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