Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Corrie Ten Boom 1892-1983

Corrie ten Boom, a prayer warrior who risked her life to hide Jews from the Nazis during World War 1. Her life story is inspiring, especially of her faith in God and also of her prayer life. Here is her story extracted from a devotion.

Then Help Me. Lord

Her prayer was simple and desperate, “Lord Jesus, protect me!”. It was all she could gasp out as the Gestapo beat her. Demanding to know where her family had hidden the Jews. She kept her secret. That night, in jail, her father led the family in devotions from Psalm 91: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty”. The ten Booms had hidden Jews from Nazis, surely God Would shelter and hide them, too. However, in the months that followed, Mr.ten Boom died in prison, and Corrie and her sister Betsie were sent to the infamous concentration camp Ravensbruck. There, Betsie also died after months of intense suffering.

Corrie ten Boom grew up in a family that was amous for its hospitality. After Worl War 1, Germany was filled with thousands of deprived and malnourished people. Although the tem Booms lived in the Netherlands, Mr.ten Boom, as president of the International Watchmakers, arranged for many needy Germans to be taken into the homes of the members of his organisation. Four young children came to live with his family.

The ten Booms also reached out to their community. Corrie ten Boom started a youth club. Its first law was “Seek Your Strength Through Prayer”. She could not have known then how prophetic that law would be for her personally.

It was only natural that the ten Booms family would open their home to hide fugitive Jews during the beginnings of the Second World War. It was also only natural that Corrie ten Boom would find strength in prayer to endure the awful punishment the Nazis wreaked when they caught her and her family. The story of her struggles in Ravensbruck and the faithfulness and grace of God for such a time is a classic example of the power of prayer.

Years after the war, Corrie ten Boom spoke at a church in Germany, telling again of God’s amazing faithfulness in dark places and the need to forgive enemies. After the service, to her surprise and profound discomfort, she saw a former Ravensbruck guard walking her way with his face beaming and his nand extended. “Thank you for the message”, he said. “Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus has washed my sins away?” His hands was still extended as hers hung limply at her side. He was the one who had stood by leering as she, Betsie and other prisoners were forced to strip naked to enter the showers. Rage rose up inside, “I can’t do it, Lord. Don’t ask me for this; it’s too much”.

Then she remembered the message of forgiveness she had preached all over the world and in that place just moments before. She also remembered the many times the Lord had answered her simple, desperate prayers. “Then help me, Lord”. She prayed silently. She felt a power rush through her arm and a warmth enter her mind, as she extended her hand and shook his. Once more she cried out to Jesus to help her, and once more he had given her strength.

No comments: