Monday, October 5, 2015

Amy Carmichael-A Girl's Plea for Sanctuary

By Mary Vee
Year: January, 1898 
Amy Carmichael: 29 years old

From Amy's Journal

Photo Courtesy
My name is Amy Carmichael. I am a missionary in India.

I have joined with the Walkers in their ministry. 

A small group of native women have chosen to work with me. I am so grateful for their help. We have called ourselves the Starry Cluster.

Women in India are expected to wear certain jewelry. While we traveled to share God's love with women in small villages, the Starry Cluster women noticed I didn't have any jewelry. "Your jewelry has been stolen!"

I didn't have money to buy new jewelry. To show their dedication to the mission, these women gave up their jewelry. For this they were respected by other Hindus.

Soon everyone knew we didn't have anything worth stealing. Thieves left us alone.

Early in 1898, during a Bible study, we heard a young girl crying out for help. She stood at the gate for our missionary bungalows.

We ran to see what she needed. 

"Please, you must help me. I need refuge." Her eyes were wide with fright. She looked to her left and right. "Please hurry. I need refuge."

We let her inside the gate. I walked close to her. She was only sixteen. "Tell us your problem."

"I went to a missionary school in Perungulam, not far from here, and was given a Bible. I read it on my own and asked questions. I asked Jesus to be my Savior. My family is very upset with me. I'm afraid they will kill me."

She was probably right. Mr. Walker told me the Indian people would not allow Christians to live at their home. Some parents became so angry they wanted to put the Christian family member to death.

Only a few minutes passed when we heard someone banging on the gate. The girl hid behind me. "Please save me," she cried.

A man yelled through the gate. "Give us our daughter. You have no right to keep her there.

Mr. Walker and we other missionaries refused to give her to them. We knew they would go to the authorities and demand to have their daughter returned.

Mr. Walker left right away to fill out the paperwork with the officials to allow the girl to have what is called sanctuary or protection in our mission compound. 

I learned as I watched him go through the process, that because she was considered old enough, she was considered independent and could choose to live with us. She was called a Jewel of Victory. Her parents had no legal power to force her to leave.

Unfortunately her parents could decide to take her back illegally--by kidnapping her.

This girl's parents decided to punish the mission school in Perungulam instead. They burned the building.

During this same year a second girl came to us asking for sanctuary. We helped this girl as well. Since she was old enough we didn't have any difficulties with the legal paperwork. She was called Jewel of Life.

I am so thankful God has saved these young girls.

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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