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

October 2017 Ministry Report

October 31, 2017

Dear co-laborers in the Lord’s service,

Please join with us in praise to our great God, that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Since our last prayer letter, we have seen God do some wonderful things in our monthly Bible studies in Arujá.  On September 16, we saw three deaf people make professions of faith in Jesus Christ.

In September, special recognition is given to the Deaf community around Brazil with a theme entitled, “Blue September”.  To coincide with Deaf awareness, we had the first-ever “Blue Sunday” in our church on September 24.  We had 64 in attendance, 6 first-time visitors, and 11 total visitors. One of the first-time visitors was a young deaf lady by the name of Jéssica, who Becky led to the Lord after the service. Jéssica said that no one had ever taught her how to be saved.

In October, we had the privilege of having our pastor and his wife, Dr. Kenneth and Christine Walters (Becky’s parents) here with us in Brazil.  Pr. and Mrs. Walters are from Southside Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC.  It was a pleasure to have them here.  Dan asked Pastor Walters to preach the service in Arujá on October 14.  Dan translated as the Gospel was given, and a deaf couple, Aloísio and Avani, put their trust in Jesus Christ after the service.  Also, Becky was able to lead Guilherme to the Lord, a six-year-old hearing boy of Luiz and Rafaela, the deaf couple that was saved back in April.  The three pictured here are the ones that were saved in October’s meeting.  The deaf couple is showing their free Bibles they received that were printed at the First Baptist Church in Milford, OH, and donated by a dear couple in Woodruff, SC.

Every month, the deaf people in Arujá that go to the Bible studies beg us to start a church out there.  Please continue to pray that God would send forth laborers in the needy harvest field of São Paulo.

In our last prayer letter, I mentioned the need for a newer vehicle, and some have generously responded.  Our pastor also sent out a letter to some of his church contacts, and even suggested that churches take up a special offering for a Thanksgiving or Christmas project.  For that reason, our pastor suggested that we wait to purchase a vehicle until all special offerings have been received, so we will wait until January to purchase the right vehicle.  Please keep praying that God would provide the finances for us to be able to purchase the right vehicle at the right price, and that God would give us wisdom in making this decision.

We greatly appreciate every church and individual that invests in the Lord’s work in São Paulo.  We pray God’s blessings on you for your love and generosity to your missionary representatives in Brazil.

That all may “hear,”

Dan and Becky Bennett

Teaching the Deaf to Read

I grew up in DeBary, Florida, a small city in central Florida.  My father was the pastor of the First Baptist Church, a small church consisting mainly of retired people.  My parents loved missions, and taught the church people to love missionaries, too.

Approximately 20 miles away was located a “Boot Camp” for New Tribes Mission in Oviedo.  They had chapel services each Tuesday night, and many times throughout the year my Dad would load up the family to go to Boot Camp.  Our whole family loved going out there and meeting those pioneer missionaries that had given their lives to reach the unreached.  They sacrificed a whole lot more than most missionaries in that they were preparing to embark on a difficult, and often dangerous, task of going into tribal areas, learning how to build huts and thatch rooves, kill and prepare wild animals of all sizes, and at the same time maintaining a friendly relationship with the “savage” indians.

However, what fascinated me more than anything was that these missionaries were preparing to go to unreached tribes that had no written language, and attempt to learn their tribal dialect.  They wanted to phonetically learn the language so that they could translate a Bible into the tribal dialect, and teach them the Word of God, and teach them to read in their own language.  Having to spend many hours doing this type of arduous work to teach them the Word of God required dedication, sacrifice, and commitment.  Having the ability to read and write is something that most people take for granted.

In some ways, this is very similar to reaching the Deaf.  In Brazil, the only language that many deaf people know is Brazilian Sign Language (LIBRAS).  Many have not been taught and have not learned to read and write the Portuguese language.

We tell the church members that they need to read the Bible, but that is like arriving in a remote, unreached tribal village, handing the tribesmen a King James Version of the Bible, and telling them they need to read it.  They must first be taught to read, before they can read the Bible.

My wife has a burden for the Deaf, and a desire to teach the Deaf how to read, so that they can read and understand the Bible.  This afternoon she started a “Portuguese Class” for those interested in   learning how to read, beginning with the “A,B,C’s.”   This is quite an undertaking, but if just one deaf person can learn to read the Bible, then it will be worth it.

I know that Becky would be most grateful if you would pray for her as she teaches Portuguese to our deaf people, with some being in their 70’s, and one deaf lady in her 80’s.

Thank you, and God bless!

Pray for Laborers

It is recorded in Matthew 9:37 and 38 that Jesus said, “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.”

Two thousand years have passed since Jesus said these words.  The harvest is still truly plenteous, and the laborers are still too few.  However, there’s not a lack of laborers because I haven’t prayed for them.  Are there still too few laborers because YOU are not praying to the Lord of the harvest and asking, or rather, BEGGING Him to send more laborers?

Please, pray with us that God will send more laborers in the needy harvest fields around the world.