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Season of Grief Brings Couple Closer to Christ

Illinois AG church reaches out to parents after the deaths of their premature twins.

In the midst of a tragedy, people can either run away from God or run to Him, says Pastor William Mills of Bethel Assembly of God in Sycamore, Illinois.

For one young woman, who had been occasionally visiting Bethel, Mills saw her run to God. 

In September 2014, Danielle Dobberstein, 22, and her husband Robbie, 23, of Malta, Illinois, lost their twin babies who were born 18 weeks prematurely. Amerakiss and Sawyer had been a long-awaited miracle for the couple who had been trying to start a family for two years and finally consulted a fertility doctor. However, unable to survive on their own, the babies died two hours after birth.

Danielle says she sensed God drawing her closer to Him during her pregnancy. Now she’s continuing to trust Him to help her through this season of pain and grief.

“I feel like everything happens for a reason,” she says. “We lost the twins, which was horrible, but that reason may be to get closer to God.”

Through the tragedy, the couple has experienced God’s blessings through the love and support of the local community and church family, along with their own family and friends.

People visited and brought food. Bethel members prayed for the couple and discipled them. Friends, family, and even strangers raised almost $8,000 to help with funeral and medical expenses.

This was a particular blessing since Robbie had recently lost a job and finances were tight.

“We’ve got most of our bills paid off,” Danielle says.

But one of the greatest godsends has been how the church family has continued to walk with the couple through their grief long after the funeral at Bethel, Danielle says. They’ve become like a “second family,” to the couple, she says.

“We want them to know they don’t have to do this by themselves,” Mills says. “A church family is an incredible gift from God. These are people who really care.”

After the tragedy, the Dobbersteins began attending church more frequently. They both were baptized in December 2014.

Jennifer Pallikkathayil

Jennifer Pallikkathayil is a public relations professional from Columbia, Missouri, who loves sharing stories of the work God is doing in people’s lives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Iowa State University.