My name is Veronica Bishop. I am called to a Children and Family Ministry. Free children and family ministry training at the Christian Leaders Institute is a blessing for me (Learn more about online Bible courses, Click Here).
My Early Years
I was born in Glendale, CA, USA, in 1982. Both my parents were Mexican immigrants that moved to the United States in 1979. We were your average middle-class family until my parents divorced when I was 9 years old. After their divorce, my mother worked two jobs to keep our family afloat. This made our family time very minimal. Also as a result of their divorce, I had to grow up quickly. I took charge of many household chores and duties, including caring for my younger brother. Our mother struggled to make ends meet and ended up engaging in illegal activities for income.
In 1994, we moved to Tennessee, in hopes of a fresh start and change in lifestyle. Mother continued to work several jobs and found a new husband. They had my sister, Cindy, in 1996, and I loved her as my own. My mom and her husband worked the third shift. So, I cared for my sister and my brother at night while they were at work. I became very close to my siblings. Our family never attended church on a regular basis. There are actually very few times I remember attending church. However, I always felt a connection with my heavenly Father, not a strong connection, but nonetheless, a connection.
Growing Up Quickly
In 1997, at 15 years old, I ran away from home with my boyfriend who was 20 at the time. He took me with him to Texas. I quickly regretted my decision two months after running away. However, it was too late. I had already become pregnant. As I said earlier, I never really went to church growing up, but I always felt a connection to God. So, I made up my mind that if I decided to be with this man and was having a baby with him, I needed to make my relationship work for the sake of my daughter. So, I ended up staying with him.
We moved back to Tennessee so that I could be closer to my mom. We married and had two more kids together. My mother forgave me, and we became closer than ever. I shared with her all my troubles in my marriage and looked to her for support. My mom became my only and best friend.
In 2000, my mom had my sister, Jessica. My mom saw some changes in her breasts after she stopped breastfeeding her. In 2002, she was diagnosed with a very aggressive and rare type of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer. She was given two months to live. We were all devastated. For the first time, I saw my mom turn to God for help. She started going to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She was constantly praying and reading her Bible. I was right there next to her every step of the way. She fought for two years. In February 2004, she lost her battle against this unforgiving illness. Just like that, I lost my best friend and was now the mother of six kids. Three kids of my own, my two sisters, and my brother.
That same year in April 2004, my husband started to physically abuse me. I believe he did this after my mom passed away because he knew I didn’t have anyone to defend me anymore. I knew I couldn’t stay in that situation with my kids and my siblings. So I moved out with all my kids and started the long process of divorce. It was one of the lowest times in my life, and unfortunately, I turned away from God and turned to alcohol instead.
For the next seven months, I slowly became an alcoholic. However, in November of that year, I cried in my closet one night. I begged God to bring my mother back and take me instead. God spoke to me. I will never forget that night. He said, “Veronica, what are you doing?! You have six kids in the other room that need you and are depending on you! You are stronger than this! Now pick yourself up and take care of all those kids in there that are looking to you for help.” And, I did. I stopped drinking and smoking. Then, a week later I met my husband. He is an amazing man of God. He adopted all of my kids and my siblings as his own. We also had four more kids together as well, three boys are living and one boy passed away in 2006. In all, we are a family of ten. We are so blessed!
In 2017, I took the role of Children’s Director at Lewisburg First Assembly of God Church. Since then, my husband and I have worked together in ministry as Children’s Pastors and are currently at New Life Church in Lewisburg, TN. My road has not been easy. There is so much more to my story but it would take too much time to go through. However, through every situation in my life, God was there. And He continues to guide me and my family as we walk with Him.
Free Children and Family Ministry Training at CLI
My spiritual dream is that I can continue to be a humble servant for Christ. Thank you for this wonderful study opportunity. I pray that this opportunity of free children and family ministry training with Christian Leaders Institute equips me with the tools I need to carry out His will for my life and those around me. That I can use this training to share the good news of His mercy and forgiveness with the families I am entrusted with. I pray that these classes help me to continue to grow closer to God and strengthen my relationship with Him. As I grow closer to Him, may others see Christ in me. I also pray that my family and I bring Him honor and glory in everything we do.