Year: December, 1897
Amy Carmichael: 29 years old
From Amy's Journal
|Photo Courtesy - Woman wearing a sari|
I have joined with the Walkers in their ministry. Mr. Walker is like a big brother to me. He has helped me learn the language, and has many of the same ideas I have about missionary work here in India. Mrs. Walker helps me learn about the women in India.
He and his wife have run into a lot of trouble with their mission board as I have with mine. The main reason for the issues is our desire to work with the Indians, to speak their language and dress as they do. We want to show the Hindus and Muslims that there is a God who truly loves them.
Back in England our methods are considered offensive. Like we are giving up or mocking the English crown. That isn't our intent at all.
Mr. Walker left his assignment where he mostly spoke to the English missionaries and did a lot of paperwork. He moved his wife, and invited me to help them in their ministry at their new home.
Not far away, in Pannaivilai, we settled into a bungalow. I had learned a great deal of the Tamil language and finally had a chance to start my own ministry.
Using the ideas I had in the poor areas of London, I formed a Women's Evangelical Band. The women who joined me witnessed to the native people, worked together to find a place to meet for Bible study, and kept the place clean.
The first three women who joined me were: Leyal, a pastor's daughter; Sellamuthel, whom called Pearl, (she had only one arm); and Ponnammal, a young widow mother.
I was so surprised at their dedication to helping each other. They volunteered to help, which surprised me. The English missionaries in Bangalore said natives would only help if paid to do so.
I wore a sari like the native women. As you can see from the picture, a sari is a rectangle piece of coarse fabric. It is very long. The woman wraps the material tightly around her waist twice, then brings the material up and over the left shoulder. The fabric that is left over hangs down the back. Sometimes the left over is brought up to cover the woman's head.
My first sari was a plain white cotton material. Most Indian women wore their hair in a bun low against their head. I preferred to wear mine higher.
Rich Indians wore saris made from colorful silks.
The woman in the picture is wearing a Hindu style sari. Muslim women's saris were tailored and gathered tight at the ankles. They usually wore a cloth over their head, and covered their face with a veil.
This was the first time I really felt a part of the Indian people. I was so excited to witness to these women and to gain their trust.
photo labeled permission for reuse.
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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