Netherlands: Old Friends and New in Haarlem

We have adopted several students from Ravencrest Bible College in Estes Park, Colorado.   We were blessed to be Mama and Papa Beaver to Jonah Markink two years ago.  Now he’s off to college, and we’ve had the blessing of being Mama and Papa Beaver to his younger brother, Jonah.  This week, we got to spend time with their real family from the Netherlands!  Their real mama, Jessica, their older brother Josiah, and Jonah’s girlfriend Stephanie joined us as we toured Haarlem. Sadly, Joshuah was still in the states and could not join us.

In Haarlem, we visited the home of Corrie Ten Boom and her family.  Corrie was instrumental in the resistance during World War II.  The Netherlands had tried to stay neutral in the war, but they soon found themselves being invaded by Nazi Germany.  One of the things that changed in their hometown of Haarlem was that Jews were targeted, first by having to register, then by having to wear yellow stars marking them as Jews, and next by losing their businesses.  Finally, the Ten Booms began helping Jews escape arrest by secretly connecting them with people to help them along their way, an Underground Railroad of sorts.  When they came upon Jews that others wouldn’t take because of health or other issues, they agreed to hide them in their own home.  Corrie’s father allowed an architect from the Resistance to build a hiding place for them behind a wall in Corrie’s bedroom.  It was lined with brick, plaster and wallpaper, and its only entrance was the bottom shelf of a bookcase nearby.  When the family was betrayed on February 28, 1944 by a secret informant asking for “help,” the gestapo came and arrested the family and others (30 total) who were attending a prayer meeting that day.  Corrie and her sister were sent to a concentration camp in Germany.  She survived the ordeal, and even led a Bible study there, but her sister did not survive.  As for the people she had in hiding, none were discovered. They hid for 47 hours in the tiny room pictured above and then were rescued by resistance workers.  Corrie received a message that said, “All the watches in your cabinet are safe.”  Praise the Lord for people who use God’s Word, and not the measure of the world, as their standard for the choices they make!

When we left Haarlem, we drove to the coast, dipped our toes in the North Sea, and hunted for sea shells.  We ended a wonderful day at the home of Eben and Heidi, friends of the Markinks.  We had a delicious meal of barbecued meats, watched the young’uns play in the pool, laughed, and told stories.  We also got to meet another friend, David, whose wife is now in the states finding a home for their family to live in while they open their business selling Bos, a delicious, naturally sweet, rooibos iced tea!  That’s right, folks, you heard it from us first:  Buy Bos from the Sprouts (and soon to be Whole Foods) store near you! We recommend it for its naturally sweet, caffeine-free flavor.  Delicious.

We finally ended a long, busy day by collapsing into bed in Eben and Heidi’s  luxurious Dutch home.

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