Q & A with Franklin Graham on Facing Darkness movie: “What God can do in the middle of a storm”
As the Ebola pandemic was sweeping across West Africa in the spring of 2014, one organization was willing to step up and fully commit its people and resources to provide comfort, compassion, and care to the hurting people of Africa … all in the Name of Jesus. But when the deadly virus infected its own medical personnel, including Dr. Kent Brantly, the epic crisis truly hit home for Samaritan’s Purse and its leader Franklin Graham. Facing Darkness tells the incredible true story of how—with only faith, determination, and prayer—the ministry moved mountains … and God performed a miracle!
Kathy Larson recently interviewed Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, about the organization’s new documentary – Facing Darkness. The movie will be in select theaters across America one night only – Thursday, March 30. To find a theater near you or to buy tickets visit http://facingdarknessmovie.com/
KL: Why did Samaritan’s Purse choose to make this documentary?
Graham: At Samaritan’s Purse, we have always felt like it’s important to run toward problems, not away from them. That’s what we do. We work in 136 countries around the world. We were not in Liberia to fight Ebola. We had been there since 2003, right after the civil war came to an end, to help the churches and the Christians try to recover from this horrific 20-year war. In 2015, Ebola came into Liberia and there was no one else there to fight it. So, we were asked by the NGOs to set up an Ebola Treatment Unit. An ETU is basically a place where you make the patients as comfortable as possible, but really, you just hold their hands until they die.
It was very difficult work. The doctors are gowned in suits with duct tape, you can’t have any exposed skin, and the climate there is so hot, they couldn’t be in the ETUs for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. It was very difficult work, but somebody had to do it. Dr. Kent Brantley was there working with Samaritan’s Purse, so we asked him … but I had a knot in my stomach, because this was the world’s most dangerous virus and we had no business doing this. But there was no one else to do it. So, we responded, and within a few months, Dr. Brantley and Nancy Writebol both got Ebola. I was working on another project in Alaska when I got the call, and that was probably one of the worst days of my life. I thought how in the world will we help these people? We will never get them out of Africa. They will die there.
I came home and we began to work 24/7 and we saw God begin to work, and the walls that were in front of us that we thought we would never be able to climb… God got us over them. It was God who saved their lives. We wanted to produce this film to show people what God can do in the middle of a storm.
I hope this film will motivate an army of young men and women who will say, “Here I am, Send me.” Not only did God save Dr. Brantley’s life, He elevated him as the spokesman for Ebola survivors. He’s spoken before Congress, he’s met with the president, and with health organization leaders around the world. They learned so much from him. I so appreciate this man. He’s a hero of mine. He’s such a well-spoken, soft-spoken man who chooses his words so carefully. He was such a great help to give hope to these people. I want the world to know and another generation of young people to see what God can do with your life if you say, “Here I am, Lord. Send me.”
Read the rest of the interview on layman.org