Guest Post by Kent Brantly
In 2009, Amber and I moved to Fort Worth to begin my Family Medicine residency training at JPS. One of the first couples we met there was Jason and Italia Brewington. As it turns out, Amber and Italia shared family connections from their teenage years when Amber’s family went on mission trips to Mexico to support a local preacher (Italia’s dad). We quickly found our new home at Southside, joining the Fellowship class with the Vickers, Parkers, Bockses, Cloers, Morgans, and others. For four years, we lived life as a part of this community, until the time came for us to move on.
From the beginning, Fort Worth was only a temporary home. Amber and I shared a calling from God to care for the poor, to have compassion on people in need, to
participate in the coming of God’s Kingdom on this earth – we shared a calling from God to serve as medical
missionaries. So in 2013, this congregation commissioned us as missionaries, blessed us, and sent us off to Liberia in faithfulness to God’s call on our lives. And through all of those seemingly small, simple steps of faith – for us and for this church – no one could have predicted the life-changing and world-impacting events that would unfold as a direct result.
After I contracted Ebola Virus Disease while caring for patients in Liberia, our story became international news. And this church, in the midst of her grief and shock, found herself in the spotlight. The world watched as you faithfully prayed for me. You prayed not just that my life would be spared, but you prayed that through the darkness, God’s Kingdom would be made manifest on this earth. And God brought incredible blessing out of a seemingly hopeless situation. He saved my life. He used our story to bring more help to the people of West Africa. He brought unity in His Church as people came together for a common good. And He gave us the opportunity to share with millions of
people His calling to choose compassion over fear.
Can you believe it has been five years since all of that
happened?! After all of this time, Amber and I remain
incredibly grateful for the love and support of our church family at Southside. So it is with great joy that we share with you our opportunity to return to that original calling. Later this year, we will be moving to Zambia, in southern Africa, to once again serve as medical missionaries – to have compassion on people in need, to care for the poor, and to participate in the coming of God’s Kingdom. This time around, we are partnering with Christian Health
Service Corps (healthservicecorps.org) to work at Mukinge Mission Hospital.
Next week, Sunday June 16, Greg Seager, the co-founder of CHSC, will be joining us for an optional adult Bible class. We hope you will join us to learn more about our future work and this great organization that is helping to make it possible.