You have probably heard about the book, The Hiding Place*, which tells about the life of Corrie ten Boom. She was the brave Dutch woman whose family helped Jewish people during World War II. Corrie was sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp for this. Ravensbruck was a brutal concentration camp for women located about 60 miles north of Berlin. Opened in 1939, it grew in just 5 short years to house 80,000 women from about 20 countries. It is estimated that 132,000 women and children were held at Ravensbruck and 96,000 women and children died there. Corrie survived. The Hiding Place is worth reading about this incredible woman and how in the darkest of places she never lost her faith in Jesus.
Not only did Corrie survive Ravensbruck, she went back to Germany to minister to the German people and traveled the world to talk about God’s presence and forgiving others. For the next 3 decades Corrie ten Boom traveled to over 60 countries and gave her message to the world.
I read Tramp for the Lord about 10 years ago. I recently re-read it and I viewed it in a whole different light this time. This book contains 35 stories of Corrie’s travels. Each just a few pages long. I remember the book was really good. This time I can’t put it out of my thoughts.
In church today the pastor told us about some of the persecution of Christians going on around the world. Tonight I am starting a 6 week class called “I am N”* to learn more about persecuted Christians in the world today. And it made me think of one of the stories in the book, Tramp for the Lord.
Corrie was in a small African country where a new government had taken over. The new government was oppressing Christians. One night some Christians were rounded up and taken to prison. During the night they were secretly executed. The next night more Christians were rounded up and executed. The next night the same thing. Corrie was asked to speak in a small church on Sunday morning. She could see the fear and worry on everyone’s faces. Would they be next?
Corrie told them about a time in Ravensbruck concentration camp where she read from her forbidden Bible in front of a female guard. And how they sang praises to God in front of the guard. Then Corrie told the guard about the Lord Jesus Christ. Any of those were offenses to be put to death.
“I knew that every word I said could mean death. Yet. Never before had I felt such peace and joy in my heart as while I was giving the Bible message in the presence of mine enemy. God gave me the grace and power I needed.”
The African people in front of her who had only minutes before been terrified for their lives, now smiled, their eyes full of joy and their hearts full of peace. They sang praises to the Lord.
Corrie found out later half of those who had attended that service had been executed. They had received a martyr’s crown.
“A silent holocaust of Christian martyrs is taking place around the world. While individual instances of murder and mayhem are sometimes reported, the general pattern of violence is ignored by the media, the United Nations, and most national governments. The perpetrators belong primarily to one of two groups: fundamentalist Islamists or Communist-controlled governments.”
International News Analysis - Today January 13, 2010
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. Hebrews 13:3 NASB
Or as Watchman Nee (martyr for Christ) said, “When my feet were whipped my hands suffered pain.”
Christians, we are the body of Christ.
Remember, pray for, and help those who are suffering for Christ.
You care about a black-maned lion being shot. You care about a gorilla being shot.
Care about our brothers and sisters in Christ. They need our prayers. They need our voices.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-24 NASB
As my pastor said today, “If I don’t feel the weight, I’m not carrying my cross.”
I went up front at church to pray over a map showing us the countries where Christians are being persecuted. I witnessed a woman just sobbing as she held her hand over one of the countries. She felt the weight of her cross.
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