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
A temple prostitute. What
"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
"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…
[source: Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur by Frank Houghton,
George Washington Carver
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:
the respect I owe the professors, I would say
he is fully
abreast of them and exceeds in special lines
has a taste...I would not hesitate to
classes here...We have nobody to take his
and I would
never part with a student with so much regret
Carver...It will be difficult, in fact
to fill his
So that was what his
mentor thought of him! George felt like there
was nothing in the world he could not
[source: George Washington Carver by Rackham Holt,