Vanessa Bishop Death, Obituary – Dave Mann writes… It is with great sadness that we notify all of you that Vanessa Bishop, who was a member of our Shining Lights / Hope Project office team, passed away unexpectedly in Tauranga Hospital on Friday, the 2nd of December 2022, at the age of 30 years old. In 2018, Vanessa became a member of our office staff in the capacity of a volunteer. She struggled with serious health issues, one of which was experiencing epileptic seizures on a daily basis. But deep down, she had a love for God, and she prayed that someday her talents would be put to use serving others. When I first recall having a conversation with her, she was walking with the assistance of crutches because some of the muscles in her legs were not functioning properly, possibly as a result of a stroke.
This transpired as a consequence of a string of seizures that she had experienced in recent times. Despite this, she was happy and she smiled. I can clearly remember thinking to myself, “I am staring at one of the bravest persons I have ever encountered!” Despite the fact that she spent the previous two years confined to a wheelchair, she managed to maintain her cheerful demeanor and a generous spirit toward other people at all times. She had entered the office with confidence, climbing up a small ‘lip’ on the sliding doors so that she wouldn’t be at risk of falling over. The difficulties she is experiencing with her health don’t tell us anything about her heart or her abilities.
She was our “trouble fixer” when it came to various technological matters, particularly in the field of databases because she was qualified in a variety of different areas. She possessed genuine intelligence and cunning, and up until this year, she was continuing to add to the tertiary degrees she had already earned. She was a real asset to the team and the work that we did! And what was her motivation for serving not only with us, but also with her church before she joined our group? It was because she put her faith in the God who was responsible for our creation and who revealed himself to the world in the person of Jesus. She had faith in the importance of the work’s mission, and as a result, she committed herself to ensuring its success.
And while she was forthcoming about the difficulties she faced with her health when questioned about them, she did not make the difficulties of others her “burden.” When she was in need of assistance, such as a ride home, she asked for it in a meek and humble manner, but she never expected it as if someone owed her something. She had a humble spirit, a keen awareness of others, and a considerate mind. In spite of obstacles and low points, there was a maturation that occurred concurrently. Her struggles had helped her to cultivate a remarkable strength within herself. We are going to miss you, Vanessa. Even though we know that you are no longer in any pain because you are in the arms of our Savior, we still find ourselves in a state of mourning over your passing.