Prayer Letter May 2020

Dear partners in the ministry,

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  Mark 16:15

We are living in challenging days.  In all my life, never have I seen anything like the effects of and reactions to COVID-19.  Like most of the world, we have been in quarantine, unable to hold regular church services in our usual location.  Our last Sunday service was March 15, and since then we have been using “Facebook Live” as a means of ministering to our deaf church family and friends via the internet.  When churches in São Paulo were required to close their doors, most churches with a Deaf ministry in Brazil also stopped having an interpreter for the Deaf.  For that reason, our services for the deaf in Brazilian sign language (LIBRAS) went farther and wider than we ever could have imagined.  Between the two of us, my wife and I had more than 150 new contacts/friend requests on Facebook, and more people have been tuning in to our live services.

Sometime last year, Joanne, a young deaf woman, visited our church.  Several months ago she contacted Anna, one of our church members, and asked for a Bible.  Anna told my wife, and so Becky got a Bible and wrote a little note in the front of the Bible.  The Bible was sent to a small city in the northern state of Piauí, some 1,870 miles from where we live.  Well, in early March we heard that Joanne was going to commit suicide.  Anna and Becky began to frantically try to get in contact with Joanne.  After several hours of not getting an answer to the messages that were sent, Joanne finally responded, praise the Lord!  Anna and Becky set up a time to have a videocall with Joanne, and after two hours of talking/signing, Joanne was gloriously saved on March 4, 2020!

Joanne has two roommates, a guy and another girl.  Joanne began to tell her roommates about what happened to her, so more videocalls were scheduled.  On March 9, our co-worker, Michael Douglas, and Anna led Aldair to the Lord, and on March 11,  they introduced Adelane to the Savior.  To God be the glory!

Sônia, another one of our deaf ladies, had been witnessing to her friends, a deaf couple.  Another videocall was set up, and on March 28, Sérgio and Tatiane accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  Praise God!

We will continue livestreaming our services as we are still unsure about when we will be able to return to regular services.  Please be praying for us in the months ahead as the cold weather sets in.  At this time, both the flu and COVID19 are going around, so we ask prayer for our health and the health of our church family.

Finally, we are coming to the end of our fourth term here in Brazil.  Lord willing, we will be leaving on July 28, 2020 for furlough.  If you would like for us to drop in and give a report, please contact me as soon as possible.

Again, thank you for faithfully standing with us financially, and kneeling for us prayerfully.

                                                                                         That all may “hear,”

                                                                                         Dan and Becky Bennett

New Memories

28 December 2019

In the new year, instead of only sharing OLD memories on Facebook from years gone by, I want to be making NEW memories.  I want to do something MEMORABLE with my family and loved ones in the upcoming year, and in the years to come.  I may not be able to be extravagant every week or every month, but I want to start doing something every year that my wife and children will remember and talk about the rest of their lives.  I should have started this years ago, but as I get older the necessity of making memories with my kids is becoming more important.

When I was eight years old, we took a family vacation, driving from Florida to California, camping along the way.  None of us had a cell phone to distract us or keep us busy, and we were not connected to the internet or texting our friends.  I don’t have any digital pictures of that vacation on my computer, but I can still remember it well because it was a memorable trip.  I want to make those kinds of memories with my family, beginning this upcoming year!

December 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear co-laborers in the ministry,

As I sit in my office on the last night of the year, I can’t help but reflect on the goodness of God.

On Sunday, September 29, we had a special “Blue Sunday” to commemorate Deaf Awareness during the month of September.  There were 89 people in attendance, and eight deaf people made professions of faith. It was a, “Glory, Hallelujah,” kind of day!

On October 11, I received a phone call from my oldest brother, David Bennett, telling me that it would not be long before the Home-going of our earthly father.  I arrived back in Chattanooga on October 14, and me and my two brothers stood around Dad’s bedside waiting for his imminent passing.  However, as his three sons stood around talking, reminiscing, and laughing, Dad seemed to have made a slight improvement.  Within a week’s time, he was sitting up, watching football, and drinking buttermilk with cornbread (it’s a Southern thing).  Dad was a pastor for 49 years, and he would ask me to read the Bible to him, and then read some from one of his favorite commentators, finishing off with a prayer for family and loved ones.  I was able to spend some time with Dad and my two brothers while waiting for his passing, which turned out to be the most time we’ve been together since we were teenagers.  Just as I was about to return to Brazil, my father, William Edward Bennett, passed away suddenly from a cardiac arrest on Tuesday evening, November 19.  The two-hour funeral service was a blessed time of rejoicing, singing, testimonies, and challenges from the Word of God. 

