Along with her jungle-pilot husband Martin, Gracia Burnham served for 17 years with New Tribes Mission in the Philippines. Martin was responsible for delivering mail, supplies and encouragement to other missionaries and transporting sick and injured patients to medical facilities. Gracia served in a variety of roles within the ministry as well as home-schooling their 3 children.
On May 27, 2001, while celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary at Dos Palmas Resort off Palawan Island, Gracia and Martin were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a militant group of Muslims. They were taken to Basilan Island, an ASG stronghold. Remaining in captivity for 376 days, 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, in a firefight between the Philippine military and the Abu Sayyaf Group, Martin was killed and Gracia, although wounded, was rescued.
Since that time Gracia has become a popular speaker at churches, conferences and schools. Traveling across the country, Gracia shares her unique story of faith, forgiveness, and surviving captivity. Gracia has also launched the Martin & Gracia Burnham Foundation, which will support mission aviation and tribal mission work around the world.
Gracia has authored two books. In The Presence Of My Enemies , details their captivity experience. In her follow-up book, To Fly Again , Gracia reflects on the lessons and spiritual truths she learned in the jungle and how they apply to anyone's life.
Gracia has three adults children and reveal grandchildren.