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Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic
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Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  535 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Kent, bud. We got your test result.  And Im really sorry to tell you that it is positive for Ebola.

Dr. Kent and Amber Brantly moved with their children to war-torn Liberia in the fall of 2013 to provide medical care for people in great needto help replace hopelessness with hope. When, less than a year later, Kent contracted the deadly Ebola virus, hope became what he
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 21st 2015 by WaterBrook (first published June 15th 2015)
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Michael Decamp
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's one thing to read a book about real life events surrounding some random person, but it's another thing altogether to read about the true, heart-wrenching, life-threatening struggles of someone you actually know. And, as a guy (albeit an emotional guy), it probably wasn't a good idea for me to try to read that book while sitting in a crowded Culver's at lunchtime...or a busy Denny's at dinnertime. This book had me on edge throughout, even though I knew many of the details, and obviously the ...more
Wow! This is a powerful story. If you don't like medical detail, don't read this book. I have to say that there was one moment that brought me to tears. At the lowest point, Amber was on her knees praying and found out that Frankin Gramh spent an hour laying on the floor, pleading for Kent's life. That the highest person in an organization would shove all his stuff aside and pray for an hour for one of the workers is a testament to this organization and to their faith in God.
I admit to some surprise, and then surprise at my surprise, that Kent Brantly's story is in book form already. Oh, it was only a matter of time, but I suppose there's a part of me that wishes the publishers had waited until the Ebola crisis is overthere's something uncomfortable about a book talking about how lucky they were when Ebola's still a threat in parts of West Africa.*

In any we go. Well done as a book, though sometimes with that stilted 'ghostwriter' tone. I would have liked
Kim Ivins
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a fabulous book that has touched my heart! I love that Dr. Brantley was so willing to serve God and others! Thank you for your service and your example to me!
Our calling is to be faithful wherever we are, to be good stewards of opportunities, to be responsible with what we have been given, to try to do good, and to serve those whose paths we cross.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
While it is impossible for a book about Ebola to be easy to read but this one has a sense of hope throughout. Kent and Ambers faith in and reliance on the Lord is very encouraging. It doesnt just cover his time treating Ebola and suffering from it. It also covers their early lives, meeting, marriage, and move to Liberia. The whole book is organized more like a series of journal entries that alternate from his to her perspective than a continuous narrative.
The vast majority of this book is
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I recently received an Advance Reading Copy of Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic by Kent and Amber Brantly (with David Thomas). I was super excited to read this book - I followed Kent's story when it was in the news and prayed for his recovery. I remember watching live on TV, with tears in my eyes, as Kent walked into the hospital in America. I was anxious to hear the whole story surrounding his life as a medical missionary and the inside view ...more
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Dr. Ken Brantly and his wife Amber, were serving in Liberia as medical missionaries. It was a dream come true, for they felt they had a spiritual calling to serve there. Little did they know within months of their arrival, they would be in the middle of a global crisis. The virus Ebola.

"When the going gets tough, the tough go back to their calling". I knew I had to write those words into my journal as soon as I heard them.." "and it was Liberia that Amber and I had been called, to serve some of
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book courtesy of Christian Audio for the purpose of writing a review.

Narrator thoughts: While this was not an author read book I did like the voices that they got to dramatize this book. The readers did an extremely good job of displaying the emotions that were written. I also enjoyed the two voices that played Amber and Dr. Brantley. They both did a great job capturing the spirit of this book.

