Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Amy Carmichael on Children

Amy was lovingly referred to as "Amma" (mother) by her children at the orphanage. Here are some quotes by her about children:

How Amy handled her orphans' heritages:
"The children's genetic history was never divulged. All who asked questions about their origin received the same answer: You are where you are first because God brought you, and then because we loved you very much."

Amy on Scripture memorization with children:
"It is a great mistake to think they should understand all they learn; for God has ordered that in youth the memory should act vigorously, independent of the understanding - whereas a man cannot usually recollect a thing unless he understands it."

Amy on training children to be missionaries:
"The training of a missionary should begin in the nursery; school should continue it; home should nourish it. All the influences should be bent one way. That training should not be perplexed by a mixture of thoughts, but expressed in a single line of conduct, clearly recognized for what it is. In other words, till the life of a child has had time to root, it should not be exposed to various winds (confused or conflicting examples and ideals, different ways of making t's). After it has rooted, let the winds blow as they will. Then they will cause the roots to take a firmer grip."

Amy's thoughts on caring for children:
"Let those parents that desire Holy Children learn to make them possessors of Heaven and Earth betimes, to remove silly objects from before them, to magnify nothing but what is great indeed, and to talk of God to them, and of His works and ways before they can either speak or go."

Amy's thoughts on the gospel made manifest through caring for children:
" 'There is much done every day in Dohnavur that no caste person would do for pay, however much was offered,' wrote Amy, who mentioned to one of her trainees that she had no doubt cut thousands of small toe- and fingernails - 'I who said I would never do any work but "preach the gospel". It takes some of us years to learn what preaching the gospel means.' "

Amy's goal with her children:
"To lead children out of themselves and into service for others, untarnished by earthly thoughts."

Amy's prayer for her children:
"Father, hear us, we are praying,
Hear the words our hearts are saying,
We are praying for our children.

Keep them from the powers of evil,
From the secret, hidden peril,
From the whirlpool that would suck them,
From the treacherous quicksand pluck them.

From the worldling's hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Holy Father, save our children.

Through life's troubled waters steer them,
Through life's bitter battle cheer them,
Father, Father, be Thou near them.
Read the language of our longing,
Read the wordless pleadings thronging,
Holy Father, for our children
And wherever they may bide, Lead them Home at eventide."

1 comment:

John L. said...

Those are cool too.