Momentum – Day 4 – Gracia Burnham (Evening)

Gracia Burnham: 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 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, coldhearted murder-and intense soul-searching about a God who sometimes seemed to have forgotten them.

On June 7, 2002, in a firefight 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 living in Lynchburg, VA where he is completing his studies in missionary aviation at Liberty University. Mindy has graduated from high school and is attending New Tribes Bible Institute in Wisconsin. Zach will graduate from Rose Hill High in May 2009 and is looking forward to what God has in his future. Gracia resides in Rose Hill, Kansas. Because of her unique story, Gracia is a popular speaker for churches, conferences and schools.

SPEAKER NOTE: I’m hooked on this lady… she’s totally reading and I have tried to quote her almost a dozen times in the last ten minutes but it’s not working. Her story is captivating and unreal.

“We have to deal with aggressive Islam…. maybe our job is to love the Muslims.”

1.3 billion Muslims are fasting right now and will feel more darkness than ever before because they are striving for works and not for joy. I’ve never realized the extend of Muslims rising up… scary.

Gracia has kids that are all in overseas missions.

Gracia has been praying for the people that captured them and killed her husband. They are in jail forever overseas and she is learning how to reach out to these people so that they can experience the joy of Christ. That is an act of grace that is unreal.

Four members of the people who captured her have come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. One of them has over 20 counts of murder against him in the prison overseas. Where is that on the news??? They will know we are Christians by our love… and grace. Behold the power to forgive another.

“We are all needy, broken, and need help.”

“If you think we are okay as a country you’re not watching CNN.”

“Christianity isn’t a crutch, it’s a stretcher for those of us who are needy and broken and cannot do it (life) on our own.”

“Choosing a life of service means sacrifice. You are not your own, your are bought with a price so share Christ with the world no matter how much the cost. It costs money, careers, lifestyles, dreams, and plans. How will people hear if there is no preacher. We get scares on the journey but those scars show how God works in our lives.”

Lift up your eyes to the harvest and do what God has called you to do.

Amazing.

-jordan

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