Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) *

As missionary spirit from an early age, Amy Carmichael of Northern Ireland, spent many years in India beginning in 1895. She helped to found a major healing and training center in Tinnevelly region. Beginning in 1901 she worked against a practice of children being trafficked into the temple. She knew their fates were very certain there and appalling to her. “This spirit which trafficks in children is callous and fierce as a ravening beast; and its wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. And this spirit, alien to the land, has settled upon it and made itself at home in it, and so become a part of it that nothing but the touch of God will ever get it out. We want that touch of God.”

Amy was a woman of intense prayer and intercession for the children. She wrote: “We believe there is some connection between knowing and caring and praying, and what happens afterward. Otherwise we should leave the darkness to cover the things that belong to the dark. . . . “Her years of ministry there saw many prayers answered and many bright children rescued from the practices of the temple.

Amy understood that religious practices linked trafficking to their belief systems were not only in the Hindu culture. There had been historical practices in Christianity that had allowed and encouraged slavery throughout the “civilized” world that she would have known from Ireland and the United Kingdom as well as the United States.

*Portions excerpted from: Spiritual Classics (Selected Readings on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines). A Renovare Resource for individuals and groups. Edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. HarperOne (HarperCollins publisher). © 2000. ISBN: 978-0-06-062872-7.