Monday, October 1, 2012

Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems by Geoff and Janet Benge

Recommendation:  ***** (5 stars)

We are introduced to Amy Carmichael as a boarding school student with a mischievous bent to her leadership skills. When she must return home to Ireland, she is given God’s heart for service when she and her brothers help a poor woman. As she faces numerous challenges with her father’s death, her heart for serving the poor and rejected grows. This passion later takes her to Japan, where God promises her that although she will not marry, she will never be alone. He is faithful to this promise, as she becomes a mother to hundreds of children in India years later, saving them from a life of slavery in the Hindu temples and other terrible circumstances. Amy never desires attention for herself, but sacrificially cares for and teaches many about the God who loves them.

Positives: This true story shows off God’s faithfulness in numerous ways. As Amy begins her ministry to poor women and girls in Ireland, she believes that He will provide necessary funds. Throughout the course of her life, many structures are built to accommodate ministry as Amy follows God’s conviction. She never asks anyone for money, but the money is always provided. It is clear God’s hand of provision and guidance is upon everything. Her simple and unwavering faith is steadfast, even during difficult times of mourning and personal illness.

Negatives: None

Talking Points: From the very outset of the book, as Amy senses God speaking to her about serving others unashamedly, the concept of the fear of man (Matthew 10:28) can be elaborated upon. There are several instances where others criticize or misunderstand Amy’s work and convictions (wearing a plain sari  as Indian women did, so her English dress would no longer be a distraction), but Amy does not care about these opinions that oppose God’s leading. She is also sensitive to the cultural differences around her. The caste system in India cannot be ignored, so when a hospital is built, there are places for families to prepare meals for their patients so that caste will not be broken. (1 Corinthians 9:22) By accommodating these practices, opportunities for the gospel to go forth are created. Amy must lean heavily on God’s grace, and more apparently so in seasons of grief. It is clear that her strength is from the Lord and He faithfully provides it. (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 121:1)

Age Level:  10 years and up

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