“We’re going to pray for you.”

A missionary is usually quick to hand out prayer cards freely, for the main purpose of reminding people to pray for us.  On Friday, we ordered pizza from Domino’s, and when the delivery driver brought our pizza, I gave him a Gospel tract.  The man’s name was Ray, and he told me that he is a Christian, and he proceeded to give me his testimony.  He is a member of New Hope Baptist Church in town, and as I gave him a prayer card he promised to pray for us.  I was encouraged as we had fellowship for a few minutes before he left.

Tonight after church our family went to Wendy’s for some fast food.  Besides my family, there was only one group of people in the whole restaurant.  As Becky went to order the food, I went over to the table with the kids.  Before I could sit down, one man from the group came up and asked me, “What’s your name?”  (This didn’t surprise me because I get asked that question all the time.  I have one of those familiar faces, and almost every church we go to, someone tells me that I look like someone they know.)  When I told the man my name, he said, “That’s what I thought.”  This time I was surprised as the man proceeded to say to me, “I have your prayer card on my pulpit.”  He was the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, and the pizza delivery driver had given him our prayer card.  I was humbled to hear from this pastor, “We’re going to pray for you.”  Deborah was quick to say that this was not a coincidence.  It’s good for our children to see that God orchestrates such unexpected meetings with other Christians.  Pastor Barry Burleson said, “I wonder if Heaven’s going to be like this,” as we talked about the Lord’s imminent return.  What a blessing to meet other believers, and to have people pray for us as we return to Brazil next month.

October 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear faithful co-laborers in the ministry,

We are very thankful for your faithful prayers for us as we are coming down to the end of our furlough.  We have continued to be busy as we have been visiting a good number of our supporting churches, but we have also had the privilege to be in some new churches, as well.  We have been able to pick up some additional support from a few of those churches.

As I mentioned in our last prayer letter, we have been in three Missions Conferences in Iowa, Louisiana, and Rhode Island, as well as being in some other churches for single meetings.  We are now back in South Carolina and North Carolina for November and December.

We praise the Lord that another deaf man made a profession of faith on Saturday, September 3rd.  Brother Jon Speights has begun to have Bible studies once a month in the home of a deaf couple that are church members.  They live approximately two hours from the church, so that makes it a bit difficult to invite people to church that will have to take public transportation for two hours each way.  This deaf couple is so excited to have these monthly Bible studies, that they will prepare a meal to serve before the Bible study.  On this day, a deaf man named Luciano, put his faith in Jesus Christ after hearing a Gospel presentation. We rejoice with thanksgiving for the salvation of Luciano!

We have purchased tickets for our return to Brazil on December 30th.  We were able to Skype with our church people in Brazil to tell them that we will be back in church on January 1, 2017, and they are as excited as we are about our return.

We have thoroughly enjoyed being able to report in many of our supporting churches, getting reacquainted with many of you, and making some new friends.  Some of our supporting churches have already asked and received a DVD of our ministry report.  If you would like to have one, please request one ASAP, to avoid having to send them from Brazil.  If you prefer, you may also view it here, on our website.  In the “Pages” box to the right, just click on “Ministry Report.”

It is with heartfelt thanksgiving that we praise the Lord for each one that has a part in our ministry.

Your representatives to Brazil,

Dan & Becky Bennett

Meat or Milk?

