Corrie Ten Boom was truly a hero of the faith, during a time that saw the world going mad under the twisted cross of the Nazi SS. Corrie and her family were that shining example of sacrifice and love, a love that God places in the hearts of His people.
Corrie was born in Holland on April 15, 1892 in the Haarlem district. She was the youngest child of Caspar and Cornelia Ten Boom. She had a brother Willem and two sisters Nollie and Betsie. She worked in her father’s watchmakers shop, started by their grandfather. Corrie and her family were members of the Dutch Reform Church.
The Germans invaded Holland on May 10, 1940. As the Nazis started to round up the Jews the Ten Boom family started helping and hiding as many as possible.
To Adolf Hitler the Jewish people were something to be hated and to be exterminated. But to the Ten Boom family they were people that God loved and gave his Son for! Her family knew that with commitment comes sacrifice.
Corrie gives us a beautiful example of hearts filled with God’s graces. Corrie told a story of a Pastor who was visiting their home. She asked him if he would help hide a Jewish mother and child, to which he replied “No, definitely not. We could lose our lives for that Jewish child.” Unseen by either of them, Corrie’s Father appeared in the doorway. “Give the child to me, Corrie,” he said. Her father held the baby close, his white beard brushing it’s cheek, and looked into the little face with eyes as blue and innocent as the baby’s. “You say we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family.” (Ten Boom P. 99)
On February 28, 1944 Corrie and her family were arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Two weeks after capture, Corrie’s father was dead. Betsie also died in the camp, and Willem died shortly after the war, from complications received in the concentration camp.
Corrie was a woman of grace, love, compassion and forgiveness. One of her quotes gives us an insight into a heart that walks by faith and not by sight. “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
Luke 6:27-28 tells us, ” But I tell you who hear me : love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, pray for thosewho mistreat you.”
Over her lifetime she wrote many fine books, The hiding places is probably the best known. Corrie and her family were truly Heroes of the Faith. Corrie died in Orange, California on April 15, 1983. It was her 91st birthday!