There is no doubt about it. Even a casual glance through the Bible tells us God expects us to serve others and share our faith. It is even more obvious from reading about the lives of Jesus and the Apostles, sometimes the cost for doing those things is high and even fatal. As I am not a fan of danger, I am always interested to read about people whose service and faith sharing has put them in situations that would terrify me.
Kent Brantly is a name that was in the news for quite awhile last year. You may recall, he was one of the ebola patients who was an American citizen serving others in Liberia and contracted the Ebola virus. Kent and his wife Amber have written a book about their experience, Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic.
The book tells the story from how they met, through how they ended up serving God in Liberia to the Ebola experience. The narrative ping-pongs smoothly between Kent’s and Amber’s retelling of their personal feelings and recollections of the events. By the end of the book, you feel as if you know them well without feeling as if you have eavesdropped on personal conversations.
The Brantley’s faith plays an important part in their story. Their account of the prayers and support of their Christian brothers and sisters moved me to tears more than once. (Full disclosure – although I do not know them, Kent’s uncle was the minister who married us many years ago. We and many in our church family joined others in praying for them during their crisis.) It is clear although modern medicine and healthcare professionals played an important role in Kent’s recovery, they give God the credit for putting everything in place so Kent could recover.
Although parts of this book can break your heart, ultimately it is a story of love and hope. It is a story of God’s faithfulness – even when things don’t go perfectly in this fallen world. I think the ultimate testimony to me was towards the very end when the Brantly’s gave every indication they expect to continue serving God even if that one day takes them back to Liberia.
If you want to be encouraged to take the risk to serve others and share your faith, this may just be the book you need. Thankfully, the risks most of us take will never put us in the kind of danger the Brantly’s experienced. If, however it does, I think how they handled the experience in honest but faithful ways will also encourage you. Mature teens can also gain a lot from reading the book as they begin thinking about how they may serve God.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review.