“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11
Corrie Ten Boom was released from Nazi Death Camp Ravensbruck due to a “clerical error.” All women her age were killed soon after her release. Shortly before her sister Betsy died there, she and Corry led church services from inside Barracks 29. She or her sister would read from their one “secreted” Bible. Here is how she describes one of those typical evenings there surrounded by the unspeakable evil of everything that was going on around them:
“At first Betsie and I called these meetings with great timidity. But as night after night went by and no guard ever came near us, we grew bolder. So many now wanted to join us that we held a second service after evening roll call. . . (These) were services like no others, these times in Barracks 28. A single meeting night might include a recital of the Magnificat in Latin by a group of Roman Catholics, a whispered hymn by some Lutherans, and a sotto-voce chant by Easter Orthodox women. With each moment the crowd around us would swell, packing the nearby platforms, hanging over the edges, until the high structures groaned and swayed.”
“At last either Betsie or I would open the Bible. Because only the Hollanders could understand the Dutch text we would translate aloud in German. And then we would hear the life-giving words passed back along the aisles in French, Polish, Russian, Czech, and back into Dutch. They were little previews of heaven, these evenings beneath the light bulb” (Ten Boom 1971, p. 201)
Betsie’s last words to Corrie before she died there in that concentration camp were: “…(we) must tell them what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.” (Ten Boom, 1971, p. 217)
Corrie spent the rest of her life traveling around the world and speaking to people about all the things she had learned through her experiences. After every engagement people would gather around her and thank her for so greatly encouraging them in their faith. Every time she would give the glory to the Lord. She would go back to her room, get down in her knees, and present those compliments in thanks to God. She called it giving God a “bouquet of praise.”
I like that…….Corrie learned the secret of praise, and counting your blessings even when it seems there are none to count. She learned that if you start praising and thanking God, the blessings come……I am counting with Ann today and everyone else in the Gratitude Community, and remembering Corrie.
people who give even at the risk of their own life, people who have inspired me, encouraged me in my faith, some I have known, some I have not, people who have not only shared my burdens, but worn them, people that have stood behind me all my life so that I never had to go through anything alone, God who is faithful, who never asks me to do anything without His strength! 631-638