Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place and Its Message of God

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Corrie ten Boom was a selfless servant of God and an inspiration to many. She always answered God’s call to serve and helped anyone in sight no matter the cost. Through her faith in him, she is always able to do what is right in the eyes of God. From the time Corrie ten Boom was born in Holland in 1892 she loved helping everyone around her (Brown 1). Her parents were the same way and raised their four children in an uplifting, Christian home where they welcomed all those in need (Brown 1). This influenced Corrie to serve the mentally disabled, those in foster care, and create clubs for Christian girls, all on top of working in her father’s shop that repaired watches (Brown 1).

Growing up in a Christian home, Corrie knew God her entire life. However, it was not until World War II that her servitude and faithfulness to God was truly tested. The Nazi’s easily took over Holland and started searching for Jews to take to concentration camps (Holt 51). Corrie ten Boom and the rest of her family could not just stand by and watch this happen, so they became a part of the underground escape system to help Jews find freedom in Allied countries (Holt 51). Corrie’s father’s watch shop acted as a front for this process. They also created a secret room in their house covered with a disguised door to house the refugees (Brown 1). They practiced quickly getting the Jews into the hideaway in the case of the Nazi’s coming and even had silent alarms because Corie and her family knew that they would receive the same consequences as the jews if they were discovered (Holt 51).

This went on successfully for four years and, in that time, they saved hundreds of Jews and helped them flee to a safer place (Holt 51). On the night of February 28, 1944, this came to a halt when another Dutch turned them in and the Nazis arrested the ten Boom family (Holt 51). The Jews stayed in their hiding place and even after being slapped several times by a German officer, Corrie would not expose where they were (Brown 2). Their family was separated into different prison camps. Corrie’s father, who was eighty-four, died after only a month in Scheveningen. She was put into solitary confinement for three months and was then moved to a popular death camp for women, Ravensbruck, where she met with her sister (Brown 2). Betsie, her sister, became very ill at Ravensbruck, however, she was still forced to work in harsh conditions. Even through this, Corrie and her sister still trusted God and even invited the other girls to pray with them (Brown 2). They were able to find God’s love and spread it to others that had lost hope. Betsie talked about how when she got out she wanted to start a refuge for people that had been affected by the war (Holt 51). She was not able to fulfill this wish, though, because, after a long time-fighting illness, she passed away. Corrie was determined to carry out Betsie’s plan and was able to when she was accidentally released from Ravensbruck due to a typing error (Brown 2).

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Corrie ten Boom knew that she was not supposed to get released and that it was truly a miracle. After she got out of Ravensbruck, all of the women her age were killed (Brown 2). She looked at this as a sign from God and decided she needed to put this extra life she had been given to good use. Corrie ten Boom then went on to spend those thirty-eight years fully devoted to spreading the news of God (Holt 51). She first fulfilled the wish of her sister and provided refuge in Germany to those who were affected by the war no matter if they were a Jew or German. She preached to large groups of people and, “advocated reconciliation as a means for overcoming the psychological scars left by the Nazi occupation” (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). She explained how God gave her hope during the imprisonment and through his help she was later able to forgive the Nazis (Holt 51). After one of her speeches, a man came up and talked to her because he was interested that she mentioned Ravensbruck (Brown 2). He went on to explain that he had become a Christian after the war and that he knew God had forgiven him for being a guard there but he wanted her forgiveness also (Brown 2). He reached out his hand and Corrie was overwhelmed because although he did not remember her, she knew exactly who he was, a man who hurt her sister (Brown 2). She struggled to forgive him but she said a prayer to God and as she reached out her hand, he grabbed it and she felt the power of Jesus, leading her to forgive him (Brown 2).

Corrie ten Boom influenced society on how to forgive. After she visited a classroom, a teacher wrote, “If forgiveness can be felt or seen, we experienced it as she gently told us of the love that God gave her for her Nazi captors, even the one who had tortured her sister” (Holt 1). Corrie not only spoke about forgiveness, but she was also one of the best examples of it and how to achieve it. She did not forgive alone either, she did it through the power of God.

One of the captivating characteristics of Corrie ten Boom is her bravery. She and her family housed Jews knowing that they would be punished and could be killed if they were caught. Corrie also never doubted God, and the situation that would cause many to weaken their faith, did nothing but help her strengthen her faith in him. Even with the struggles of being housed in different work camps and prisons, she took the opportunity to evangelize to those that were going through hard times. Although captivating, Corrie ten Boom’s bravery is not even her most astounding characteristic, but it is her ability to forgive that is truly inspirational. She was able to forgive the Nazis after seeing the cruel acts not only done to others, but herself, and her sister through the strength of God.

I did not know anything about Corrie ten Boom when I first considered her for this project. When I looked her up I admired how she was brave enough to offer her house up to those being hunted by the Nazis. As I did the project, I fell in love with her ability to forgive. She offers up her struggles to God and he helps her forgive the unforgivable.

Corrie ten Boom's upbringing had a lasting impact on her servitude of the Lord. She knew no different and loved helping others. She surrounded herself with it no matter where she was, whether at home or in a concentration camp and always implemented God into her works. In her times of struggle, she prayed to him for answers and strength and it enabled her to always serve him justly.

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