The director of a North Texas-based nonprofit told NBC 5 the situation in Liberia’s capital city deteriorated “by the hour” in front of his eyes.
Dr. Todd Phillips is the executive director of “The Last Well,” a Christian nonprofit committed to bringing clean water wells and ministry to “every man, woman and child” of Liberia by 2020.
Phillips returned home to DFW International Airport Sunday afternoon after spending nearly two weeks in Liberia.
“It’s living in two worlds,” he said. “It’s your called to this cause and it’s your mission to be there, but you’re very blessed to be home.”
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During the trip, Phillips said he and his team went into some of the remote villages around the capital city Monrovia, digging fresh water sources, but, at the same time, witnessing the escalation of the outbreak.
“Things would change on an hourly basis,” he said. “The very next day the entire government shuts down.”
“It was like a ghost town,” he added, of Monrovia. “This is like five, six million people, and it goes from this massive bustling city to no one on the streets. And that’s in hours!”
He said cleaning stations, including hand sanitizer and soapy water, became mandatory in public spaces, adding, at one point, he and his team sat down to talk frankly about their fears.
“Who’s sneezed and thought, 'What if?' Who’s cleared their throat and thought, 'What if?'”
Phillips felt tempted to “ride it out” with people “that desperately need help.”
“You know you’re leaving, you’re evacuating, from a place where your presence might do some help,” he said.
However, he said he has plans to return and normally makes about four trips per year.