The name “Irena Sendlerowa” was mostly unknown in 1999. In the Fall of that year, a rural Kansas teacher encouraged four students to work on a history project which would complement their classroom motto: “He who changes one person, changes the world entire.”   She gave them a clipping from a March 1994 issue of News and World Report which said, “Irena Sendler saved 2,500 children from Warsaw Ghetto in 1942-43.”  The students wrote a performance (Life in a Jar) in which they portrayed the life of Irena Sendler.

  Irena Sendler studied at Warsaw University and was a social worker in Warsaw when the German occupation of Poland began in 1939.  In 1940, after the Nazis herded Jews into the ghetto and build a wall separating it from the rest of the city, disease, especially typhoid, ran rampant. Social workers were not allowed inside the ghetto, but Sendler, imagining “the horror of life behind the walls,” obtained fake identification and passed herself off as a nurse.  She was allowed to bring in food, clothes and medicine. 

  By 1942, she began to rescue Jewish children.  She and her friends smuggled the children out in boxes, suitcases, sacks and coffins, sedating babies to quiet their cries. Most of the children were taken into Roman Catholic convents, orphanages and homes and given non-Jewish aliases.  Sendler recorded their true names on thin rolls of paper in the hope that she could reunite them with their families later. She preserved the precious scraps in jars and buried them in a friend’s garden.

  In 1943, she was captured by the Nazis and tortured but refused to tell her captors who her co-conspirators were or where the bottles were buried. During one particularly brutal torture session, her captors fractured her leg and foot.  It is told that a Gestapo officer accepted a bribe and enabled her to escape by adding her name to a list of executed prisoners.  Sendler went into hiding but continued her rescue efforts.  When the war ended, Sendler unearthed the jars and began trying to return the children to their families.  For the vast majority, there was no family left. Many of the children were adopted by Polish families; others were sent to Israel.

  On May 12, 2008, Irena Sendler died of pneumonia at the age of 98 in Warsaw.

  This lady shows us that one person can and does make a difference.  The 15th chapter of Luke, Jesus expresses the value of one: one sheep, one coin, one son.
If one is not valued, everyone is suspect.  Each one needs saving, rescuing, and when this happens there is rejoicing in heaven.  May we make a difference in the life of even one.

4 Responses to “LIFE IN A JAR”

  1. Dear Max , Thank you so much for these encouraging words . Jesus told these stories of “Just One” to let us know how important One soul is. So , if everyone told just one person about the Savior Jesut Christ, what a differance it would make. I know you have made a differance in so many lives, especially mine.

  2. Max, thanks for the reminder that every soul is worth everything to Christ. He is not willing that any should perish. It reminds me to always be mindful of my witness. You are an inspiration to me. It was good seeing you and Joann this morning. I love your smiling faces.

  3. Sometimes the tasks we face seem so overwhelming that we are discouraged from even trying. Thanks for the encouragement to try and leave the results to God.

  4. Yes, every person counts with God and each of us can make a difference. I know a lady who looks for new people for church each Sunday, Many people tell her that being welcomed means so much. Yet she doesn’t want any praise here on earth, but desires to hear it from the Master one day in heaven. A lady did take her to a Gaither concert recently in appreciation of welcoming her to the church gathering. A Pampered Chef product came in the mail and she doesn’t know who sent it. She has been doing this type of service for years, but it is only recently that people are thanking her through many such deeds..Is God thanking her through his people? Are you making a difference?

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