For Immediate Release
December 28, 2010

Linda Smith





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photo of Gracia Burnham

Manassas, VA – Gracia Burnham will speak during the Women’s Breakfast at NRB 2011 in Nashville, TN, on Monday, February 28th.

“Gracia Burnham epitomizes the love and forgiveness of Christ. We look forward to hearing her story of compassion in the midst of pain,” pointed out NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright.

For 17 years, Gracia and Martin Burnham served with New Tribes Mission in the Philippines. Martin was a jungle pilot delivering mail, supplies, and encouragement to other missionaries, along with transporting sick and injured patients to medical facilities. Gracia served in various roles supporting the aviation program and also home educated their children – all of whom were born in the Philippines.

While celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary at the Dos Palmas Resort off Palawan Island, the Burnhams were kidnapped on May 27, 2001, by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). This militant Muslim group also seized several more guests, and all the captives to Basilan Island, an ASG stronghold.

In the ensuing months some of the hostages were killed, but most were set free. By November 2001, only the Burnhams and one other hostage remained in captivity.

During their 376 days of captivity, the Burnhams 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, Martin was killed in a firefight between the Philippine military and the Abu Sayyaf Group. Gracia was wounded, but was freed.

Since that time Gracia has authored two books, In The Presence Of My Enemies, and To Fly Again. Gracia and Martin’s children have continued in the calling of service to others. Their oldest son, Jeff, and his wife, Sarah, have accepted an assignment with Flying Mission Services in Botswana, Africa. Daughter 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, where Andy also continues his training. Gracia’s youngest son, Zachary, is attending Butler County Community College on a voice scholarship.

About The NRB Convention
The annual Convention & Exposition is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of nearly 300 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. NRB 2011 is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, February 26 – March 1, 2011. For registration and other Convention information go to: 

About NRB
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers.  Our mission is to keep the doors of electronic media open for the spread of the Gospel.  In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at




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