Sunday, May 26, 2013

Knowing Your Purpose, A Missionary Heart

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back saying, "you will lose your lives and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages".  To that Calvert replied, "We died before we came here."

Sometimes, I forget what I am about and it takes a little jolt of perspective to realign my thinking with God's Word.  I like this quote for it helps me regain my perspective as to what is important and what I should be doing with myself.

I also like to remind myself of the dedication of Caspar Ten Boom.  Corrie Ten Boom's father.  Part of his story is related below.  This version is from Wikipedia, but I originally read it in one of Corrie Ten Boom's books.

The ten Boom family were devout and generous Christians. According to The Hiding Place, in 1918 the family took in the first of many foster children that they would shelter over the years. Corrie ran special church services for disabled children for 20 years. The Dutch Reformed Church "protested Nazi persecution of Jews as an injustice to fellow human beings and an affront to divine authority."[3] The ten Boom family strongly believed that people were equal before God.
During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, ten Boom and his daughters became active in sheltering Jewish people who were trying to escape the Nazis at their home. In May 1942, a woman came to the house and asked for help. She said she was a Jew, that her husband had been arrested several months before, and her son had gone into hiding. As Occupation authorities had visited her, she was afraid to return home. She had heard that the family had helped other Jews, and asked if she could stay with them; to which Casper agreed. He believed that all people were equal before God and told her, "In this household, God's people are always welcome." When the Nazis began requiring all Jews to wear the Star of David, he voluntarily wore one also.[4] His son Willem, a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church, also worked in an non-denominational nursing home. During the occupation, he sheltered many Jews there to save them from the Nazis.[3]
Arrest and death [edit]

On 28 February 1944 the Gestapo raided his house and arrested ten Boom and his daughters, as well his son Willem and third daughter, and a nephew, who were visiting. The Gestapo arrested other supporters who visited the house during the day, taking a total of about 30 people to Scheveningen prison.[3]
When ten Boom was interrogated in prison, the Gestapo told him they would release him because of his age so that he could "die in his own bed". He replied: "If I go home today, tomorrow I will open my door to anyone who knocks for help".[4] When asked if he knew he could die for helping Jews, he replied, "It would be an honor to give my life for God's chosen people."[2] On 10 March Casper died at the Hague Municipal Hospital, at the age of 84, after ten days in Scheveningen prison.
His daughter Betsie died at Ravensbruck in December 1944. His son Willem contracted spinal tuberculosis (TB) while imprisoned for his resistance work. Although he was released, he died of TB shortly after the war. Ten Boom's nephew Christiaan, then 24, was sent to the Bergen Belsen concentration camp for his work in the underground, and died there during the war.[2]

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