My Unforgettable Christmas
by Corrie ten Boom
t was Christmas, 1944. My sister, Betsie, had died. I was in a hospital barracks in Ravensbruck, the Nazi prison camp. Dark it was in my heart, and darkness was around me.
There were Christmas trees in the street between the barracks. Dead bodies of prisoners had been thrown under the Christmas trees.
I tried to talk to the people around me about Christmas, but they mocked and sneered. At last I kept quiet.
In the middle of the night I suddenly heard a child crying and calling, "Mommy! Come to Oelie. Oelie feels so alone." I went to her and
saw a child not so young, but feebleminded.
"Oelie, Mommy cannot come, but do you know who is willing to come to you? Jesus will come."
Oelie was lying on a bed next to the window, not far from my bed. Although emaciated from lack of food, she had a sweet face and beautiful eyes. A bandage of toilet paper covered an incision from surgery on her back.
That night I told this poor child about Jesus. How He came into the world as a little baby—how He came to save us from our sins.
"The Lord Jesus loves Oelie and has borne her punishment on the cross. Now Oelie may go to heaven. Jesus is there right now. He is get-
ting a little house ready for Oelie." Later I asked her what she remembered of what I had told her.
"What is the little house like?" I asked.
"It is very beautiful. There are no wicked people as in Ravensbruck— only good people and angels. And Oelie will see Jesus there."
The child added, "I will ask Jesus to make me brave when I have a pain. I will think of the pain that Jesus suffered to show Oelie the way to heaven." Oelie folded her hands; together we gave thanks.
Then I knew why I had to spend this Christmas in Ravensbruck.
Used by permission from Corrie's Christmas Memories,® 1976, by Corrie ten Boom. Published by Fleming H. Revell, Old Tappan, NJ.