Guest - Gracia Burnham
Program: The Jungle of Life
In this two-part series,
missionary Gracia Burnham describes the horror of being a
hostage of the Abu Sayyaf in the Philippine jungle for more than a
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 and 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
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, coldhearted murder-and
intense soul-searching about a God who sometimes seemed to have
On June 7, 2002, in a firefight between the Philippine military and
the Abu Sayyaf Group, Martin was killed. Gracia was wounded, but was
Since that time Gracia has authored two books, In The Presence Of My
Enemies, and To Fly Again which will be released in the Spring of
2005. She and her three children make their home in Rose Hill,
Kansas. Because of her unique story, Gracia is a popular speaker for
churches, conferences and schools.