the work included children in other kinds of need.
The most powerful witness to the quality of the service Amma rendered is to be seen in the Indian men and women who were reared there and who have remained to lay down their lives for others. Pungaja, for example, lives in the compound called Loving Place, where some of the mentally handicapped are cared for.
“I have no professional training,” she told me. “The Holy Spirit gives me new wisdom each day to deal with them. Some are like wild animals, but the Lord Himself is my helper. I can’t see on one side, but even in my weakness He has helped me. First Corinthians says that God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty, that no flesh should glory in his presence.
“One day I went to Amma with a burdened heart, but when she hugged me all my sorrow went.
“What work are you doing?’ Amma asked me. I told her.
“‘Do you find it difficult?’ I said yes.
“‘These are soldiership years,’ she said.
“Now it is my joy to serve these very difficult people.”
She spoke quietly, looking out into the courtyard where some of them went back and forth. She had lost an eye as a child, and her face revealed suffering, but I saw the joy she spoke of written there, the joy of a laid-down life. I saw it in very many faces in Dohnavur. They do not mention that there are no diversions, no place to go, no time off (except two weeks per year—I asked about that). They do their work for Him who came not to be ministered unto.
We came away smitten, thinking of Amma’s own words from her little book If, “…then I know nothing of Calvary love.” The meaning of the living sacrifice, the corn of wheat, the crucified life, had been shown to us in the twentieth century flesh and blood.