My Testimony (by Dan)

Approximately forty-one years and two weeks ago I got a call from my oldest brother, David. He told me that they had finished raising their support to go to Brazil as missionaries, and they had just received their paperwork so they could leave the USA. David told me that they would be leaving soon, but he said that he wanted me to go and tell them “goodbye.” I was living outside of Athens, GA, and he was in Orangeburg, SC.

I need to say right here that I was not a Christian at the time. Soon after I finished high school I left home because I didn’t want to follow the rules that had been established many years ago by my Christian parents. For the next five years I did what I wanted, went where I wanted, listened to what I wanted, and said what I wanted. I was an “adult,” so I thought that I could live my life as I pleased. The only thing was that I wasn’t pleased with my life. I was not happy about where I lived or where I worked. The people with whom I worked only led me further down the wrong road. Honestly, I was miserable, and I had come to the point where I started thinking that there had to be something better, something more meaningful to life than the life I was living.

It was at that point in my life when David called me. He wanted me to go and visit him. I knew that meant that I would have to go to church with him on Sunday. It had been about five years since I had been to church when I left home. I knew that when I went to visit him that he would ask me if I was going to church. Although our lifestyles were worlds apart, I respected David and what he and Vicki were going to do. I thought to myself that I would go to church the Sunday BEFORE I went to visit them, so that when he asked if I was going to church, I could say that I was going to church, and, in my way of thinking, that wouldn’t be a lie.

The church I visited before I went to see David and Vicki was Emmanuel Baptist Church in Commerce, GA. My Dad had pastored there when I was a young teenager, but at the time there was another pastor that was one of those old-timey preachers. I thought he was preaching only to that visiting twenty-two-year-old man (me), and he knocked it out of the ballpark! I did not get saved that day, but I left the church under deep conviction.

I want to add the following incident for those who may read my testimony. When I walked out of the church that day, I knew that I was not saved. It was as if the Holy Spirit of God was squeezing my heart. I left the church and got in my car. When I put the key in the ignition and turned the switch, my radio was tuned to “96 Rock,” and as the rock music began playing, it was like I could sense the Holy Spirit leaving. It was at that moment that I realized that the Holy Spirit does not feel welcome and will not stick around when a person invites the devil and the devil’s music into one’s life.

Getting back to my story, I went the following weekend to visit David and Vicki to tell them goodbye. It “just so happened” that the preacher got up to preach on “the prodigal son,” and how he left home to waste his money on riotous living. I knew that David MUST HAVE told the preacher that I was going to be there, so this preacher was also preaching only to me. That’s two Sundays in a row! At the end of the service, I did not go forward during the invitation, but I probably left fingernail marks on the bench in front of us.

We went back to David and Vicki’s place for lunch, and after lunch I told David that I wanted to go for a walk. After a short distance, he asked me what I wanted to talk about. I told him that I wanted to get saved. He knew that I had been baptized and had become a church member as a child, so he questioned me about that. I realized that my baptism and church membership did nothing to take away my sin or forgive me, so David showed me some Bible verses to explain how to be saved. It was on that day, June 26, 1983, that I repented of my sin and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.

After we got back to their house, while we were talking the subject “came up” (coincidence?) about marriage. David asked me if I wanted to get married one day, so when I said that I did, he asked me what kind of woman I would want to marry. I told him that I would like a woman like Mom, or Vicki, so he told me that I needed to go to Tennessee Temple University (TTU). It was at that moment that I decided to go to TTU to find a wife.

June 26th is also my Mom’s birthday, so we called Mom and sang “Happy Birthday” to her. It was on that phone conversation that I told Mom that I got saved and was moving to Chattanooga to go to TTU. Of course, Mom and Dad were thrilled.

It’s been 41 years. If you are reading this and know me, I did meet a godly young lady and married her. We have seven children, one granddaughter, and a grandson on the way. We have been missionaries in Brazil for over twenty-five years, and we love serving the Lord. God has been so good to me; to us.

On the 41st anniversary of my salvation, I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for saving me and making me a child of God.

I also want to say “thank you” to my brother, David, for praying for me, leading me to the Savior, teaching me, mentoring me, counseling me, and being my friend. Thank you for allowing me to work alongside you as one of your assistant pastors in São Paulo. Every soul that has come to know Jesus through our ministry is “fruit to your account.” May God continue to bless you and use you as you invest in the lives of others around the world.

Thanks for investing in me! I love you, big brother!

June 2024 Prayer Letter

                                                                                                                                                                                                  June 13, 2024

Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil!

