No Greater Love
by Levi Benkert with Candy Chand
It’s called mingi killing. Ethiopian tribes still enslaved to superstition believed some children are cursed. The very presence of a mingi child in the village would cause the evil spirits to send disaster.
So they kill the children.
A child could be mingi because he’s born to unmarried parents or his married mother and father did not announce in a public ceremony that they were trying to conceive a child. Or maybe the baby’s top teeth cut through her gums before her bottom. Even an older child whose grown up teeth grew in top first would have to be killed. Maybe they’d use starvation or drowning or cram dirt into a baby’s mouth and leave the baby to die in the dust. The point was, the cursed child was dead and the people needn’t fear the wrath of evil village spirits.
Levi Benkert moved to Ethiopia with his family after a simple phone call asked him to go over and help out with the efforts to save mingi children there. His family’s adaptation to Ethiopian life wasn’t always easy (who could get used to weeks without running water or power)? Even their calling in Ethiopia changed over time as they understood the culture better and even as the culture itself shifted.
The book is simple and heartbreaking, honest and straightforward–not as fully poetic as some of these memoirs are. It’s an easy read that isn’t easy to forget. While Levi talks some about his faith and a little about praying, this book isn’t really making an overarching spiritual plea or necessarily calling for others to respond in the same way.
Yet, still the book reminds us that the world is so much bigger than our own personal lives and that God is consistent throughout Scripture in caring passionately for the orphans and widows. He has them in his sight and expects us to serve them and care for them, as well. As James writes: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (James 1:27).
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”