Delivered From the Lions’ Den

July 16, 2019 10:04 am Published by Comments Off on Delivered From the Lions’ Den

God delivers his people from danger if they trust and cry out to him. The following story is about a Christian woman in Nazi Germany who was in danger of being sent to the notorious Nazi concentration camps but God supernaturally rescued her because she trusted in him. If God had not intervened on her behalf, things would have turned out very differently for her.

Helene was a devout Seventh-day Adventist in Nazi Germany during World War II. Her husband was in the army fighting in Russia. Helene had refused to join the Nazi Party on the grounds that what the party stood for was incompatible with what she believed. The Nazi Party retaliated against her and her husband’s monthly paychecks, her only means of support, stopped arriving at her door.

When the first paycheck failed to arrive, she waited for a few days thinking it might have been delayed in the mail. But no check came. That Sabbath, she mentioned her problems in the church and members took a collection which was enough to see her and her three children through until the end of that month. But no check came at the end of the month.

Desperate, Helene visited an old friend and told her about her problems. The old woman told Helene she had saved some money and she would lend it to her and she could repay her back when her paychecks arrived. They went to the bank and the old woman withdrew her entire life savings and gave it to Helene. The money was enough to take care of Helene and her family for the next six months.

Helene wrote letters to government and welfare agencies explaining her situation and begging to be given the withheld checks. There was no response. Finally, she wrote to her husband in Russia and explained what was happening.

Trouble with the Authorities
A few days later, she received a letter from her local Nazi Party office asking her to visit their office at her earliest convenience. She was overjoyed as she thought they were responding to her letters and she would get the withheld money. She quickly walked to the building the Nazis occupied. When she showed the letter to the receptionist, the receptionist gave her a strange, pitying look before she pointed at a door.

Helene walked into the office and saw a man sitting behind a desk stacked high with papers. He held up a piece of paper and asked Helene if she recognized it. It was the letter she had written and sent to her husband a few days earlier. Curiously, Helene asked how the letter meant for her husband had ended up with the man. He informed her that the government was at liberty to intercept and censor mail written and received by individuals under suspicion.

The man informed her that it was forbidden to write bad news to soldiers fighting at the war front. It was forbidden to tell them anything negative about what was going on back home because that would undermine their morale and keep them from giving their best to their country. The man told her what she had done was not only a subversive criminal act, but also treason which was punishable with death.

Helene stared at the man incredulously and tried to defend her actions. She told him that she had not received her husband’s paychecks for months and she had written to him to find out what was happening to his pay. The man coldly told her she had committed a crime and it had to be dealt with. He told her she would hear from them soon.

Helene trembled with fear as she walked home. She prayed and asked God for help and wisdom. Several weeks passed but Helena did not receive her husband’s paychecks. She continued with her campaign of telephoning and writing to local agencies about the missing paychecks but no one responded.

The Brown House
One day, Helene received a letter from the local Nazi Party headquarters. It summoned her to appear before Herr Springer, the head of the Nazi Party in central Germany, on the following Monday at 10:00 am. Helene sank onto a chair and read the letter again. Herr Springer had a reputation of being the most ruthless and cruel of the local Nazi Party officials.

People referred to the local Nazi Party headquarters as the Brown House because of its brown-stuccoed exterior. Everyone avoided its ominous presence. It was well-known that the Nazis committed unspeakable atrocities in that building. People were tortured in the Brown House and forced to confess their crimes. Many people who entered the building were never heard of again.

There were also rumors that there was a secret underground passage that led from the Brown House to the local Gestapo headquarters. Enemies of the state were taken there and then transported to the dreaded concentration camps.

Helene was in a dilemma as to what to do. She thought of taking her three children and going into hiding. But how would they survive in hiding without money? On the other hand, if she went to the Brown House and was arrested, what would become of her children?

Helene did not have an answer. She knelt and prayed that God would deliver her from all the dangers that faced her and her children. After she had prayed, she felt God’s peace come upon her. She also told her children that she would visit Brown House on the next Monday morning and they should pray about it.

That Sabbath before the church service begun, Helene pulled aside several church members and held consultations with them. They also prayed together and interceded for her and implored God to keep her safe.

On Monday morning, Helene bade good-bye to her children. She told them that if all went well, she would be back home by noon. She also reminded them that Brown House was a dangerous place and she may not return. She told them she had made arrangements with some families in the church to take care of them if she did not come back.

Helene made her way downtown and arrived at the Brown House a few minutes before 10:00 am. Glancing up at the menacing facade, she saw barred windows set in foot-thick stone walls. She also noticed that there was no doorknob in the steel door. The house looked more like a prison than a government building.

She pressed a small button and heard a bell ring. When a buzzer sounded, she pushed the door open and stepped inside. The door closed behind her with a soft click. She turned and saw there was no doorknob inside either. A uniformed man peered through a small window and asked what she wanted. She told him she had a 10:00 am appointment with Herr Springer. He told her his office was on third floor, number 11. The window shut with a bang.

Helene climbed the stairs in the ominous, dark house. She met no one but felt surrounded by angels. She knocked on the door and a voice told her to “Come in!” Once inside, she approached a dark walnut desk on top of which was a thick folder and a polished brass nameplate engraved with “Gauleiter Springer.”

The man behind the desk placed a thick folder in front of him. He told her there were documents in that folder which were very condemning. She had refused to join the Nazi Party or the League of Women. Her children had refused to attend school on Saturday. She had also written a subversive letter to her husband. She had also resisted the Nazi Party’s calls to cooperate. The man wondered whether she was a Jew.

Helene denied that she was a Jew. She told him that she was a Seventh-day Adventist and one of the Ten Commandments required God’s people to worship him on the seventh day and to keep it holy. That is why she kept the Sabbath.

The man picked the phone and asked his assistant to check if Helene was a member of the Seventh-­day Adventist Church. A few minutes later, the phone rang and the information was confirmed. The man told Helene that she had a lot of nerve to speak openly of keeping the Sabbath at that dangerous time and in that house.

After a long pause, the man said he was well acquainted with the Seventh-day Adventists. He asked her if she knew the Meiers. She knew them because Meier was an elder in her church. The man said the Meirs were his neighbors and when he moved to his apartment, they had invited him and his family for dinner. He told her the Meirs were good neighbors and he had a lot of respect for the Adventists. Helene was astonished because the Meiers had never mentioned that the cruel Nazi Party boss was their neighbor.

The man asked her why she had not received her husband’s paychecks. She told him about the continuing harassment by party members and their hatred for her because she would not join the party. She said she would never join the party and would continue to keep the Sabbath and be faithful to God no matter what the consequences would be.

The man stood up and told her not to worry about the money as he would make sure that she got it. Helene was stunned. Finally, she said, “Herr Springer, I don’t know how to thank you for your kindness. May God bless you!”

With a fathomless expression on his face, the man opened the door for her. He told her he was not Herr Springer. Herr Springer had woken up very ill that morning and was unable to go to work. The man said he was simply filling in for Herr Springer that day.

A few days later, Helene was notified to appear at the child welfare office to pick up a check. The check contained all her husband’s paychecks that had been withheld.

God supernaturally intervened and rescued Helene from being sent to a concentration camp. There is no doubt that if she had found Herr Springer in office that day, things would have turned quite differently for her. But God did not allow that to happen. He had the right person at the right place at the right time whom he used to perform the miracle that God had in store for Helene. Always remember to trust in the Lord and to pray and God will perform miracles for you as he did for Helene.

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