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Amy Carmichael :: Nor Scrip—21. There Is No Want in the Fear of the Lord

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We have a joyfully large group of workers in Dohnavur, though, when one regards the reach of country all round us, with its opportunities bounded only by strength, and the great work to be accomplished in the training of those who will, we trust, if the Lord tarries, carry the message far and wide, our band seems small enough. Still, every English worker means a one-roomed cottage and some furniture. We build cottage fashion, nursery or worker's room it matters not which, with the back verandah made into a bathroom, that luxury of Indian life, and so we can interchange, worker changing with a group of children or vice versa as is most expedient for the work. Our buildings have been proved healthy, even though they are small for the East and lower than Government would sanction if we had to wait for its passing of plans. The fresh air blows round them if there is any to blow, there is the restful blessing of privacy-in short, they suffice for us. But it will be seen that as new workers mean new cottages and their furnishings, however simple, a good deal of expenditure might have to be incurred under this head alone.

Our way here is to furnish a room from a room. Each which finds itself possessed of more than it requires, contributes that extra; but naturally there are limits to this kind of giving, and furniture, if it has any wear in it, is not inexpensive, though we spend as little as may be on it.

The building of these cottages and the furnishing thereof, would fill books of stories of those wonderful little loving-kindnesses that touch one more nearly, perhaps, than the greater and more awe-inspiring gifts of love.

The first gift of furniture for the children came from a C.M.S. missionary. Not a word of the surprise in store for us had reached us; but one morning a bandy jingled up to the door and, to our amazement, disgorged a beautiful little school bench for the babies, a tiny easel, and all the other minutiae of a complete set of beginnings. At that time we had not one anna to spend on such things. The older children were helping to build our first mud wall, carrying on their unaccustomed little heads the baskets of earth for the builders to stamp into clay. We keep that mud wall still, to remind us of what great things God has wrought for us.

But the rooms: sometimes an I.C.S. friend has written that he is going on leave and wants to sell a few trifles. We send for them (and note the kind prices) and find the trifles are just what we were needing. Or a guest on his homeward way stops at Colombo, that treasure house of nice things, and sends us what we should never have bought for ourselves.

Once we were short of china; we remember it because there were not even coffee cups to serve our guests' coffee after dinner, and there were no tea cups either, just great clumsy breakfast cups which were most uninviting. We could have bought some, but wanted our money for the children. Shortly afterwards, a friend coming out to us for a visit brought a whole blue set, and we ourselves (and our guests if they knew it) handle nothing less than gifts from Him who long ago said, 'Your Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.'

But space would fail to tell all, or a tithe of all, the private stories of this place. It is as if its Owner and ours wanted to set us night and day free for the one thing for which we are here, and so He does not cause us to spend much time over life's lesser necessities.

Once, some years ago, he who was then our Collector rode over to see us. He was interested and wanted to help us, and he naturally thought a Government grant would be good for us. We told him why we felt clearer without it. Then he asked us how we lived. We told him. He pointed to the buildings. We told him how they came to be. 'Can I do nothing for you?' he said. 'Save a child if you have a chance,' was our word then, and he went away.

A year or so later I was in Madras, hearing of the fight for a child a brave woman there had carried on for months, and of her all but failure. She was old, worn with many years of labours, and she had almost given up. Then that man who had been our Collector came forward. A touch from one high up in Government Service can do much if a kind heart is behind. That touch set the child's life free. Would it have been the same, we wondered, if the one precious half-hour we spent together had been taken up with questions of finance?

So we have proved it a thousand times and are still proving it: if we are about our Father's business He takes care for ours. There is no want in the fear of the Lord and it needeth not to seek help. 'My son, lead not a beggar's life,' said the wise man long ago. Last year's hot weather comes to mind, another of those happenings which some will call coincidences but others will see as something more precious, more intimate.

Several of our number needed the cold of the Hills. Our forest is not so much tonic as rest. But the Hill expenses are now necessarily large, and it was the time of the worst exchange. So no one wanted to spend money on holidays, anything there was to spare went, of course, to the work. Just then a District Forest Officer stayed with a friend of ours, and being refreshed in spirit gave her a cheque which was to be spent on bringing those up to the Hills who were kept down by the adverse exchange. Part of the cheque was sent to us. It was impossible to refuse, and to the Hills three of our number went, and returned refreshed. May cool winds blow through the heats of life for that unknown D.F.O., till we meet where the sun shall not light on him, nor any heat.


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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