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Amy Carmichael :: Nor Scrip—3. Simla, and the First Nursery

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One day a telegram came from Simla. A member of the Imperial Legislative Council wanted facts about Temple children in South India. These facts had of course to be most carefully verified, if they were to be of any use to the men who were trying to frame a Bill for the help of such children. Frequently after that such requests reached us. It was impossible for any Government official (and the higher placed the more impossible) to discover or verify facts for himself. The moment such a man walks down an Indian street every blind, metaphorically speaking, is drawn, and no man ever sees behind those blinds.

To attempt to find out what it wanted to know, Government would have had to employ agents so well paid as to be above the temptation to accept a bribe, and, even so, the truth would most probably have eluded them for various reasons which do not concern this story. From this on, therefore, from time to time certain expenses had to be incurred which could in the nature of things show no visible result; for though more than one Bill was framed none became law. The powers against it proved too strong. This is not the loss it sounds. Those who know India know why. But the good men and true who did honestly try to better things were worthy of any help we could give them, and never was a long costly journey undertaken, never a quiet week's life in temple rest-house or wayside open shelter, with the one inconspicuous object of listening and watching accomplished, but special sums dropped as if from the skies to meet these unexpected charges.

There was at that time an I.C.S. man in South India who, reading what we had written about the facts as we knew them, was extremely indignant and resolved to disprove them. But he found this impossible. And one of the first gifts which reached us from outside the inner circle was from that man, who has been our firm friend ever since. Such gifts helped to meet these less missionary expenses; but in the accounts given in this book they are all merged in one; for they all belonged to the one work which our Father had given us to do.

Such activities, however, led to its becoming known in the underworld of South India that we were trying to get these children, and people in sympathy told us when they knew of such; this led soon to the need of nurseries. The first of these has a tale of its own.

We had been given a sum of money to use for this purpose. It was enough to build a room 24 by 12 feet. This was less than half as long a room as there was space to build round a courtyard already in use. To the Indian builder such a use of space is foolish. Why not go right round and finish off with a walled-in verandah, Indian fashion? That would be sensible. All this was duly explained to me, and I saw their point, and told them I thought the Father of these little children would very likely give them a larger room if we asked Him. So we did, kneeling down there and then in the middle of the heaps of sun-dried bricks. 'It is Thursday. Let the work stop till Monday,' we said, wishing to give time to be shown exactly how we should build. Monday was our mail day, and guidance about such things often came on mail days through the gifts which reached us then.

But on Saturday a letter came with notes for two hundred rupees, marked clearly 'For a new Nursery.' It had been posted in Madras in the evening of the day we had prayed for a gift to go on with. The Hindu masons looked at those notes as if they had dropped from heaven, as assuredly they had. Before we required more, another one hundred came in the same way. And again fifty. By that time the work was finished. We needed no more, and no more came. These gifts were anonymous. Some time afterwards the giver became known to me. She told me she had not known anything of our building operations, but one day in the beginning of that same week she had felt impelled to write to her bank in Madras, and direct them to send that sum of money and mark it in that way. As she was two days from Madras, her letter reached them just in time to enable them to post on the Thursday of our prayer.

'Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have…access with confidence.' Are any words in the New Testament more willing to be put to proof?

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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