WFW: What I’m Reading: Tramp For the Lord

March 16, 2010


I beg you with all my heart, fellow Christians, by the great mercy God has given us— present your life as a living sacrifice to God: holy, pleasing Him. It’s the least we could do in light of all the great things He has done for us. Romans 12:1

This book surprised me. I had absolutely no idea this book would affect me the way it has. I bought it for my daughter, and she loved it, too. But this book is in my Top Ten Favorite Books of all time. It’s that good.

It’s called Tramp For the Lord. It’s by Corrie ten Boom and Jamie Buckingham. In case you’ve never heard of Corrie ten Boom, she was a Dutch woman who, with her family in Haarlem, Amsterdam, helped and hid Jews from Hitler’s Nazis. Her website is here. Her family was discovered by the police, and sent off to concentration camps in Germany. This story is detailed in the book and movie, The Hiding Place. But Tramp For the Lord picks up the story where Corrie left off.

After Corrie was finally released from the Ravensbruck concentration camp, she was alone. Her family had died in the camps. She managed to get transportation from Germany back to Holland, but the Nazis has confiscated her old house and all her belongings, and it had been sold. She was totally homeless, alone, and sick after the brutal concentration camp treatment. A religious ministry took her in to feed her and clothe her (the atheist ministries were all closed, I guess — that’s sharp sarcasm there).

After Corrie was strong again, she devoted her life to traveling around the world to bring the message of Christ everywhere she could. This book tells the stories of her remarkable exploits. She traveled to America, to Africa, to Asia, to Australia– everywhere! And in the beginning, all she did was hop on a plane or a boat and wander around the city. She completely trusted God.

At the end of the week, after wandering around the city in a rather helpless daze, I went downstairs in the YWCA to pay my bill. The clerk looked at me sympathetically. “I am sorry, but our accommodations are so restricted that we cannot allow you to stay here any longer. One week is our limit. Do you have a forwarding address?”

“Yes, I just don’t know what it is yet.”

“I don’t understand,” she said, perplexed.

“God has another room for me,” I explained. “He just hasn’t told me what the address is. But I am not worried. He led me through Ravenbruck, He will surely lead me through America as well.”

Suddenly the clerk remembered. “By the way, a letter came for you.”

Strange, I thought, as she handed me the envelope. How could I receive a letter? No one knows where I am staying. But there it was. I read it hurriedly and then turned to the clerk. “My forwarding address will be this house on 190th Street.”

“But why didn’t you tell me that before?” she asked.

“I didn’t know. It was in this letter. A woman that I do not know writes, ‘I heard that you speak to the Jewish congregation. I am aware that it is almost impossible to get a room in New York City. My son happens to be in Europe, so you are welcome to use his room as long as you are in New York.’ ”

The lady at the desk was more amazed than I. However, I reasoned, perhaps she had not experienced miracles before.

The book is filled with such accounts. Moreover, Corrie describes the pains and tribulations she often had, too– sometimes the languages were a frustrating barrier; once a plane she was on had engine trouble and experienced an emergency landing; the selfish attitudes of Americans bothered her; and she later met a few people from her Ravensbruck past, including a cruel German guard who later asked for Corrie’s forgiveness. It’s a touching book. I recommend it.

Corrie ten Boom is known mostly for her hiding the Jews in war-torn Europe; but that’s not all her story. As a matter of fact, it’s a tiny part of her story. The real story of Corrie is how she lived her life after her great time of suffering. She lived on for almost 40 years after her release from Ravensbruck. Her life as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God is worth remembering, and imitating.

You can find Tramp For the Lord at

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One Response to “WFW: What I’m Reading: Tramp For the Lord”

  1. The Other Alice Says:

    It’s on my Top Ten List, too! 😀 Unfortunately, I have not gotten to posting a review yet. 🙁 I’m thinking one book review a month out to be good! There are so many awesome stories of a spectacular God working in everyday people’s lives. So amazing; God is SO good! 😀