The story of Willem and Elizabeth ten Boom and their descendants is a remarkable, century-long tale of Christian prayer and action, one filled with unselfish and self-sacrificing love for the Jewish people and the Jewish homeland.
Willem, a Dutch master watch and clockmaker, and his wife Elizabeth opened their own clock shop in 1837 and lived with their family in the small apartment above the shop just outside Amsterdam.
In 1844, the ten Booms opened their humble home every week to lead a group of Christians in prayer for the Holy City of Jerusalem, its inhabitants, and the Jews scattered around the world.
Their son Casper and his young wife Cornelia continued the tradition, joined by their children, Betsie, Corrie, Nollie, and Willem. They were true advocates of Christian Zionism.
During World War II, the ten Booms lived out their Christian faith by making their home a refuge – a hiding place – for Jews and members of the Dutch underground who were being hunted by the Nazis. Through this, the ten Boom family and their many friends saved the lives of an estimated 800 Jews and protected many Dutch underground workers.
The last weekly Jerusalem prayer meeting took place one hundred years to the day when Casper’s father and mother had started them. Unfortunately, this long tradition ended tragically on February 28, 1944, with Corrie surviving to tell their story.
In those 100 years of faithful weekly gatherings, the ten Booms led 5,200 intercessory prayer meetings on behalf of the city of Jerusalem and the people of the Promise.