Seventy years after the end of World War II, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom’s record of courage and grace during the darkest days of European history, has been released in a Young Reader’s Edition for youth ages 9-12. Authors Elizabeth and John Sherrill actually travelled with Corrie back in the 1960’s and have beautifully captured her story and her legacy of faith for another generation.
The Hiding Place begins in a world characterized by the peaceful coziness of a family’s life — surrounded by friends and neighbors, punctuated with quirky relatives and loving memories from childhood, and lived to the cadence of ticking watches from Father ten Boom’s repair ship. The idyllic scene was shattered when Hitler’s Germany invaded Holland in the early days of World War II. The resulting hardship and deprivation revealed the foundation of this family’s peaceful life to be an unshakeable faith in the living God. Because they lived in the knowledge that their times were in His hands, they boldly put themselves at risk for the safety of others, particularly the Jewish citizens of Holland who were threatened under Hitler’s regime.
Elizabeth and John Sherrill’s version of The Hiding Place loses none of the suspense of Corrie’s original, and most helpfully examines complex issues for young readers:
- War against evil brings issues of moral ambiguity to the heart of one who follows God. Is Corrie right in lying to the Nazi’s about her family’s radio, or is her older sister right in believing that God will work things out if she just tells the truth?
- The far-reaching effects of a political theory that reduces the value of life will spill beyond the group of people targeted, and all of life will become cheaper.
- The power of God is not limited by evil. In fact, at times it seems that He allows evil to flourish in order that the truth may shine more brightly.
- God does not always answer our prayers in the way that we expect. When Corrie offered herself for His people in any way, any place, any time, she could never have imagined that His plan for her included four months of solitary confinement and desolate years in Nazi prison camps.
Corrie and her sister Betsie continued to fight the darkness even during their imprisonment, smuggling a Bible into their filthy, flea-infested barracks and opening the Words of light to hundreds of women who gathered around them every evening for prayers. Experiencing “tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril and sword” on a daily basis, they discovered the truth of Romans 8:37:
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
After her release, Corrie’s journey back to her quiet watchmaking shop soon led to a ministry of healing and rehabilitation for those damaged by the war. Ultimately, she travelled to 161 countries, fighting the darkness of hatred and fear with the light of forgiveness.
The last generation to experience World War II is nearly gone, and those of us who heard the stories of those who survived and knew their brave hearts have a duty to pass on the lessons from the past. Elizabeth and John Sherrill have given us a valuable tool in accomplishing this with our children.
This book was provided by Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.
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