Lunch with a Modern Day Saint Makes for an Extraordinary Day (Ellen DeKroon Stamps, Former Personal Assistant to Corrie Ten Boom, Blesses a Thousandfold.)

Did you know there’s treasure hidden in Wilmore, Kentucky? By treasure, I mean staffers at Asbury Theological Seminary (www.asburyseminary.edu ) who you wouldn’t believe me unless I told you. My friend Sherry’s daughter Laura, and Sherry’s future son-in-law Stephen, a graduate of the Seminary, uncovered the treasure. As a result, Sherry and I had the road trip of a lifetime!

Now, I do have several friends whose kids are attending Asbury University (www.asbury.edu ), so they of course know of Wilmore. Upon relaying to one of them our first meeting of the day was to be at Solomon’s Porch (www.solomonsporchwilmore.com ), my friend Fay’s daughter, Sarah Grace, suggested the Pumpkin Pie Latte which was to die for, whipped cream and all!

cafe

While sipping our coffee, Sherry and I met a wise-beyond-her-years young Mom who is the new Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Seminary.  Her name is Jessica LaGrone. (More on this very fun meeting in another post.)

Next up, Sherry and I dashed into Lexington (all of about ten minutes) to Ramsey’s Diner (www.ramseysdiners.com ) to meet what we’d both call a Modern Day Saint. You’ll be astonished to know that Dr. and Mrs. Bob Stamps have been at Asbury Seminary for four years. Bob’s been the Dean of the Chapel all the while he and his wife, Ellen, have ministered to, nurtured, and fed countless seminary students and their families. Bob and Ellen are returning to Richmond, Virginia in early July.

You’ve got to read Ellen’s book, My Years with Corrie, about her nine years as Personal Assistant to Corrie Ten Boom. It’s jaw-dropping fascinating, filled with story after story of how the Lord met and provided for them wherever in the world they happened to be ministering. You’ll see where God stretched Ellen so far out of her comfort zone, her only choice was to rely on Him.

My Years with Corrie

One of my favorite parts is where Ellen said, “God can use us even when we feel unusable.” When she first began working with Corrie, she didn’t speak much English, nor German, and didn’t know how to drive. Yet one of her many duties as Personal Assistant was to be Corrie’s driver. You’ll be amused at how this unfolds. Ellen is extremely candid. She reveals many wonderful lessons we can heed today. 

During their nine years together, Ellen said she and Corrie read and re-read Oswald Chamber’s devotional My Utmost for His Highest every morning. She said of her time with Corrie, “In many ways I had to learn to be like a child again in learning a new language and feeling comfortable in a new culture. I was trying to make sense of a new world—wanting to be a part of something I didn’t fully understand, relying on the help of friends to help me discover this new land.”

My Utmost for High Highest

The first chapter of James speaks about learning the new life of a Christian:

When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance.  

But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of integrity with no weak spots. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem, he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men without making them feel guilty—and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him.” (James 1:3-5 Phillips)

Sherry asked Ellen which of Corrie’s books were her favorite. She gave us several, two of which are In My Father’s House and Tramp for the Lord. She also suggested seeing the movie The Hiding Place. 

Tramp for the Lord In My Fathers House

We read The Hiding Place for Book Club a few years ago and it was a favorite for all of us.

The Hiding Place

Sherry and I were a bit late arriving to Ramsey’s. We worried when it became 12:15 and still no Ellen. Sherry contacted her and somehow we had our days wrong! Ellen was already with a young mom whose husband was about to graduate from the Seminary. She prayed, “Okay, Lord, what shall we do with these two opportunities?” She called Sherry back and said, “We’ll be there in a few minutes!”

Ellen brought Beth who is precious along with two of her four children. We sat outside and were completely mesmerized by Ellen and her stories of adventure, as well as Beth and her exciting future of their family moving to Michigan to pastor not one but two churches!

The Lord blessed us with quite a party overflowing with stories of His goodness. Beth’s future and Sherry’s daughter’s future are similar with both being married to pastors. This God-incident wasn’t lost on any of us!

Eliz Sherry Ellen group pic

Beth left to pick up her school-age boys and Ellen sat back down with Sherry and me and said, “How may I pray for you?” Stunned, and speechless, we held hands and listened as our Modern Day Saint, who’d traveled the world and learned from one of the best evangelists, yet another Modern Day Saint, Corrie Ten Boom, began to pray.

