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Elisabeth ten Boom was born on 19 August 1885. The daughter of Casper ten Boom, she is one of the leading characters in The Hiding Place, a book written by her sister Corrie ten Boom about the family′s experiences during World War II. Nicknamed Betsie, she suffered from pernicious anemia from her birth.
Betsie was educated in the local primary and secondary school until the age of 15. She remained at home to work with her father in his watch shop, where she served as the bookkeeper. She also cooked for their family. Her younger sister Corrie later took over the bookkeeping role when Betsie caught influenza. Betsie then began housekeeping and continued to do so until her Nazi detention.
The ten Boom family belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church and believed strongly in the equality of all people before God. Betsie’s brother Willem ten Boom was a minister, and the ten Boom sisters (Betsie, Nollie, and Corrie) had been active in charitable work before the war. During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the family began to hide numerous Jews and resisters in their home and built a secret room to protect them.
In 1944, the ten Boom family and other people at the house, about 30 in all, were arrested for their resistance activities and taken to Scheveningen prison. The six Jews in hiding at the house were not discovered and survived, with the help of other Resistance workers. Casper ten Boom became ill and died ten days later at the prison. Willem, Nollie, and a nephew were released.
In June 1944, Betsie and her sister Corrie were sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp. Her strong faith in God kept her from depression throughout her life and especially within the camps. Corrie told of how Betsie reached out to help others and helped Corrie to see the best in everything, no matter what the circumstances.
Before her death, Betsie claimed she experienced three visions from God about what she and Corrie were to do after their release. Her first vision was of a house for former prisoners. The second was to own a concentration camp where they could teach Germans to learn to love again. The third was that they would be released before the New Year. All three of these visions came true. Betsie ten Boom died in Ravensbruck on 16 December 1944, at the age of 59. Her sister Corrie was released due to a clerical error and went on to set up the projects that she had seen in her visions, including traveling the world to speak about her faith.
*Information retrieved from Wikipedia.
ALSO ON THIS DAY
1785 – John Marrant arrived at the port city of Shelburne, Nova Scotia. He pastored at neighboring Birchtown, apparently the first-ever African-American ordained (in Selina Hastings’s Methodist Connexion) with authority to baptize, conduct marriages, and administer Communion. He perceived himself as a prophet.
1835 – Fire destroyed much of Arthur and Lewis Tappan’s business on New York City’s Pearl Street. The evangelical brothers also lost business because of their strong opposition to slavery and came close to financial ruin. However, they tightened their belts, salvaged their fortunes, and repaid all of their debts with interest in eighteen months.
1897 – African-American delegates gathered in the Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, DC, to organize the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, later known as Lott Carey Baptist Home and Foreign Mission Convention.
2011 – Chinese authorities announce that Christian lawyer Gao Zhisheng, whose whereabouts have been unknown for years, is sentenced to three additional years in prison for “violation of probation.” Gao, often tortured in the cruelest manner, had pleaded for greater justice in the application of Chinese law.
*Information retrieved from Christianhistoryinstitute.org.