When an outbreak of Ebola occurred in 2014 and two American missionaries in West Africa fought the virus, Franklin Graham — the evangelical leader and head of the Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse — says he had no idea how to pray.
“Samaritan’s Purse workers were holding the last line of defense in a crisis the world was largely ignoring,” Graham notes in “Facing Darkness,” which will play in select theaters March 30. “Hundreds were dying and it was only growing worse. When the disease struck Dr. Kent Brantly and hygienist Nancy Writebol, we knew we had to get them home for treatment.”
Brantly and Writebol became infected with Ebola while providing aid through Samaritan’s Purse at Eternal Love Winning Africa Hospital, outside Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.
In July 2014, Brantly was the first American diagnosed with the life-threatening virus; Writebol became the second.
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“I didn’t even know how to pray,” said Graham, who is also the executive producer of the film.
“At first, I just kept saying, ‘God why?'” Graham told The Christian Post.
“When the Ebola outbreak first spread through West Africa in 2014, most of the world was unaware, ignorant of people like Joseph Gbembo, a Liberian featured in the documentary who lost 17 family members to the deadly disease and is now single-handedly raising the 16 children left behind,” The Blaze reported.
Graham said members of his organization contacted everyone they knew after they learned of Brantly’s diagnosis, as The Christian Post noted. “As a result of it God began to open up doors,” Graham said.
Brantly and Writebol flew to Emory United Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Both made full recoveries.
Dr. Brantly and “the Ebola Fighters” made the cover of TIME magazine in December 2014.
“Faith is not something that makes you safe,” Brantly said. “You had to face death in the eye and decide, ‘Who am I going to be today?'”
Graham ultimately described the recoveries as an incredible story of hope and faith.