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Short Movie Recounting Missionaries Sacrificial Struggle with Ebola

( [email protected] ) Sep 22, 2016 02:05 PM EDT
Facing Darkness is a new documentary from Samaritan's Purse and Executive Producer Franklin Graham-brings to vivid life the true story of two American aid workers in West Africa stricken with the deadly Ebola virus and the race against time to get them home and get them treated.
Women celebrate in Monrovia, Liberia after their country is declared Ebola free. Photo credit Ahmed Jallanzo/European Pressphoto Agency

Facing Darkness is a new documentary from Samaritan's Purse and Executive Producer Franklin Graham-brings to vivid life the true story of two American aid workers in West Africa stricken with the deadly Ebola virus and the race against time to get them home and get them treated.

"Samaritan's Purse workers were holding the last line of defense in a crisis the world was largely ignoring," said Graham, president and CEO of the relief organization. "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. It was their only chance, yet it was something no one had ever done."

Facing Darkness was filmed on location in Liberia and the U.S. where the events took place. It is a story of true heroes, risking their lives in an effort to stem one of the deadliest epidemics of the century.

The Ebola outbreak began in March 2014, and by June it was a raging epidemic. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were in ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, fighting the surge of the killer virus when they caught the disease themselves, Religion News recounts.

Facing Darkness is the true story of Brantly and Writebol's evacuation, treatment and eventual cure unfolds side-by-side with an inspiring story of faith facing and overcoming fear.

"Faith is not something that makes you safe," Brantly said, describing his decision to stay in country and fight the disease. "You had to face death in the eye and decide, 'Who am I going to be today?'"

Complicating the situation-after years of civil war, the people of Liberia deeply distrusted any authority and went so far as to blame the aid workers for spreading the disease. Hospitals and people were attacked. Yet the Samaritan's Purse team continued to serve.

"I think when there's a crisis, God wants us to be there," Graham said of the organization's commitment to stay in Liberia. "He doesn't want us to run away. God has put us there for a reason, and he expects us to do something about it."

Eventually, a change in culture stemmed the spread of the disease, accomplished through a massive public health education program, in which Samaritan's Purse reached 1.5 million people. One year later, Liberia was declared Ebola free, by the World Health Organization on Saturday, May 9, 2015. This made Liberia one of the first of the three hardest hit West African countries to bring a formal end to the epidemic.

Facing Darkness not only tells the story of saving Brantly and Writebol, it shows what happens when people choose compassion over fear in service to others.

The short movie premieres in select U.S. movie theaters for one night through Fathom Events on March 30, 2017.

Tags : Movie, Ebola, Missionaries, Franklin Graham, liberia