We want to say a big “THANK YOU” to those of you that have been praying for the requests that we mentioned in our last prayer letter. We had a men’s cookout in April at the home of one of the deaf men from the church in Arujá. We encouraged the men to invite their deaf friends, but only one deaf visiting man showed up. Luciano is a deaf man from the church, and he invited Emerson, the visiting deaf man to go to church on Sunday morning. Emerson said that he couldn’t go to our church because he was going to another church to see a baby get “baptized.” Luciano asked him what the meaning was of baptizing a baby, but Emerson didn’t know. Luciano began witnessing to Emerson, and since Dan was beside Luciano he asked Dan to “take over.” After a few minutes of talking, Dan asked Emerson if he knew why Jesus came to earth and died on the cross. He didn’t know. Dan began to simply explain the Gospel message to him. As he was talking, one of the men got up and went inside to get a small “Wordless Book.” When Dan started explaining the meaning of the colors, it was as if a “light came on” in Emerson’s mind and heart. After nearly 45 minutes of Luciano and Dan taking turns in explaining the Good News to Emerson, he bowed his head and asked the Lord to forgive him for his sin and save him! Praise the Lord!

For Friend Day, we had a family of four that came as first-time visitors. The couple is deaf, and they have two hearing boys. When the service began, the lady, Ellen, had a huge smile on her face. She had never been to a church where there was someone who focused on the Deaf. Her husband, Junior, was more reserved, but he seemed to enjoy it. When I asked them to come again, he said that they might, but Ellen jumped in and said that they would definitely be back! Their boys, Ryan and Bryan, also seemed to enjoy being there.

 Several weeks ago, Becky began teaching “The Wordless Book” after the church services. There are several children in the class, and some of the deaf adults stand around to watch the lessons. On May 26th, two hearing children (CODA) Ryan and another girl, Alice, trusted Christ as Savior. On the same day, Gustavo, a deaf boy made a video of what he has learned so far, and he is so excited about the things that “Mrs. Rebecca” is teaching. Gustavo is not yet saved, but we believe that it won’t be long. Please pray for Gustavo’s salvation.

Please keep praying that God would send two men (and their families) to become pastors for these two deaf churches. One young Brazilian pastor visited the church in Arujá in May. He is praying about God’s will about becoming the pastor, and he said that he would give us an answer by the end of June. Your fervent prayers would be greatly appreciated!

That all may “hear,”

Dan & Becky Bennett

Sent out by Southside Baptist Church, Rock Hill, SC – Pastor Tyler Donough

Men’s Cookout

The angels are singing again! We had a cookout for the men of the Bible Baptist Church for the Deaf in Arujá on Saturday, April 13. One of our deaf men, Danival, invited us to his house for the cookout. We encouraged the men to invite their deaf friends, and although there were some that had shown an interest in going, only one deaf man showed up that I didn’t know. I preached from Joshua 24:15, encouraging men to be the spiritual leaders in the home. After the message, we had a wonderful Brazilian cookout, and we talked and laughed as we sat and fellowshipped around the tables.

Luciano is one of the deaf men from the church, and he invited Emerson, the visiting deaf man to go to church on Sunday morning. Emerson said that he couldn’t go to our church because he was going to another church to see a baby get “baptized.” Luciano asked him what the meaning was of baptizing a baby, but Emerson didn’t know. Luciano began witnessing to Emerson, and since I was beside Luciano he asked me to “take over.” After a few minutes of talking, I asked Emerson if he knew why Jesus came to earth and died on the cross. He didn’t know. I then began to simply explain the Gospel message to him. As I was talking, Danival got up and went inside to get a small “Wordless Book.” It was approximately two inches tall and one inch wide. It was all Danival had, but when I started explaining the meaning of the colors, it was as if a “light came on” in Emerson’s mind and heart. After nearly 45 minutes of Luciano and I taking turns in explaining the Good News to Emerson, he bowed his head and asked the Lord to forgive him of his sin and save him. We asked him some questions to see if he understood, and with tears in his eyes he assured us that he did. It was a “GLORY, HALLELUJAH” kind of cookout!

Working with the Deaf is not easy, and even though we don’t see a large number of new converts, it is rewarding. There are two Deaf Baptist churches that need pastors right now, one in São Paulo, and one in the city of Arujá. Please pray with us that God would send the right men to become pastors in these two churches.

Thank you for your prayers for us as we labor with the deaf in Brazil.

Prayer Letter March 2024

Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil!

I want to begin by saying, “THANK YOU” to those of you that partner with us in prayer and financial support. I know that we convey this sentiment in every prayer letter, but we want you to know that we don’t take you for granted. We appreciate so much your faithfulness to the Lord, and to us, in “holding the ropes” for us all these years.