I returned to Brazil on November 25, and then on November 27 we began our prophecy conference in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Bible Baptist Church for the Deaf.  Since this was the “silver” anniversary, I had invited my brother, David, to come and preach this conference, since he is the one that planted this church 25 years ago.  David preached Wednesday through Sunday, and three people made professions of faith in Jesus Christ.

December kept us busy with planning, preparing, and decorating for a Christmas dinner, and then Dan performed a wedding ceremony of a deaf couple that was saved in September.

As we start 2020, once again we want to express our sincere appreciation to all that have faithfully prayed and given financially to our ministry this past year.  We are very grateful to those that sent in a special Christmas offering, and your generosity has been overwhelming.  We are blessed to have you on our team, to partner with us here in Brazil, and we don’t take you for granted.  May the Lord grant you a fruitful, blessed, and HAPPY NEW YEAR as you enter 2020!

                                                                                                That all may “hear,”

                                                                                                Dan & Becky Bennett

July 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear ministry partners,

The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.  Psalm 126:3

We serve a mighty God Who is WORTHY of our love and worship!  

Back in January we were contacted by a fellow BIMI missionary in Jundiaí, a city about 90 minutes from our home.  He asked if we taught sign language to church groups, and if we would be willing to drive out to their church for the class.  We set aside six Saturdays in June and July to go and teach a basic sign language course for three hours each Saturday for six weeks.  On the first Saturday, we were shocked to see that practically the whole church had signed up to take the course. It was very moving to see the whole congregation singing and signing hymns and choruses that we taught in our class. There was even a man there named Santiago who only had one hand!  He told me that, even though he could not become an interpreter or very proficient in sign language, he was doing it so that his family would see his example.  What a blessing to meet a man with such a commitment to God and his family!  After six Saturdays, we had a special graduation ceremony on Sunday morning, July 21st.  We were thrilled to be able to hand out 101 diplomas to those that satisfactorily completed the course.  They are praying that God would raise up a couple that would head up this ministry.

On July 29th, Dan returned to language school, not because he needs a refresher course in Portuguese, but to interpret for a missionary deaf couple that has moved to São Paulo to learn Portuguese. This is a one-year course that will be two hours each day, Monday through Friday. Pray for Michael and Ruth Douglas as they learn Portuguese, and for Dan as he interprets and attempts to explain in Brazilian sign language the complicated verb conjugations of the Portuguese language.  Michael and Ruth have learned a good bit of the Brazilian sign language, and now they will be learning the spoken language to be able to read and understand Portuguese, and that Michael can study and prepare properly for preaching. They could use your prayers, as well.  Becky will be babysitting the Douglas’ two little girls while the parents go to language school.  

The new church plant in Arujá is going well.  Our co-workers, Jon and Hannah Speights, keep us informed as to what is going on in the church there.  There have been some tremendous blessings, as well as some incredible difficulties, but through it all we sit back and say, “Praise God for what He is doing in Arujá!”

Thank you for being a part of souls being saved among the deaf and hearing in São Paulo, Brazil!

That all may “hear,”

Dan and Becky Bennett

April 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear ministry partners,

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. Psalm 145:3

We serve a GREAT God Who is WORTHY of our praise!  We are grateful to God for every one that has a part in our ministry with their prayers and financial support.  We don’t take it for granted that God’s people lift us up in prayer on a regular basis.  We understand that it is because of people like you that we can continue serving the Lord in Brazil among the Deaf.  Thank you so much!

On January 13, two more precious deaf people made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Ernando and Solange started coming a few months ago, with a desire to learn the Bible. Since Becky has been teaching an evangelistic class on Sundays an hour and a half before our worship service, she asked them to join in the class, too.  After several weeks of learning about Heaven, the consequences of sin, the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection, and the forgiveness of sin, they bowed their heads and received the gift of eternal life.

