A Rescue Mission
Nov 6, 2014 | 3 min read | Dave Patty
On platform #1 of the Prague main train station stands a bronze statue of a short man with two small children. I get choked up every time I see it.
In 1939, shortly after Hitler annexed the western portion of Czechoslovakia, a London stockbroker by the name of Nicholas Winton became concerned for the safety of Jewish children living in Prague.
Finding British families who would take the endangered children into foster care, Winton organized transport trains of children from Prague to London. The day before the ninth transport was to leave, Hitler invaded Poland. The final train departed the station with 250 children on board, but never made it to England. All of those children perished.
Still, because of the previous transports, 669 children were saved. One of those was a boy named Tom Graumann. After adoption into a British family, Tom heard the gospel, put his faith in Christ, and now lives in Denver, Colorado. He is 83 years old.
This month, Tom is back in the Czech Republic telling his story as part of our “Exit Tour” in Czech and Slovakia. Traveling with a rock band and youth speakers, our Exit team has been able to take the gospel to over 200 high schools in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia, reaching over 60,000 young people. Tom tells his story of being “twice saved”, once from the destructive plans of Hitler, the second time from the eternal condemnation of sin.
Amazingly, we still have freedom to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in public high schools.
Nicholas Winton is also still alive, and on October 28th, he received the “Order of the White Lion” from the Czech president, the highest state honor awarded by the Czech Republic. He is 105 years old.
Both of these are unlikely men to be involved in a rescue mission. You and I are unlikely too, and yet we know a Savior who opened the way to eternal life. I hope you feel the same sense of urgency for the young people of Central and Eastern Europe that I do.
We don’t know when the last train will depart.