The Miraculous Chain of Events That Saved One Man Who Faced Death Head-On

When Dr. Kent Brantly became the first American to be diagnosed with Ebola in 2014, the world was captivated. Millions watched and wondered as he and colleague Nancy Writebol—who contracted the virus not long after Brantly—arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment.

What the world didn't see, though, was a miraculous chain of events behind the scenes that led to the medical missionaries being healed from the virus that had taken so many lives in West Africa.

Now, that true story will be told in the new documentary Facing Darkness, releasing in select theaters for one night only on Thursday, March 30.

The film was produced by Samaritan's Purse, one of very few relief organizations to respond to the Ebola crisis with medical care and supplies.

"It's a story of bravery, compassion, and it's a story of faith," said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. "It's a testimony of God's faithfulness in saving the lives of Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol."

Committed to the Cause

At the time of their diagnosis, Brantly and Writebol were serving in Liberia alongside Samaritan's Purse personnel to treat and care for Ebola patients.

Despite being up against an epidemic of monstrous proportions, "I was confident that what we were doing was the right thing to do," Brantly says in the film.

Through firsthand accounts, Facing Darkness shows how that commitment among the Samaritan's Purse staff collided with unseen challenges after Brantly's diagnosis. It's a moving fight anyone who's ever faced fear and uncertainty can relate to.

"In a very real way, it was my faith, it was our attempt to follow Christ, that got me Ebola," Brantly said. "And that changes my perspective on faith. Faith is not something that makes you safe."

Facing Darkness is scheduled to play in over 450 theaters across the country. Depending on early ticket sales, more showings may be added.

Pastors are encouraged to promote the film at their church. Franklin Graham shares a special gospel message at the end of the movie, and a portion of proceeds from Facing Darkness will go toward Samaritan Purse's medical missions.

"It's a testimony to what God can do and will do," Franklin Graham said. "It's an incredible story."


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