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Amy Carmichael :: Nor Scrip—23. Proverbs 27:27

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The drought of 1918 will long be remembered by the people in these parts; their cattle died.

We had till then been able to get almost all the milk we required from the villages near by. Morning and evening, from a dozen villages streamed the too old to work and the too young to work, each tottery old body and toddly young one engaged in carrying a small brass vessel full of buffalo or cow's milk, to be tested and, if it passed the test, bought. Now we could get very little and that little with much difficulty. Condensed milk was a fabulous price, and besides it did not suit all, nor would it have built up healthy children. We needed over two hundred rupees' worth of milk a month at that time and could only buy about ninety rupees' worth, so we were in real difficulty, and when in our reading we came upon Proverbs xxvii. 27, it was no small comfort. Then and there, we rested ourselves upon that comfortable word, 'Milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens,' and watched for its fulfilment. The date was November 3.

On November 6, we were able to buy three buffaloes; on the 9th, four more buffaloes and two cows; on January 8, two more cows.

Things had got worse. In December we were only able to buy forty rupees' worth of milk from outside; but the little herd acquired in the month of the promise helped us through.

But this was not all the good contained in that sure word. The village people needed help; we greatly desired to help them; but to give, even if we could have given, would not have helped them in the best way.

Is there anything our Father does not take thought about? On June 6, 1919, a gift reached us, the first we had ever had marked 'Famine relief' (for we had not said much of the trouble, knowing it was worse in other places). We had till now sheltered the animals in temporary sheds. But something more was needed, and at once we began famine relief work for the villagers, who flocked to us most thankfully. It was wonderful to watch the money coming. Once for a special reason there was strong temptation to anxiety. I was alone in the forest at the moment seeing about something there, and my mail sent up was opened under difficult circumstances. Only He who was there with me knew what it was to open a letter containing a gift from poor folk in one of our great home cities, from whom I had never thought anything would ever come again (they had been loving givers for years, but now circumstances had changed and what they had to give would be needed, I had thought, elsewhere). It was the largest gift they had ever sent, and it was enough to complete the purchase of all the cattle we then required for the food of our household, and for the maintenance of our maidens, according to the promise of the Lord.

Herd, barns, byres, and farm-well came together to £388 16s. 1½d., or in Rs. 5,832.1.7, and we wrote up words from the book of the promise, in the milk-cows' byre, 'Be thou diligent…Look well to thy herds. The righteous man knoweth how his cattle feel.' (The second being Delitzsch's translation of Proverbs 12:10.)

Christmas Day is a joyful day for the cattle as well as for the children they serve. Their places are decorated (because our Saviour was born in a manger), and they have lotus buds fastened between their horns, for the little cow-boys are quite sure this is the proper thing to do. They have, too (as on every Sunday), extra treats, a bath and the food they like best. And though they are only poor little cattle of South India (for the beautiful large beasts Government stocks on its farms are far beyond our purse), they are cared for as the gifts of God should be, and to our thankfulness we hear that all round about us animals are used a little more gently than they used to be, because it is known that we never hurt ours, never brand on them the cruel hideous patterns of the country, a branding that makes dreadful for some of us one whole week every spring. [With the coming of doctors who care for animals, a new thing has been seen in this countryside-operations on bulls and cows done mercifully under an anesthetic.]

Nor Scrip—22. Will Not the Brother Take Care of the Sister? ← Prior Section
Nor Scrip—24. Blessed Be Such Coincidences Next Section →

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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