Ena Isalene Bishop, Issa, as she was affectionally known, was born in Rockhall St. Andrew, Barbados. She was the first of seven children. While acquiring her early education on the island she developed a passion for sewing. On becoming an adolescent she met and married he late husband Ethelbert Bishop; a union that lasted fifty-five years and was blessed with eight children.
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During her life Issa wore many hats. In addition to motherhood, she was a devoted christian and enjoyed fellowship at Evening Light Pentecostal Church in Barbados ; where she sang in the church choir and spear-headed numerous church projects and programs. She also volunteered her sonorous voice at weddings, funerals and similar occasions. Issa did all this while being a full time worker in the Barbados Hotel Industry.
In 1972, Issa decided to seek a better life for her family and herself. She courageously immigrated to America and immediately became gainfully employed. For a short time she worked as a house-keeper but quickly found a more permanent position which she loved as a Direct Care Counselor at Heart Share. In this capacity, she was called upon to take care of people with developmental and intellectual Disabilities. This was a job she cherished and willingly executed until her retirement. She loved the individuals she work with and often spoke about her affection and concerns for them. Dispite work and the daily rigors of life Issa remained focus on her personal mission; to provide a better life for her family. In due time she embarked on the task of bringing her entire family to the U.S. As difficult as this period was for Issa she still found time and the desire to extend a helping hand, whether financially or otherwise, to anyone in need.
In the U.S. Issa attached herself to a church, finally becoming a member of Beulah Tabernacle under the leadership of Bishop Horace C. Michael, Pastor. There she became a member of the Women’s Ministry and participated in the Women’s Senior Union. Mother Bishop as she came to be known in the Christian community, had a profound love for the Lord and often spoke about how He kept, sustained and guided her over the years. She often said, “I am greatful, God bought me from a mighty long way”. She led by example and was adamant that her family walk in her foot steps. Every morning like clock- work she prayed aloud for her family, mentioning each person by name. Mother Bishop made it her life’s calling to encourage everyone she met to accept God and to develop a personal relationshop with Him. She would say, “Oh how sweet to trust in my Jesus”.
Mother Bishop loved her family. She enjoyed spending time with family, whether it was traveling, holiday events or just a daily visit to have conversation and laugh. We will miss Mother Bishop. She leaves to mourn her children, Wesley, Rudolph, Patsie, Judy, Velma , Roosevelt, Janice and Valerie, all of whom are represent with us today; sisters, Victorine, Marisse, Maureen and Gwendolyn; brother, Carlisle; daughter-in-law, Marva Bishop; son-in-laws, Virgil Springer, Vernon Nesfield and Granville Leacock. She also left many, many grand, and great- grandchildren who names are too many to mention. Mother Bishop always said her prayer was for God to allow her to witness her children become adults. God heard and He answered. Go rest high on the mountain. Your work on earth is done. Rest in sweet peace.