Having served in children and youth ministries for more than 50 years, summer camps and Bible schools are among my most favorite church activities.
Last week, we had our annual Vacation Bible School with the requisite games, crafts and snacks. But this year our boys and girls (and adults) learned the true story of a woman of faith and strength, Corrie ten Boom.
Cornelia Arnolda Johanna “Corrie” ten Boom was born into the family of a Dutch watchmaker on April 15, 1892. She grew up with three siblings, Nollie, Willem and Betsie. The ten Booms were a family of abiding faith in God and love for all mankind.
During the Nazi occupation and holocaust, the ten Boom family helped in the escape of many Jews and even constructed a “secret room” in their home as a safe-haven for Jews. They were “ratted out” and the Gestapo invaded their home, arrested Corrie, Betsie and their aged father. Casper died ten days after his arrest; Corrie and Betsie were incarcerated and eventually sent to the infamous Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germany.
The Germans were cruel; the weather unfit for the poor dress of the inmates; the food was insufficient for the work the women were called to do; and many died.
Corrie and Betsie conducted Bible studies in their overcrowded “dorm” and talked of the days to come when they were released and could build their own place to house the survivors of the holocaust. On Dec. 16, 1944, Betsie died, but prior to her “homegoing” she reminded Corrie that “There is no pit so deep that He (God) is not deeper still.”
Fifteen days later, Corrie was released from Ravensbruck and returned to Holland.
She was able to build the rehab center she and Betsie “dreamed” about, a beautiful and large center in Bloemendal and she cared for many handicapped individuals (the Nazis “eugenics” in killing the handicapped as well as Jews, Gypsies, Africans and other “undesirables”) and holocaust/concentration camp survivors.
The Queen of Holland knighted Corrie; Israel named her Righteous Among the Nations; the ten Boom home in Haarlem is a museum and Kings College in NYC has a women’s house named for her.
But Corrie would be the first to tell you that in her own heart she deserves none of the tributes; she would give all glory to God. And her life is dotted with “coincidences”, actually miracles of God as He directed her path.
When the Gestapo arrested the ten Booms, they did not discover the hidden room and the Jews hidden there were later taken to safety. By another miracle, Corrie was able to get her small Bible into the concentration camp, a very strong no-no to the Nazis. And the building she and Betsie would be placed in was infested with fleas! (Fleas!? A miracle? Yes, because the soldiers would not come into that building and the ladies were able to hold prayer meetings and Bible studies almost at will!) And perhaps the greatest miracle: Corrie’s release from Ravensbruck was an accident, a clerical error. Fifteen days after her release, all the women of her age in the camp were executed!
For years Corrie traversed the globe sharing her story (one of her books is titled Tramp For the Lord), actually God’s story in and through her. And at two different times, she was faced by two of the soldier guards from Ravensbruck, one who had been particularly cruel to Betsie. These men shared that they had, following the war, become Christians and asked the Lord for forgiveness for their grievous sins; they asked Corrie and again, in a miracle of God’s love and grace, she was able to minister her forgiveness to!
Of one of these occasions Corrie said, “Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? ‘Lord Jesus,’ I prayed, ‘forgive me and help me to forgive him; Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness.’ And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”
Corrie died on her birthday, July 15, 1983, at age 91. She was a remarkable woman with a remarkable story. Books and movies have been made of her life and if you haven’t read or seen them, be sure to find The Hiding Place in print and video and also, newer, Return to the Hiding Place, among other resources.
We are living in an era when I can foresee persecution getting greater and greater for the church of God world-wide and especially in the United States. Christians are marginalized, not allowed to worship freely in many places and ways; Christian teaching and the Bible are labeled “hate speech” and I can see, perhaps not in my lifetime, but in the next generation, those who follow Christ may have to suffer and die for their faith here “at home”. As this happens, let me share, in closing, some of the many thoughts of Corrie ten Boom that may strengthen us in our own “pits”.
“You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”
“If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy.”
“Don’t bother to give God instructions; just report for duty.”
“God takes our sins, the past, present, and future, and dumps them in the sea and puts up a sign that says NO FISHING ALLOWED.”
“Hold everything in your hands lightly; otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”
“Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you moving but doesn’t get you anywhere.”
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
“The measure of life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”
“In darkness, God’s truth shines most clear.”
Holy Lamb Lutheran Church will host a BBQ Fundraiser for Help4Kids Aug. 24. A lot of volunteer help is needed.
What can I do, you ask? You can pull pork, set up tents and tables, work in the kitchen, serve, clean up and take down. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Ministry Conference
Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Greater Pee Dee will hold its annual Children’s Ministry Conference Sept. 7 at Calvary Christian School.
This conference is a great training event and refresher for all who work in any children’s ministry: Good News Club, Sunday school, Children’s Church, etc. For more information go online to www.cefgpd.org.
