I (Aaron) have spent a great deal of time this week working in the Nazarene Theological College archives. While sorting through the Rev. Dr. James B. Maclagan collection, I came across an absolute gem of a pamphlet by missions legend Amy Carmichael titled "God's Missionary."
A few of the most convicting and inspiring excerpts are below:
"This writing is not meant for old, experienced missionaries who long agao have made up their minds concerning the questions discussed. It is only meant as a little word offered in all humility to younger fellow-missionaries who have not made up their minds.
"Comrades in this solemn fight, this awful conflict with awful powers, let us settle it as something that cannot be shaken; we are here to live holy, loving, lowly lives. We cannot do this unless we walk very, very close to our Lord Jesus...
"If this message should reach a new recruit, one would say the same word, only turning it a little: Will you not wait upon your Lord before you come out, and every day there-after from the first hour on board ship onwards, asking Him to keep you, as we ask Him now to keep us?..."
"There is the social entanglement: such and such things are expected of us, and we cannot do what is required in this direction, and at the same time get the quiet we know we must secure if we are to go on in strength and in calmness of spirit.... There are the late hours, simple enough to those whose duties do not call them up at dawn; but for those who, to have any sort of undisturbed quiet, must not only be up by dawn but awake the dawn, quite another matter...Quiet time - the word is vital."
"And there is the entanglement of over-work. Who has not known it? The more we love our work, the keener we are to do it well, or the more the burden of souls unreached weighs upon our hearts, the greater our joy in reaching them, the subtler the form this entangling peril takes, and the more likely we are to slip into it before we are aware."
"We can never know [another] people -it is fallacious to imagine we can do so- while we find out chief recreation to be an escape from their companionship into the society of our fellow [Americans]. The people of the land are keenly observant: they mark our preferences in the choice of friends, as in everything else; if we find our rest and pleasure in being away from them, will they open out to us and let us understand them?
"No, we shall be further away from them than we know, and however affectionate they are, there will always be a certain reserve in their confidence, unrecognized by us, perhaps, because we are not near enough to them to know it exists."
"'Lord, Thou knowest: Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee. But because I am as yet weak in love and imperfect in virtue, therefore I do stand in need of being strengthened and comforted by Thee. Wherefore visit me again and again; and instruct me by all holy discipline.
"Free me from evil passions and heal my heart of all inordinate affections; that, being inwardly healed and thoroughly cleansed, I may become fit to love, strong to suffer, constant to persevere.'"