Prayer Letter – August 2022

Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil!

Over the past few months, we have been staying busy in the work here. As I mentioned in our last prayer letter, our family went to the Deaflympics 2022 in the city of Caxias do Sul. Silent Word Ministries out of Trenton, GA purchased and provided us with thousands of tracts to take and distribute. We were able to hand out many Gospel tracts, talk with a good number of people, and several deaf people made professions of faith.

On May 30, Amilton, one of our faithful deaf men, died unexpectedly at the age of fifty-one. He had just celebrated his fifteenth “spiritual birthday” the day before. Back in November of 2021, Amilton invited a deaf couple to church named Gilson and Marileide. This couple had visited numerous other churches, but when they visited our church, the Gospel was clearly presented to them, and they trusted Christ as their Savior. We praise God that Amilton invited these people to church before he went to Heaven. One person can make a difference!

We have been invited to go to a church two hours northwest of us next month in the city of Boituva. Dan will be preaching, and we will be presenting our ministry among the deaf. The pastor seems to be interested in starting a deaf ministry in the church, so we are excited about this opportunity.

September 25th has been designated as “Blue Sunday.” This is a special day in Brazil that celebrates and brings awareness to the deaf and their culture. Each year, we invite Deaf from all over São Paulo to our church, and Dan will preach a simple, evangelistic message, followed by a small party to show our love for the Deaf. Please pray for Deaf to be saved on this special day.

Our two remaining children at home are doing well. Matthew began his senior year of high school, and Chrissy started seventh grade. Becky not only stays busy with our own children, but also with the children at church. She is often requested to attend doctor’s appointments to interpret for our deaf ladies, and that can take up several hours in a day as we trek all around São Paulo. Thank you for praying for our family!

One important prayer request we have is that God would send us someone to come and work with us. We would love to have a Brazilian man to come and eventually take over as pastor. Dan has begun to work with one of our men who has preached a couple of times, but he hasn’t had any “formal” Bible training. Dan plans to spend more time training this man, but someone to work alongside of us with experience would be a huge blessing.

Also, please pray for our colleagues, Jon and Hannah Speights. They have two children with some serious health issues, but it seems as if numerous medical exams have been unable to find the root causes. Your prayers for this family would be greatly appreciated.

Once again, THANK YOU for allowing us to represent you as we labor among the Deaf in São Paulo. We are extremely grateful for your prayer and financial support.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     That all may “hear,”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Dan & Becky Bennett

April 2022 Prayer Letter

April 28, 2022

Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil.

It’s an honor to serve the Lord Jesus Christ!  Next month will mark our 23rd year of being in Brazil. God has been so good to us, and we praise Him for His faithfulness to us.

The last week of March was our annual BIMI Field Conference. Since our Brazil Field Director, Sean Lunday, took over being the Director over all South America, our Field Conference was attended by nearly eighty people from five different countries (six, if you include the USA). As always, it was a blessed time of fellowship, wonderful preaching, fun activities, good Brazilian food, lots of laughter, and spiritual refreshing. We met some new friends and got reacquainted with old friends. It was great to get our spiritual “batteries” recharged to continue the work of the ministry.

Samuel, a deaf man that visited our church back in October of 2021, has been coming off and on for the past few months.  He told Dan that he didn’t own a Bible, so Dan was able to give him a Bible that was paid for by a church in the USA through the ministry of BEAMS. Dan encouraged Samuel to read the Gospel of John three times, and he said that he would.  On April 17th, Samuel was back in church, and after a visual, Easter/Gospel message, Samuel placed his faith in Jesus as his Savior. Hallelujah!

A few weeks back, Becky was contacted by Danielle, a lady in Pompéia, a city about six hours northwest of São Paulo. We had met this family several years ago through some mutual friends, so they knew that we worked with the Deaf. A couple weeks ago, they contacted a man to do some work, and when he came to their house, he brought his deaf cousin to help. The deaf man, Gabriel, doesn’t know sign language, and Danielle’s family became burdened for Gabriel.  Danielle then got in touch with Becky, and after several conversations Becky agreed to teach this family Brazilian sign language (LIBRAS).  They had their first class on April 19th via Zoom, so please pray that Gabriel could be reached with the Gospel by this family as they learn sign language, and then teach him.