Ground Zero News
Ground Zero of Myrtle Beach has the following three events upcoming. On Sept. 21 from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. you can participate in the National Day of Youth Ministry Training. This is a program for all members of the church youth ministry team. Eight different sessions will be held.
Then on Oct. 13, don’t miss iWorship with Sean McDowell. And on Nov. 16 hear the Newsboys in concert. Go to www.mygroundzero.com.
CEF Softball Tournament Rescheduled
Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Greater Pee Dee will host its first Slow-Pitch Softball Tournament to benefit Good News Clubs.
The tournament has been rescheduled and now will be held Oct. 19 at 8 Oaks Park in Georgetown. This is a co-ed tournament, teams of 10-15 players, age 15 and over. Cost is $15 per player.
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ Salem United Methodist Church, 2376 S.C. 90, will have its annual golf tournament at Myrtle Beach National-South Creek Saturday; register at 8:30 a.m. This is a Captain’s Choice Format; cost is $60 per person, $240 per team. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Epworth Children’s Home.
There will be lunch provided and door prizes. Phone (843) 251-8409 or e-mail to email@example.com.
n Quinton Mills will be in concert at Pleasant Union Baptist Church, 2940 Minnick Road in Aynor, Sunday at 6 p.m. All are invited. Phone (843) 358-6588.
■ Bethlehem Baptist Church, 5201 S.C. 905, invites all ladies to “More Than a Teacup”, 2019 Women’s Retreat. Guest speaker will be Renee Kinlaw and worship time will be presented by “Living By Faith, Saved By Grace”.
This special event will be held Sept. 7. Session 1 begins at 8:30 a.m. with brunch served at 10 a.m. Session 2 begins at 11:30 a.m. Cost is $15 per person (before Aug. 26; $20 after this date). Make checks payable to Bethlehem Baptist Women of Faith. Contact Lynn Edge at (843) 251-3263 or Nichole Gore at (843) 254-1545.
n Johnson Edition, an upstate South Carolina sibling group, will be in concert Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. at Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris. These young people blend a traditional and progressive sound for all ages and give the message the Jesus truly loves everyone. Phone (843) 756-3450.
■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.
■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.
■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ Sonshine Recovery Ministries presents the Second Annual Concert of Hope at the Pavilion Site on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. This is a fundraising event to bring hope through Christ to the addict who still suffers. The weekend includes gospel music, testimonies, advocates for the person with substance abuse disorder, and opportunities to hear about recovery through Jesus Christ. There will be recovery coaches, counselors and clergy present throughout the weekend.
This event will be held Saturday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Phone Timothy Carter at (843) 429-1778 or Lissa Davis at (843) 446-8451.
■ The Raleigh Ringers, an internationally-acclaimed handbell ensemble will be in concert at First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach, 3810 Robert Grissom Parkway, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at the door or by calling (843) 448-4496. You may also go online to www.myrtlebeachpresbyterian church.org.
■ St. Philip Lutheran Preschool, located at 6200 N. Kings Hwy., is now accepting new students for the 2019-2020 school year. There are openings for 2, 3, and 4-year-olds.
The first day for the new school year will be Sept. 4. Before and Aftercare is available upon request (fees apply). Call preschool director Janice Myers at (843) 449-4322 or visit the Preschool page on the church website at stphiliplutheranchurchmb.com.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church Preschool Academy is now accepting applications for your child. This small, personal and Christian-based setting is run within a structured program including nurturing learning opportunities with a loving staff that cares for your child.
Cost is $75 per week/per child. Call the church office at (843) 236-1121. The church address is 1226 Burcale Road.
■ Have you ever secretly wished you could try your hand at acting in a small part or have you actually acted before? The Well By The Sea on Forestbrook Road is launching a new Creative Expressions Department.
The Well has a script in hand and is seeking community members from age 5-85 who would like to be considered for a volunteer part in the drama. Speaking parts and non-speaking parts are available. And there is a need for various volunteer stage crewmembers. No experience is necessary! If interested, email Deborah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ Knitting Hearts Ministry will present Ted Bowen and Jeremy Deas in a program titled Knowing the Voice of God. This will be held Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Email email@example.com.
■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).
Sunday and Hebrew School Registration, Orientation and Pizza Party will be held Sept. 8 at 9:30 a.m. (Students must be accompanied by a parent.) Tuition is $180 per child. Principal is Perri Sullivan.
Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting school supplies to help both the Community Kitchen and Helping Hand. Place in the basket by the front door of the Rosen Center. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated. Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.
Order High Holiday Challahs and Honeycakes at (336) 402-1014.
Camp Judaea: Israel, Judaism, Nature, Community, Individual growth. For boys and girls age 7-15. Register for next summer by calling1-404-634-7883.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.