On this day in 1901, Amy Carmichael rescued and sheltered her first temple runaway, a young Indian girl dedicated to the Hindu gods and forced into prostitution to earn money for the priests. Technically, this made her a kidnapper. Over the years, Amy “kidnapped” many other children, often at the cost of extreme exhaustion and personal danger.
To Amy, working with young woman who were outcast to society was nothing new. When she was a young girl in Belfast, Northern Ireland, her father began Sunday Schools among the Shawlies, the young mill girls who worked in horrid conditions for little pay. When her father died unexpectedly, Amy was the only one who continued to work with these young girls.
While attending a conference in England, she heard Hudson Taylor speak about foreign missions. It was then and there that she gave her life to foreign mission work. After spending a little time in Japan and Sri Lanka, she finally settled in India, where she would spend the rest of her life.
While she was in India, Amy saw a horrid practice under way. Many families, when they would have a daughter, would dedicated their daughter to the Hindu temples, where they would become slaves and prostitutes. The poor families, because they were poor and could barely afford to feed their children, saw this dedication as a way to ease their financial burden and gain favor with the gods at the same time. But Amy would not stand by idly.
In 1901, as Amy was returning to her village, when she was greeted by a sweet, seven-year-old girl, Preena (or “Pearl Eyes”). She had escaped from the temple and looked to Amy for help. Amy took her in. Displeased temple people came screaming and yelling–but slowly their anger subsided and the crowd dispersed. Amy was left with Preena. And so began the work of what would later be known as Dohnavur Fellowship, a network of girls homes that sheltered young girls Amy and others rescued from the Temples. During Amy’s life, over a 1000 girls passed through the doors of the Dohnavur homes.
Amy is well known for saying, “You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.” What has your love for God, your love for the lost, your lost for those that have no hope, caused you to give today?
On this day in 1823, Richard Knill, who was sent out by the London Missionary Society to Russia, wrote a detailed report about the conversion of a young Jewish man in St. Petersburg, Russia. The man had been invited by a good friend to attend the mid-week service, where Knill preach on sin and its dreaded punishment. The next night, that young man came to Knill’s home, weighted down with the burden of his sin and guilt.
Knill the following letter to his mission society, giving them this splendid account:
A person of respectable appearance called desiring to speak with me when the following conversation took place.
“Pray Sir, excuse me, as I am an entire stranger to you. I was very anxious to see you for I am in great distress.”
“And what do you wish me to do for you?”
“O Sir, I wish you to pray for me I am very much depressed! My sins arc too heavy for me! They are a load which I cannot support.”
He then burst into tears and continued weeping for some time. He then clasped my hand saying,
“Do excuse me, Sir!”
I replied, “It gives me great pleasure to hear you say that your sins give you pain and that you feel them as a load which you cannot support because I know a person who is able and willing to take off such burdens, yea to take them off completely. The Almighty and compassionate Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Be assured, Sir, that it is an unspeakable merry to be brought to feel your sinful state All men are sinners but all men do not feel it.”
This is just the beginning of the rather lenghty report given. But Knill ended his letter with this,
I never saw a person who appeared so deeply convinced of sin and who felt it so keenly; my chief endeavour was to direct him to Christ whose blood clcanseth from all sin. It appears that he had not slept nor taken any food from the time he heard the sermon on Wednesday evening until he came to me on Thursday afternoon. May the Lord bless him and make him a humble useful Christian Amen!
When a friend brought this young man to church one midweek service, did he have any idea that such a beautiful scene would occur in less than a day? Probably not. But it did! If God can do this mighty work in Russia, what could He do when we bring one single friend to church wherever we are? Until we do it, we will never know…
Read the whole letter at The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle
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