God Reports
7/15/13 at 05:42 AM 0 Comments

Corrie ten Boom’s ‘chocolate sermon' sweetened hearers to the Gospel

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By Mark Ellis

Corrie ten Boom and her family were Dutch Christians who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. Her bestselling book, “The Hiding Place,” describes the affliction they suffered and the power of forgiveness to heal wounds from the past.

Even though ten Boom lost her father and two siblings in the Nazi death camps, she often quoted sister Betsie, who died in the Ravensbruck camp: “There is no pit so deep that He (God) is not deeper still.”

After the war ten Boom visited a prison camp at Darmstadt, which housed some of the former Nazi female guards from Ravensbruck, where she had been imprisoned. Now the tables were turned. Ten Boom had her freedom, but these former guards were now the ones behind bars.

“I had come here to show these people the way to real freedom,” she noted in another of her books, “Amazing Love,” published by the Christian Literature Crusade. “I had come to speak of the love of God that surpasses all understanding – to tell about Jesus Christ, Who came into the world to make people happy under all circumstances.”

She made the visit knowing it would not be easy to reach the hearts of these women, who were hardened by war. “Their faces were glum,” she observed at first. “It seemed as if I was addressing a stone wall.”

Ten Boom prayed silently that the love of God would fill her and shine through her. But all she could see on the surface was aversion to her message, along with embittered hearts.

The women had Bibles with them, and seemed to be familiar with them, because they were able to quickly find the verses ten Boom cited. But after speaking twice to the women without any visible response, she went to the prison’s superintendent for advice.

“Can you tell me why I get no response at all?” she asked. The superindendent laughed and said, “The women have said to me, ‘This Dutch woman speaks in such a simple way. We Germans are more highly cultivated, and so much more profound in our theology.’

“I’m afraid you won’t get along well together,” she said. “But why don’t you try once more.”

Ten Boom went back to her room and dropped to her knees in prayer. “Lord, won’t you please give me a message. I am not cultured enough, and not profound enough theologically for these ‘National Socialist’ women.”

Then the still small voice of the Lord spoke to her heart, with one simple word conveyed: chocolate. At first the word seemed completely senseless. What kind of message is this? But suddenly a light went on in her mind. She had with her a box of chocolates, something unavailable anywhere in post-war Germany, to say nothing of the prison.


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