In a small city not too far from where you live, there are two well-known churches. Everyone in the community knows about these two churches, because every Sunday both of these churches “feed” those that attend their services.
The pastor of the first church works hard to prepare the food that will be served to those that are in attendance. Some time ago, this pastor invested a great deal of money just to be able to purchase farm land where he could raise his own cattle. The pastor works all week in caring for his herd, and then carefully picks the right one that will be taken and made into steaks to be served in his church on Sunday. It’s hard work, but to him it’s worth the time and effort it takes so that he can serve a hearty meal to all that attend. Some of the church members have gone to this church for many years, and they all rave about the perfectly cut, seasoned, and cooked steaks their pastor prepares week after week. The pastor always prepares enough for a large crowd, so he and some of the church members actually go out and invite other people to come to church to enjoy the succulent steaks. To the dismay of the pastor and the church members, rarely does anyone come to the Sunday feast of delicious steak.
Some people complain that the steak is “too tough” or “too thick,” but the truth is that the complainers just don’t want a thick, juicy, delicious steak. If you could get the complainers to tell you the real reason they don’t go, they would give the excuse that the church building may not be much to look at, there aren’t enough people their age, or that there’s nothing to do while eating their steak.
They prefer to go to the other church.
The pastor of the second church is a real “cool dude.” He’s a “khaki and pullover” kind of guy. He spends much of his time golfing, bowling, hunting, fishing, waxing his car, and riding his Harley. He doesn’t “waste” his time on a cattle farm all week. He knows that Christians today don’t want steak week after week. The 21st century Christian is happy with “Skim Milk and a Movie Sunday,” and so that’s what they get at the second church. Besides, the music is “livlier” than at the first church, and at the second church you can, “come as you are, and leave as you are,” without having to change.
And so, week after week, month after month, and year after year, the only thing that changes at the second church is the movie that is shown while the people drink their skim milk, in a semi-comotose state. Next week, more people will show up at the second church for “Skim Milk and a Movie Sunday” so that they can be entertained.
The difference can be clearly seen as to which church a person attends. The faithful members of the first church are strong and healthy Christians because they have a steady diet of spiritual meat.
Those that attend the second church are like the pictures you see of children starving from malnutrition in war-torn countries. They look fat and bloated, but are actually starving spiritually for lack of proper, spiritual nutrition. When invited to go to the first church, they often get offended, and ask, “What? And miss the show?” They only want to be bottle-fed their lukewarm, instant skim milk, unlike the mature members of the first church that actually have to chew their food.
The people that attend the second church often say that they don’t get anything out of the services in the first church, but that’s only because they either don’t want steak, or are not mature enough to eat steak.
Oh, there are some at the second church that used to attend the first church, but now they say that their “taste” has changed. The real problem is that, during the week, they have a steady diet of junk food, and when Sunday comes around their stomachs are not able to handle strong meat. However, the watered-down skim milk doesn’t bother the junk food that they have ingested all week.
In the end, I guess it all boils down to what you prefer. Do you like to eat steak, and get fed the meat of the Word, or do you prefer “Skim Milk and a Movie”? Don’t settle for milk when you could have steak!

A Different Perspective on the Importance of Prayer

The devil does not want you to pray. The enemy doesn’t like it when he sees the Christian reading his Bible, but he absolutely hates it when he sees the Christian on his knees in prayer. Why? Let me give you one explanation that you may not of thought of before.

When the committed Christian opens his Bible, he is acknowledging that he needs God and wants to hear from God. God can and will speak to the Believer through His Word. God can touch, change, and work in the heart of the one that will take the time to earnestly seek God’s face.

However, when the Christian gets on his knees in prayer, he is still acknowledging that he needs God, but there’s more to it than that. By bending his knees before God, he is also showing that he needs God’s help, and he needs God’s hand, not only for him, but for everyone for whom he prays.

Quite simply, when you read your Bible, God can touch YOUR heart and life and soul. When you pray, God can touch the heart, life, and soul of many people around the world whose names you lift up to God in prayer.

Do you have a prayer list with the names of people for whom you pray, either on paper or on an electronic device? Are you faithfully praying for them?

How many people will God touch today because you stopped to pray?
Will there be many, or will there be any?
Ask God to “reach out and touch someone” today.

August 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear faithful ministry partners,

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us as we travel around the country on furlough! We have been on the road quite a bit these past few months, with little time to slow down and catch our breath. We are thankful for the opportunities that we have had to visit in some of our supporting churches that have partnered with us for many years, and also to be able to visit some new churches.

On May 4th, we had a wonderful time in California celebrating our daughter, Anna’s, graduation from West Coast Baptist College. On August 25th, Anna will be married to a fine young man out in California by the name of Ryan Rodgers. He has a wonderful Christian testimony, a good work ethic, is a soul-winner, and is studying for the ministry. Please keep Ryan and Anna in your prayers, especially for the next few weeks, that everything would all come together nicely. Of course, Anna’s parents could use your prayers, too! We look forward to seeing how God is going to use them in the days and years ahead.

