A medical missionary has been honored for his heroic efforts to treat patients in Liberia during that country's Ebola crisis.
Dr. Rick Sacra has been recognized by African Mission Healthcare with the Outstanding Christian Medical Mission Service award. The honor comes with a $500,000 prize that will help train others and improve the hospital where he works in Liberia.
Liberia was ground zero for an Ebola virus epidemic in 2014 that claimed more than 4,800 lives.
The disease is highly contagious, often claiming the lives of caregivers such as doctors and nurses, and then spreading to their own family members.
Sacra recalls that nearly every hospital in the country had shut its doors after doctors and nurses contracted the virus, and there were too-few beds for the victims.
Asked why he was willing to risk his life, Sacra tells OneNewsNow he had lived in Liberia long before Ebola hit, and he wasn't going to run from a crisis.
"These are our dear friends. These are our people. We have them in our hearts," he says. "God has really given us a bond with Liberians, so the idea of not responding just didn't even enter our minds I have to say."
Loving God and loving your neighbor, says the doctor, is a very simple, basic part of the Christian faith.