Martin Burnham honored, buried
Thousands attended Friday's memorial service for slain missionary Martin Burnham. There are media accounts from The Orlando Sentinel, The Wichita Eagle, Associated Press, Reuters, and AFP (Wichita television station KSN has some video from the service). Eagle columnist Roy Wenzl offers a minute-by-minute description of what happened:
At 9:55 a.m., inside the church, Paul Burnham rolled his daughter-in-law into the church service in her wheelchair, and 2,600 people stood up. There was not a cough; there was barely a noise at all. There was only a feeling of awe. Gracia Burnham looked radiant. … She said nothing during the service. She didn't have to, because the look in her eyes told all who saw her that she intended to live, to go on, to embrace life where and when she found it, which was now, in this place, with her children, with us.
Gracia, recovering from a bullet wound in her leg and emotional trauma, spoke briefly to the press after the service, sharing one story from their captivity. The couple's captors allowed them to listen to a shortwave radio one night, and as they were trying to find Voice of America they came across a Christian station, probably based in Alaska. The station was praying for people in troubled places, then said, "If you could hear Jesus speaking to God about you, you would not be afraid, even if you were surrounded by 1,000 of your enemies." They were tremendously encouraged by the broadcast, she said.
"It's tempting to call their story a tragedy and to label the Burnhams 'victims.' But that doesn't sound right," the Eagleeditorialized Sunday. "In a remarkable way, the Burnhams triumphed over their cynical captors and the cruel details of their captivity. They did ...1
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