As I mentioned in our last prayer letter, our schedule is pretty full until close to Thanksgiving. We have three Missions Conferences coming up in Iowa, Louisiana, and Rhode Island. We will be back in South Carolina and North Carolina for November and December.

Since our last prayer letter, we have received some sad news by our colleagues back in Brazil. Brother Jon Speights had been taking time each week to disciple the young deaf man that had shown an interest in becoming a pastor. Unfortunately, a deaf lady that made a profession of faith a few months ago has managed to lure the young man away from church with her enticing ways, and now neither one of them is going to our church. Please pray that God would get a hold of their hearts.

We praise the Lord that another young deaf man made a profession of faith on Saturday, July 30th. Rafael has visited the church on several occasions, but it was at a birthday party that Pastor Jon was able to lead Rafael to the Lord. That is a huge answer to prayer, and we rejoice in his salvation!

We are still planning to return to Brazil, either the end of December, or the first part of January. Within the next few weeks, we will be searching for some good ticket prices. There are still many miles for us to travel before our furlough is over, so we covet your continued prayers for us.

While it is not possible to visit each one of our supporting churches during this furlough, we would be glad to send you a DVD of our ministry report. Please let us know if you would like to have one. We appreciate each one of you that has a part in our ministry.

Your representatives to Brazil,

Dan & Becky Bennett

Gold!

In the California Gold Rush of 1848-1855, many people flocked to California in hopes of getting rich. Gold nuggets were found, but besides being not much to look at, they were not useful for anything in their raw state. However, each small nugget was a “precious” metal, and valuable to the one who owned it. The potential of what a gold nugget will become can make the value of that gold nugget increase.

When Jesus Christ saved you by His gace with His precious blood, you were like a gold nugget. God picked you up out of the filth of sin, cleaned you off, and you are of great value to Him. In your new-found faith, you were “raw,” and not very useful, but God saw in you the potential of becoming someone that He could use. You are precious and valuable.

As I read this morning in Second Chronicles chapter two about the various utensils that were made out of gold, silver, and brass for the Temple, a cunning craftsman was called upon to make these things because he was very good at working with precious metals. He knew how to transform a nugget of gold, and other raw materials, into something beautiful and useful.

As a Christian, don’t be satisfied with just being an expensive doorstop or shelf ornament of raw, unworked gold. Allow the Master Craftsman to put you through the fire, melt you and mold you, and you will become a beautiful, valuable, and useful instrument for the Lord’s work.

April 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear faithful co-laborers in the ministry,

And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them. (Acts 14:27a) We returned to the USA for our third furlough on January 29, and we hit the ground running. We are thankful for our home church for the work they did in getting a place ready for us to stay in while we are on furlough. We were able to spend a little time in Ohio with our adult children for Joseph’s birthday in February. We then traveled down to Georgia to celebrate the 85th birthday of Dan’s dad.

We have been busy visiting supporting churches so far, and have even been able to get into some new churches and schedule some upcoming meetings. We will be traveling to Virginia the end of April, then out to California next month for Anna’s graduation from West Coast Baptist College on May 4. We will travel back to Ohio, then on to upstate New York and Connecticut before heading back to South Carolina on May 24. And this is just within the next five weeks!

Our schedule is pretty full up until close to Thanksgiving. We will not only be in South Carolina in June, but also in Georgia and Pennsylvania as we head into July. We will be back in Ohio, Georgia, and then Tennessee as July ends. In August, our daughter, Anna, will be married to a fine young man out in California by the name of Ryan Rodgers. In September, we return to Ohio for my nephew’s wedding, and then finish the month in Iowa. October will take us to Georgia (again), then to two mission conferences in Louisiana and Rhode Island. We will be back in South Carolina for November and December. With great excitement we will plan to return to Brazil, either the end of December, or the first part of January. We still have many churches to visit, and many miles to travel before our furlough is over, so we covet your prayers.

Our colleagues back in Brazil, Jon and Hannah Speights, are doing well in our absence. Jon told me that one of our deaf men lead another deaf man to the Lord and brought him to church. Jon is continuing the discipleship of Wellington, and has also begun other Bible studies with some more deaf that have a desire to study the Bible. We also just heard that Hannah and another one of our deaf ladies were able to lead another deaf lady to the Lord several days ago. We praise the Lord that, although we are not there, the work continues, people are being saved, and the deaf are growing in the Lord.

