Philippines (MNN) — It's been nearly five years since New
Tribes Mission's Martin Burnham was gunned down in a fire-fight. He
and his wife, Gracia, had been taken hostage the previous year by Abu Sayyaf terrorists. Gracia was injured but was rescued and reunited with her three
Burnham says much has happened in the Philippines since she
left the country. "Since our ordeal, over 50 missionaries have been
assigned to the Philippines with our organization. And to accommodate the
growing number of missionaries, New Tribes Mission has built a 5-story
Martin Burnham Missions Center in Manila."
She says it's been a source of encouragement to her
family. "When we were in the
jungle, Martin and I used to say, 'Boy, we have ruined things for our mission
here. No one is going to want to come to the Philippines and work here.' Isn't
it just like the Lord to use what we deemed a tragedy to bring about something
that's going to be really useful for His Kingdom!"
Burnham describes what will take place at the center.
"They'll do training of new missionaries. It'll be a place where
short-term missionaries can come and work out of. And it'll kind of be a center
where folks who might be sick or experiencing difficulties can come and just
The Martin Burnham Mission Center will be the sending-off
point for missionaries to reach the unreached.
"There are some 3,000 language groups that don't have any access to
the Gospel. That's 150 million men, women, and children. That's what Martin and I were involved in."
Filipino business people built the center in honor of
Burnham. However, $70,000 is still need to finish the project.