Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Ex missionary/hostage Gracia Burnham to speak at two Lisburn churches

Gracia BurnhamEx missionary/hostage Gracia Burnham (USA) will tell her unique story at Lisburn Baptist on Friday 23rd November and at Lisburn Cathedral on Sunday 25th November. The events have been organised by Friends in Action, a local base charity doing practical work in Africa to assist missionaries and the people they work with.

Gracia Burnham is the widow of Martin Burnham and the mother of Jeff, Mindy and Zach. For 17 years she and Martin served with New Tribes Mission in the Philippines where Martin was a jungle pilot delivering mail, supplies & encouragement to other missionaries and transporting sick and injured patients to medical facilities. Gracia served in various roles supporting the aviation program and also home-schooled their children all of which were born in the Philippines. While celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary at Dos Palmas Resort off Palawan Island, the Burnhams were kidnapped on May 27, 2001, by the Abu Sayyaf Group, a militant group of Muslims. They seized several more guests and took them to Basilan Island, an ASG stronghold.

In the ensuing months some of the hostages were killed, but most were set free. From November 2001, only the Burnhams and one other hostage remained in captivity. During their 376 days of captivity, they faced near starvation, constant exhaustion, frequent gun battles, cold-hearted murder and intense soul-searching about a God who sometimes seemed to have forgotten them. On June 7, 2002, in a fire-fight between the Philippine military and the Abu Sayyaf Group, Martin was killed. Gracia was wounded, but was freed. Since that time Gracia has authored two books, 'In the presence of my enemies' and 'To fly again'. Her oldest son Jeff, is now married and is studying missionary aviation at Liberty University. Mindy, Zach & Gracia make their home in Rose Hill, Kansas. Because of her unique story, Gracia is a popular church speaker.

For more information please contact Friends in Action on 028 9266 8194