December 28, 2009
Dear Praying Friends,
We greet you in the precious name of our wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Not only that, but we greet you from our home church, the Southside Baptist Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Yes, we are back in the United States for our furlough. After five and a half years we have made it back to the States for a much needed furlough. On Sunday night, December 6, we had our farewell service. It was encouraging to see a good number of people there to send us off. There were people there that we have led to the Lord since the church was started, people whom we have discipled, baptized, and are now faithful church members to this day. We also had people there that we have worked with over the years, but have not yet trusted the Lord as their personal Savior. While we rejoice to see what God has done in Osasco, we still know that the work is not done, and it was tough to leave the people with whom we have worked and grown to love. There was a going-away party for us after the service, and many tears were shed as we said our good-byes. We left Brazil on Tuesday night, December 8, arriving on Wednesday the 9th.
I was planning to write a prayer letter in October, but I was waiting on a reply from a colleague about the possibility of being our replacement. While he was seeking God’s will about being our replacement or not, we were also praying that God would send the right person to take over for us so that we could go on furlough. In October we were told that we would be given an answer in November, so we anxiously awaited a response as we began to pack a few things to put in storage if we received a positive answer. When we finally heard that our friend and colleague would take the work, we began to frantically pack up all of our belongings to put in storage, and then to prepare the house to turn back over to the Realtor. We also had a missionary retreat the first part of November, and after we returned from the retreat a couple of our children came down with ear infections and viruses. With all that going on, our van decided to break down, first with the starter, and then the alternator went out. Even as we were running around trying to finish last minute items on our “to do” list, our alternator went out again on the Friday before we left Brazil. I took the van to the mechanic on Saturday and picked it up on Monday, the day before we left. Also, we had been looking for someone to look after and care for our two dogs. The day we left Brazil, the children and I took the dogs to some friends’ home. We had trials and setbacks up until time to leave, as the van that was carrying our family to the airport broke down about fifteen minutes from the airport. It was a relief when the van (that had the luggage and had dropped two of us off at the airport) had returned with the rest of the family about 45 minutes later on that rainy night. After a long flight and a short plane change in Washington DC, we finally landed in Charlotte, NC, tired, but safe and sound. We were greeted at the airport by Becky’s family, and then taken to Cracker Barrel for lunch.
We have been back about three weeks now, and are still in the process of getting adjusted again to being in the United States. We are living in the mission house of our sending church, and we even were given a “food pounding” before and after our arrival. A dear couple in our home church have given to us the free use of their van for a while.
We are happy to announce that around May 10, 2010, Becky is expecting our seventh child! She has had two miscarriages since the birth of Matthew in 2005, but everything appeared and sounded good during the ultrasound she had on December 11. Please keep Becky in your prayers regarding this pregnancy.
We will be visiting churches in 2010, so if you have a desire for us to give a ministry report, please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please make a note of this email address since our other email address is no longer valid. You may contact us directly at (803)207-6910 (Verizon wireless). You may also call our home church and leave a message, and I will return your call as soon as possible.
Thank you for the special Christmas cards and gifts that were given so generously, and for your faithful prayers and support in 2009. Have a wonderful and blessed Christ-honoring 2010!
Your representatives to Brazil,
Dan and Becky Bennett