Instead of our normal Wednesday night Bible study, my family and I were treated to attend a talk given by Gracia Burnham. Being the daughter of a Baptist-raised father and attending mainly Baptist churches throughout my childhood, we spent a lot of Sundays and evenings listening to missionaries tell of their experiences. I will be honest that I didn’t always find it enjoyable or whorthwhile. Fortunately, this lifestyle is so ingrained in me now, I can appreciate how much I have learned, and how important it is to consider these people; to always be in prayer for them.
Now my dad is involved in an aviation missions group, MATA- Mission Aviation Training Academy. Some of the leaders of that organization are dear friends with Gracia Burnham so while she is in town for Missions Fest, she was honored to be invited to the MATA weekly meeting and speak. My son got to hear her at the Oshkosh air show when he was there with my parents in 2009.
If you are not familiar with Gracia, she and her husband were taken as hostages from a resort in the Philippians, in June of 1991. Their story was a major news event. Unfortunately her husband did not survive the ordeal but she was freed after a year of being held in captivity. Her story is amazing and I am going to cling to her words of experience so I do not get dragged down in my own supposed trials. Gracia endured a true trial and she is sharing her experience so others will come to know Christ.
I cannot even begin to re-explain what she talked about because I wouldn’t tell it right. Get her book. If you have an opportunity to see her in person, or any missionary, go hear them. Renew your desire to live for Christ, to become like Christ, each day.
Her book, In the Presence of My Enemies recounts this horrific experience, and the faith and love that got her through this time. I am completely overwhelmed knowing people endure these events and live to tell about it. Whether I am able to get this book for my kindle, or a hard copy, I am looking very forward to reading more about Martin and Gracia Burnham.