While it is not possible to visit all of our supporting churches during this furlough, we would be glad to send you a DVD of our ministry report if you would let us know that you would like to have one. We appreciate each one of you that has a part in our ministry.

Your representatives to Brazil,

Dan & Becky Bennett

December 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear fellow-laborers in the ministry,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  We praise the Lord for all that we have seen Him do here in Brazil over the past year, but we also look forward with excitement and anticipation to see what He will do in 2016.

We want to thank all that sent us Christmas cards this year, and to all that gave an extra special and generous Christmas offering to us.  It is encouraging to us to receive the cards and put them up in our house, and also to see how many others sent a little “something extra” to show your love to us, as well.  We have a great group of financial partners and prayer warriors, and we thank the Lord for you.

Since our last prayer letter, we are excited to be able to report some good news that has happened.  We mentioned that Becky had started an evangelistic class for several deaf people that had begun to attend church.  While three of the five dropped out, two continued to come and learn, and on October 4, they both accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior!  John Gabriel had been coming off and on since November of 2014, and had basically no spiritual background whatsoever.  Wellington came for the first time in July of 2015 when we had a special day at church, and has been coming regularly ever since.  After seven weeks, they both understood the Gospel message, and put their faith in Jesus alone to save them.  On the day they were saved, Wellington told us, “I might be a preacher one day.”  A couple of weeks later, he told me that he was going to start wearing a tie to church, without anyone telling him that he should.  He then told John Gabriel that he should wear a tie, too, and now they both come to church every Sunday looking sharp.  We had a new member’s class for them, but because of a work schedule conflict, John Gabriel had to miss a few classes.  Wellington, however, has not missed at all, and Dan also began to disciple him at our house on Monday evenings.  It is a blessing to see a young deaf man with the desire and excitement to grow in the Lord!  This past Sunday, December 27, 2015, Dan had the privilege of baptizing these two young men who have a desire to be faithful to God, and His church.

Wellington has a lot of deaf friends, and he has invited some to church, and several have even come.  One young man, Emanuel, has come a few times, and although he has been going to a convention Baptist church, he does not understand salvation.  Becky told Wellington that she is going to give him his very own copy of the “Visualized Wordless Book” (VWB) so that he can take it and share the Gospel with his friends and loved ones.  We believe that Wellington will start using the VWB with Emanuel, as he, too, has an interest in learning more about salvation.  Please pray for the salvation of Emanuel.

In November, Dan’s brother, David Bennett, along with his wife, Vicki, came and were with us for the 21st anniversary of the Bible Baptist Church here in São Paulo.  As some of you know, it was David who began the Deaf church back in 1994.  The church people were thrilled to see them again, and we even had a high of 91 people on the closing day of the Prophecy Conference.  They were happy to be back among people they had won to the Lord many years ago, and it was a joy to have them.

As we mentioned in our last prayer letter, we are going to begin our furlough in January of 2016.  If you are interested in having us stop in and give a report, please contact me with a possible date in mind, and, Lord willing, we will fit it into our schedule.  Also, please send all correspondence to our home church during 2016.  The address is below.

We give God the glory for the victories of 2015, and we want to thank you for the part that you have had in helping us reap the harvest of the lost – hearing and deaf – in Brazil.

Your representatives in Brazil,

Dan & Becky Bennett

September 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear faithful co-laborers in the ministry,

We have had a mild winter here in Brazil, and now spring is upon us.  We are grateful to the Lord for the much-needed rain that we have finally gotten these past few days.  As I sit in my office listening to the rain coming down, I would also like to convey to you some of the “showers of blessings” that God has poured out upon our ministry.

I mentioned in our last prayer letter that we were having a special get-together at the church to celebrate a Brazilian holiday on July 9th.   Fifty one people were present, and once again the Gospel was presented to all in attendance.  The Seed was planted, and we continue to pray for a bountiful harvest of Deaf coming to Christ.

We also had “Friend Day” in July, and the Lord blessed us with 48 people in attendance, with eight first-time visitors.  I preached a message on Hell, and although no one made a profession of faith, they did have an opportunity to get saved.

