Year: January, 1899-1904
Amy Carmichael: 30 years old
From Amy's Journal
I have joined the Walkers in their ministry in Southern India.
Ponnammal is a girl who came to the mission requesting sanctuary. Since she was old enough to be considered an adult, we let her to stay. She spent hours studying and learning everything she could about God.
Ponnammal became my translator. I actually knew the language pretty well, but sometimes I still needed help.
One day, Ponnammal and I rode to a small Hindu village. Children played outdoors. Other than the children, we didn't see many people. As we walked to the first hut, a woman came outside and yelled at the children, "Stay away from the missionaries. They are paid a lot of money if any of us listen to them." She waited for the last child to go inside then closed the door.
I had no idea where she got that idea. It simply wasn't true.
Idols and shrines decorated the outside of each dwelling. Ponnammal and I stopped at the first hut and were thankful to be invited inside. A group of women sat on the floor, some weaving, some not. In the back, a cow lay swatting flies with its tail.
Ponnammal and I sat on the floor with the women. I shared with them about the God who loves them. After an hour of speaking, one woman said, "Our husbands decide our religion." Another said, "How can your words be true when they ask us to leave our caste to follow this Jesus. I could never do that."
So many Hindu women spoke of their dedication to their caste. I hardly knew how to help them. Ponnammal said, "These women must see for themselves that Jesus is worth leaving their caste."
She was right. I remembered Mr. Walker saying a potter who leaves his caste for Jesus will no longer be able to sell pots. No one will buy from him. Hindus must give up everything to accept Christ.
At the next home, women invited us inside. We told them about the God who loved them. Two younger women were so excited to hear more they said, "Please come back every day!" When I said we couldn't because many more women needed to hear about Jesus, the old woman said, "I cannot believe in your God. I am too old. What would I do? Where would I go if I break caste? Why didn't you come and tell us about Jesus years ago?"
I didn't know what to say. I wished I could have come sooner, I really did. I bowed my head and prayed, asking God to send more missionaries to India.
The women at a third hut listened to me speak for an hour then asked about my hair and what oils I used. They weren't listening to what I said! Ponnammal and I left.
The children playing outside sat and listened to us talk about Jesus. Their sweet little minds ready to hear.
Ponnammal said, "The women don't listen because their world is small. Her whole day is spent taking care of her family and talking with other women in her village. They don't think of tomorrow."
"But you did, Ponnammal," I said.
"Yes. That is why there is hope even for the women who can't see past today."
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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