Samaritan's Purse and Executive Producer Franklin Graham are gearing up to release a new documentary of the true story of two American aid workers in West Africa stricken with the deadly Ebola virus and the race against time to get them home and get them treated.
"Facing Darkness" will feature interviews with those who personally fought the outbreak themselves.
The film was shot in Liberia and the U.S. where the events took place. The story is set to highlight the lives of true life heroes who risked their lives in an effort to stop one of the deadliest epidemics this century. Ebola infected more than 28,000 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and 11,000 lives succumbed to the disease.
"Samaritan's Purse workers were holding the last line of defense in a crisis the world was largely ignoring," Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the relief organization, said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. "Hundreds were dying and it was only growing worse. When the disease struck Dr. Kent Brantly and hygienist Nancy Writebol, we knew we had to get them home for treatment. It was their only chance, yet it was something no one had ever done."
The Ebola outbreak first surfaced in March 2014, and by June it was all over the news as a raging epidemic. At the time, missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol went out to ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, to fight the surge of the killer virus and wound up catching the disease themselves.
Once news of the missionaries' infection hit, the team at Samaritan's Purse worked around the clock toward returning Brantly and Writebol back to the United States, which was their only hope to survive the epidemic. It was something that had never been done before but both of the Ebola patients were evacuated to the U.S. for treatment and were cured.
"Facing Darkness" will feature the amazing true story of Brantly and Writebol's evacuation, treatment and eventual cure side-by-side with an inspiring story of faith facing and overcoming fear.
"Faith is not something that makes you safe," Brantly is quoted as saying in the statement when describing his decision to stay in the country and fight the disease. "You had to face death in the eye and decide, 'Who am I going to be today?'"
The missionaries faced other challenges when in Liberia. Complicating the situation was years of civil war, the people of Liberia had very little trust for anyone in authority and went so far as to blame the aid workers for spreading the disease. Hospitals and people were attacked. Yet the Samaritan's Purse team continued to serve.
"I think when there's a crisis, God wants us to be there," Graham added when talking of the organization's commitment to stay in Liberia. "He doesn't want us to run away. God has put us there for a reason, and he expects us to do something about it."
Liberia is now declared Ebola free because a shift in culture that helped stop the spread of the disease, thanks to Samaritan's Purse who was behind the massive public health education program that reached 1.5 million people.
"Facing Darkness" will not only tell the story of saving Brantly and Writebol, it will reportedly show what happens when people choose compassion over fear in service to others.
The Arthur Rasco film will premiere in select U.S. movie theaters for one night through Fathom Events on March 30, 2017. "Facing Darkness" has already received an Award of Excellence from the Accolade Global Film Competition.
For more information visit FacingDarknessMovie.com