The Deaflympics (Deaf Olympics) will be held in Brazil on May 1st through May 15th. We just found out about this a short time ago but dismissed the idea of making the trip since we didn’t know of anyone else going among our missionaries. However, we felt the Lord leading us to go and be a part of reaching Deaf from around the world with the Gospel.

Dan sent a voice message to his brother, David Bennett, to ask him for advice about going to the Deaflympics. David has organized a couple of groups that went to two previous Deaflympics in other parts of the world, so we knew that he would be able to help. To make a long story short, David was able to get a big, plastic tote on a plane the following day, full of tracts, DVDs, and Gospel literature in several languages. David’s daughter and son-in-law, Brian and Christa Pate, are missionaries in Brazil, and they were leaving the very next day to return to Brazil after their furlough. Dan picked them up at the airport the next day, and also sixty-five pounds of Gospel “Seed” to be scattered around the Deaf world.

Please pray for us as we meet deaf people from around the world, and as we put the Good News of Salvation into their hands. The Gospel could go to Communist, Socialist, and Islamic countries. Only God knows how far the outreach will go. Pray that we would be Spirit filled, and that God would give us wisdom as we share the Gospel with those to whom we can minister. We can communicate in English and ASL (American Sign Language), as well as in Portuguese and LIBRAS (Brazilian Sign Language). Pray for us as we take the Seed of the Word to the Deaf of the world, that Jesus Christ would be magnified, and that souls would be saved. He promised that His Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11), so let us pray for a bountiful harvest of souls for the glory of God.

Thank you for having such an important part in the ministry among the Deaf here in Brazil!

May the Lord continue to bless you there in your community as you faithfully serve Him.

                                                                                    That all may “hear,”

                                                                                    Dan & Becky Bennett

Pray for Ukraine

(Written on 25 February 2022)

It’s 11:00PM, and all is quiet, except for the neighbor’s dog that is barking. He barks at everything. He barks at nothing.

One thing at which the dog is not barking is the sound of explosions. There is no gunfire. There are no missiles. There are no tanks. There aren’t any military jets or helicopters flying overhead. The city is quiet, except for the annoying, barking dog.

I walked out of my office and spent a few minutes walking on our back patio (it’s a slab of concrete). The cool, night air was refreshing. I thought about the war that was waged by Vladimir Putin, president of Russia. I prayed for the Ukrainian people as they prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. The people of the Ukraine are asking for help. They are imploring other countries for help.

I have seen news videos of the war that is going on. “God, have mercy on those people.” I am upset over a power-hungry man. I am saddened over the way the people of the Ukraine have been ignored by their allies.

One video showed a young man, twenty-one years of age, guarding a footbridge by himself, alone, waiting for the Russian troops to arrive. He has only fired sixteen rounds of ammunition his whole life. He fears for the life of his family. His family fears for his life. They may never see each other again.

I have seen Facebook posts by people that know missionaries and pastors in the Ukraine, and I even saw a video of a Brazilian man who is a pastor in the Ukraine. My heart breaks for those people, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Their faith is great. They don’t complain. They are trusting God. They are praying fervently.

Do you even wish that there was something that you could do? But wait; there is something that you can do. You can pray. You should pray. As the Brazilian pastor said on the video, “It’s not time for talk; it’s time for prayer.” As you go to bed tonight, say a prayer for the people of the Ukraine. Not a short, hurried prayer, but a compassionate, heartfelt, caring prayer. Pray in the same manner that you would want people to pray for you if you were in that situation.

Lives have already been lost. Sons, grandsons, brothers, fathers, husbands, dads, and uncles have died. Senior citizens have died. Children have died. Women have died. More will die needlessly. You may think that there’s nothing that you can do, but if you pray (with a clean heart), your prayer can move the hand of God.

When you turn off your phone tonight, don’t forget to lift up the Ukrainian people – and the Russian people, too – in your prayers.

One day, they might just thank you.