Book thoughts: Definitely this book is not for the faint of heart. Becuase you are
Melissa Lindsey
So conflicted. So very, very conflicted. About 25% of my way into this book, I wanted to abandon it. I felt like I was listening to an Good Morning America interview -- many parts of this book didn't read like a story and had that disjointed feeling that I often find in my student's writing when they attempt to write a paper by just answering a list of question prompts. This disjointed reading experience was heightened by the decision to move back and forth between Kent and Amber's point of ...more
Lucy Buller
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I'm reading an ARC, I keep a sharp mind. I figure out my favorite parts of the book, and form a draft of what to say about it. Called for Life was unforgettable, and cannot think of words that would describe it adequately. It is a story very close to my heart.
Called for Life takes place last year, at the center of the largest Ebola outbreak in world history.
Last year was the craziest year of my life, but that craziness was multiplied tenfold for Dr. Brantly and Amber. I cannot even
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow...this was excellent. This book is not only about how Dr. Brantly contracted, suffered thru, and recovered from Ebola, it is also about how he knew the missionary life was his calling, how he used medicine as his vehicle to serve others and love his global neighbors, and the difficulties of practicing modern medicine as a Western-trained doctor without the resources we are used to having at our hands. Even before Ebola came to visit, this was a hard situation...losing a 12 year old boy to ...more
Faith Spinks
I have never met Kent and Amber Brantly, but my job had taken me to Liberia and I knew and loved a number of people who served with SP Liberia. When ebola broke out in Liberia it felt personal as I prayed alongside my friends there on the frontline. When Kent, and then Nancy, got sick it was a huge shock and throughout my days this situation was constantly there in my thoughts and my prayers.

This book is an amazing testament to God's faithfulness even in the midst of a war being waged in Liberia
Connie Garrett
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent testimony from the Brantley's who faced and experienced Ebola first hand as they served God on the mission field in West Africa. Kent Brantley was the first person in then US to be treated for Ebola. I loved this quote from the book: "Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. We live in a global community, and we must recognize our neighbors in this community. And we must not allow fear to overcome our sense of compassion for our neighbors who are in need." p. 206

Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. I identify with so many parts of his journey through sickness and out the other side. I also understand so much about working in a hospital in West Africa that I wanted to keep telling my friend about it who was sitting next to me. An easy read but a teary one.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
As I may have mentioned eight or nine times before, missionaries are my heroes. Missionaries are never happy to hear me say that, and I'm sure Dr. Kent Brantly doesn't think of himself as a hero. Nor, I am sure, did he imagine finding attention focused on himself when he and his wife, Amber, accepted an assignment as medical missionaries in Liberia in October 2013.
Although the war-torn western African nation was a challenging field when the Brantlys entered it, there was no hint that within a
Mark Oppenlander
When I was growing up, I enjoyed flipping through Reader's Digest and one of my favorite ongoing features in that magazine was the "Drama in Real Life" articles. These pieces usually featured the story of some individual who had survived a horrendous ordeal (e.g. being lost alone at sea or having their arm chopped off by a piece of farm equipment) and lived to tell about it. Called for Life is essentially a book length version of the same concept.

Dr. Kent Brantly was a young physician who felt
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Called For Life made me seriously think about my faith life. It has made me wonder if Kent Brantly can get through Ebola and still serve God through helping people in need, then I can do the little things like going to church every Sunday. Kent and Amber Brantly persevered through unimaginable hardships, even when the odds of Ebola were against them they came through, God came through. After a couple days in Liberia he was to be transported to the U.S. by a special quarantined airplane to keep ...more
Nancy DeValve
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
As missionaries in West Africa, we were watching the Ebola story with great interest and, I must confess, a fair bit of fear. What if it spread to our country? What would we do? We were travelling during that time and I remember wondering what if I sat next to somebody who had it? Then I heard that one of the missionaries in our organization (Nancy Writebol and then later Rick Sacra) had contracted it. While Kent Brantley was with World Medical Mission (Samaritan's Purse), he worked at our ...more
Claire Furman
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Called for Life, written by Dr. Kent and Amber Brantly, is an inspiring story of compassion and courage. The Brantlys first-hand account of serving as medical missionaries in post-civil war Liberia is an eye opening account, both personally and professionally, of their experience with the deadly Ebola epidemic which struck Liberia and other parts of the world in 2014. The Ebola virus was basically a death sentence for those who tested positive for the disease.
Dr. Brantly relates that he entered
Brandi Barnes
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an inspiring story. I finished this book just two days before my husband is scheduled to leave for what will be his 7th or 8th mission trip to Honduras.

