Local church rallies around Indy native with Ebola

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Sunday morning, the Indianapolis church that Dr. Kent Brantly grew up attending prayed for his recovery and thanked God for the progress they’ve seen so far. Dr. Brantly specifically requested his church family hear a message about his contentment and faith, even after his diagnosis.

“Kent is very much a disciple of Jesus, and that’s what drives and motivates every decision that he makes in life,” said Southeastern Church of Christ elder Terry Gardner.

The preaching minister recalls Brantly’s selfless attitude.

“He’s never seen himself as someone who wanted to pursue privilege, but someone who wanted to pursue service to others,” said minister Greg York.

A call to service and desire to do good in the world led Brantly to Liberia. York calls the mission work a “natural fit” due to Brantly’s training and compassion.  But while working to combat Ebola in Liberia, Brantly fell victim to the disease.

“Kent’s the kind of person that knew the risks he was taking. He chose to put himself in that position because he would be the kind of person that would think ‘This is what I need to do for the sake of other people,'” said York.

Even while he fought for his life, Dr. Brantly managed to get a message home to his church family. No matter what the outcome, Brantly is at peace.

“Our commitment to God is not about his deliverance of us,” said York in his Sunday morning sermon.

Church members say Brantly’s closest family feel the same.

“They wanted God to be glorified whether Kent lived or whether Kent died,” said Gardner.

This weekend, the congregation says they saw the power of prayer firsthand when Brantly walked to the hospital in Atlanta.

“Wow! That’s Kent! He’s walking in…then it sort of dawned on us what we were seeing,” York recalled.

Now, as one of their own battles a virus that typically seems so far away, many here in Indianapolis are ready to carry on Brantly’s mission.

“It’s made us think more ‘How can we help the people of Liberia? What can we do to help with the Ebola crisis?'” said Gardner.

They just keep praying Brantly will soon be able to work alongside them once again.

“We know if his life is spared, he’s going to continue to make a difference for good in the world,” said York.

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