Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Widow's Story: Gracia Burnham

Dear Reader,
Why read about other widows? Here's my quick list answer:
  • So you know you're not alone
  • So you don't give up
  • So you can see that God has given women amazing inner strength and resilience!
  • So you'll see that God is with you, too
Perhaps you remember this missionary's story from the news headlines several years ago? Catch up with Gracia today by visiting the website link below. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a dramatic news video. ferree
The following is from the website:
"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 ,and his wife, Sarah, have accepted an assignment with Flying Mission Services in Botswana, Africa. Mindy is now married to Andy Hedvall, a "missionary kid" from South America. Mindy has completed her course of study at New Tribes Bible Institute in Waukesha, WI and Andy continues in his training there. Zachary is attending Butler County Community College on a voice scholarship. Gracia resides in Rose Hill, Kansas. Because of her unique story, Gracia is a popular speaker for churches, conferences and schools."


  1. Such grace under fire and a reminder that life does go on, even when you lose the love of your life.

  2. Gracia was so well named for such a time as this in her life.

  3. I remember hearing this story before, but what a story she has to tell. I may have to order one or both of her books as well!

  4. I love what Gracia said in this video about every drink or meal she and her husband got was a gift from the Lord, because when you have nothing, you have nothing. Such a powerful testimony and example of a godly widow!


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