Monday, February 1, 2016

Amy Carmichael-The Children Who Taught the Men How to Build

By Mary Vee
Year: January, 1917 
Amy Carmichael: 49 years old

From Amy's Journal

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

India has a lot of humidity (water in the air). In the summertime, the strong humidity along with temperatures reaching 117 degrees. Yes. That is very hot.

Most missionaries took a vacation in the mountains during the hottest days. Our leader, Mr. Walker, took most of the staff each year.

Since he died, we haven't had the funds.

The other workers and some of the children helped me find a place not to far away from the mission. We used the small building as a place to pray, relax, and rest for two years before deciding it was too small. One day, I took some of the children with me to hunt for land. We found the perfect place and God provided the money to buy the land.

Native construction workers were hired. I knew in advance that the Indian workers would purposely take longer than needed to get the building done. They did this because they were paid by the day. The longer they took, the more money they earned.

I know. They were only building a retreat place. I shouldn't want to rush them. After all, we wouldn't use the building until next summer any way. The problem was the coming monsoons. These powerful rainstorms would destroy an unfinished building. 

Somehow we needed to find a way to get these men to do their work. The children heard me talking about the problem. They saw the workers sleeping each time we visited the property. We gathered together and prayed for God to give us wisdom. 

The children talked together then ran into the room and said, "We have an idea!" On their own, they came up with a very smart plan. One of the girls said, "We will do the work the workmen aren't willing to do."

I thought this was so sweet, but they didn't know how to build a roof or walls. "How do you plan to do this?"

"We will carry bricks and tiles." Another said, "We can carry buckets of mud." The children jumped up and down clapping their hands and cheering. "Please let us help!"

I said, "Okay." The next morning we marched in a line to our unfinished building. The workers were sleeping. We didn't do anything to wake them, other than make typical noises. 

The children were so excited they didn't need any instructions. Like a beehive of workers they carried the bricks, tiles, and buckets of mud. Their excitement bubbled in their little bodies and they began to sing a song I had taught them, "Hate not laborious work! Joy, joy in it."

One of the workers laughed and called me over. "What are they singing?"

I may not have had my best manners on at the moment. I said, "It's a song you should learn."

The men continued to watch the children and me for a while. Slowly, guilt poured into them. They got up and started working. Slowly. But they were working.

Photo Courtesy
The children and I came to the building each day and helped with the work. The house walls collapsed two times forcing us to start over. The monsoons came before the building was finished, but thankfully the men kept working until the building was finally done.

While working, the children and I never gave up telling the men about Jesus. The little girls from the mission seemed so happy while they work. They told the men Bible stories. They shared Bible verses and sang songs. 

God used their sweet hearts. Two of the men asked Jesus to be their Savior. They were the first ones to be baptized in the pool on the new property. What a day. The children cheered for the men as they sprang from the water.

We named the retreat building "The Forest" This became a very special place that gave me time to rest, write stories, poems, and tell others about God's work here in India.

God has blessed us so much--and the children are what made this blessing so special.

Come back next week!

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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