At the annual National Religious Broadcasters’(NRB) Convention in Nashville, Gracia Burnham spoke at the Monday morning Women’s Breakfast of her 2001 kidnapping in the Philippines by the Abu Sayyaf Group, a militant group of Muslims, and of the faith that brought her through the ordeal that lasted over a year and included the death of her husband, Martin. She thanked the NRB, specifically the radio broadcasters, for spreading the message of their kidnapping and keeping their names before people who would pray for them while they were in captivity. “You see, I think it’s because of many of you in this room that I am here to tell my story,” she said.
Gracia’s story described her experience being kidnapped from their room, her trudging onward as directed by her captors with oozing, bleeding feet, and her being shot in the leg. She shared scriptures that encouraged her as she lived through this trial.
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
1John 4:4b “For he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
Gracia’s inspirational story demonstrates the importance of exercising faith, regardless of the type of captivity in which we find ourselves. Like Gracia’s captors, “he who is in the world” is taking his own prisoners and striving to kidnap their lives. Jesus told his disciples that the evil one works to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). But God is with us. He will strengthen us, and He will uphold us to the end. As Gracia testified, “When everything is gone, God is enough.”