I read Corrie Ten Boom’s life story The Hiding Place when I was a boy. I remember being moved by her family’s courage in sheltering Jews during the Nazi occupation, until they were betrayed and arrested in 1944. The family was separated and sent to prison camps. Her father died in prison, and her nephew and brother also lost their lives.
Corrie’s bedroom, where refugees were hidden.
In prison, Corrie was still able to write letters, which were full of faith, keen insight, and even humour. Both she and her sister Betsie ministered to their fellow prisoners.
Most touching was Corrie’s reliance on God in a nightmare winter, as she watched her sister slowly die in the Ravensbruck concentration camp, among nearly 100,000 women who perished there. Corrie clung to Christ as her only hope.
The horrors of Ravensbruck, especially Betsie’s death, caused me to wake up to reality. When I did, I was able to see that when all the securities of the world are falling away, then you realise, like never before, what it means to have your security in Jesus.
Corrie was providentially freed from prison, and went on to proclaim her testimony worldwide. She traveled to over sixty countries, speaking of God’s sovereignty and salvation. Beginning this ministry in her fifties, she died on her 91st birthday in 1983.
Six months after her release from prison, Corrie wrote another letter — to the person who had reported her family to the Germans.
What would we have written?
Today I heard that most probably you are the one who betrayed me. I went through 10 months of concentration camp. My father died after 9 days of imprisonment. My sister died in prison, too.
The harm you planned was turned into good for me by God. I came nearer to Him. A severe punishment is awaiting you. I have prayed for you, that the Lord may accept you if you will repent. Think that the Lord Jesus on the Cross also took your sins upon Himself. If you accept this and want to be His child, you are saved for Eternity.
I have forgiven you everything. God will also forgive you everything, if you ask Him. He loves you and He Himself sent His Son to earth to reconcile your sins, which meant to suffer the punishment for you and me. You, on your part have to give an answer to this. If He says: “Come unto Me, give Me your heart,” then your answer must be: “Yes, Lord, I come, make me Your child.” If it is difficult for you to pray, then ask if God will give you His Spirit, who works the faith in your heart.
Never doubt the Lord Jesus’ love. He is standing with His arms spread out to receive you.
I hope that the path which you will now take may work for your eternal salvation.
Corrie Ten Boom