Tuesday it was back to work for all of us. They also made a trip to the grocery store and we began our adventures in cooking in a hotel room.
I mentioned earlier, we didn’t have a kitchen, the only real cooking equipment we had was a hot water warmer. Instead of a coffee pot like we might have, they have a machine which boils water, then you add instant coffee (very common in Europe) or tea. So, we could boil water.
I will give you an idea of some of the things we made. It doesn’t take long going out to eat before you are glad to figure out a way to save some money. The first night they bought rotisserie chickens to eat. The second day we used the left-over chicken mixed with tomatoes, black olives and couscous. We also had tacos with beans and cheese. Of course lunches aren’t so hard, but we sure had a lot of bagettes these two weeks in Lille. The fresh bread is delicious.
Wednesday they kids did more school work. They are reading Robin Hood. After school work time they went to the belfry in town. It was the largest TV tower in Europe when it was built. From the top you can see all the way to Belgium. They had a nice tour and enjoyed the day.
The visit to the house was very interesting and spiritual for me. I probably can’t really describe it, because it was a personal experience, and much of the time the tour guide was speaking I had tears in my eyes. The tour guide had a couple challenges for us, one “what would we do?” if faced with similar choices, or as hard choices find you in the days ahead. I don’t know, but I sure wish I could be as brave as Corrie and her family. A couple things really struck me from the visit. One is that Corrie has always been a hero of mine, but Corrie considered her sister Betsy as her hero. Betsy had two visions right before she died in the concentration camp, one about Corries release date, and the other about the ministry that Corrie would have traveling the world telling people about the power of forgiveness. Corrie also tells how Betsy was the one who could always look on the bright side of things (in the blessing even in the curses). Betsy told Corrie to “thank God for the fleas” in the concentration camp. The barracks they stayed in had fleas; they would end up with bites always on their bodies. The blessing was that the guard knew that barracks had fleas and would therefore stay away, which allowed them to have a Bible hidden and to conduct prayer meetings so they could have hope even in the horrible conditions.
Another thing that struck me was the hand of God through the life of a family. The guide told of how Corrie’s Grandparents held regular prayer meetings for peace in Jerusalem and for the Jews. This was during the Ottoman occupation of Jerusalem. It was interesting that years later, this family was used again in relation to the Jews, the family surely had a heart for those people. I wonder how the thread continues.
In a separate post with pictures, you can see the kids in the little room. They have broken out the wall now so you can see inside. The people, who hid, had to crawl into the room using the bookshelf which had a false door. During the raid in which Corrie, Betsy and their father were arrested, the people in the house crawled inside. They had to stay there, in that little space, with no water, and no light for 2 days. Finally, they were rescued by some police who were part of the underground. The people who hid inside were never captured.
I hope I have courage like Corrie and her family, and I also hope that I can use this to remember what is really hardship in life, and what really matters.