On March 9th, there was a Ladies Cookout at a member’s house of the church in Arujá. The purpose of this was for the Deaf to invite their deaf (and hearing) friends. There was a delicious Brazilian cookout, and Becky explained the Gospel to the women that attended. In all, there were 28 in attendance, and 7 first-time visitors. The Seed was planted, but no one responded to the Gospel that evening. Pray that these visitors would come to church to learn more of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The Deaf church in Arujá is a daughter-church of the Deaf church in São Paulo. Most of the members there have been saved for a short period of time, and it’s wonderful to see the hunger for the Word of God. Dan is teaching from the book, Firm Foundations: Creation to Christ in Sunday School and going through the Book of First John in the morning service.

Please pray for us during the month of April as we are planning a Men’s Cookout, Friend Day, and even a baptismal service on April 28. We will also begin teaching a basic Brazilian Sign Language course in a church about an hour from our home that will last about 6 weeks. We are praying that God will use this to raise up workers, especially men, and pastors, among the deaf. At this moment, we are praying for AT LEAST two men/families to come and pick up the mantle of the leadership of these two deaf churches – that the Gospel Light would continue to shine to Deaf that are lost in the darkness, and in the silence. Thank you for helping us pray!

That all may “hear,”

Dan & Becky Bennett


When you look for a used car at a small car lot, you may see a sign on the car that says, “AS IS – NO WARRANTY.” That means there is no changing your mind after you buy the car, no matter what condition the car is in. The car may have visible defects, such as minor scratches, a little bit of rust, or even small cracks in the bumper or windshield. The greater concern is that there could possibly be hidden mechanical and electrical problems. When you sign on the dotted line, pay for the car and drive it off the car lot, that car is yours, “for better or for worse.” A vehicle with the sign, “AS IS – NO WARRANTY” is one vehicle you should definitely avoid.

On the other hand, when Jesus came to purchase you and pay for your sin with His precious blood, He saw a wrecked, ruined, problematic lost soul that deserved to be destroyed. As you stood there in your worthless condition, it was as if there was a sign on you which read, “AS IS – NO WARRANTY.” Although Jesus knew all of your problems and sins, He said, “I’ll take him,” without ever thinking to return you to your previous “owner.” He bought you just the way you are, knowing that you would be eternally His. He will never forsake you or disown you, no matter how many times you “break down.”

Of course, although He took you as you were, He didn’t leave you in your broken, pitiful, dirty condition. He pulled you out of the mire and filth of sin, forgave you and cleaned you up. Although you may not think that you are anything special, you are extremely valuable to God because you were purchased at a great price, the blood of His Son.

Today, stop and thank God that He accepted you, “AS IS – NO WARRANTY.”

Prayer Letter – December 2023

  December 21, 2023

Merry Christmas from São Paulo, Brazil!

We want to express our sincere gratitude for the cards and special Christmas offerings that we have received from so many of our supporting churches. Your generosity has been overwhelming, and we don’t take those expressions of love for granted. Many of you have been “holding the ropes” for us prayerfully and financially for many years, and we thank the Lord that we have had such a strong team, and some for more than twenty-five years.

Some of you may have heard the news of the recent Home-going of Becky’s father, Pastor Ken Walters, on October 21st. He pastored our home church for more than 43 years, and resigned as pastor in January 2022 so that he could travel and preach more. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday only two weeks prior with a big party that was well attended by family and friends. He faithfully served the Lord for many years, and he influenced and encouraged missionaries and pastors around the globe. He was a man of God and is already greatly missed.

Last month, Dan had the privilege to baptize a deaf couple that trusted Christ as Savior. Gilson and Marileide were invited to church by Amilton, one of our deaf men that unexpectedly passed away last year. This deaf couple has been faithful and were so excited to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. Gilson had a huge smile on his face, and Marileide shed tears of joy after they were baptized.

Thank you for allowing us to represent you in the city of São Paulo. May God richly bless you all this Christmas season as we celebrate, worship and adore our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

                                                                                                That all may “hear,”

                                                                                                Dan & Becky Bennett

A Church Can Be “Puzzling”

A puzzle has a lot of different shaped pieces, but they all fit together to form a beautiful picture. Putting a puzzle together takes time, patience, and dedication. Getting frustrated, angry, or losing your temper because you can’t easily or quickly put the puzzle together will make you want to quit, and then you’ve only wasted your time, and you’ve accomplished nothing.

