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2009 Conversations


2008 Conversations


2007 Conversations


2006 Conversations


2005 Conversations


2004 Conversations


Alicia Chole: The truth about joy (12/28/03)

Cookies and Christmas: A roundtable discussion (12/21/03)

John Tesh: In pursuit of passion (12/14/03)

AGWM's L. John Bueno: Bread of life (11/23/03)

Teen Challenge's John Castellani: Christ breaks addictions (11/16/03)

Christian humorist Justin Fennell: Justifiably funny (10/19/03)

Representative Marilyn Musgrave: The role of Christians in government (10/12/03)

Dennis Gaylor: Fifty more campuses (9/28/03)

Kathy Troccoli: A message of hope (9/21/03)

Kristy Starling: Dreams come true (9/14/03)

CeCe Winans Love: Of Gospel and Grammies (8/31/03)

Gary Heavin: Faith and fitness (8/24/03)

Gracia Burnham: Grace in the jungle (8/17/03)

Seattle Mariner John Olerud: Hope when your health fails (8/10/03)

Chris Maxwell: Pastor recovering from memory loss (7/27/03)

Wayne Warner: Today’s Pentecostal Evangel: a historical view (7/20/03)

Paul Drost: Every church a parent or a partner (7/13/03)

Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger: What can be learned from history? (6/29/03)

Ron Drye: Ministering to the whole person (6/22/03)

Matt McPherson: Doing business by the Golden Rule (6/15/03)

The difference (6/8/03)

Fory VandenEinde: Fulfilling the Great Commission (5/25/03)

Tom Greene: The church's new generation (5/18/03)

Lisa Whelchel: Former sitcom star now an advocate for moms (5/11/03)

Tony Lamarque: Warden speaks about unconditional love (4/27/03)

Ann Graham Lotz: Just give her more of Jesus (4/20/03)

Lee Strobel: The case for Christ (4/13/03)

Randall K. Barton: Extravagant stewardship (3/30/03)

Bishop Gilbert Patterson: Bringing people together under Christ (3/23/03)

Pat Boone: A unique celebrity speaks out (3/16/03)

St. Clair Mitchell: God in Washington, D.C. (3/9/03)

Kay Gross: Ministry by women, ministry to women (2/23/03)

Thomas E. Trask: A historic General Council (2/16/03)

Denise Jones: Girls of Grace (2/9/03)

Doug Greengard: Beyond the NFL (1/26/03)

Three pro-life advocates call the church to action (1/19/03)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: The gospel in uniform (1/12/03)


2002 Conversations


2001 Conversations

 

Grace in the jungle

Gracia Burnham is the widow of Martin Burnham, who served for 17 years as a missionary pilot in the Philippines. The Burnhams were kidnapped and held as hostages in the jungle for more than a year by a radical terrorist group before Martin was killed in a rescue attempt in the summer of 2002. Gracia spoke recently with Assistant Editor Ashli O’Connell.

PE: Do you think most Christians are prepared for the test of faith that you and Martin faced?

BURNHAM: God says He doesn’t test you beyond what you are able to endure. I think each person’s testing must be in proportion to what faith God has given them. I don’t think I was able to drum up any special faith when I was going through this. I think it was all God’s doing. He gave me what I needed day by day. Walking closely with Him and knowing His Word well is really going to help you when you face whatever testing comes your way.

PE: You are candid in your book about your struggle with faith and anger with God. How did you reconcile that in the jungle?

BURNHAM: One of the hardest things about our captivity was that I realized what kind of person I was. I always thought I was a pretty good Christian — and then I found myself feeling hatred and covetousness and all these things I didn’t want to think existed in me. But God showed me I didn’t have to beat myself over the head with all that. You just acknowledge your sin, ask forgiveness and go on. If I had hit myself over the head with my sinfulness I never would have gotten out of the depression I was in out there. I learned a lot about my sinfulness, but I also learned a lot about God’s grace.

In the Presence of My Enemies
Gracia Burnham &
Dean Merrill
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Treasured Memories: A Missionary Family’s Trial and Triumphs
Yvonne L. Carlson
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The Life of Faith
Mrs. C. Nuzum
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PE: And what did you learn about God’s will?

BURNHAM: God’s will is not our will. If all this had been up to me, this wouldn’t have happened. It certainly wouldn’t have gone on for a year, and it most certainly wouldn’t have ended with Martin’s death. But God has a plan. I remember one day the kids and I were out driving and they had a CD playing. The song was “God Is God and I Am Not” by Steven Curtis Chapman. I had never heard that song before — I’d been in the jungle for a year — and that song just said it all for me. God’s will is always right and always good. I feel like God’s will was done in this whole thing whether I liked it or not. I’m not going to try to second-guess God’s goodness or His plan.

PE: What do you want the world to know about Martin Burnham?

BURNHAM: Martin was an ordinary guy who loved the Lord. I got to watch him live out his faith for a year in a horrible situation, and he was just a normal guy who let the Lord use him. I think he would laugh if he heard people say he was a hero.

PE: How are you and your children doing today?

BURNHAM: Very well. We laugh a lot together. We talk about Martin a lot. On the whole we’re doing really well. I can’t really explain that. I think we’ve just chosen to go on and trust God.

PE: Any other thoughts?

BURNHAM: Each person can make a difference in his or her corner of the world. You don’t have to go to a foreign land; you don’t have to dream for an elusive career. Right where God’s put you, you can make a difference if you’ll just allow Him to use you. I encourage people to go for it.

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