A Homeschool Filled with Praise, Laughter, and Fun

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Amy Carmichael was serious about her work with children. She prayed for them. She taught them. She loved them. But Amy Carmichael didn’t take herself too seriously. She loved to have fun.

A favorite spot for the family at Dohnavur Fellowship, both when Amy was alive and still today, is their forest retreat. Scene 13 of He Is Near begins with a fun song and dance rendition of one of Amy’s songs, “I Saw a Monkey.” After the song, Amy and some of the older girls talk about how fun it is to go on their trips to the forest. Amy talks of her longing for them to have a forest house of their own, so they don’t have to rent one every time they come.

When the owner of the forest walks by, Amy learns that he is selling his property.

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Amy prays: “Dear Father, if you wish for us to buy this place, send us one hundred pounds. Lord, please give us some clear sign, something we could not possibly mistake. Assure us that this whole enchanting ravine, with its crystal clear water, is to be ours.”

Amy and the three older girls with her then sing another of her songs, “Flowers and Ferns,” which tells about flowers, ferns, trees, skies, singing birds, and butterflies all praising the Lord.

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Then, Amy has one of her wild ideas. She suggests that she and the three girls hide behind a tree. When the accal Sellamuthu and two older girls come looking for them, Amy and the girls growl like bears from behind the tree. Those who have come to find them are frightened, convinced a bear is in the forest and fearful that it will eat Amy and the girls.

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As Amy and the hidden girls continue to growl, Sellamuthu and the girls become even more frightened and run for help.

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The girls bring two porters to help them.

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Amy and the girls come out from behind the tree laughing.

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Soon the others figure out that Amy and the girls were pretending to be bears. Sellamuthu asks, “Oh, Amma. How could you?” And a porter asks, “Why did you do that?”

Amy replies, “Because, my dear sir, when you are growling like a bear, the problems of exchange rates and the state of the world and even the perils of rescuing temple children seem simply to vanish away.”

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One of the porters remembers that he has a letter for Amy. Inside she finds 100 pounds and it is even designated to pay for a forest house.

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The scene ends with Amy and others singing praises to the Lord.

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The children who lived at Dohnavur helped with the construction of the real forest retreat. Here our young actors disassemble the pagan shrine that was on the property.

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Amy got to have her forest house eventually, but she had quite a time getting workers who were willing to work and who would stick with the project. The play portrays these realities in a fun way. One of my favorite joys during this play experience was watching this group of boys who portrayed the carpenters. They loved being in the play, developed fun relationships among themselves, and became a great comic team.

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As you homeschool your children this year, I encourage you to pray for your children, teach your children diligently, and show them your love while you fill your home with praise, laughter, and fun.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.
The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests
be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7


This post is the sixth in a series about the play He Is Near, performed by the Homeschool Dramatic Society in mid-September. You can read the other posts in this series at these links: first, second, third, fourth, fifth.

He Is Near is based on Mimosa by Amy Carmichael, © 1924 by The Dohnavur Fellowship; Gold Cord by Amy Carmichael, © 1932 by The Dohnavur Fellowship; Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur by Frank L. Houghton, © 1953 by The Dohnavur Fellowship; and Mountain Breezes: The Collected Poems of Amy Carmichael, ©1999 by The Dohnavur Fellowship. Used by permission of CLC Publications. For more information about Amy Carmichael and The Dohnavur Fellowship, or to purchase her books, visit clcpublications.com.

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