My meeting with Corrie ten Boom
During my first visit back in 1975 to the Netherlands 15 years after coming to Australia. I had the great joy of meeting "Tante" Corrie ten Boom, a lady who's books I read and who's testimony greatly touched me as a young Christian.
Corrie's testimony and the interview she gave me at that time I will long remember.
The ten Boom family and others were prepared to put their own lives on the line in order to rescue Jewish people during the dark days of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. While in Jerusalem Israel I took a picture of the Tree remembering Corrie as a righteous Gentile. I have included a picture of her, taken during my interview, and the tree planted in memory of her in Jerusalem.
These pictures have now been included in my Photo gallery please have a look.
Corrie's books are well known and the film the "Hiding Place" has been seen by people all over the world. I had the great privilege to visit the actual hiding place in Haarlem Holland.
Corrie and her family were dedicated to serving others. Their home was a haven for anyone with a need. The spread of World War II into Holland did not deter the ten Boom family. Their home became a sanctuary for those Jewish families and resistance workers sought by the Gestapo. The ten Boom family (Casper and his daughters Corrie and Betsie) risked their lives daily to hide their Jewish neighbors and others who refused to aid the Nazis.
Often there were a half-dozen or more men, women and/or children packed into "The Hiding Place," a small room tucked away behind a false wall in Corrie's bedroom. On February 28, 1944, someone betrayed this courageous family, and the Gestapo invaded their small home. Systematically, they searched the house, but God made seeing eyes blind, and they missed the secret place hidden away in Corrie's room, as well as the six individuals crouched there.
Because underground materials were found in the home, the ten Boom family was arrested. Casper ten Boom, Corrie's 84-year-old father, died after ten days in captivity. Betsie died in Ravensbruck; nephew Christiaan perished at Bergen Belsen; brother Willem survived the concentration camps, but died shortly after his release.
Corrie spent a year in prison in ill-health and persecuted by her captors simply for loving the House of Israel. God blessed her for her faithfulness.
Corrie survived the death camp determined to share the reality of God's love. Armed with her realization that "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still" and "God will give us the love to forgive our enemies," Corrie began a ministry that would last 33 years and take her to sixty countries.
Dr. Billy Graham made the American public aware of the story of Corrie ten Boom and the sacrifices of her family to aid the Jewish people during the Second World War through her book and the movie, "The Hiding Place." The dedicated prayer life of her family is less well-known. Corrie's grandfather founded a prayer fellowship in 1849. It was dedicated to praying for the "peace of Jerusalem and the rebirth of the nation of Israel." The 100-year long prayer meeting at the ten Boom home ended when the family was arrested and imprisoned.
The 91st Psalm was Corrie's favourite, and she lived to be 91 years old.