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In the Presence of My Enemies


A New York Times Bestseller Kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group with ties to Osama bin Laden, American missionaries Martin and Gracia ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of In the Presence of My Enemies

Overall customer rating: 4.334

Year of Terror

by piafinn on Sep 22, 2008

In 2001, American missionary pilot, Martin Burnham, and his wife, Gracia, left the people they were serving in the Philippines, to celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary at a nearby resort. They were awakened the following morning at gunpoint, and kidnapped along with two dozen other people. They were taken by Abu Sayaaf, a terrorist group with ties to Osama bin Laden. The endured a year in the jungle, facing near starvation and exhaustion and frequent gun battles. They witnessed the murder and beheading of some of their fellow hostages. They never knew if they'd be next. Martin's glasses were broken so he wasn't able to see clearly the whole year. They were chained to trees at night. They developed sores, and suffered from intestinal viruses. Yet, they befriended their guards (even thanking them when they chained them to the tree at night), comforted their fellow hostages and kept their faith. The government troops would surround them almost daily, then inexplicably withdraw just when it seemed they would overrun the terrorist camp. This led the Burnhams' to believe the military was on the take, benefitting from the hostages being kept longer. The Americans wanted to launch a special mission to rescue them, but they were prevented by a prohibition in the Philippine constitution against foreign troops ever again fighting on Philippine soil. In the final firefight, all of the hostages were shot. Martin was killed, Gracia was shot but survived. This added to her suspicions that the military did not want the hostages to live to tell their story. Gracia had a meeting with the Philippine President, Gloria Arroyo, before going back home to her three children. She tells her story with candor, admitting her occasional feelings of hatred towards her captors, as well as her prayers for them. She also shares her struggles as a single mother since her ordeal. I don't agree with her theological "take" on the whole thing, though. She makes evil man sovereign over God. I don't see how she finds comfort in that. I remember getting an e-mail from a missionary with the same organization when they were first kidnapped, so I was so happy when I heard it was finally over.


This book is worth your penny

by Maan on Sep 18, 2008

I bought this book when I saw Gracia Burnham telling their stories at National Geographic. Then, I decided to checked her website, and I found out that she published a book about their captivity in my country Philippines. Even though I'm living right now here in the U.S. I knew their sad story because I was still in High school when the captivity happened. I'm recommending this book to everyone because I've learned a lot from this book about life, marriage, love,and strong faith in God & Jesus. I became more closer to God because I know that when we are in a bad situation; he's just there waiting for us to trust him. That's what had happened to this wonderful couple. They didn't give up to love and trust God & Jesus. L.J.


Very Moving

by MikeB on Mar 27, 2008

A well written account of an amazing story of love, perserverance, and triumph in the face of terrible circumstances. The Burnhams story inspired and challenged me. I highly recommend it.

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