On February 17, Ewerton, the grandson of one of our deaf ladies, made a profession of faith after the children’s class.  His sister, Emily, who made a profession of faith back on September 30 of last year, shed tears of joy when her brother was saved. 

The new church plant in Arujá is going well.  Our co-workers, Jon and Hannah Speights, told us that since they began holding Sunday services in their home on October 21, 2018, twenty-one people have been saved.  On February 17, they began holding two services on Sunday and a mid-week prayer service. In addition to that, they are now holding eight individual or couples Bible studies a week in their home.

Last month was our annual BIMI All-Brazil Field Conference.  We had a wonderful time of fellowship with other missionaries that are like-minded.  Several of our missionary couples have been here for over 40 years, and it is an honor to “rub shoulders” with these faithful servants of God.  These precious people are in their late-60’s to mid-70’s.  We praise God for their faithfulness, but we would also like to see some new, young missionaries that will surrender to come over to Brazil and help us.  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.  Matthew 9:38

Thank you for being a part of souls being saved among the deaf and hearing in São Paulo, Brazil!

                                                                                                That all may “hear,”

                                                                                                Dan and Becky Bennett

January 2019 Prayer Letter

Happy New Year from São Paulo, Brazil!

I trust that you all had a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!  I apologize for the delay in getting out an update of the last quarter in 2018.  I started to write a prayer letter the first part of December, but I received a call from my oldest brother telling me that my Dad was in critical condition.  We made an unexpected trip to the USA which put our prayer letter on a “back burner.”  My Dad improved, and I am glad that I could go and see him for several days.  We also saw our three oldest children that live in the States, as well as spending several days with Becky’s family.  Becky and I got colds while in the USA, probably because of the extreme temperature changes.  When we left Brazil, it was around 90 degrees, and then arrived in Charlotte, NC to temperatures around freezing.  Even after returning to Brazil on December 31, Becky has been fighting a sinus infection with the accompanying symptoms.  I ended up taking  her to the doctor, and she is now on antibiotics.

Since our last prayer letter, we have seen the Lord working in wonderful ways.  On November 18, Dan preached a soul-searching message on Hell, and two people prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  One was a hearing boy of deaf parents, and the other was a precious deaf lady.

The following week was our Prophecy Conference, and at the end of the Conference, another young hearing boy listened well during the sermon about eternity and wanted to be saved, so after showing him the Bible verses he prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior.

On December 9, we held our annual Christmas banquet.  This is not only a time of fellowship for our church people, but also another opportunity to preach the Christmas and salvation message to visitors.  Marlene, a deaf lady that was saved back in April of last year, brought her deaf boyfriend, José, to the Christmas banquet.  After seeing the message as to why Jesus came, José responded to the invitation and asked the Lamb of God to take away his sins.

In our last prayer letter, I mentioned the start of a new church plant in Arujá.  This is a daughter church of our church in São Paulo.  Our co-workers, Jon and Hannah Speights, began holding Sunday services in their home on October 21, 2018.  Since the start of the Deaf church in Arujá, 17 people have been saved, and they have been averaging 40 people in their services.  Please continue to pray for the Speights in 2019 as they teach, preach, evangelize, and disciple the Deaf in this new church in Arujá.

Thank you for being a part of souls being saved among the deaf and hearing in São Paulo, Brazil!

                                                                                                That all may “hear,”

                                                                                                Dan and Becky Bennett

October 2018 Prayer Letter

October 11, 2018

Dear Faithful Co-laborers in the Ministry,

We have good news to share with you so that you can praise the Lord with us.

On Sunday, September 30, we had a special “Blue Sunday” to commemorate Deaf Awareness during the month of September. We had seven first-time visitors, and four other visitors that had come some time ago. There were 67 people in attendance, and one hearing eleven-year-old girl named Emily, that comes with her deaf grandmother, made a profession of faith. It was a, “Glory, Hallelujah,” kind of day!

