For a number of years many of my friends have said to me, "You ought to write out an account of your life, and let it be known how God has led you out into His work."
Some time before that wonderful man of God, John S. Inskip, passed away, he said, "Amanda, you ought to write," and he kindly offered to assist me in getting the items together.
Many other friends in America, have said the same, and I have replied, "I could not do it, for I don't know how to go about it," and so would not entertain the thought.
Time passed on, and after I was in England a while, the friends there began to say the same thing, and as an inducement to commence, told me that it might be done much cheaper there than in America.
As I was constantly on the go, and had no time to think about it, and certainly none to write, things remained thus until after my return from Africa. Then friends in different places again urged me to do this, and being broken down in health, and so unable to labor as much as formerly, I began to think of it more seriously and prayed much over it, asking the Lord, if it was His will, to make it clear and settle me in it, and give me something from His Word that I may have as an anchor.
Asking thus for light and guidance, I opened my Bible while in prayer, and my eye lighted on these words: "Now, therefore, perform the doing of it, and as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have." (2nd Cor. viii: 11.)
I said, "Lord, I thank Thee, for this is Thy Word to me, for what I have asked of Thee. Praised be Thy name."
And from that moment, my heart was settled to do it. But as the time has gone, and so much has seemed to come in to hinder, and several persons who had kindly offered to assist me, were called away in one direction or another, and I was so wearied and the task looked so big, my heart began to fail me, and I thought I could not do it.
Again I went to the Lord in prayer, and told Him all about it, and asked Him what I should do, for His glory alone was all I sought. He whispered to my heart, clearly and plainly, these words, "Fear thou not, I will help thee." (Isa. xli: 13.) Again I praised Him; so now I go forward with full faith and trust that He will fulfill His own promise.
My friends who know me best, will make allowances for all defects in this autobiographical sketch; and I believe strangers also will be charitable, when they know that my opportunities for an education have been very limited indeed.
Three months of schooling was all I ever had. That was at a school for whites; though a few colored children were permitted to attend. To this school my brother and I walked five and a half miles each day, in going and returning, and the attention we received while there was only such as the teacher could give after the requirements of the more favored pupils had been met.
In view of the deficiency in my early education, and other disadvantages in this respect, under which I have labored, I crave the indulgence of all who may read this simple and unvarnished story of my life.
Amanda Smith .