No Greater Love by Levi Benkert
Levi Benkert and Candy Chand’s No Greater Love is the story of one man and his family who radically uprooted their life and moved across the world out of love for children. Levi was doing well in real estate but when the housing crash hit, his business was spiraling down. He was agonizing over what to do and strategies to come up with when a good friend called and asked him to fly to Ethiopia to help rescue a group of children who had been labeled as a curse by their tribe and were going to be killed. A group of photographers had discovered this practice and managed to rescue nine children. After deliberation and his wife Jessie’s support Levi used his emergency fund and flew over to Ethiopia to aid this effort. The plight of these children weighed on his heart and when he flew back home he and his wife made the decision to move their family (three children at the time) over to care for these kids and find them a home. Their story is moving and inspiring. Ultimately, the state and other organizations stepped in to aid this rescue and the Benkert’s relationship with the tribe deteriorated. The Benkerts ended up doing other work with Ethiopian orphans.
I have mixed feelings about this book. One the one hand, I respect Levi and Jessie’s willingness to literally sell everything and move in answer to a call. Their tenacity is remarkable. On the other hand they made a completely life altering decision very quickly. Levi mentioned in the beginning of the book that they were believers but did not regularly attend church. It is surprising that a church funded them to go over to Ethiopia without them having a commitment to a local church. There was high emphasis on the good that they achieved as well as the lifestyle they were in before they went. It is certainly a remarkable story but it seemed to just skim the surface. I would like to learn more about them and their ministry. I appreciated the honesty about struggles but it was too short! I think their story has more potential.
I learned more about adoption. I share Levi and Jessie’s horror at those who use it as an opportunity to make money. It was surprisingly difficult for them to navigate. Side note: it is a messed up world when adopting children who need a home is that hard! I definitely want to read more about international adoption.
All things considered it was a good read. It was easy to read quickly. It is not one that I am going to give away or recommend with flying colors. I had a couple of concerns with the book. I did appreciate the opportunity to read and review it! (I’ve received this complimentary book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)