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In a Powerful Sermon, the American Doctor Infected with Ebola Explains Why He Was Called to Serve in Africa


"God did not give us a spirit of timidity."

Dr. Kent Brantly is shown in this 2013 photo provided by JPS Health Network. A relief group official says Brantly is one of two American aid workers that have tested positive for the Ebola virus while working to combat an outbreak of the deadly disease at a hospital in Liberia. A spokesman said both Americans have been isolated and are under intensive treatment.(AP Photo/JPS Health Network) AP Photo/JPS Health Network

Last summer, long before he traveled to Liberia, worked to combat the largest outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in history, or fell ill with the incurable virus and became the first infected person to come into the U.S., Dr. Kent Brantly returned to his hometown church and delivered a sermon.

Dr. Kent Brantly is shown in this 2013 photo provided by JPS Health Network. (AP Photo/JPS Health Network)

"In October, [my wife] Amber and the kids and I are moving to Monrovia, Liberia, to work as medical missionaries at ELWA Hospital," Brantly told the congregation at Southeastern Church of Christ in Indianapolis. "For two years we will live and work and serve among the people who, until the last 10 years of peace, had known nothing but the violence and devastation of war for the previous 20 years."

He added, "I've never been to Liberia."

Why did he decide to take his family to "this far-off place" he knew nothing about?

"It's because God has a call on my life," Brantly said.

Quoting the Apostle Paul, Brantley urged the congregation to live boldly, saying, "God did not give us a spirit of timidity."

The sermon offers a deeper look at the man whose life has been permanently damaged by his work, and how his faith drove him to sacrifice.

“On difficult days," Brantly said, "when I want to give up or when I wonder if I’ve made the right decision, retelling my story reminds me of how God has brought me to where I am.”

On Saturday, as Brantley arrived in Atlanta for treatment, his wife released the following statement, WISH-TV reported:

“It was a relief to welcome Kent home today. I spoke with him, and he is glad to be back in the U.S. I am thankful to God for his safe transport and for giving him the strength to walk into the hospital. Please continue praying for Kent and Nancy [Writebol, the other infected American aid worker] – and please continue praying for the people of Liberia and those who continue to serve them there.”

Listen to the full sermon here.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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