Saints Series: Amy Carmichael

[…] You are fellow citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.

Ephesians 2:19 (NRSV)

Did you know that the ELCA commemorates saints? Typically, when I hear someone talking about a saint, I make the assumption that they are most likely Catholic; however, many denominations remember or commemorate saints on specific days. There is a calendar of these saints days in our hymnal on pages 10-12.

The word in Greek that gets translated as “saints” is hagiōs which is literally “holy ones.” To be holy is to be set apart for a purpose. Luther says that we are all saints and that in baptism we are set apart for God’s work. We remember some of the more well known “heroes of faith” as saints in these commemorations. Over the next year, I will be sharing the stories of some of these saints with you.

One of the assignments that I had in my Church History 2 class was called the Heavenly Banquet. For this assignment, each of the students had to choose an important figure in Christianity who lived some time between the Reformation and now. I chose a woman named Amy Carmichael.

Amy Carmichael was born December 1867 in Northern Ireland. She was the oldest of seven children. She felt called to minster to other people. She started a church for the girls who worked in the mills before going abroad as a missionary. She started in Japan and had to leave due to her health. She then ended up as a missionary in Southern India. She started the Dohnavur Fellowship in 1901 which house rescued child widows, orphans and devadasis, who were girls who had been given to the Hindu temples as brides for the deity. She was a published author having written 39 books. One of her more well-known books is a devotional book called Edges of His Ways. Amy stayed in Southern India until her death in January of 1951.

This is part of a monthly series of newsletter articles written by Intern Bridget.