Goodbye Bishop

Yesterday we laid to rest our dear Bishop Haney
Our hearts are broken that he is no longer with us. I spoke a little bit about our Bishop HERE…he was such an amazing man, but more importantly, he meant so much to my husband, and in turn to me. Sometime I hope to have Brandon share some stories of his memories of Bishop. Being that Bishop Haney was Brandon’s pastor since birth, he has some good ones that he cherishes, as I am sure many people do. But I believe the memories that Brandon cherishes the most are the recent ones…the ones made within the last couple years.
When Bishop and Sis Joy came back to Stockton from St. Louis, Brandon somehow became the Miraflor who carried on the tradition of helping the Haneys with any odd job they needed fixed around the house. Brandon also did other things for Bishop, such has help him with Twitter and other technical things, make phone calls for him, and drive him/pick him up to and from the airport when he traveled. 
I can assure you, those moments spent with Bishop were some of the most life changing moments Brandon has ever had. Bishop came back to Stockton during a very crucial time in our lives….a point where God was beginning to work on our hearts regarding our own ministry, and a point when Brandon needed to hear and see an elder in the faith who stepped out…and never looked back. Bishop’s little “mini sermons” in the car on the way to the airport or over the phone would energize Brandon….cause him to work harder for the Lord and continue on the path that God had set him on.
In June, after Brandon met with Pastor Haney regarding our ministry shift, the next person he met with was Bishop. After Brandon spoke with Pastor, he texted Sis Joy to see if he could come over and chat with Bishop. Sis Joy said she didn’t think he was available, but about two minutes later she texted Brandon back and said Bishop wanted him to come over to the house right then. He was just that kind of man, never one to turn someone away. Brandon drove over to their home and had a nice long chat with Bishop regarding his next step in ministry. Like Pastor, he was beyond supportive and encouraging, and they spoke for over an hour about Brandon’s future. Although they saw each other often after that, that conversation was the last long, face to face and intimate one Brandon had with Bishop Haney…one that Brandon will never forget.
Brandon’s birthday fell about a week and a half after Bishop was diagnosed with the brain tumor. Our family spent Brandon’s special day at the mall shopping just for him. While we were in the JCrew men’s section, Brandon phone rang and the caller ID said Joy Haney. Our hearts dropped. We both hoped that if he passed, it would not have been on Brandon’s birthday. Brandon answered nervously, and was greeted on the other end by Sis Joy and Bishop singing happy birthday to him. I will never forget Brandon’s face, as he stood there surrounded by fall cardigans and tables of corduroy pants, with his hand over his heart and tears flowing down his face. That was the last time he heard Bishop’s voice.  Brandon texted Sis Haney and asked her if they could call back and sing to his voicemail, so Brandon could keep it forever. They did…Brandon has listened to it many times since then. I can honestly say that was the best birthday present by far.
A couple days after Bishop passed, Brandon received a text asking him to be a pallbearer…. you can imagine the honor Brandon felt. And you can imagine the shock when Brandon found out he was actually carrying the casket…he thought for sure there would be so many pallbearers that he would just walk behind. That he was asked to carry his beloved Bishop to his resting place was one of the greatest gifts anyone could give him.
The processional carrying Bishop to his Valley Springs resting place. The skies were so gorgeous…such a beautiful evening.

Waiting to carry Bishop…and remembering him with smiles.

Carrying our Bishop…

Singing, praying….such a simple moment, but one he would have loved.

As Brandon and I were driving back down to Stockton, after we had laid Bishop to rest, we both remarked how surreal the day was. Did Bishop really pass? Was that all real? It was almost like we were attending a mock funeral as a practice “if” something happened. Bishop couldn’t really be gone. He was larger than life…he BREATHED life everywhere he went. He wasn’t supposed to die. But he did. And we missed him so. 
But amazingly…the funeral was so perfect. It was so Bishop. You could see him standing in Heaven raising his arm in agreement with the spirit that was felt in the 99 campus. More than 4,000 people…all people loved by Bishop, gathered to remember him. It was like a big party. Like Landmark. Like a fellowship time that Bishop would expect to be right in the middle of. His favorite songs were sang…and you could almost hear him singing along. It was so beautiful. So convicting. So what you would expect from Bishop Kenneth F. Haney.
So to our Bishop…we will see you again someday. Thank you for your example. Thank you for standing up for what you felt was right…and encouraging us to follow along. But most importantly, thank you{and ALL the Haneys} for loving the Brandon Miraflor family. We will forever be changed and be eternally grateful. We love you!
Brandon, Amy, Jacob and Evelyn

17 thoughts on “Goodbye Bishop

  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    So beautifully said Amy!! Wow. . . .this brought tears to my eyes…..very moving and touching! Love you!!
    Debbie Saiz

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    Wow Amy this was so beautiful, He was all those things and more. I am still in shock saying to my self did he really pass away? I can't believe it! Like you mentioned he touched so many lives, I am so thankful for him there was a day that I was making a big decision in the turn of my life. And then there was that one Sunday service,I was 20yrs old struggling in life missing church here and there. And he spotted me from the platform and walked down twards me and said Sister Melanie I missed you in service Last Sunday and that he noticed I was gone and wanted to make sure i was ok and that he was there if i needed someone to talk to, that was when I decided I would give my heart totaly to God and made a change. Im here today cause of his love and kindness and the Lords help. He was also a great friend of my Uncle Pastor Ruben Arellano. BISHOP was a remarkable man of God and will be missed so much, Your words moved me as tears ran down my face. Thank you for sharing that Amy.
    <3 Love Melanie Martinez

  4. 4
    Kelley says:

    A beloved friend. We'll miss Bishop so.

    We are deeply sorry for the Miraflor family's loss (and all our loss)! Praying for all those Bishop called "family."

    Much love!

  5. 5
    Mandy says:

    Heart touching post.

  6. 6
    Amber says:

    Words are never adequate at times like these but yours are beautiful. Thinking of you and Brandon.

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your kind comments regarding Bro. Haney. He was loved and respected by all. The lives he has touched are unable to be numbered. While I didn't know him personally I was privileged to hear him minister. Our loss is heaven's gain. Someday we'll see him again.

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing this. What beautiful moments your husband had with your Bishop! Makes you truly realize only what you do for Christ will last! Those little moments that you take time in someone's else's life you cannot put a price tag on it!

  9. 9

    We’re likely to try to fix the mailing address/billing address thing.

  10. 10

    Just signed up. Searching forward for the October 5th clearly show!

  11. 11

    Can’t hold out to determine everything you have!

  12. 12

    Good shot Paul! I love the comp. greetings!

  13. 13
    smslan says:

    While studying this a person, I am reminded of a thing.. ahm.. it’s a secret Wow.. you might have a copy of Haruki Murakami’s IQ84. In fact I am a late bloomer Murakami reader and I am finishing The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles.

  14. 14

    How much does one of those cost?

  15. 15
    Sherley says:

    Well I was bullied at school, called all kinds of different names

  16. 16
    Emory Cicero says:

    You are so gifted! Count yourself lucky

  17. 17

    You really make it seem really easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really one thing which I believe I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I am taking a look ahead for your next publish, I will attempt to get the hang of it!

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