For American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham, what started out as a relaxing, once-in-a-lifetime anniversary getaway at an exotic island resort turned into one of the most horrific nightmares imaginable.
Kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group with ties to Osama bin Laden, the Burnhams were snatched away from friends and family and thrust into a life on the run in the Philippine jungle. During a perilous year in 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.
In this gripping firsthand account of faith, love, and struggle in the face of unnervingly casual brutality, you’ll go behind the scenes of a real-life drama, told in gritty detail by the least likely survivor. You’ll learn about the methods and motives of a radical terrorist group whose members are determined to meet their objectives, no matter what the cost. You’ll be inspired by the ultimately triumphant faith and enduring love of an ordinary couple thrown into extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
Whatever the struggles of your life, you’ll find encouragement and hope in this refreshingly honest story of a yearlong struggle with the darkness that inhabits the human heart.
“The issue…is not why an all-powerful God might choose to subject a man to evil, but how a man, with God’s help, responds to evil…The Burnhams, under torturous conditions, befriended their guards, comforted their fellow hostages and kept their faith in a God who seemed to have abandoned them.” USA TODAY
It’s hard to express how much I admire Martin and Gracia Burnham. It’s been at least two years, I suppose, since I read this book but I still remember most every chapter. So, if it’s a riveting on-the-edge-of-your-seat book you’re looking for, here’s a good one.
However, if you’re looking for God working incarnate, this may be where to start. God took two “ordinary” people and made something most extraordinary out of their tragedy. Two things I especially appreciate from the book are 1) Gracia’s brutally honest, no-holds-barred look at herself during the ordeal and 2) Martin’s “speaking” through the book though he didn’t physically write a word.
I would love to meet Gracia someday and would have loved to have met Martin. Read this book and you’ll still somehow carry them both around with you.