Have you ever seen a living sacrifice? A “living sacrifice” is a genuine Christian. The paradox, which is Christianity, requires a death to self in order for one to live-really live.
A true disciple is a follower of Jesus and Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Apostle Paul described his strength in terms of sacrificing himself and allowing Christ to live in and through him. Paul wrote, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.”
Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, was a living sacrifice. She lived 55 years in India, the last 20 years as an invalid. Still, she trusted in Christ completely. She never asked for money. Humbly, she never referred to herself by name in her writings. She authored over 35 books. Amy asked for a simple burial without a head stone. She sought no earthly reward.
During her lifetime, Carmichael would be responsible for saving the lives of thousands of children and her Christian influence continues to inspire.
On March 7, 1901, a life changing experience would occur in Amy’s life. A 5-year-old girl, who had been sold by her mother to Hindus to be trained as a temple prostitute, was brought to Amy. The little girl had run away twice and was caught and beaten. On her third escape attempt, the child found a nice woman who brought her to Carmichael. Using a rag doll, the little girl demonstrated what had happened to her at the temple.
Amy then committed herself to saving as many temple children as possible. Her efforts were rewarded with the founding of the Dohnavus Fellowship, which rescued thousands of temple children over the years.
Queen Mary, inspired by Amy’s work, helped to fund a hospital in 1912. A home for boys was added in 1918.
Carmichael lived long enough to see India outlaw temple prostitution in 1948. Amy went home to her eternal reward on Jan. 18, 1951.
What a difference one life can make. Amy’s life continues to inspire. Her example challenges us to count the cost and to take up the cross.
If Amy would have consented to the head stone, it might have simple read, “Amy Wilson Carmichael, Living Sacrifice!”
Ken Haskins is pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City.