A couple of months ago, a young family started attending our church because they found us by doing a search on the internet.  Alan is a very nice hearing man, married to Danielle, a precious deaf lady.  This sweet couple has a three-year-old boy named Miguel.  I had been trying to schedule a time when Becky and I could go and make a visit with them, but for one reason or another, we hadn’t been able to schedule anything until October 2.  At church, Alan told me that they liked our church, and they were interested in becoming members.  When I asked about their salvation, they assured me that they were saved.  When we arrived at their house, we were graciously received, had some small talk, and then began talking of spiritual matters.  Alan gave a clear testimony of salvation, but Danielle was unclear regarding why Jesus came, and how to be saved.  When Becky explained to Danielle that Jesus suffered and died in her place, it was as if the “light” came on, and Danielle began weeping when she understood that Jesus took her sin upon Himself.  With tears running down her face, Danielle repented of her sin, confessed her sins to God, and asked for God’s forgiveness.

On Saturday evening, October 6, we visited in the home of Ewerton, a single deaf man that lives with his hearing parents.  Ewerton has been coming to our church for months, is saved, intelligent, and has a hunger for God’s Word.  However, his parents are Catholic, and Ewerton has a burden to see his family saved.  On that night, we went over and spent four and a half hours at their apartment, and much of it was spent talking about spiritual things.  We showed them Bible verses, but their Catholic teachings were hindering them from receiving the Truth.  We left without seeing them saved, but we made a friendship with them, and were invited to go back next month.  Please pray for the salvation of Luiz and Magali.

On October 7, the presidential election was held in Brazil.  A person is declared the winner only if he/she receives 51% of the votes.  Since no one received 51%, there will be a runoff vote for only the top 2 candidates on October 28.  Your continued prayers would be greatly appreciated.

On October 21, 2018, a new church plant will begin in Arujá!  This will be a daughter church of our church in São Paulo.  Our co-workers, Jon and Hannah Speights, will begin holding Sunday services in their home each week.  Please pray for the Speights as they teach, preach, evangelize, and disciple the Deaf in this new church in Arujá.

The harvest among the Deaf is plenteous, but the laborers are VERY few.  We need some EXPERIENCED people that are surrendered, and that have a burden to teach, win, and disciple deaf people.  We ask that you continue to pray with us regarding the need for more laborers among the Deaf of São Paulo.

Thank you for partnering with us, and for allowing us to be your representatives in Brazil.

That all may “hear,”

Dan & Becky Bennett

July 2018 Prayer Letter

July 26, 2018

Dear Faithful Co-laborers in the Ministry,

What an honor it is to serve the Lord in Brazil!  We have much for which to praise the Lord.

First of all, we would like to start off by conveying our utmost gratitude to those that have given toward our vehicle fund.  We have found and purchased a 2006 Hyundai H1 Starex, a twelve-passenger (diesel) van in good condition, and with low miles/kilometers.

Thank you for praying for our co-workers, Jon and Hannah Speights.  They returned to Brazil on May 9th, and have found a house to rent in Arujá, the city where Jon began the Bible studies back in September of 2016.  The Deaf out there are excited about a new church being planted in the near future.

Update on Fran…You may remember reading about Fran, the lady who was watching our services via Facebook in the state of Acre. She and Becky began communicating over Messenger and finally began talking over Skype with video. Becky began talking about church and salvation. She asked Fran if she was saved, and she said, “yes,” so Becky asked her how she knew and what she did to be saved. She told Becky that she had been baptized and became a member of her church. When Becky told her that, according to the Bible, baptism could not save her, her mouth dropped open!  Becky then invited her to do a Bible study over the internet via Skype.  She was very interested, so they began meeting on Skype three times a week. On March 30th, the Friday before Easter, Fran was truly saved!!

This past February, as a distraction from Carnaval, we held a special day at church with food, games, and a devotion.  Marlene, a deaf sister of one of the men in our church, came to our get-together. On that day, Becky was able to talk with her and invite her to a Bible study.  She began coming the middle of March and began learning the Wordless Book.  On April 22, Marlene became a child of God!

We love how God is using the ministry of Facebook Live around Brazil. Toward the end of March, some Christian ladies in Curitiba, a city six hours south of us, began commenting on our services. We later found out that one of the ladies had taken a sign language course in her seminary up in the northern part of Brazil, and through our Facebook livestream ministry, God had touched her heart to do something with what she had learned.  She began a sign language class at her church on Sunday nights after the service.  She recently showed a video of her class signing a special music presentation.  There were 26 people signing!  God seems to be lighting a fire for the deaf and deaf ministry in Brazil.  Pray that the fire would burn long and that God would bring us new families to Brazil who are burdened to see the deaf saved.

