Corrie ten Boom

by Matthew from Lovenjoel

Deciding upon a person to call “my hero” proved a difficult task for me. Out of the billions of humans ever to inhabit this planet, the first came to mind was Corrie Ten Boom. As a child growing up in a largely Dutch, Christian community, I learned of Ten Boom at an early age. The daughter of a Dutch clockmaker, Ten Boom took it upon herself to develop an underground network for Jews when Nazi Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940. Unfortunately, Germans stormed her house and discovered her network. The Jews under her protection miraculously remained hidden and escaped, but soldiers dragged Corrie and her family off to a German concentration camp.

Ten Boom went through much suffering under Nazi captivity. However, she kept hope through the trials, largely due to her sister, Betsie, even after her death. Corrie and Betsie held a well-known conversation while in that camp, where Corrie’s sister quotes 1 Thessalonians 5:18—which says that we must “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” Together they bow their heads and thank God for the lice that infest their bedding. Not only would this take great faith, but also turned out to be justified, as the German guards refused to enter the room where Corrie and her sister held worship services due to those same lice. Still after Betsie died of illness in captivity, Corrie kept that hope with her and continued to witness to the women who shared her suffering. Even after God released her from that camp through an administrative “error,” Corrie returned to Germany after the war and witnessed to Jews and Germans alike. And as if in a final bout of defiance, she utilized a former concentration camp as her ministry center.

Corrie Ten Boom stands out in my mind for a reason. Through trials and perils, suffering at the hands of Nazism, narrow escapes from spies, she remained strong in her faith in Christ. She looked to God and was always thankful to what He had given her. Not only that, but she also returned to her oppressors after the war to show them Christ’s love — even after authorities threatened to arrest and execute her. Corrie Ten Boom died on her 91st birthday, April 15, 1983. Ironically, in Jewish tradition, only the most holy people are blessed with the honor of dying on their birthday. Up until the day she died, Corrie remained a hero. She put her life in God’s hands; she trusted, thanked, prayed, ministered, loved, and forgave. She set the standard for us all.

Page created on 4/19/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/19/2011 12:00:00 AM

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