Organizers hope show will bring Christians and Jews together

By Tova Fruchtman: CNJ staff writer

Corrie ten Boom had unfaltering faith.

Her father Casper died in a Nazi prison. Her sister Betsie died in the Ravensbruck Nazi work camp. And her nephew Christiaan never returned from the Burgen Belson Nazi camp. Her brother William, a leader in the Dutch underground, contracted spinal tuberculosis in prison and died shortly after World War II.

Unlike many who died at the hand of the Nazis, the ten
Booms were not Jews. They were imprisoned for hiding Jews and members of the underground movement at their home and watch shop in Holland.

Throughout all of her suffering, Corrie ten Boom remained a woman of strong Christian faith.

“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still,” ten Boom later wrote in a book. “God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies.” After leaving the camp, ten Boom spent much of the rest of her life preaching her story around the world.

Though ten Boom died in 1983, Susan Sandager of Albuquerque keeps her message alive through her one-woman performance of “Corrie Remembers” — a play that tells ten Boom’s story. She has taken the show around the United States and the world — including South Africa, Switzerland and Israel.

Sandager will present the show Monday at First United Methodist Church in Fort Sumner.

“She was probably the most beloved preacher of all time,” Sandager said. “Her messages really demonstrates how true Christians should relate to Jewish people.”

The show is done through Bridges for Peace, a Christian organization seeking to build positive relationships between Christians and Jews and educate the church about its Hebraic heritage.

“I’m very interested in the Jewish Christian relation and the dynamics between the two,” she said. “Christianity was born out of Judaism, but there’s a 2,000-year tradition of anti-Semitism.”

Melva Denison brought “Corrie Remembers” to First United Methodist Church as part of Ladies Night Out, but invites men also to attend the event. Denison spent two years in
Jerusalem working for Bridges for Peace.

She said so far the performance has sparked quite a bit of interest.

“There is so much controversy as to why the U.S. is helping Israel. There is so much anti-Semitism today,” Denison said. “I think we need to understand why this is happening and what’s going on.”

Sandager believes the show is appealing to people of any religion.

“The world is always crying for people who have the moral courage to do the right thing,” she said. This family did the right thing.”

Denison hopes the audience will come away with “a compassion and an understanding of the Jews today.”

“Our Savior himself was a Jew and I think we need to understand the Jewish heritage and tradition to understand Christ more,” Denison said.