You might not remember his name, but you probably remember him as the American doctor who contracted Ebola while serving in Africa. I can remember so much talk about his choice to put himself in harm's way when news broke about him being brought back to the U.S. to be treated. Most of this talk wasn't very positive. The chapter titled
Hope Keller
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Called for Life by Kent and Amber Brantly demonstrates the need for God in the midst of suffering and crisis. As Christian medical missionaries, Keith and Amber answered their call to serve the sick and dying and moved to Liberia in 2013 with their two children. Kent Brantly was one of the many doctors working in West Africa when the Ebola virus broke out. He treated his patients with dignity and respect especially during their most weak and vulnerable moments. He and his fellow doctors had a ...more
Anthony Foti
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed learning the struggles and hardships that Dr. Kent Brantly went through and how he saw God through the many people that prayed and cared for him. Dr. Kent worked in Liberia, Africa where he helped patients who had contracted Ebola which is a deadly disease that took the lives of many. On July 31, 2014 Dr. Kent started showing symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue and was later diagnosed to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus. He was rushed to the Emory hospital in ...more
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kent and Amber responded to a call to serve in Liberia as medical missionaries with Samaritans Purse in 2013. It was during the summer of 2014 that the Ebola health crisis first broke out in Western Africa. The hospital where Kent was working was one of the first treatment centers. Sanitary procedures were put in place and followed carefully and Kent believed himself as he treated the patients who came for care. Unfortunately, after several weeks of long hours, Kent somehow contracted Ebola and ...more
Mh Weyler
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Been meaning to read for years. Definitely brings some perspective to the COVID pandemic that has shut down the world! I remember when the Ebola outbreak hit. We were to visit Dallas while there had been a small amount of spread in a Dallas hospital a few blocks away. We opted to go but with a bit of hesitancy.
This story tells how Kent ended up in Liberia as a doctor with a nurse wife. He details his first encounters with Ebola there and then a bit of the spread before he too succumbed to it. A
Thomas Juneau
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Called for Life was an inspiring book that taught many life lessons. It was interesting learning of Kent Brantly found God even through all the struggles going on in life. He realized how much everyone really cared for and loved him. Ebola was a deadly disease, but not many people were getting it because of how it was being treated. Dr. Kent would help those who had the deadly disease until one day he began showing signs of this disease. While Dr. Kent was in the hospital he began to realize ...more
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, christian, memoir
In beginning reading this story, I found it somewhat boring due to the narration style of what I consider just listing facts. But, as I became invested in the story, it was more interesting. Ken survived a horrendous bout with Ebola. He gives the glory to God for His sustenance and healing. He gives thanks to all of the help he received from others--their prayers and their hands on help. Being connected with Samaritan's Purse, he received great help from them and from the US government. Also, ...more
Teri Reck
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
An incredible story of the lives of medical missionaries in Liberia who were thrown into an epidemic of Ebola virus and how they dealt with the incredible human misery that resulted from it. They offered so much to people who would almost certainly die horrible deaths under less than ideal conditions. They sacrificed to the point of the physician, Kent Brantly,0 contracting the disease himself, and then coming to know firsthand what a devastating disease Ebola is. Through significant effort by ...more
Diane Stephenson
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story of Dr. Kent and Amber Brantly who went to work with the Liberian people, and shortly after their arrival, the Ebola epidemic broke out. They worked long hours to care for patients only to see most of them die. Eventually Dr. Brantly caught the virus and was flown back to the U.S. for treatment. After some time in isolation, he was finally free of the virus. This is a book about harsh living conditions, sorrow, death, but there is love and victory also through the ...more
Margaret Nelson
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had seen the documentary that covers a lot of this book, but really enjoyed reading the book for the additional information of the Brantlys' lives before and after what was covered in the documentary. It was also very interesting to be reading this during the coronavirus pandemic, and compare the responses then and now.
Robin Chalk
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. I was so involved in praying for Kent Brantley and Nancy Writebol when they had Ebola that I loved reading the story from Kent and his wife's point of view. I also find medicine interesting. A great book with a strong testimony.
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