Living and Giving

Can You Forgive? Love Like This? She Did.

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\”God does not have problems — only plans.\”  Corrie ten Boom

She was a watchmaker in the 1920s in the Netherlands.

She was never married.

She became a foster parent, taking care of many children in her home.

And her life of giving did not stop there.

There were even greater plans

16 years later the Nazis invaded. And people heard of her charitableness. They ran to her home, and her father, Casper ten Boom said:  \”In this household, God\’s people are always welcome.\”[2]  They were Christian. They honored God\’s Jewish people, and provided them with Kosher food where they could.

Corrie was connected. Through all her charitable work, she has served a disabled girl, and her father now ran the food rationing card agency. She went to ask for ration cards, just a few; but she asked for –and got —


Think big.

Help big.


But the Nazi\’s invaded their home. The ten Booms were prepared. They had a special carved out space where people could hide in between the walls. Can you imagine how scary that must have been? People invading your home, and you must be one award winning actress to stand there with firmness and love and trust, and lie to save lives. Their lives, your life.Your whole family was at risk. And so hundreds, thousands were saved through \”de schuilplaats\”, or hiding places in Dutch. But the ten Booms were betrayed and they were arrested and sent to a concentration camp.

All the people in her home, save one, survived.

Corrie was released and served again. She set up a rehabilitation center for concentration camp victims and the Dutch who had nothing, but were forced to serve the Germans. And then she had a chance to do the greatest act she would ever face.

She had to forgive. She met a \”…Ravensbrück camp guard who had been known as one of the cruelest. Reluctant to forgive him, she prayed that she would be able to. For a long moment we grasped each other\’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God\’s love so intensely as I did then.\”


 Dear Readers

Can you forgive

Can you love like this?

Cornelia \”Corrie\” ten Boom (Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 15 April 1892 – Placentia, California, United States, 15 April 1983) was a DutchChristian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II and was imprisoned for it. Her most famous book, The Hiding Place, describes the ordeal. Corrie became the first licensed female watchmaker in the Netherlands. Corrie and Betsie never married, and until their arrest they lived their entire lives in their childhood home in Haarlem. Corrie also ran a church for mentally-disabled people, raised foster children in her home, and did other charitable works.

After the war, Ten Boom returned to The Netherlands to set up a rehabilitation center. She returned to Germany in 1946, and traveled the world as a public speaker, appearing in over 60 countries. She wrote many books during this time. Corrie ten Boom\’s teaching focused on the Christian Gospel, with emphasis on forgiveness. She often quoted a favorite saying of her sister: \”There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still.\”