Year: January, 1898
Amy Carmichael: 29 years old
From Amy's Journal
I have joined the Walkers in their ministry in South India.
In a village where one and sometimes two-room huts with no furniture except sleeping mats and a chest for storing grain, few women responded to our words about the God who loves them.
These women were kept in seclusion, hidden in an inner room with no windows.
I witnessed women working long hours at a spinning wheel or hand looms weaving fine cloth to make rugs, shawls, and carpets.
There was an Indian deacon in the Christian church. His son married a lovely nineteen-year-old girl named Ponnammal.
Unfortunately the son suddenly died and the girl became a widow. His family and the people in the village blamed her for his death. This was only one of many superstitions Indian people believed, even the Indian Christians.
As a punishment, Ponnammal was not allowed to bathe or comb her hair. She could not wash her clothes and was not allowed to wear clean clothes.
The family made her the lowest person in the whole household.
She became so unhappy she sneaked out of the house one evening and ran to the well. She looked down at the cool water and considered letting herself down and never return to the surface.
Someone came behind her in the dark and took her back into the house.
After a time, her in-laws let her go to church. They said they did this to keep up proper appearances and for no other reason. Ponnamai listened to the words of the preacher. He said, "There is One who can heal and forgive you. He cam bring new meaning to your life."
She asked Jesus to be her Savior.
Days passed. Ponnamai was given permission to leave her in-laws home. "You're no good to us. Go. Leave us. It was your sins in a previous life that caused the death of our son. We don't want anyone else from our family to perish because of you."
She walked to the mission compound where I worked and asked for refuge. We happily took her into our group. She joined the Starry Cluster women and helped us tell others about Jesus.
There are many jewels like Ponnamai, held deep in India. Some are prisoners. Some are wandering, lost, in need of help.
I can see now why God sent me to India. To find the lost jewels.
photo 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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