With the dire Ebola outbreak continuing to rage, countless missionaries and humanitarian aid workers are risking their lives abroad in an effort to try and stop the virus in its tracks.
Among those humanitarian leaders is David Darg, the vice-president of international operations for Operation Blessing, a Christian charity known for taking aid and resources to dangerous areas across the globe.
Darg, who recently told TheBlaze about his organization’s work to train Liberian churches and distribute liquid chlorine, said in a follow-up interview Wednesday that the situation in Monrovia, Liberia, where he is stationed is “really intense.”
“It’s one of the most intense missions I’ve been on in years, because you’re constantly on guard,” he said.
Considering the chaos and tragedy he’s witnessing first-hand and the ongoing threat that Ebola poses in the region, TheBlaze asked what’s driving him to so willingly risk his own health and well-being.
“Number one, I’m driven to help people that are suffering and I think that drive comes through my faith,” Darg said, later adding, “If it wasn’t for my faith I would find it very difficult to cope with the stress and anxiety.”
Darg, who has been to other dangerous areas around the world of late — including northern Iraq — admitted and there is a lot nervousness and uncertainty that comes along with going to a place like Liberia, but that he relies on his Christian worldview to help carry him through.
“Being here also comes with a lot of anxiety. You’re seeing horrors around you all day and [when you get back to the hotel] you turn CNN on and it’s a constant litany of Ebola horrors,” Darg said. “It’s tough. My wife’s back in the U.S. really concerned for me.”
Darg briefly visited Liberia five weeks ago and has been back in the nation for the past week and half delivering aid. During that time, he said that the “anxiety builds and builds.” But he noted that keeping God — and scripture — in mind has been a major source of comfort.
“I talk to my wife and she reminds me of scriptures,” he said. “I read Psalm 91 and then fall asleep.”
Darg firmly believes that Christians are called to help those in need and that the Ebola crisis is the exact type of situation in which believers must intervene by taking action and following Jesus Christ’s example.
“As Christians we shouldn’t be afraid to go out boldly — cautiously, but with boldness,” he said. “We can’t all do it, but we should be praying like crazy for the ones who are.”
Among the many painful situations he has witnessed during his time in Liberia, he said he saw a young girl Wednesday whose mother had just died from Ebola and whose father had also fallen ill.
Darg said that it has been “heartbreaking” to see children orphaned as a result of the Ebola crisis.
A 16 year old Liberian girl named Naweh weeps over the death of her mother. Her father is in an Ebola treatment center, condition unknown. Please say a prayer for her and everyone affected by this horrific outbreak #Ebola #Liberia
Darg believes that without groups like Operation Blessing, among others, the virus could get even more out of control, so he’s hoping that relief organizations and missionaries can help stem the tide.
“We’re proud to be here. We need to be here,” he said. “This thing’s going to get way out of control if we’re not here.”
He also praised Liberia as “a nation of faith” and said that the doctors and nurses who are in the clinics and working on the front lines are heroes who are risking their lives to help their fellow man.
As for Darg’s own safety, he said that there is a certain level of risk. While he’s confident he will be safe, he’s been taking his temperature numerous times a day out of an abundance of caution.
Read more about Darg’s work on the ground in Liberia here.