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Issue 2005 #4

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Martin Burnham - Missionary Biography

In the Presence of My Enemies - by Gracia Burnham

In grade one, he made a personal commitment to Christ while in Sunday School. His first years were spent in Kansas, Wisconsin and Missouri. In 1970 Martin with his parents and three other siblings went to Manila Bay in the Philippines serving under New Tribes.

Martin was ten at this time, and attended a boarding school. Sometimes he was flew home on a mission plane which resulted in a fascination for airplanes and flying. After high school his aim was to become a pilot and become rich.
But upon the persuasion of his parents he attended New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, Michigan. This led to moving to Wichita where he joined the Cessna Flying Club.

In 1982 while teaching in the flight department at Calvary Bible College and attending the College as a student he met his future wife Gracia Jones. They married in Kansas City on May 28, 1983. They soon attended boot camp followed by jungle camp.

When the call came to go back to the Philippines, Martin and Gracia went willingly. They left for the Philippines in early 1986. Martin?s first job was to take care of the needs of four missionary families who worked with four different remote tribes on Luzon. He had a big heart for the tribal people as well as for the missionary families, and served them well.

After little Jeff was born they moved to Malaybalay because they needed a pilot there. They stayed for eight years. Melinda Joy and Zachary joined their family here.

In 1991 and 1997 they came back to the United States for a furlough.

On May 29,2001 while relaxing at Dos Palmas for a day just before Martin was to begin a busy schedule of flying, Martin and Gracia were kidnapped.

At age 41, on June 7, 2002, Martin was shot in the chest and died shortly thereafter. His wife Gracia has written about his, and their lives, in a book entitled In The Presence Of My Enemies published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Anna Kroeker

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