From the FamilyLife Today vault, hear classic stories of triumph in hardship from the last 25 years.
Andy and Nikki are the Directors of FamilyLife in New Zealand. Having joined FamilyLife officially in 1994 they have years of experience in the area of marriage and parenting. They are speakers for our FamilyLife live events and they have authored 2 books Treasures in the Darkness and First things First. Nikki is also a weekly presenter for New Zealand's Radio Rhema.
In 2008 Nikki was awarded Mother of the Year by TV3 and Kiwi Families. Both Andy and Nikki are recent recipients of the New Zealand Christian Network Unsung Heroes Award 2013, in the marriage and family category, presented at Parliament on August 27th.
They are parents to Olivia and Ben. They have a 3rd child, Natasha, who died tragically at 16 years old in the Mangatepopo River Tragedy. Natasha's story is recorded on the DVD Jumping in Puddles.
Rebecca (Rainey) Mutz and her husband Jake live in Colorado with their children. Besides writing, she loves to cook, bake, decorate, read, and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. Rebecca shares openly shares the story of her grief, healing, and hope in regards to her children Molly Ann, Micah William, and two others lost through miscarriage. Jake and Rebecca Mutz hope to use their daughter Molly’s life as a way to share Christ with others and bring glory to God. Rebecca co-authored a book with her mother, Barbara Rainey, called A Symphony in the Dark about their experiences.
Rebecca is also the co-Author of So You Want to be a Teenager with Thomas Nelson.
In October 1995, Pastor John Bishop lost his memory to Aseptic Meningitis. His wife, Donna, stood by his side helping him to learn how to walk, talk, read, and write all over again. He has gone on to found God Is So Good Ministries traveling the country to speak as well as maintaining a Christian Bible Camp.
The Bishops reside in Rosebud, Arkansas.
Gracia Burnham is the widow of Martin Burnham and the mother of Jeff, Mindy and Zach.
For 17 years she and Martin served with New Tribes Mission in the Philippines where Martin was a jungle pilot delivering mail, supplies and encouragement to other missionaries and transporting sick and injured patients to medical facilities. Gracia served in various roles supporting the aviation program and also home-schooled their children--all of which were born in the Philippines.
While celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary at Dos Palmas Resort off Palawan Island, the Burnhams were kidnapped on May 27, 2001, by the Abu Sayyaf Group, a militant group of Muslims. They seized several more guests and took them to Basilan Island, an ASG stronghold.
In the ensuing months some of the hostages were killed, but most were set free. From November 2001, only the Burnhams and one other hostage remained in captivity.
During their 376 days of captivity, they faced near starvation, constant exhaustion, frequent gun battles, coldhearted murder-and intense soul-searching about a God who sometimes seemed to have forgotten them.
On June 7, 2002, in a firefight between the Philippine military and the Abu Sayyaf Group, Martin was killed. Gracia was wounded, but was freed.
Since that time Gracia has authored two books, "In The Presence Of My Enemies" and "To Fly Again".
Gerald Sittser is professor of theology and a senior fellow in the Office of Church Engagement at Whitworth University, where he has served for 30 years. Over the past few years he has worked with many partner churches to engage the culture and equip disciples with the good news of Jesus. He has written nine books, among them A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss and A Grace Revealed, The Will of God as a Way of Life, Water From a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries, and Resilient Faith: How the Early Christian "Third Way" Changed the World, which is being featured in the interview. Widowed for twenty years, he married Patricia in 2010. They have five children between them, all married and with children of their own.