission had a resort to help missionaries who suffered from illnesses. The location was cooler and dry in the winter. Sounded good, right?

Not really. The China Inland Mission had turned me down as a missionary when I was in England because of my health. By going there sick, they will tell me, "See, we were right." And send me back to England.

I agreed to go, even though I didn't want to. I hired a rickshaw to the mission office to make the arrangements. The woman in charge told me Chefoo had too many missionaries there, already. There was no more room. She offered to let me stay in their mission in Shanghai until I felt better.

I slept for a whole week before feeling well enough to pray. I asked God what I should do. Returning to Japan didn't seem like a good idea for my health.

I thought back to my trip from England to Shanghai and remembered the port in Ceylon. For several days all I could think about was Ceylon and the people there. My heart's one and only desire was to go there and help with the mission work. I didn't know if this was my illness speaking or if God really wanted me to go to India.

I visited William Cooper, the senior missionary in Shanghai and asked his advice. He listened while I shared my thoughts about India. He didn't discourage me from trying. In fact he spent time with me in prayer.

I wrote to missionary friends of mine in India and told them about my ideas then checked on the cost of a ticket to sail there. The price seemed reasonable. 

Some people probably called me impulsive. Maybe to them I was. I can't explain the strong desire filling my heart to go and serve God in India. On July 28th, I boarded a ship bound for Ceylon.

I'm not gonna lie, I had a high fever and felt terribly sick on the ship. I arrived on August 17th in need of another week's rest to fight my illness. 

To my surprise, the missionary couple in charge of the Ceylon mission had died of malaria on July 14th. The remaining missionaries prayed that very night and the days that followed for God to send them a new leader. 

They cried when they saw me. I was their answer to prayer.

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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