Martin and Gracia Burnham are weary and "incredibly sad."
New Tribes Mission has received a letter from kidnapped missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham. It says that while weary, the couple is free of major sickness or injury. However, food is scarce. "[We] don't wish to complain—just thought you'd want to know our situation," Gracia wrote.

The letter praises God for keeping them safe from serious harm. But, Martin said, they do need medical attention. Though he does not mention the shrapnel wound he reportedly endured this summer, a missing tooth filling now troubles him.

Gracia admits that the ordeal has been emotionally trying and she confirmed reports that she often weeps. "We think about everyone so often—and I'll admit that I cry a lot," Gracia wrote. "It doesn't mean that I've lost my faith—I'm just incredibly sad, especially to be separated from the kids."

New Tribes Mission is encouraged both by the letter and reports given by released hostages held with the Burnhams. One says Martin's ministry continues. "He regularly taught us Bible stories, led us in songs and prayer," the former hostage told New Tribes. "He has been engaged by the [kidnappers] on numerous occasions in discussions concerning Christianity and Islam, but he has always been so kind to them."

Could the faith-based initiative be passed by Christmas?
The Boston Globe reports that the faith-based initiative is quietly gaining momentum. Key senators have been working with the White House for weeks, the article says, and is expected to pass the legislation by Christmas as part of an overall economic stimulus bill.

The faith-based initiative has traveled a bumpy road to get here. In July, the House passed a limited bill. The legislation then stalled in the ...

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