In August, we had a Men’s Retreat at our home. Some of the men had asked me about having a Men’s Retreat since the ladies have a Women’s Retreat every year.  It was a good time of fellowship for our men, and we had one man that came who used to be a member of the church a number of years ago.  We will work to make the Men’s Retreat bigger and better each year.

On September 7th, we had a churrasco (cookout) at our home for the entire church to celebrate Brazil’s Independence Day.  Fifty two people were present and although it rained off and on, everyone had a good attitude.  We thank the Lord for sending the rain as São Paulo has been in a drought for a couple of years.  We had some visitors on this day, and as customary, we had a time to preach the Gospel.  I had to stop about half-way through the message to move the service indoors when it began to rain again.  Please continue praying with us for the work here as we believe that it will not be long before we begin to reap from the field that is white already to harvest.

Becky has started a new, separate evangelistic class for some Deaf people that are not saved.  She is using the “Wordless Book Visualized,” and is slowly and simply teaching one color each week to some Deaf that have no religious background.  It’s exciting to see these young people come faithfully to church to learn from God’s Word.  Please pray for the salvation of John Gabriel, Valter, Wellington, Leandro, and Edna.

We are planning to take our furlough next year.  If you are interested in having us stop in and give a report, please contact me with a possible date in mind, and, Lord willing, we will fit it into our schedule.

We appreciate you all so much for holding the ropes on our behalf.  May God continue to bless you all!

Your missionaries to the Deaf in Brazil,

Dan and Becky Bennett

June 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear faithful ministry partners,

Much has happened since our last prayer letter, so I will try and give just a few highlights of what has been going on in our lives.
In April we traveled back to the USA for Rachel’s graduation from West Coast Baptist College. We picked up a ministry vehicle from Baptist Missionary Transportation Ministry (BMTM) in Harrisonville, MO, and then made our way to California over the next few days. We were blessed to be able to see Dan’s uncle and aunt in Colorado on our way out west, and even stopped again on our way east to pick up Dan’s suit he left there by mistake (whoops). However, we stayed with a precious couple in Utah, and when the man heard about the suit that we had left, he took Dan and bought him a (much needed) new suit. We were only able to visit a few of our supporting churches while in the States since our time was very limited. However, while we were in California it was a blessing to be able to have had our whole family together- all seven children for the graduation! Becky’s parents also were able to fly out to California for the graduation, and we were able to spend some good time together.
After Rachel’s graduation on Wednesday, May 6th, our youngest child, Christine, celebrated her fifth birthday on May 7th. She is growing so fast, and is looking forward to starting kindergarten in a few weeks. On Saturday, May 9th, we began our long trip toward Kentucky and Ohio since Rachel was hired on at the Creation Museum. It was a long, hard trip, but we sure enjoyed the time in the van with Rachel. Joseph and Nathan are working in Ohio, and it was good to have spent some time with them again as we helped them look for an apartment for the three of them to share.
After we left Ohio, we made a whirlwind trip to South Carolina to see Becky’s family, then over to Georgia to see Dan’s dad and oldest brother & family. It was short, but oh, so sweet, to see loved ones again, and we can only imagine the joy we will have in Heaven of never having to say, “Goodbye” ever again.
We returned to Brazil on June 9th, and the following Monday a group from Valley Bible Baptist Church in upstate New York came and spent twelve days with us. This church supports our colleagues, Jon and Hannah Speights. They were such a blessing as they came ready to work. They helped in literature distribution, and also helped with our Valentine’s (June 12) banquet where we had fifteen couples in attendance. Pr. Shawn Foster preached several times while here, and a good number of our church people told him that they wanted him to come back and preach again.
Next week on July 9th we will have a special get-together at the church to celebrate this Brazilian holiday. Please pray with us about this time with the deaf, as we will be having food, fun and fellowship. There will also be a short message preached to the deaf on this day, so please pray that we will see some saved as a result.
On Sunday, July 19th, we are having “Friend Day,” encouraging our people to bring in some first-time visitors.
We are grateful for your faithful prayers and support, and we thank God for you.

Your missionaries in São Paulo,
Dan & Becky Bennett