‘I am growing stronger every day’ — updates on Christian physician battling Ebola
(Update: Dr. Kent Brantly sends words of encouragement from the hospital in Atlanta as he receives treatment. See a transcript of his sermon from 2013.)
Churches of Christ in the U.S. and West Africa are hosting prayer vigils for the thousands of souls exposed to the deadly Ebola virus.
Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian humanitarian organization supervising his post-residency medical mission program. “I also want to extend my deep and sincere thanks to all of you who have been praying for my recovery as well as for Nancy and for the people of Liberia and West Africa.”
• ‘God has placed a call on all of us’ — see a transcript of Dr. Kent Brantly’s sermon
“As I dream about what that will look like in the years to come, my heart leaps with joy knowing that he has called me.”
“I was so weak I could not stand,” Pottberg told The Christian Chronicle. Another physician at the hospital “said I would have probably died if I had gone to Sierra Leone that day without medical attention. (It was a) close call, but that is what we do for the Gospel.”
After contracting Ebola, Brantly himself became a patient. Before he was transported to Atlanta, the physician received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who survived Ebola because of Brantly’s care, Samaritan’s Purse reported.
Dr. Kent Brantly cares for an Ebola patient in the isolation ward before he tested positive for the virus. (PHOTO VIA WWW.SAMARITANSPURSE.ORG)
While an undergraduate at Abilene Christian, Brantly served an internship overseas through the university’s WorldWide Witness program, which gives students a short-term, focused vocational missions experience “that shows them how to effectively serve God and others wherever their career takes them,” said Grant Rampy, the university’s director of public relations.
“Everyone here who has been connected with Kent knows him to be someone who is very compassionate, considerate and always upbeat in all he does — the kind of guy who always has a smile on his face,” said Gary Green, director of WorldWide Witness. “Kent and his wife, Amber, are both very capable, intelligent people who are able to handle cross-cultural stresses in amazing ways.
“Kent’s the kind of guy who would weigh benefits versus risk, then try to take himself out of the equation so that he would be thinking, ‘What do I bring to the table? Is the risk worth taking because I can benefit so many people?’ That’s just the way he is and the kind of person he is in his heart.”
Chris Flanders, assistant professor of missions and director of the Halbert Institute for Missions at ACU, said that Brantly’s work reflects the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:14: For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
“Sometimes when you follow God’s lead you find yourself going into places that are not safe,” Flanders said. “We never seek to put people in situations of danger, but sometimes the commitments people have lead them inevitably to a place that is potentially dangerous.”
The congregation at Southside Church of Christ left Wednesday night Bible study with yellow ribbons that were paper-clipped to cards bearing a photo of a smiling young physician who used to attend the church.They were encouraged to tie the ribbons to their vehicles or backpacks to show concern for Dr. Kent Brantly and to pray for his full recovery.The card quotes 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
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