The Fort Worth doctor who came down with Ebola while working as an aide worker in western Africa said he became a medical missionary to help others and because "God has a call on my life."
Dr. Kent Brantly made the comments in a sermon at his childhood church, Southeastern Church of Christ in Indianapolis, before leaving for Liberia last October.
The speech was posted on the church's website.
He told his life story and talked about his years as a student at Abilene Christian University when he spent summers going on mission trips, including one to Central America.
"As I sat with the missionary nurse practitioner one day, seeing patients in a makeshift clinic in a church building, I began to feel the impact that a medical missionary could have on the lives she or he touched and my decision to pursue a medical education was confirmed in my spirit," he said.
It was on that trip he met his wife, Amber, then a nursing student also interested in medical missions.
He decided to become a doctor.
"After I decided to pursue a medical education, God took the reins and nothing since then has gone as I expected," he said in the recording.
He told the congregation he knew almost nothing about Liberia, a country in West Africa recovering from years of civil war.
"So how is it that less than a year later I'll be taking my family to this far-off place?" he asked. "It's because God has a call on my life."
He said he wanted to help heal people and also to minister to them at the same time.
Little did he know then, he'd find himself in the middle of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the world's worst Ebola epidemic.
And now, in light of all that, his words back then seem all the more relevant today.
"On difficult days when I want to give up or when I wonder if I've made the right decision, retelling my story reminds me of how God has brought me to where I am," Brantly said.