|A Light in a Darkening World|
by Peter Tyrrell
With uncertainty I walked from the tour bus toward Yad Vashem. This extraordinary memorial in Jerusalem was built so the world would not forget the tragedy where six million Jews were killed throughout Europe because of their faith.
What should I expect to see? Do I really want to be reminded of the depths to which mankind can sink? I hadn’t seen Thomas Keneally\'s Schindler\'s List, or researched the plight of the Jews in war-torn Europe, so my knowledge was very basic. On the home front, almost every time I switch on the television I find the gratuitous violence and immoral behaviour constantly assaulting my senses. Visiting Yad Vashem, a memorial of man’s inhumanity to man, wasn’t my idea of a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
But while there I was re-introduced to a woman I’d read about many years ago, Corrie ten Boom. As a young woman in Haarlem, the Dutch town where she and her family lived, Corrie was able to rescue many Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazi SS. In 1968 Corrie ten Boom was honoured by the State of Israel for her work in aid of the Jewish people by being invited to plant a tree in the Avenue of the Righteous in Yad Vashem. The tree you see on this page was planted after the original perished within months of Corrie’s passing in 1983.
In a précised version of Corrie’s book “The Hiding Place” she wrote of life in the concentration camp Ravensbruck,
“This was the ‘hell on earth’ to which Corrie and Betsie (ten Boom) had come. …. When the prisoners arrived at Ravensbruck they had to give up everything they had with them. Corrie was determined to keep the Bible and the vitamin drops. Somehow she managed to smuggle them in without a guard seeing them. In the evenings, after a hard day\'s work and a miserable supper, Corrie and Betsie took out the little Dutch Bible. At first a small group gathered round to listen, then more and more women joined them. The guards never came in to stop them, because of the fleas. So Corrie and Betsie thanked God for the fleas! Under these terrible conditions, the goodness in the words of the Bible shone out brightly and their message of God\'s love brought comfort. With death all around, the promise of eternal life and the glory of heaven gave the women hope for the future.” 
Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie had a deep passion to ensure that God was not excluded from their quarters. How easy it would have been in that wretched place to look to the heavens and blame God for all they were suffering. Each of those women in the over-crowded chambers knew that they were facing a lonely and miserable end. But Corrie knew that the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be kept out of such places. In fact it is in these times that He triumphs. The future for Corrie was bleak, all around her was the smell of death and darkness, yet she raised her soul and spirit to praise God and show others His love.
Although on a totally different scale to Corrie I often shake my head in exasperation when I listen to the radio, read a newspaper, look for a movie to go to with my wife, or just switch on the television. The world in which we live today seems peppered with the profane and the irreligious. The very nature of our world has developed based on Judeo-Christian values handed down initially through the Old Testament and now through the New. But these same values are being openly challenged, watered down and removed from almost all quarters of society. Sometimes the world can seem so dark. You ask yourself, “Is there any hope for it?
Corrie ten Boom thought so.
“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.”
As I sat with my staff this morning to pray through your prayer requests I read Chuck’s devotional Day by Day (Week 27) titled ‘Depravity on Display’, focusing on Romans 1:18-32. Chuck says, 
“Paul’s expose of depravity in Romans 1:18-32 is a chilling account of human wickedness, a vivid pen-portrait of unleashed unrighteousness, unashamed godlessness, and unnatural lust.”
“Doesn’t Chuck sound as though he is reporting on the very environment in which Corri ten Boom found herself, and that the Apostle Paul wrote of in Romans?”
As a Christian husband, father and ministry leader I thank the Lord that He has raised up people like Chuck and provided the means by which His Word can be broadcast in this country. To have God’s Word freely available, to penetrate people’s most secret places, should be prized. I encourage you to pray for our radio stations and the means to maintain this light in a somewhat darkening world.
Peter Tyrrell is the executive director for Insight for Living Australia
1 Copyright ‘The Secret Room – The Story of Corrie ten Boom’ by David Wallington Chansitor Press, St Mary\'s Works, St Mary\'s Plain, Nowich, NR3 3BH, UK extract from http://www.soon.org.uk/true_stories/holocaust.htm
2 W Publishing group, Copyright 2000 Charles R. Swindoll