Monday, August 31, 2015

Amy Carmichael-Breakbone Fever Took Me Down-But God Gave Me A Surprise

By Mary Vee
Year: November 8, 1895 
Amy Carmichael: 28 years old

From Amy's Journal

A train in India Photo Courtesy
My name is Amy Carmichael and I am so excited to be here in India. After docking in India, I spent three weeks helping missionaries located near the port city. I am not yet at my destination, but I have boarded a train headed for Bangalore.

In Bangalore, I will meet the missionary lady who contacted me and will finally be able to get to work.

My excitement didn't last very long, though. While the train moved past villages, temples, and hills, my insides started to hurt. It almost seemed like every bone in my body was broken. 

A worker brought me a cup of tea. I tried to lift the cup to my lips but didn't have the strength. When the train finally reached the Bangalore station, I tried to stand. I had to drag myself off of the train then fell into the arms of the waiting missionary. 

This was not the first impression I wanted to make, but what could I do? I was so very sick. The missionary took me straight to the hospital, the one I came to serve.

I woke some time later. A doctor stood by my bed, looking at a chart. "How do you feel?"

"Awful. My bones hurt. They all feel like they're broken."

He nodded. "Yes I know. You also have a high fever. This is called dengue fever. It is also called break bone fever, I think you can understand why."

"How long will I be sick?"

He raised one shoulder. "The worst pain will take a week to pass. After that, you'll need several weeks to fully recover."

Sigh. My plan to be a missionary in India did not include sitting in a hospital bed for several weeks. My bones hurt. Yes, I already told you that, but it's all I think about. Even my heart isn't happy to finally be here. I am lonely for my mother, my friends like Mr. Wilson who helped my family in England, Misaki San in Japan. Someone who could be my friend.

There hadn't been time to make friends, yet. Did anyone know or even care that my birthday was soon? I tried so hard to think of good things. God says we should when we feel sad, lonely, or depressed. A nurse later told me, "These feelings of sadness are part of the dengue fever. We understand."

But did she really? I was sent here to do missionary work, not to be a patient.

During my recovery, I spent my time learning the Tamil language. There are many languages spoken in India, but Tamil formed the foundation of the other Indian languages. I'd have a better chance of being understood by more people. 

December 16th came. My birthday. No one knew, and I didn't feel it was proper to tell anyone. Yet, I really had hoped someone knew. Anyone Or who would visit me in the hospital and become my friend. I sat on my bed, still having the depression sickness, and thought only sad things.

Suddenly a bouquet of flowers flew through my opened window and landed on my lap. Imagine my complete surprise.

I leaned out the window and saw a young man. "Why did you do that?"

"I don't know. I just did," he said.

I sat back down and touched the red, yellow, and orange flowers. So soft, and silky. I smelled them. A sweet sent touched my nose. I laughed.

God was so good to me. He sent me flowers on my birthday. I cried. God is so thoughtful.

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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