One evening in 1931, at age 64, Amy went to assess progress on a new building. In the dim light she fell into a pit breaking her leg and damaging her spine. This ended her period of active service. For the next twenty years Amy rarely left her room.
A gifted poet and writer, Amy had already published several books. During her confined years, 1931 to 1951, she completed thirteen entire books and several poems which were set to music. In addition, she wrote hundreds of letters - to workers, to the children and to supporters back in England. One letter to workers read, "O how I love you all . . . I think of you separately, and dwell upon each one in thought and love and thanksgiving."
A plaque outside Amy's room read, "The Room of Peace." She referred to her confinement as a time of peace, joy and song. "Although confined in one room, and often attacked by pain, Amy still possessed an interest in and a vision for the whole world outside. She welcomed the challenge of new ideas which literature brought to her." (Kathleen White, Amy Carmichael)
Her room became the nerve center of the work at Dohnavur. Friends, missionaries and children visited Amy for inspiration and wisdom.
About her confinement, Amy wrote, "The greatest difficulty is to readjust, to see others daily worn down by the Warfare of the Service, and to be oneself sheltered from all the hardest things . . . . "
Amy's greatest tool was a pen, one she kept using when the other tools in her bag fell silent. From 1895 to 1950 she published thirty-five books, all popular with readers and supporters in England. She never returned to England, not even for a visit. She died in her adopted homeland on January 18, 1951.
While young and healthy Amy wrote in her journal that she never wanted to become a burden to anyone. "Take me straight home. Do not make me ill," she prayed. No one could have foretold what a blessing she'd be during her years of illness.
Books by Amy Carmichael.