Amy’s first experience of meeting other missionaries in India, was a shocking one to her. A group of missionaries sat in their starched English clothes, eating cucumber sandwiches, whilst being served their tea, bemoaning the fact that they could not find any local volunteers to assist them with outreach work. Amy felt like a fish out of water. She knew exactly why these men and women had not succeeded in the mission field. Just as in Belfast where she had donned a shawl and lived in the slums, and as in Japan where she donned a Kimono, Amy knew that if she could live as an Indian, like an Indian, with Indians, learning to speak their language, she would immediately have more success than the cucumber sandwich missionaries. She was right, and it wasn’t long before Amy, now wearing a Sari, had a group of God-fearing women who travelled with her from village to village sharing the Gospel. There were far more challenges in India than Chinese or Japanese culture, as the complex caste system of India meant that they could get themselves in serious trouble for talking or even looking at someone of a different caste. Amy had to use wisdom to know which lady should share the Gospel with which inquirer, according to the caste system.
After some years of travelling and sharing the Gospel, God gave Amy a new direction as very suddenly a young girl was put in her charge, and this young girl was followed by another and then a baby, and then more. These girls were rescued from being Hindu temple prostitutes (sold to the temples by their families), or from families where they had been sold as child brides. Soon Amy had reason to set up a permanent compound with houses for her growing family and the missionaries. Although never married, Amy was mother to hundreds of girls, and later boys too, who were raised in the Lord and protected from the evils of their culture and religion. Many of her ‘children’ were raised up as missionaries and greatly affected the nation of India.
Buried in India in her late 80’s, Amy, though from Belfast, is regarded as one of the most important ‘Indians’ of her time.