Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Corrie's House

 I could hardly sleep last night because I was so eager to take the train to Haarlem and visit Corrie Ten Boom's house.
 It was less than fifteen minutes on the train!
Don't you love all the beautiful wood features of the Haarlem station?

I have read about Corrie for so many years.  I could hardly believe we were standing before her childhood home.  We arrived about an hour early.  Smile.

It looks so small!
If you have read the books, you know about the Grote Markt, Corrie's neighborhood square.
Her street.
The family's place of worship
There are all kinds of avenues off of the main square.  Cozy, right?

Corrie stepped here.

The watch shop is open and you can buy a Ten Boom watch.
When this sign was in the window, it was safe for Jews to come in to hide.  
I watched this sparkly pigeon while we waited.
Finally, Betty came to let us in.  She was a wonderful guide and we were the only ones on the tour due to a group cancellation.  
Winding stairs!  Steep!  The house was built in (brace yourself!) 1450.

The interior of the house seemed bigger than I thought it would be.  The sitting room was so cozy.  Betty told us the story.  She knows Jesus, we could tell.  She passionately told us about the family's heart for the Jews and their LOVE for Jesus, our Savior!
And then she took us into Corrie's bedroom where the six Jews hid for two and a half days after the family was taken to the police station.
This is the small space where they crawled through to get into the tiny hiding place.  Betty thought it was important that I try it.  I think they were much thinner than Pom Pom.
There was a bucket for a lavatory and it filled up quickly.  There was NO room to lie down.  

Here is the secret spot where the family hid the extra ration books they needed to feed all their Jewish guests.
I didn't know about the roof, but high on top of the skinny house is where the Ten Booms had their garden.  They also brought their Jewish friends up here and because they entertained so much as a matter of course, nobody suspected that they were committing illegal activity.

Sorry I didn't dress up for you.  I've been a very casual tourist.  
I had to take one last photo of Corrie's room.

Initially, people who were part of the resistance hid Jews in their attics and basements, but that became unsafe because the Nazi's knew to look there.
Betty told us that because "we all like to have a hot meal in the evening" the ten Boom's used the cans the food came in to create a make shift stove.
This is what the ration cards looked like. Corrie was imprisoned for ration card fraud.

Corrie loved to stitch and often used this to illustrate how we tend to look at our winding path of life and see all the tangles and knots, but God is working and this is how our lives will look when God is finished with us.

Corrie stitched this lovely Holland needlepoint piece.  

This is Casper ten Boom's Bible.  

The house is really two houses hooked together by the winding staircases.  This is the downstairs "garden".
I can't put into words how meaningful it was for me to walk through this house of love.  I wish I could have heard the long ago voices reading from the Bible each morning and evening.  Many people gathered in this tiny home.  Here, many people heard about the incredible God who made us and bought us.  If you haven't had an opportunity to read The Hiding Place, you may want to.  
We had lunch and boarded the train again.  Tomorrow we'll head home!

I thoroughly LOVED the Netherlands.  I would like to come back again someday.  Can you see the new fangled wind mill?


M.K. said...

THANK YOU, so so much, Pom, for showing us these photos of Corrie's house. I read the book many times as a young person. I heard Corrie speak once in my home town at a city auditorium. She was wonderful! That was many years ago; she was old and I was young. B/c I adore houses and how they're laid out, I studied all she said about the secrets of her home, and visualized how it looked. And I think my book copy had old photos of the parlor -- but you showed me NEW photos! And pictures of the bedroom and the hiding place! I'm thrilled and happy that you had a special tour, all alone, and that they let you take pictures. So many museums won't allow that. Safe travels, friend! Just think -- while you are looking at Corrie's home, your sweet daddy is chatting with her and her family :)

Betty the Wood Fairy said...

A moving place to visit, I'm glad you shared it - it's good to be reminded of the extremes of human nature I think! What a shame you are going home, I secretly hoped you might say 'and next stop, the uk'! so near and yet so far. Betty x

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I haven't read The Hiding Place since high school, but of course now I want to read it again. Thank you for sharing all those pictures. What an inspiring visit!


TexWisGirl said...

bless that woman and her legacy.

Farm Girl said...

Oh I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved seeing those photos. I have read Corrie's books so many times and now I will know what it looked like when I read it again. I think I would say that at the foundation of my faith is the Ten Boom family. As a new believer it was the first book I read. Corrie came to our town when I was a teenager and I went to hear her speak. I saw that crown stitchery when she said that poem that goes with it. I was thrilled to see it again.
You have really shared so much on this trip and I loved every minute. Have a safe journey home. Thank you

Lisa Richards said...

I, too, read her book many years ago as a young, new Christian in the '70's. She had quite an impact on my life! Thanks for sharing your tour through some really great photos! I like your idea to be a casual tourist. The last picture of the countryside was so green and pretty. I'm sure the new fangled windmills are very efficient...but not nearly as charming as the old ones? ;)

Nancy McCarroll said...

So very glad you got a tour of the Hiding Place. What a remarkable woman.

GretchenJoanna said...

What a whirlwind tour you are having! Thank you for posting so many photos. You have braved the exertions of traveling and have not wimped out; I would have given up before beginning. You will need a good rest when you get home!

Susan B said...

Thank you so much for sharing all your photos of Corrie's house. They were wonderful! I haven't read The Hiding Place for many years, but would like to read it again. And thank you for sharing about the ten Boom family. I hope you have a very safe trip home. Thank you also for sharing your journey! :)

Larry Clifford said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post and pictures!!! I just happened onto your blog and couldn't believe what I was seeing. Probably won't ever make it to the Netherlands, but you gave a wonderful glimpse into the Ten Boom home that those who have read The Hiding Place would only hope to see someday. This made my day....may God richly bless you!!!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Pom pom, loved seeing You too :) fantastic pictures and insight,lovely ,xxxx

Angela said...

Wonderful post PomPom- thankyou for these pictures xx

wayside wanderer said...

That was just fabulous, PomPom. I can't believe a house that old is still standing. They don't build 'em like that anymore. The china teacups are beautiful! I love all the details you captured. Thank you so much for taking us along with you. :) Safe travels!

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

That really stirred my heart..thanks so much for sharing. What an awesome blessing to see. WOW!

Maggie said...

What a wonderful post that has left me feeling emotional and slightly tearful. Thank you for sharing your journey. xx

Tassell, Tea pot, and life down under said...

Good to see you enjoying your holiday PomPom. I never heard of The Hiding Place, now I'm interested to read it. Guess what? I will be visiting the Netherlands soon, hopefully Haarlem will be on our list of places to visit(God willing). And how sweet of you and hubby to share your photos.

God bless

Catherine said...

Oh how precious that you got a little private tour..1) to breath it all in & 2) that there aren't other people's heads (& other bits) in the way of your memorable photos!
Very much a pause & breath & warm your heart kinda post friend. I love the pic of you two. Now I must scoot off & email the link to this wonderful post to my dear friend Ruth..she will LOVE it. Many thanks & many hugs GK x0x0x

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Karen, thank you for this post; it's fabulous. I never realized there was no room, other than to stand, in the hiding place. Loved all the photos and so glad you and B. had such a wonderful time...I'd love to visit there one day.