Church’s Gift to Serviceman Snowballs

Devin Benter is a tech sergeant with the 133rd Test Squadron of the Iowa Air National Guard currently deployed to Turkey. The veteran serviceman with 14 years combined service in the Marines, Air Force, and Iowa Air Guard is expected home in eight or nine months.

During his deployment, people at Rolling Acres Christian Reformed Church, where Benter attends with his wife, Lisa, and their daughter, asked Lisa how they could support Devin and what they might send to show their love. When Lisa decided to announce to the whole church community that she was putting together a care package, contributions came pouring in. “We had a list of requested items” including snacks, books and magazines, bottles of lotion, and chapsticks, she said. Many people included cards and notes. Lisa said she has been “truly overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support.”

She ended up with 83 pounds of goods to send to Devin. The $157 shipping fee was paid for by donations that exceeded the amount needed. Lisa donated the excess money to the United Services Organization, a charity that assists military families. Lisa said she gave them the money so they could send a care package to a service person who may not have a family from which to receive a gift.

Lisa, Devin, and their daughter Jade have been a part of the Rolling Acres CRC community for the past 15 years. Lisa currently serves as head of deacons. She said the church’s motto, “Love God, love people #FriendsBecomingFamily” is exactly what she has experienced. She saw this even more clearly in the combined care package. “We feel truly blessed and know God is amazing in placing such caring people in our church family. I know Devin feels a sense of relief knowing so many of them are taking care of his girls while he’s away.”

About the Author

Kyle Hoogendoorn is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. He lives in Rock Valley, Iowa.

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