Putting Kids in Coffins...the True Story

Irena Sendler was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1910.  
Her father was a doctor and taught her to always help those in need.  Her father died when Irene was only 7-years-old.  Like her father, she grew up to enter the medical field and became a nurse.  She knew it was one of the best ways she could help people. 

During Irena's early adult years, Hitler rose to power and begin capturing, torturing and killing Jewish families.  One of the largest concentration camps was right in her hometown of Warsaw with over 400,000 people imprisoned.  Irena made the decision to risk her own life to save the Jewish children.  She joined an underground resistance organization that worked to rescue persecuted Jews in German-occupied Poland.

As a nurse, Irena would often pretend that children were sick and take them to hospitals outside of the concentration camp.  As security tightened, Irena had to try even more daring escape methods.  She would hide children in anything she could carry - garage bags, suitcases and even coffins.  Coffins that normally carried the dead, now helped save the lives of children.  Some of the children were only months old . 

Irena saved the lives of thousands of kids and kept a list of those she had saved.  She wrote these words in her journal. 

“My hatred of the German occupiers was stronger than my fear.  In addition, my father had taught me that if you see a man drowning, you must try to save him even if you cannot swim.  At that time, it was Poland that was drowning."

But one day Irena was caught.  After discovering what she was doing, the Nazis threw her in prison.  She was tortured and beaten by the Gestapo, but through it all, Irena refused to tell them any information about the Jewish children or families she’d helped.  She was sentenced to death.  Thankfully, some of Irena's friends were able to step in and bribe on of the prison guards and help her escape.  Irena had to live the rest of her life under a false name and identity.

As I read Irena's story, I was challenged to give my time, energy and commitment to reaching children with the Gospel.  The next generation is under attack by a spiritual enemy and God is calling us to share the good news that Jesus can rescue them from the power and consequences of sin.  We must be willing to do whatever it takes to rescue them.  We must be willing to sacrifice our comfort and resources so they can be saved.  If Irena was willing to give her life to rescue children physically, how much more should we be willing to give our lives to rescue children spiritually.  There is nothing more important we can do with our lives.

And that's the true story of putting kids in coffins.