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The Amy Carmichael Story DVD Review by Cindy WestVoice of the Martyrs
P.O. Box 443
Bartlesville, OK 74005
Amy Carmichael was a missionary to India in the early 1900's. While there, working to spread the Gospel of Christ, her eyes were opened to the horrifying practice of child slavery at the local temples. Indian parents, who were in dire circumstances, believed that giving their female children as sacrifices to the temple god would bring blessings upon their family. The young girls served as slaves of the temple, often forced to participate in "services" of unimaginable horror. As a result, Amy Carmichael became the rescuer of many of these children, and her story is a true testament to God's power and provision!
In this 30-minute cartoon DVD created for 8-12 year olds, your children will learn about Amy's story. While not going into depth about the "services" of temple slaves, the story paints a clear picture of the evil surrounding this practice. It can be somewhat intense at times, which is why it is not recommended for children younger than eight. On the flip side, it also paints a beautiful picture of the Light that shines in the darkness against such evil.
We had read a short biography about Amy Carmichael a year or so before watching the DVD, but have been prompted to begin a more in-depth biography because the video reignited our interest! Plus, I am so glad to know this DVD is one of a series called Torchlighters: Heroes of Faith. Other titles are available about such missionaries as Jim Elliot, William Tyndale, Gladys Alward and more - which we can't wait to view!
Besides the cartoon video, which can be viewed in English or Spanish, the DVD includes two other valuable resources. First, a 30-minute documentary detailing the life and work of Amy Carmichael is a wonderful resource for your older children. Second, the DVD doubles as a DVD-ROM which includes PDF files of lesson plans and student activities. (Yes, it's very worth the $12.99 price.)
The teacher's guide PDF includes four sessions of lesson plans appropriate to use in your homeschool, at church or in a co-op setting. Through discussions and engaging, hands-on activities, your children will better understand several of the issues introduced in the video such as idol worship and adoption. As you might suspect, the lessons make many Bible connections, too. A timeline of Amy's life, key character bios from the video, and additional reading and viewing suggestions are some of the additional resources found in the teacher's guide.
The PDF file of student worksheets is meant to go along with the teacher lessons. It includes full-color puzzle pages, short answer questions, and coloring pages. It's nice to be able to turn television viewing time into so much more!
Missionary stories are so inspiring. They serve to show us God's hand in tough circumstances, give us an example of lives lived faithfully, and show us needs in the Kingdom. Although reading a full biography offers more depth to a missionary's entire story, this DVD offers a nice touch of culture and customs that might be more difficult to imagine through reading. I highly recommend this series--not only for the video element, but for the documentary and printables as well!
Product Review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2012