Thursday, July 23, 2009

Drills & Raid at the Beje

Chapter 7 in the Beje, Corrie tells us how the system of "God's underground" works and how they are involved. She introduces us with little stories of how they come about each of their "permanent" guests and those that come and go. I enjoyed reading about all the different personalities that came and went. I loved how no matter what people said, the Ten Booms never cowered or grew silent but fought back and stood up for what they believed. Corrie tells us how they would practice their drills to be sure everyone could hide properly in the secret room.

Looking at the wall to where the Secret room was in Corrie's room - (Picture Source)

In chapter 8 we read how different people are caught and released or some caught for good. They continue to practice the drills especially with Corrie as they learn more and more people around them know about their secret. Corrie starts to find out she has some sources in high places and if they know about what's going on in the Beje than how easy would it be for others too. Corrie reminds us that the hardest part of all this back and forth with secrets and jobs in the underground was the never knowing. More often than not they didn't know what happened to people. And they didn't who knew about their secrets or what the future held for them and those they were helping. Most importantly Corrie reminds us though of what they did know. Ultimately God was with them and would take care of them. Corrie tells us how she slowly adds to a prison bag for her to take with her in the event the gestapo does come to get her, which sadly isn't far off from this point.

In chapter 9 Corrie is sick and the raid they have been dreading comes. Luckily all 6 people make it into the hiding place unnoticed and undetected by the gestapo. Corrie leaves her prison bag behind because it is in front of where the door leads to the secret room and she doesn't want to draw attention to it. They take the family down for questioning as they search the house. They find the stash behind the cabinets, the phone and catch someone who comes to the door. But we give thanks to God that they didn't find the hiding place in all their searching.

A picture taken from inside the hiding place showing how small it was and what those six people had to be in for so long. (Picture Source)

As I read through Corrie's retelling of what happens during the raid I find it ironic that one of the men searching says, "If there's a secret room here, the devil himself built it." I'm sure the Ten Booms were sending silent thanks up to Heaven as well as quietly laughing to themselves, that no really my friend....God built the room. I hate reading about them being beaten for information. I can't imagine what I would do in a situation like that. Can you for a second imagine the strength and resolve of these women? And Betsie? How after she comes back from being beat she says, "I feel so sorry for him." speaking of the solider who just abused her. I pray I have the faith and heart like these women one day. At the police station they still have their prayers and her father recites verses from memory. How fitting it was that at this time God gave him the words to remember to speak, "Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word... Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe..." I can't imagine what this experience must have been like for those who did not know that Jesus is our ultimate hiding place much more so than the secret room. I'm sure the ten booms touched many lives everywhere they went. As the ninth chapter closes out and the Ten Booms, friends and family are taken away on a bus. Corrie remembers her vision of riding away out of Harlaam and is saddened about the truth from the dream unfolding before her.

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