The Corrie ten Boom Fellowship and its sister organization, The Corrie ten Boom Foundation of Holland, are also charged with carrying forth the vision of the ten Boom Family. Specifically, that vision is to care for and protect the Jewish people and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, which was a 100-year weekly tradition in the ten Boom household.
The ten Boom family were devoted Christians who dedicated their lives in service to their fellow men. Their home was always an “open house” for anyone in need. During the Second World War, the ten Boom home became a refuge, a hiding place, for fugitives and those hunted by the Nazis. Like the famed Oscar Schindler, the ten Booms were instrumental in saving nearly 800 Jews from the Nazi death camps, and were imprisoned themselves for their efforts. Life in the camp was almost unbearable, but Corrie and her sister, Betsie, spent their time sharing Jesus’ love with their fellow prisoners. Many women became Christians in that terrible place because of Corrie and Betsie’s witness to them. Four members of the ten Boom family gave their lives for the family’s commitment, but Corrie came home from the death camp. She realized her life was a gift from God, and she needed to share what she and Betsie had learned in Ravensbruck. At age 53, Corrie began a worldwide ministry that took her into more than 60 countries in the next 32 years.
The Jerusalem Prayer Team is a direct outreach of the Corrie ten Boom Fellowship. The ten Boom family started a weekly prayer meeting for the Jewish people in 1844, after a moving worship service in the Dutch Reformed Church of Rev. Witteveen. Willem ten Boom felt the need to pray for the Jewish people so he started the weekly prayer meeting where the family and others who stopped by specifically prayed for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). These meetings took place every week for one hundred years, until February 28, 1944, when Nazi soldiers came to the house to take them away for helping local Jews and hiding them in a secret room. On that day, the family was together for a Bible study and prayer meeting. Following the tradition of the ten Boom family, Jerusalem Prayer Team continues to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and encourages Christians to exercise their faith by helping the Jewish people – God’s ancient people.
During the Second World War, the ten Boom home became a refuge, a hiding place, for fugitives and those hunted by the Nazis. By protecting these people, Casper and his daughters, Corrie and Betsie, risked their lives. This non-violent resistance against the Nazi-oppressors was the ten Boom's way of living out their Christian faith. This faith led them to hide Jews, students who refused to cooperate with the Nazis, and members of the Dutch "underground" resistance movement.
Through these activities, the ten Boom family and their many friends saved the lives of an estimated 800 Jews and protected many Dutch underground workers.
On February 28, 1944, this family was betrayed and the Gestapo (the Nazi secret police) raided their home. The Gestapo set a trap and waited throughout the day, seizing everyone who came to the house. By evening, over 20 people had been taken into custody! Casper, Corrie, and Betsie were all arrested. Corrie's brother Willem, sister Nollie, and nephew Peter were at the house that day and were also taken to prison.
Because underground materials and extra ration cards were found in their home, the ten Boom family was imprisoned. Casper (84 years old) died after only 10 days in Scheveningen Prison. When Casper was asked if he knew he could die for helping Jews, he replied, "It would be an honor to give my life for God's ancient people". Corrie and Betsie spent 10 months in three different prisons, the last being the infamous Ravensbruck concentration camp located near Berlin, Germany. Life in the camp was almost unbearable, but Corrie and Betsie spent their time sharing Jesus' love with their fellow prisoners. Many women became Christians in that terrible place because of Corrie and Betsie's witness to them. Betsie (59) died in Ravensbruck, but Corrie survived. Corrie's nephew, Christiaan (24), had been sent to Bergen Belsen for his work in the underground. He did not return. Corrie's brother, Willem (60), was also a ring leader in the Dutch underground. While in prison for this "crime", he contracted spinal tuberculosis and died shortly after the war.
Corrie received many tributes. Following the war, Corrie was honored by the Queen of Holland as a War Hero. In 1968, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem asked Corrie to plant a tree in the Garden of Righteousness, in honor of the many Jewish lives her family saved. Corrie's tree stands there today. In the early 1970's, Corrie's book THE HIDING PLACE became a best seller, and World Wide Pictures (Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc.) released the major motion picture "The Hiding Place". Corrie went on to write many other inspiring books. There are five evangelical videos about Corrie.
Corrie was a woman faithful to God. She died on her 91st birthday, April 15, 1983. It is interesting that Corrie's passing occurred on her birthday. In the Jewish tradition, it is only very blessed people who are allowed the special privilege of dying on their birthday!
The Tradition Was Started by the Corrie ten Boom Family
The Prayer Meeting Continues
In the tradition of the ten Boom family, The Corrie ten Boom Fellowship continues to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and encourages Christians to exercise their faith by helping the Jewish people. Visit the Corrie ten Boom museum at www.tenboom.org
The Corrie ten Boom Fellowship is a non-profit 501c(3) organization governed by a board of directors. Its purpose is to encourage Americans to pray for and encourage Jews around the world, but more specifically in Israel. Like the ten Boom family, it's main goal is to encourage others to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. It gains no direction or funding from the State of Israel.