Kent Brantly has been a major topic of discussion since contracting Ebola virus in July. It would seem that after remaining courageous in the face of a deadly disease, as well as testing an experimental cure, he’d receive nothing but praise.
However, that’s not the case. One of the major objections to Brantly’s mission was the cost it took Samaritan’s Purse to fly him back to the states. For those unaware, the small private jet Kent flew in was big enough for only one person and equipped with a special tent specifically intended for transporting people with highly infectious diseases. This special jet, along with Brantly’s treatment, cost Samaritan’s Purse around $2 million, and is what seems to be making people uncomfortable about his work.
Ann Coulter, a notoriously extreme-conservative columnist, called Brantly a narcissist for traveling to Liberia in the first place. She is clear in her article entitled “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to ‘Idiotic,” as to just where she stands on the issue.
“I wonder how the Ebola doctor feels now that his humanitarian trip has cost a Christian charity much more than any services he rendered?” she said.
No matter how much Brantly’s illness costed Samaritan’s Purse, it isn’t the monetary value that should be concentrated on.
From a Christian point of view, Brantly’s medical bills shouldn’t matter at all. In his moment of crisis, Brantly showed the world the humility and sacrifice of a devoted Christ-follower as he selflessly pleaded with doctors to give his sick colleague Nancy Writebol the only serum.
Any concern over cost or his supposed narcissism should have been lost once Brantly said “what I can tell you is that I serve a faithful God who answers prayers,” and gave full credit to the God that saved him in a press conference in front of a global audience.
Furthermore, people who are worried about Brantly’s cost to Samaritan’s Purse, like Coulter, should check the mission statement of Samaritan’s Purse – “to follow the example of Christ by helping those in need and proclaiming the hope of the Gospel.”
Brantly was already “following the example of Christ” by risking the dangers of traveling to Liberia to take care of others. His faith and miraculous recovery on a global scale completed his living out of Samaritan’s Purse in “proclaiming the hope of the Gospel.”
Instead of harming Samaritan’s Purse, it seems Brantly has not only lived out its mission statement, but also brought more awareness to the organization and the cause than $2 million could have ever bought them otherwise.
An important and immeasurable benefit of Brantly’s experiences is a new possible cure for Ebola. A new serum for a disease that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has already killed about 900 people just this year, along with a global stage to let God work His miracles, is priceless and worth any cost.