ACW

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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Jesus is Victor by Mandy Baker Johnson

Corrie ten Boom is one of my heroes. Or should I say heroine? Her life is an inspiration to all. During a long debilitating illness a few years ago, I re-read The Hiding Place, the story of Tante Corrie and her family hiding Jews and others being hunted by the Nazis. The outcome was arrest and imprisonment; her octogenarian father died alone in prison while Tante Corrie and her sister Betsie were eventually sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp.

The horrible illness I suffered (cerebellar ataxia and ME/chronic fatigue) was nowhere near as terrible as being in a concentration camp. Yet to read Corrie's words: 'There is no pit so deep but God's love is deeper still' were timely during one of the darkest times of my life and gave me much-needed strength to keep going. To keep trusting that God's light could never be extinguished by the darkness I was enduring.

I love Tante Corrie for teaching me life lessons through her books, of assuring me that God is my Daddy-God who always wants the very best for me, even when nothing seems to be going right.

So it was a joy when Adi and I were recently on holiday in Holland to take a train to Haarlem, Tante Corrie's home town, and visit the Beje (the family home, now a museum). What a fascinating building! She described it so well in her book - and it's totally my kind of house with nooks and crannies all over the place, two stairs up here, three stairs down there.

The 'hiding place' is tiny. In the book, it describes a mattress being put in there. It must have been from a toddler's bed because it was far too narrow to take an adult-sized single mattress. How six people squeezed in there for two and a half days without food or water is beyond me. Thank God it wasn't for any longer and that they all escaped safely.

To see the plaque inscribed Jesus is Victor (in Dutch, not English, of course!) in the dining room
was special. That knowledge sustained Tante Corrie through months in solitary confinement and then through all the torment and suffering of the concentration camp. Trusting that Jesus is indeed the Victor sustained me too during my long period of illness. It's good to know that our times are in His hands, that nothing takes Him by surprise, and that there is nothing He has not or cannot overcome.



Mandy Baker Johnson is a self-employed medical secretary who enjoys blogging and is working on an autobiographical book about deliverance from darkness and being healed from cerebellar ataxia and ME/chronic fatigue. She is developing a heart for the poor and enjoys meeting people at her church's food bank and also volunteering with a Christian charity working with women in the sex industry.
Connect with her on Twitter.




8 comments:

  1. This is a very interesting and moving post. I read "The Hiding Place" several years ago and it is one of the books where I find aspects of it return to me again and again at unexpected times, during the course of my life. In particular, Corrie's attitude to the events she experienced - particularly when she held bible studies whilst imprisoned in Ravensbruck, and was able to do so unhindered, because the infestation of fleas discouraged the guards from entering... and so she thanked God for the fleas! There are many other elements of Corrie's story which I believe have deep relevance to us in our lives, even without having ever experienced the horrors of the Nazi holocaust. I've visited Anne Frank's house, but not Corrie's, and I imagine it would have a profound effect upon visitors.

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    1. It was really fascinating Sheila, and especially because (judging from a pendant necklace) our guide was a Messianic Jew. I kept looking at her and thinking how the wicked Nazi regime would have wanted her killed without a second thought. Something else we learned that I hadn't realised before was that Hitler and his closest henchmen were all heavily into the occult. Not surprising really, considering the evil things they did.

      Seeing the house made it all so real. And I couldn't believe how tiny the hiding place actually was. It was just about the width of a person's body, maybe very slightly wider. Must have been awful stuck there wondering what would happen and if they would ever get out alive. But praise God they all did.

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  2. Eleanor Watkins7 July 2015 at 15:40

    We visited the house some years ago, and I too was amazed at the tiny size of the hiding place, and also of Corrie's bedroom and the little square of flat roof where the hidden ones sometimes went out for a breath of air. The embroidered golden crown on a dark blue ground was so meaningful, hanging with the underside outwards to show the mass of tangled threads.

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    1. Yes, the embroidered crown is a beautiful illustration, isn't it.

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  3. I remember reading 'The Hiding Place'. So moving. I recall her saying that her father told her not to worry about the future because you don't get the strength you need for the future before the future! Something like that - I think she used the train metaphor. You don't get the ticket to get on the train before you need the train. That always stayed with me.

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    1. That's right Fran. Wonder how many lives Corrie has touched over the years? Some achievement for a little watch repairer in a small town in Holland!

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  4. A powerful post. I loved that book and also read it at a difficult time in my life. She is an inspirational woman. As are you. Thank you :)

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement Deborah x

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