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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
300 pages
Jan 2004
Ambassador International

The Wild-Bird Child: A Life of Amy Carmichael

by Derick Bingham

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Derick Bingham offers a fresh look at the beloved missionary to India, Amy Carmichael, in his book The Wild-Bird Child: A Life of Amy Carmichael. Bingham, an Irish pastor, writes about Amy as a social reformer in Ireland and later India, rescuing children abused in Hindu temple worship. The author, having walked the same country paths of Amy's home county, lived in Belfast where Amy began her mission work, and rummaged through public records and letters, delivers a unique view of Carmichael's personal life and public ministry.

In Wild-Bird Child, Derick Bingham portrays Amy Carmichael as the social reformer who followed God's leading through the streets of Belfast, into the Asian countryside, and across the continents to establish the Dohnavur Fellowship for children in India. Bingham interlays the life of Carmichael with the current events of that time. He explains the politics that governed British ruled India and the cultural influences that surrounded Amy's work there. As a teaching pastor, the internationally known author of The Smouldering Flax, and the author of eighteen books, Derick Bingham brings his extensive communication experience and his personal desire to inspire others with the legacy of Amy Carmichael together in this biography.

Bingham's book provides both an intimate look into the life of the well-known missionary as well as a broader historical perspective. At times the description of world events that paralleled Carmichael's life is enriching and at times distracting. But readers who enjoy historical background will relish the little extras the author has tucked away here and there. Those who want a straightforward account of the missionary's life may find the rabbit trails Bingham takes periodically too much of a digression from the book's purpose. However, the writing is first-rate, and Christians inspired by Amy's life will delight in Bingham's detailed accounts and personal insights. Jayne Walters, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Amy Carmichael has become a legend: brilliant, personable and passionate, she is arguable the most gifted of all Irish woman writers of Christians literature.

During the time of the Raj in India, she discovered a custom of the time were children were "married to gods" and so introduced to a life of prostitution. With a mixture of courage and heartbreak she began to uncover the facts, sometimes under disguise, for the Government. After Independence the Indian Government courageously prohibited the practice by law. She and her colleagues provided a safe home for these children against awesomely difficult circumstances at Dohnavur in South India. She wrote thirty-five books.

Amy Carmichael, Christian missionary, social reformer and writer once describled herself as a "Wild-bird child and in no wise tame": her life proved her observation to be hauntingly accurate. Millions of people have been influences by her life and writing. For this biography, the first by anyone from her home County, Derick Bingham carefully researched Amy Carmichael's original letters now placed by the Dohnavur Fellowship and Miss Margaret Wilkinson in the Northern Ireland Public Records Office.

As he tried to uncover the heart and conscience of this extraordinarily self-effacing legend he is on record as saying that it proved to be one of the greatest spiritual experiences of his life.