The world stopped while tears flowed. Awed and blessed, we stood to say our goodbyes. Sherry and I had a foretaste of heaven that day. We wish the best to Ellen and Bob on their next adventure. God’s blessings! (And Ellen, thank you so much for your gift of time!)

Bob and Ellen have one son, Peter, who turned thirty-six the day we met for lunch and one daughter, Johanna, who’s thirty-two. Peter is in Colorado while Johanna is in South Africa. Please keep them all in your prayers!

Eliz Sherry Ellen

As Corrie would say, and as Ellen signs each of her books, “Jesus is Victor!” (This encouraging phrase came from Blumhard who was a minister from Germany. “Jesus ist Sieger”. Ellen attended Blumhard Fellowship gatherings where the theme of Blumard’s ministry was always “Jesus is Victor”.  Corrie first heard that phrase from the Blumhard people.  She adopted it and made it famous world-wide.)

‘Til next time!

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Lunch with a Modern Day Saint Makes for an Extraordinary Day (Ellen DeKroon Stamps, Former Personal Assistant to Corrie Ten Boom, Blesses a Thousandfold.)

  1. Pingback: Does Your Name Tell a Story? Put Namesake—When God Rewrites Your Story, A Bible Study by Jessica LaGrone on Your To-Do List! | Worship with Words

  2. deboracoty

    Unbelievable! I shouldn’t be so amazed when Papa God drives a point home but somehow I’m always flabbergasted. I just finished reading “The Five Silent years of Corrie ten Boom,” written by Corrie’s last assistant before she passed away, Pamela Rosewell. In it, Pamela speaks warmly of Ellen and how fond Corrie was of her.

    A few weeks ago, just after being approached about a tackling writing project that I felt was completely overwhelming and out of my league, I ran across a quote by Corrie ten Boom (one of my faith heroes for many, many years) that has been ping-ponging around in my brain ever since: “Attempt something so big that unless God intervenes, it is sure to fail.”

    And now you, dear Elizabeth, write this wonderful blog post driving another nail in the shed. Bet you didn’t know Papa was using you to guide your confused Floridian friend when you wrote it.

    Well, I don’t believe in coincidences. And I’ve always said if Papa wants you to build a shed, He’ll supply the nails. Okay. Better go find my toolbox.

    • Oh my word, Debbie! Now how way cool is this? And I didn’t even know about Pam’s book! I’ll definitely get that for my next read!

      I, too, am totally fascinated and inspired by Corrie. I was undone by her book “Tramp for the Lord”.

      You would’ve loved Ellen. She was just lovely in every way. It was a “pinch me I’m dreaming” kind of experience.

      I’m thrilled to have provided the “hammer” to seal the deal for your challenging project. :)You keep me posted as I predict this’ll be your best work ever. Who knew? God is so cool with His timing.

      Love from Louisville,
      Elizabeth 🙂 xoxo

  3. Tonya Anderson

    Thank you for sharing such a special day with us. God’s perfect timing led to an abundance of blessings for you, and in turn, you rejoiced in the Lord and shared your joy and blessing spilled over to us. I almost felt as though I were there. Thank you again!

  4. Oh, Elizabeth, tears came to my eyes just to imagine being with someone who was so close to Corrie. You must have felt the Holy Spirit hovering, not just in you, but also around you the rest of the day. Thanks for allowing us to be a little part of this experience.

    • Hey Joyce!

      Yes, tears came to our eyes as well. When we got in the car to come back to Lou., Sherry & I both said, “Oh man, we are so drained!” But in a wonderful, peace-filled, awe-filled way if that makes any sense.
      The other gal we met prior to meeting Ellen is who I’ll be writing about next, Jessica LaGrone. I’m “test-driving” one of her three (!!!) Bible studies and the last day’s homework I did dealt with Nicodemus which made me think of you & your book! Still enjoying it…He is still at the home of the shepherd who rescued him….Wondering what will transpire!!!
      Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
      Love,

      E

  5. lizcurtishiggs

    SO good. You have the most amazing gift for connecting with people and making time for the unexpected! Thanks for also having lunch with Saint Mary Euphrasia and our friends at Maryhurst this week!

  6. Shirley Garwood

    What an exciting day you had! Thanks for sharing!