Last week I was blessed to meet and hear from a Holocaust survivor. It was on this very day, April 19, 1943, 75 years ago that Simon Gronowski, 11 years old escaped certain death.
Traveling in a boxcar to Auschwitz Concentration Camp three Belgium resistance fighters stopped the train providing an opportunity for Simon to be lowered to a stand by his mother. He turned for her but she did not follow and told him to run into the forest. He pleaded for her to come with him but Nazi soldiers are running towards him so he does as he is told and runs into the protective cover of the dense shrubs and trees. He never saw his mother again.
After a day and night wandering round and now covered in mud he finds a town and a family to take him in who then sends him back to Brussels. There in his home town various families hid him and for 18 months he only goes outside 3 times to leave one home to go to another perceived to be more safe. He survives the war, grows up, marries but for 70 years he suppressed talking about his life.
Then in 2013 a man who had a crush on his older sister in high school found him through social media. They met and he told Simon that his parents actually housed many Jews and saved many lives and that he needed to share his story with others. So now at 86 years old he tells the story to help others understand the times and to encourage and spread peace and hope and forgiveness. He has been all over the world North America, Asia, Europe, even Germany.
During his talk he quoted the Talmud saying: “He who saves a single life is considered by scripture to have saved the entire world.”
This amazing story and the quote made me think of Jesus who is THE single life GIVEN to take away the sins of the world. He alone indeed saves all those who will accept him.
Today there is still plenty of darkness out there, and today I am compelled to do more to share the gospel with those who are perishing. Jesus is the solution to our broken world. We have the answer in Jesus and both the privilege and responsibility to introduce others to him. Amen? Yes Amen!