William Carey  (1761-1834)

     At the Northampton Baptist Association convention the morning of May 30, 1792, William Carey spoke on Isaiah 54: 'Enlarge the place of thy tent…!' He went on to once again urge his fellow ministers to begin a missionary society for spreading the Gospel. "Brothers," he exhorted them in conclusion, "Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God!"
     Yet the next day William could not believe Andrew Fuller, the ferocious bulldog William thought was an ally, actually moved to adjourn the convention. Once again the association was concluding its annual meeting with no approval for a missionary society. William hesitated to protest. After all, at 30 he was surely the youngest minister in the association. Shouldn't he defer to older, more experienced ministers? William was by nature reticent anyway. Rarely did he ever persist right away when rebuffed. But this rebuff was one too many.
     "Is nothing going to be done again, sir?" William shouted at Fuller. 
     The ministers seemed in shock. Was this mild-mannered young William Carey who was all red-faced and shouting? Andrew Fuller was red-faced himself. He looked like William had slapped his face. Was he angry with William? Now silent, William watched in wonder as Fuller harangued, bullied, scolded and reprimanded the other ministers like an avenging angel. Within minutes the association had passed the following resolution:
          Resolved, that a plan be prepared against the next ministers'
          meeting at Kettering, for forming a Baptist Society for
          propagating the Gospel among the Heathens.
     The door was at last opening to William Carey's missionary society!

William Carey: Father of Modern Missions by S. Pearce Carey, 1923]

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"Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God!"

William Carey

Amy Carmichael  (1867-1951)

     One morning in March 1901 Amy sat drinking tea in Pannaivilai, a village in southern India. A woman, a Christian convert, came to her with a small girl in tow. The waif gawked so rudely Amy knew she knew nothing at all about white-faced foreigners with frizzy brown hair.
     "Preena came to me last night," explained the convert. "She could think of no other place to hide. She is only seven. She escaped the Hindu Temple in Perungulam. Preena is to become a 'devadasis', a 'woman of the temple'. First they teach her to sing and dance for the temple gods. But soon - perhaps at only nine or ten - she will entertain Hindu men who patronize the temple." 
     A temple prostitute. What an abomination! 
     "Come up here with me," said Amy in Tamil, lifting the girl onto her lap. "Why, your tiny hands are scarred!"
     "From burns," said the convert. "She was punished after an earlier escape." 
     "What a brave little soul you have, Preena." Amy hugged and kissed her. The girl melted. 
     "How desperately Preena wants that affection from her own mother," said the convert. "But the first time Preena escaped from the temple and ran back to her mother - her 'Amma' - she was delivered right back to her pursuers."
     "Amma, I want to stay with you always," sobbed Preena.
     Amma! Amy had become the girl's Amma, her mother, her protector…

Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur by Frank Houghton, 1953]

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George Washington Carver  (1864-1943)

     George had been up and down many times. He had learned the hard way one success doesn't necessarily spawn another. So in 1896 he was nervous when he asked James Wilson, the Chairman of Iowa State's agricultural department, for a letter of recommendation for a college teaching position. George respected James Wilson above all other people. Besides teaching a Bible class for the students, Wilson was the smartest, most decent man he had ever met. Wilson was the only one in the world who could cry to his teaching assistant, "Look at your shoes, George! You can't face the undergraduates that way. Now go buy a new pair right away!" George always refused something he hadn't earned outright. But not with Wilson. Off George would go with the dollars Wilson had thrust upon him. The rumor was that Wilson would become Secretary of Agriculture under William McKinley if McKinley won the presidential election later that year. McKinley seemed sure to win. James Wilson was a man with influence.
     Wilson thrust the letter out. "Here's what I wrote about you, George."
     The letter declared that in cross-fertilization and the propagation of plants George was the ablest student at the college.  But Wilson's praise went far beyond that. George could scarcely believe what he was reading:
          Except for the respect I owe the professors, I would say
          he is fully abreast of them and exceeds in special lines in
          which he has a taste...I would not  hesitate to have him
          teach our classes here...We have nobody to take his place
          and I would never part with a student with so much regret
          as George Carver...It will be difficult, in fact impossible,
          to fill his place…
     So that was what his mentor thought of him! George felt like there was nothing in the world he could not accomplish now…

George Washington Carver by Rackham Holt, 1943]

Amy became the child's 'Amma', her mother!

Amy Carmichael Missionary

George Carver was 'game'. In his early years wherever he lived, whether in Missouri, Kansas or Iowa, he participated. He sang in the choir, entered his fancy work in fairs,won baking contests, played in bands, debated, took parts in plays and joined discussion groups. He was not deaf. He heard racial slurs. But he heard praise too and he responded to that. He never backed off. Even if he looked a little ridiculous at times he still took part. In Minneapolis, Kansas, some well-intentioned citizen gave George a long-tailed coat. George put it to good use, leading the band down Main Street on celebration days, pumping a baton!.




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