Picking up the story of our packed weekend from last week, we went to a banquet Friday evening which actually started the convention of Pilots for Christ. The food was great and it was an opportunity to meet people from all over the country whom I had only know through emails or posts on the PCI website.
We then went to Walnut Hills Baptist Church for the speaker for the evening, Gracia Burnham. Gracia told a tale of captivity, grace and forgiveness in a riveting presentation lasting over an hour. Gracia and her husband were flying missionaries to the Philippines in 2001 when they were captured by Muslim guerillas and held for over a year. They were constantly on the run in the jungle, short of food, clothing, medical care or anything we take for granted. They were also caught in the crossfire of thirteen gun battles between their captors and Filipino army troops. In the thirteenth battle, Gracia managed to escape but was wounded in the leg.Her husband Martin unfortunately was killed in the gunfire.
She told the story of how she recovered, physically, mentally and spiritually, to the point that she began a ministry with her former captors who were captured and imprisoned for life. Four have undergone conversions.
She was an eloquent speaker with a sense of warmth and tranquility. She has a website at http://www.graciaburnham.org/, for more information and has published a book about her experiences, In the Presence of My Enemies, as well as an inspirational book, To Fly Again. Both are available on Amazon.com.
The next morning we came back home and I went to a panel discussion sponsored by Write by the Rails, our local writing support group. The topic was "Marketing Your Book," and our four panelists provided useful and practical information to the thirty or so people present.
That evening we went to a concert by the premier handbell group in the country and perhaps the world, the Raleigh Ringers. The concert, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, was co-sponsored by the Manassas Chorale and Manassas Baptist Church.
Sunday we had the usual church and Sunday School in the morning, with a church picnic after services and a visit to my father in the afternoon. We ended the weekend with our own handbell rehearsal, which proved that we are not the Raleigh Ringers.
And so ended a packed weekend and varied activities. I have no complaints!
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