Haarlem, Hema and Corie ten Boom

(This post is dedicated to my dad who read the story to me when I was a kid)

So it’s not everyday that you get to fulfill a childhood dream. When I was young my dad read me the book The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie hid Jews in her family home during WWII and was finally caught and sent to a concentration camp. She never lost her faith in Christ and spent the rest of her life after the war telling others to forgive your enemies. Her story is super inspiring and I suggest you find the book and read it. Or read it to your kids. They’ll benefit greatly.

So since Corrie Ten Boom is Dutch and since we are in Holland, I really wanted to go see her old family watch store in Haarlem and see the place where her family hid the Jews. So when Amanda’s folks were here, and since we had the car we decided to truck in on out to Haarlem. Check out our sweet rental car!

Surprisingly, we all fit!

Ok, so this isn’t actually our car. In fact the airport guys were out of cars even though we had booked one and they tried to rent us their shuttle bus. Seriously. Like that big white bus that you take people to and from the airport in. Bootin’ it down the highway in a shuttle bus. Luckily Jay went into smooth talk mode and got us a pretty sweet luxury van. We were impressed. Jay was hero for the day!

Haarlem was a beautiful little town, with a big square center. A real old world European place–Church in the middle and city moving out in rings from the church center. Good metaphor there. Amanda and I sure are enjoying our working honeymoon! Look at these two lovebirds.

Then we went to the local Hema for lunch. If you don’t know what a Hema is, it’s like..hmm…well…its kinda like a Target. But they also have a special Hema branded foodcourt. So if Target sold Target-dogs or Target-tuna melts or something like that. So we stopped for a Hema dog. They’re really good. I, however, was eating when the photo got taken. Sorry internet.

Then we got to the Corrie ten Boom house/museum. They’ve kept it as close to the 40’s as possible and they have a bunch of newspaper clippings and displays about war time Holland. The little dutch lady who gave the tour gave a good half hour retelling of the story and she made no apologies that this was a “Christian story. We talk about God, ya?” The gospel is told to each and every visitor. Pretty cool.

So then I finally got to go in the hiding place. Pretty eerie to actually stand there and think that 60 years ago people were there fearing for their life and were only saved through the love and sacrifice of one Godly and faithful family. Awesome stuff!

Corie Ten Boom

20 years ago, hearing that story read by my dad I never thought that I’d actually go there and be in that bedroom. Moral of the story: choose what you read to your kids wisely!


2 thoughts on “Haarlem, Hema and Corie ten Boom

  1. Dad and I enjoyed reading about your trip to Corrie ten Boom’s home. Terry had shown film clips of “modern-day saints” to your church school class when you were young (faith in action), which led to his reading the whole story to you at home. Good memories! I remember lots of others too … C.S.Lewis books, George MacDonald … reading aloud is a wonderful gift to share with someone you love. We still read aloud to each other from time to time.

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