Much like a puzzle, a church has a lot of different members, but they should all fit together to form a beautiful church. Keeping a church together takes time, patience, and dedication. Getting frustrated, angry, and losing your temper over problems that arise will cause you to want to quit. God made each person different for a different and specific purpose, and that should hold the members together as they “interlock” one with another.

At the same time, the devil wants to magnify the differences and cause the church members to focus on their differences, instead of seeing how they need each other to fit together. Each church member has a specific location in which to serve and where they fit in, and you don’t need a hammer to make them fit. If you try to force a puzzle piece into the wrong place, not only will the wrong piece be in the wrong place, but it will then make the correct puzzle piece out of place.

Just like a puzzle, the more members (pieces) a church has, the more complicated it can become. Don’t stop working to find out where each one fits.

My wife put together one puzzle, and when she finished, one puzzle piece was missing. One. It just wasn’t anywhere to be found. That one space was left open, and although 999 pieces were in their places, the puzzle was not complete. There was no sense of accomplishment, and it was a total let-down.

Fellow Christian, if you’re not “in the picture” of your local church, there’s an incomplete church that is needing you to complete it. You are the only one that can fill your spot that no one else can. God wants to put you in the right place, so don’t resist, and don’t become missing. You will only be out of place and alone, and the church will be incomplete without you.

Where do you fit in? If you’re not already in your place of service, your space is empty. Whether your place is in the nursery, children’s ministry, teen department, church choir, orchestra, security, or even as pastor, get in the right place – your place – and complete the church for a fulfilling and important part of a complete church that glorifies God. It shouldn’t be puzzling. The church has a place for you!

Filling A Void?

Following the recent Home-going of my father-in-law, my wife was in the States, and I was in Brazil on Thanksgiving day. Our field director, Sean (and Stephanie) Lunday, graciously invited me over for Thanksgiving dinner, along with Lee and Eva Johnson, missionaries to the Deaf in Peru.

A few months ago, a Christian man was looking for a church in São Paulo, and he found the name of Sean Lunday and contacted him. This Brazilian man, Alex, is single, and since he was in São Paulo, Brother Lunday also invited him over for Thanksgiving dinner.

As we talked, Alex listened intently as Lee Johnson told him about the deaf works in Peru, and also as I talked about the deaf works in São Paulo. Alex had never heard of a deaf church, and as Lee Johnson was explaining about the deaf ministry, Alex said, “You’re filling a void.” With that being said, my ears perked up and I asked Alex to repeat what he had just said. When he again said that we are filling a void, I had to tell him that, in fact, we are not filling a void, because the deaf works in Peru and Brazil are just a “drop in the bucket” in relation to the millions of Deaf that are unreached around the world. With more than 70 million deaf people worldwide, we’re just barely scratching the surface of the spiritual needs of the world deaf population.

In his book, “Into the Silence,” missionary Joe Kotvas says, “there is only one foreign Independent Baptist missionary to the Deaf for every 8,000,000 deaf people.” Brother Kotvas goes on to say that “there is only one North American independent Baptist missionary to the Deaf for every four countries.” ¹

I wish that we were “filling the void,” but we still have a long way to go. It’s overwhelming to even try to grasp the magnitude of those statistics in the aforementioned book. We are just barely reaching a small percentage of the more than 270,000 Deaf in São Paulo, much less than reaching three other countries. Those figures are staggering!

The Great Commission says, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). While the majority of the 8 billion people who inhabit the earth are hearing, there are still more than 70 million people of the world population who are deaf, most of whom have never learned about salvation through Jesus Christ. The vast majority of deaf people are unsaved, and according to John 3:18, they are “condemned already,” and on their way to the Lake of Fire for all eternity. That ought to stir your heart. There’s only a handful of missionaries to the Deaf around the world who are trying to pull them out of Satan’s grasp.

Millions of Deaf worldwide don’t even have a language, no one with whom they can communicate, and no one to explain God’s love for them. They know nothing of Jesus, the Cross, the empty tomb, and Heaven. Many Deaf sit in silence, alone, unreached, forgotten, and without hope.

Christian friend, this needs to change. Churches across America and around the globe need to wake up and see this immense “void” that is not being filled. The time is now to make a concentrated effort to send forth more laborers into God’s harvest field to reap the souls of lost Deaf.

In Matthew 9:37 and 38, Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” As missionaries to the Deaf, we are praying that God would send forth more laborers among the deaf in São Paulo, and around the world. Would you please make this a matter of prayer in your home and in your church?

“Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35)

¹ Kotvas, J. (2006). Into the Silence: A Biblical Perspective and Plan for Reaching the Deaf Around the World, Efata, page 28.

Be involved in MINISTRY!

