By now most of you who know me, already know that my sister Lisa fought for her life against cancer for the last 15 months since she was diagnosed.
Lisa finished her fight on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 in her home in Artajona, Spain, and Lisa passed into the presence of the Lord on that day.
Lisa’s Funeral was held there in Artajona on Thursday, January 20 and attended by 600 from around Spain and even some from America and France. Her U.S. Memorial Service was held at Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA on January 24th.
Below is my personal tribute to Lisa and the Eulogy.
Thankyou to the hundreds of people who have written to me, called, hugged, sent flowers, and cards and all kinds of things.
My mother & my family are really grateful to all the love our friends & acquaintances have shown us on both sides of the Atlantic.
I am continually encouraged to learn of so many scores of people who prayed for Lisa during her fight against cancer.
Now we should think of her 5 children and her husband who were left on earth. JD Bennett writing from Cathedral City, CA.
Lisa’s stand against cancer is over. As Dan, my brother-in-law put it: “The battle has come to an end and the victory has been achieved, not in the way that we had hoped, but it has come. Even at the end God showed us that He heard every prayer and IS our God of details.”
Lisa Leatherwood entered peacefully into the Lord’s presence on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, just 20 hours after the last time that I spoke with her.
Lisa & Dan began work in Spain as full time missionaries in 1999 at Pamplona Evangelical Christian Church, and before long Lisa was beckoning me to come help her in Spain. After two short-term mission trips to help the Leatherwoods, I was accepted by Lisa’s mission board and joined her & Dan in 2005, in time to help inaugurate their first church plant: Tafalla’s Christian Family Center (see postcard).
Lisa behind her keyboard at the church she planted with Dan & me in ’05
I relished each summer, when young people from Navarra would pour into our camps. Lisa was astounded at the response of Spanish children and young people responding to the Gospel for the first time. Lisa even willed her way into doing her part leading Cowboy Camp even this summer. Our “English Outreach Camps” helped create new relationships with the Spanish and Basque families in our community. This was evidenced by the turnout for Lisa’s Memorial Service in Artajona. 600 townspeople from Artajona & Tafalla came and heard the Gospel clearly proclaimed by Spain’s greatest pastors. Pray for Dan as he now has a very special opportunity to harvest from the great seed that was sown at the funeral. Lisa’s will, and ours, is to see the people of Navarra come to know Messiah once and for all.
My sister always challenged me to do better, Lisa was not a sibling who let you “live and let live”. No, Lisa had a rallying nature, an unquenchable energy to get everyone on board with her. This is how she jump-started relationships with the people in these pictures. Lisa was a protagonist. Lisa was a missionary. On a Mission. From God. Right when I arrived in 2005 she sat me by her piano and had me learning her songs for church on guitar. She basically put a guitar in my hands and said “let’s do this.” And we did, our family led music at our Tafalla Church even on the Sunday after Christmas, just a month ago. Lisa taught me that you have to invite people into your life, not expect them to flood into your church when you open the door. Lisa showed her friends and neighbors in Spain that they were loved, and told them that God had loved her first, so she also felt compelled to love them. Please pray for me as I grieve, and as I look to my future with Sara, that we may continue this work that Lisa started.
TheLisa Leatherwood Memorial Fund:
Tentmakers Bible Mission, PO Box 160 La Grange, WY 82221
Eulogy of Lisa Leatherwood:
יָקָר, בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה- הַמָּוְתָה, לַחֲסִידָיו
Psalm 116:15 “Estimada es a los ojos de Yahve la muerte de sus santos”
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
Born Elisabeth Rose Alcalá Bennett to James Melvin Bennett and Elizabeth Alcalá Bennett on October 24, 1973.
Lisa grew up in San Bernardino and Grand Terrace, before going away to college, then moving her young family to Spain as missionaries. Lisa Leatherwood attended San Bernardino Christian School, graduated with honors in 1991 from Inland Christian High School in San Bernardino, CA, and received her B.A. in English from Christian Heritage College in 1995. Lisa married Daniel Leatherwood, her first love, on December 18th 1993 in Redlands, CA.
In the early 1990’s Lisa toured North America and ten European countries as a mezzo-soprano for the Christian Heritage College octet: Sounds of Heritage. Lisa performed for thousands at the World’s Fair in Sevilla, Spain in the summer of 1992. Lisa also sang soprano in the Christian Heritage College Chorale. As an entrepreneur, Lisa began “Elisabeth Originals Bridal Gowns” while still a student at Christian Heritage College. Lisa was an elementary school teacher for Perris Unified School District between college and moving to Spain (1996-1998). She was a career Missionary of Tentmakers Bible Mission in Navarra, Spain 1999-2011. She and Dan founded Tafalla Christian Family Center (Centro Familiar Cristiano, Tafalla) the first protestant church in Olite County, Spain and a church of the Federation of Independent Evangelical Churches of Spain.
Lisa was a lifelong pianist, insisting on playing the piano at church until two weeks ago, when the cancer and chemotherapy had made her very weak. Along this journey, Lisa gave birth to five exceptionally bright children: Anelise, Aida, Andrew, Ashton, and Avery, who will live with the memory of a great mother who fought to stay alive to raise them.
While being treated in the Hospital de Navarra, Lisa didn’t waste any of her life feeling sorry for herself, instead painting portraits of her five children and landscapes of Spain that were familiar to her.
Lisa was a “Member in Mission” of Bridges Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA.
Lisa went to Heaven after her great fight against cancer on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 in her home in Artajona, Navarra, Spain. Her funeral was held in Artajona on Thursday January 20, 2011 and was attended by 600 friends and family from around Spain, France and The United States.
Lisa was the beloved wife of Daniel Leatherwood, a native of Riverside, now living in Spain. Mommy of Avery (5), Ashton (7), Andrew (10), Aida (12), and Anelise (15), all of Artajona, Spain. Daughter of Elizabeth Alcalá Bennett of Banning, sister of J.D. Alcala Bennett of Sevilla, Spain.