April 2021 Prayer Letter

Dear ministry partners and prayer warriors,

The days in which we are living are like none that we have experienced before. A global pandemic has affected us all in ways no one could have imagined. However, through it all, God was not surprised, and He has never been out of control.

While our schedule was slow in the Fall of 2020, our Spring schedule has picked up quite a bit. We don’t have any Sunday meetings available, and we only have a few Wednesday night dates open before we head back to Brazil in August. We have been blessed to be able to visit some of our supporting churches, and we have also been able to visit a few new churches.

Covid has hit some of our fellow missionaries. One of our BIMI missionaries that contracted Covid passed away, due to pneumonia and complications that affected his lungs. Brother Larry Barrett and his dear wife, Lydabelle, have been missionaries in Brazil for nearly 45 years. Brother Larry went Home to be with the Lord on January 26, 2021. Please remember Sister Lydabelle in your prayers.

It was in June and July of 2019 that Becky and I held a basic sign language course in the church that Brother Larry started many years ago. Almost the entire church signed up for the course, and at the end of the six-week course, we handed out 98 certificates of completion. Stephen Barrett, one of Brother Larry’s grandsons, had a great desire to continue learning the Brazilian sign language even after the course ended. About a month ago, Stephen wrote to me and said that God had been working in his life and had called him into full-time ministry. Stephen went on to say that he feels God is calling him to work with the deaf! After he raises his needed support, he plans to return to Brazil and begin a new church for the deaf in the city of Jundiaí. Besides the call of God in Stephen’s life, he told me that we, Becky and I, played a big role in his decision. Praise the Lord! Please pray for Stephen Barrett (25 years of age, single) as he goes to Candidate School on June 6-11 at BIMI. We have been praying for a long time that God would raise up more laborers with the deaf. We praise the Lord for the burden that God has placed on Stephen’s heart for the deaf in Brazil!

Lord willing, we will return to Brazil in August/September for our fifth term of missionary service. We could not do it without the love, prayers, and support of God’s people. Thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the ministry of the Lord in Brazil!

That all may “hear,”

Dan & Becky Bennett

January 2021 Prayer Letter

Dear faithful partners in ministry,

It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.   They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22,23) We praise God for His unfailing mercies, compassion, and faithfulness toward us daily. 

It’s hard to believe that 2020 is finally over, and we are well into 2021.  With all that transpired last year, we still have much for which to praise God. 

We returned to the USA on July 29, 2020.  We have been able to visit several churches, but because of the effects of the Coronavirus our schedule has not been full.  We’ve even had a couple of meetings cancelled due to pastors and church members having Covid.

On November 24, 2020, our daughter and her husband, Ryan and Anna Rodgers, gave us our first grandchild, a beautiful baby girl named Alyssa Nicole Rodgers.  Alyssa was born three weeks early, but both baby and mother are doing well. 

On December 1, Becky tested Positive for Covid, and Dan tested Negative.  However, a week later, Dan tested Positive, as did one of our children (Deborah).  Thankfully, they have been mild cases, and none of us had to go to the hospital.  For the most part our symptoms were very mild, and we felt lethargic much of the time.  Our family was in quarantine for a couple of weeks, but we have recovered and are now doing well.

We thank God for our colleagues, Michael and Ruth Douglas, who are doing a great job in our absence.  God is using them in a great way, and we recently spoke with them as they were praising the Lord for how He is working during this pandemic.  Even though church attendance is down, there is a handful of faithful people that are committed to assemble as the body of Christ.

As I mentioned earlier, we are now in the United States for furlough, and we have several openings still available. If you are interested in having us to give a report of the work and ministry among the Deaf in Brazil, please contact me as soon as possible.  You can reach me at (803)448-2127.

Thanks to all that gave a special Christmas offering to us.  Your love and generosity did not go unnoticed, and it was a tremendous blessing to our family.

Also, thank you for standing with us financially during the difficult months of the Coronavirus. Not once did we lack in our support due to the faithfulness of God’s people. We greatly appreciate all that give and pray to the work and ministry of our family.

                                                                 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