Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A TOS Review: Amy Carmichael (a YWAM biography)

One of my favorite stories I heard in Sunday School was about a young girl who was born with brown eyes. She despaired over her brown eyes…wishing instead she had been born with blue eyes. This young girl later became a missionary to India. In time she understood why she had been given brown eyes. Her brown eyes helped her become more accepted amongst those she was ministering to. This woman was named Amy Carmichael.

Isn’t it amazing what impresses us as children? Granted I was born in Nicaragua to missionary parents so I have always had a particular tender heart for missionaries. My own eyes were blue, not brown…but I did understand the disappointment of wishing for something that couldn’t come true. 
Amy’s ability to look beyond her own disappointments to see a divine appointment made a great impression on me. This is why when we were given the opportunity to review a book and unit study from YWAM Publishing, I didn’t hesitate. I knew that Amy Carmichael: Rescuers of Precious Gems would be our choice. We also received the Amy Carmichael Unit Study Curriculum Guide.  

You might have heard of Youth With A Mission. YWAM Publishing is just part of that ministry. Their books focus on ministry, discipleship, prayer and evangelism. When you purchase from YWAM Publishing you are supporting their ministry efforts all over the world.

Our choice came from the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series from YWAM Publishing.  There is also a Heroes of History series. You will find over 60 titles highlighting all manner of folks. The Unit Study Curriculum Guides provides additional resources and activities for many of the titles.

How We Used It

We used our book as part of our morning time together. Josiah is dyslexic and while I felt like he could have handled the book in small doses I decided that it was more important that he enjoy it. 

I would fix myself a cup of hot tea and we would sit together on the couch. Of course, the time period that the story takes place was a mystery to Josiah. The living conditions of the “shawlies” that Amy ministered to as a young woman were appalling. We had many discussions about living in a country that has so many luxuries. We don’t have as much as some, but we have never had to worry about sharing our space with rats.

I was unaware that Amy’s health was key in her failure to secure her first ministry position in China. This brave and committed woman didn’t let her health stop her from her calling. I was so encouraged. I have experienced some bad health in my life. It is easy to feel as if you don’t have anything to give.
One of the big reasons I requested this particular title was that I knew that Amy spent the majority of her life in India as a missionary. Josiah’s birthfather was born in India. It has been my desire for him to learn more about India and the peoples. He has known about his adoption all of his life. I still don’t think he quite understands his uniqueness and the gift that he has been to us. I wept when I read about the precious children Amy called her own. I understood how God could give her so much love for them.

The Unit Study Curriculum Guide can be used in a variety of ways. It includes:

Creating Writing
Movie Critiquing
Reading Comprehension
Essay Writing
History and Geography Concepts

I received a physical book that is approximately 60 pages long. I used it in a variety of ways.
The first chapter is filled with key Bible verses. I chose from among these Bible verses Josiah’s copywork for the week. I also used the chapter questions to encourage conversation and to see if Josiah was paying attention. I’m sneaky like that!

We also explored India’s caste system and located key cities on a map. We mapped Amy’s missionary journeys and talked about the conditions she might have encountered.

It was important for Amy to fit into the native population. She wore saris while in India. We looked up pictures of traditional Indian dress and even prepared a favorite Indian dish (Butter Chicken).
The curriculum guide also gives suggests for planning an event at the end of the study. I also found great resources for more books, videos and magazine articles. I was inspired to read some of Amy’s own works.

There are also suggestions for making a display while studying India and Amy Carmichael. I would have loved to have done this, but just couldn’t get my act together. I do have plans to create something similar for church. I want to expose our youth to more missionaries of note.

I think anyone will be inspired by Amy Carmichael. The authors, Janet and Geoff Benge, did such a lovely job in bringing her story to life. Our review experience was precious. We had a chance to talk about many things concerning God’s calling for all of us to “Go Ye.” I am going to start adding some of these Christian Heroes stories to our regular morning reading rotation. I was particularly excited to see this list featuring the titles in chronological order. 

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