We appreciate the birthday cards that some churches send to our family.  However, our four oldest adult children, Rachel, Joseph, Nathan, and Anna, are living in the United States now, so it is no longer necessary to send birthday cards to Brazil for them.  Deborah, Matthew, and Christine are still with us in Brazil, and they love receiving cards, letters, and small packages in the mail.

Thank you for the opportunity to come to Brazil as your representatives in this vast, needy harvest field.

That all may “hear,”

Dan & Becky Bennett

 

March 2018 Prayer Letter

March 29, 2018

Dear co-laborers in the harvest,

What a privilege it is to serve the Lord!  Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil.  It is now the Fall/Autumn season in Brazil, so we are seeing some cooler temperatures (lows in the mid 60’s) and rain almost every day.

I would like to start off by conveying our utmost gratitude to those that have given toward our vehicle fund.  We are looking and praying for the right one, so please pray with us about that.  We would love to be able to include a picture in our next prayer letter.

Back in January two deaf men started coming to church.  Ewerton, is a deaf man that was saved in 2005, but Eduardo was not saved.  Ewerton is a friend of Janine, the deaf lady that we told you about in our last prayer letter, and who was saved in December of last year.  Janine told Ewerton about the church, so Ewerton brought Eduardo to church so that he would get saved.  After a few weeks and much prayer, on Sunday evening of February 4 we spent two hours explaining the Gospel to Eduardo.  What a joy it was to see Eduardo pray to receive God’s forgiveness on that special day.

Thank you for praying for our co-workers, Jon and Hannah Speights.  They are on furlough now, but have purchased tickets to return to Brazil on May 9.  They could still use some additional support before returning to Brazil.  I spoke with Jon a few weeks back regarding their return, and he told me that they plan to look for a house in Arujá, out where he began the Bible studies back in September of 2016.  We will be going to Arujá on March 31, and the Deaf out there will be so excited when we tell them that the Speights will be moving there in May.  Please join with us in prayer about their need for a reasonably priced house to rent, spacious enough so that they could begin to hold services there, and in a quiet neighborhood. The last house where they lived had some noisy neighbors that had loud parties, sometimes until 5:00AM.  I know they would appreciate your prayers.

Last Monday, a deaf lady by the name of Fran contacted Becky on Facebook Messenger that lives in the city of Rio Branco, in the state of Acre in northern Brazil, about 30 miles from the northern border of Bolivia.  Fran told Becky that she was watching the preaching that we show via Facebook Live, and really seemed to enjoy it.  Rio Branco in Acre is almost 2,200 miles from our church.  Just for reference purposes, that is about the distance it is from New York City to Salt Lake City.  Although I’m not a big fan of Facebook, I’m glad that we can use social media and modern technology to preach the Gospel in other parts of Brazil, and the world.  Fran said that she wants to read the Bible, study, learn, and watch the preaching.  Please pray for the salvation of Fran.

Thank you for the opportunity to come to Brazil as your representatives in this vast, needy harvest field.

That all may “hear,”

Dan & Becky Bennett

“Let Not The Sun Go Down Upon Your Wrath”

The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26, “let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”  We often hear this taught or preached in regards to married couples, that they should resolve any and all “issues” before going to bed at night.  While I agree that a couple should not go to sleep if there are any unresolved problems, this verse goes way beyond a husband and wife relationship.

Without writing out a whole message to preach right now, I just want to add one point to this.  I believe that, “let not the sun go down upon your wrath” can also apply to your relationship with your children.  If you have had some harsh words with your children that left them discouraged, you need to resolve those hateful, hurtful words before sending your kids off to bed.  Let the last words they hear at the end of the day be these kind, loving, tender words: “I love you.”  (However, they may need to be preceded with, “I lost my temper.  Please forgive me.”)  I would rather for my children not to have hurt feelings when they go to sleep at night, but with peace in their hearts.  If you make peace with your children, you will sleep better, too.