Christian friend, if you’re not involved in a ministry, it’s because you don’t WANT to be involved in ministry. I’m in no way suggesting that you have to be in full-time ministry as a pastor, missionary, or evangelist, but ministry opportunities are all around you. The first thing you have to do is want to serve the Lord and want to serve others. Ministry comes in different shapes, sizes, times, and locations.

You can go door-knocking, or you could leave a Gospel tract on the table at a restaurant, and even invite your server to church. Obviously, the more people you come in contact with will provide greater opportunities for ministry.

In your local church, you can teach Sunday School, or be an assistant (helper) in the class. If you can play an instrument or sing, you should be doing it. What are your talents? If you have a specific degree or capability, you should be using it at church. You may not be able to stand up and speak publicly, but you can take up the offering or be on security. Maybe you can’t preach, but you can run a vacuum cleaner. You may not be able to run the sound board, but perhaps you can run the lawnmower. I know that in many larger churches that the janitorial and lawncare are paid positions, but in the majority of the smaller churches the pastor and his family are the ones that cut the grass and clean the commodes.

Outside of the local church there are many opportunities for ministry, as well. I’ve recently been on the receiving end of meals that were provided for a widow and her family. You can visit those who are unable to get out and be a blessing by sitting and listening to a shut-in that often feels forgotten.

You can go and blow leaves, cut the grass, clean windows, weed the garden, wash the car, pressure-wash the house or driveway, or whatever else may need to be done. If you’re a carpenter or a mechanic, you can be a blessing to some people by using the skills that you have to meet their needs. What looks like work is actually a tremendous blessing to those to whom you minister.

You could offer to take someone out to lunch and spend time with that person. You can go buy groceries for someone that doesn’t have a car, or you could offer to take them. (Don’t be surprised if a “grocery run” turns into going to pick up medicine, going out to lunch, and stopping in Goodwill!) There are so many lonely people in the world, and they need someone that will care, listen to their life stories, and be interested in them.

I’ve not even scratched the service of the countless opportunities for ministry that abound, but even if you’re bedridden you can do the immensely important ministry of prayer. You should be praying for your pastor, your church, your family, your friends, your city and state, the president and his administration, and for revival in your country. Pray that God would send forth more laborers into His harvest fields!

After all that you have just read, if you don’t have a clue as to what you can do for ministry, ask your pastor. I guarantee that he will know what you can do.

I know that this all may seem directed toward senior citizens, but there are young couples that need an older person to help in making decisions. There are teenagers that need a godly friend to point them to Jesus.

Nowadays, so many of this generation are content to be hermits or loners. Don’t be that way! God said that it is not good for man to be alone. Make it your ministry to be involved in other people’s lives.

I mentioned this earlier, but while ministry might look like work to you, to others it looks like love, care, concern, interest, and even being Christlike. Be like Jesus and be involved in the lives of others. Be involved in MINISTRY!

Prayer Letter – October 2023

October 12, 2023

Dear faithful partners in the ministry,

Springtime in São Paulo has brought some warm temperatures and early summer showers. The flowers are starting to open as we see God’s creation in full bloom.

As we look back over the past few months, we praise the Lord for the opportunities to serve our gracious Lord. Last month, the pastor of the hearing church where the deaf church meets asked Dan to preach on Sunday evening. There was a good crowd, and the people listened intently as Dan shared about the need for more laborers among the Deaf. At the invitation, two men responded and talked with Dan and asked how they can help. One man said that he would be willing to preach once a month, while the other man, with tears in his eyes, said that he and his wife would pray about this “open door” of opportunity. Please pray that God would send more laborers among the Deaf in São Paulo, and Brazil.

Recently, a fellow missionary and friend, Joel Dunbar and family, returned from furlough, so he asked Dan to go and preach for him as they are trying to adjust to coming back to Brazil. As “older” missionaries, we count it an honor to be able to help and encourage younger missionaries in the Lord’s work. This family has two sons, and we enjoy spending time and talking with the MK’s to try and encourage them.

Our missionary colleague and family, Jon and Hannah Speights, left the first week of October for their furlough. Jon started a “daughter church” from the Deaf church in São Paulo five years ago. The Lord has blessed the work in the city of Arujá with several young families. Furlough replacement for a Deaf church is almost unheard of, but missionaries to the Deaf need to take furloughs, too. The church in Arujá is a little over an hour from where we live, so we are going to be busy going back and forth.

Many of you have been supporting us for a number of years. Thank you for being faithful to pray and give toward the work among the Deaf in Brazil.

That all may “hear,”

Dan & Becky Bennett