Martin and Gracia Burnham interviewed in captivity
One thing is clear from the videotaped interview of missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham: they're tired of being hostages. "We know that the Philippine government is doing everything to rescue us," Martin said. "I don't want to sound disrespectful, but it's not working."
"It takes me days to recover every time I hear even a twig snap," Gracia added, crying. "I wake up hearing gunshots in the middle of the night."
The Burnhams no longer look like they do in their widely circulated New Tribes Mission photo. Martin now has a heavy red beard, but that's all that's heavy about him. Both have lost too much weight. They also have mouth sores from living off of roots, bananas, and a jar of peanut butter sent by friends. "While we were overjoyed at seeing our co-workers again, we were at the same time saddened to see how their physical condition has deteriorated," New Tribes Mission says on its Web site. "It is obvious that life has been rough for them, as they looked much thinner and more tired than the last time we saw them."
"We always look at each other and I tell Martin, 'I want you to know that I love you before I die,'" Gracia said.
It will be a while before we can see the video. The station that aired the interview, Net 25, is calling it an "exclusive" and is apparently reluctant to share. The station is affiliated with the local Christian denomination Iglesia ni Cristo. Most of the interview, however, has been transcribed and written up for The Daily Inquirer newspaper (the paper's servers seem to be very busy, so keep hitting "refresh" if you can't get through).
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