372 Days of Hell on Earth

Dec 3, 2015, 8:17 PM |

by HJS

The morning after she was rescued from the Abu Sayyaf terrorists who had kept her captive for over a year, Gracia Burnham turned to a favorite passage in the Bible - 2 Corinthians 4, beginning with Paul's words, "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart."

During her captivity, Gracia started to 'lose heart'. In her book In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Gracia tells of the struggles she fought with her emotions as well as her faith. With each day, her hopes grew darker. Simply put, Gracia was mad at God for letting this happen.

Finally Gracia came to a crossroads: Either go with your emotions and turn your back on God or hold on to what you know is true regardless of circumstances. "I knew that I had a choice," she wrote. "I could give in to my resentment and allow it to dig me into a deeper and deeper hole both psychologically and emotionally, or I could choose to believe what God's Word says to be true whether I felt it was or not."

And when she made the decision to believe in God's Word, it was a turning point for her, one that enabled her to endure the terrible ordeal. Gracia's rescue resulted in the death of both her husband Martin and a fellow captive, Ediborah Yap, a nurse.

Gracia learned more about herself during those dark days than she did about the Abu Sayyaf. She discovered that God's grace is sufficient for her to survive without being destroyed by the hatred that drove her captors. 

She concludes by saying. "I resolve to keep living in the embrace of God's gladness and love for as long as He gives me breath." She learned what Paul knew - the triumph of the cross alone allows us to endure without losing heart.


Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. - Matthew 10:28