I was born and raised in the San Jose area. The youngest of two children (Older Sister Debbie) of Dan & Norma Vera. I am a �Mexirican� half Mexicain & Puerto Rican. Born as a preemie, I could fit in a shoe box (Some say I can still fit in one!) Daily my dad would come to the hospital to hold me & pray for my survival. His famous prayer was
�Lord, if he is going to become a drug addict or not serve You, take him now.�
Although I was not into drugs or gangs, my rebellious ways frustrated my parents greatly. To the point where my mother had taken all she could take. As she interceded for me she received a call from my aunt Nellie stating that God had told her not to worry any longer because I was going to be a minister. When I heard that I objected because ministers don�t make any money! I had other plans. That word carried my mom through the tough times.
It was not long after that I received a call to ministry. I was at a youth convention and felt an incredible presence & felt the impression of the Holy Spirit serve Him. In those days ministry meant to go to Bible College, so I went. Although, I was not serving God at the time, I knew enough about Him to obey when He called. So my journey to a small town in Arizona, located in Miracle Valley, where a noted evangelist A.A.Alan had once held miracle revivals and established a campus for his ministry in the desert.
I found myself at Southern Arizona Bible College. I graduated from Southern Arizona Bible College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Ministries in 1987. It was nicknamed Southern Arizona Bridal College because everyone who went there eventually ended up married. My one goal was to leave the school single. Little did I know that although I made it through without getting married, I did meet the one in whom I would spend the rest of my life with.
Her name was Angie Cardona, who was born in Eagle Pass, TX and raised in Ault, CO. She has two brothers & two sisters that reside in the Greeley area of Colorado. In my last year of school & her first year we met. In fact, she dated my best friend while I date her best friend. (That is a whole other story) We became great friends over the years & kept in touch after I graduated from college. Following Angie’s junior year Dan flew down to see her & the rest as they say is history.
We were married in November of 1989 and have had three beautiful girls. Yes, all girls! Jazmine Danielle, the oldest, just celebrated her sweet sixteen, with a wonderful hotel party. It was a mix of a debutant coming out party & a quinceanera. She wore a breath taking white dress & high top Nikes. That day she made a vow of purity & signed a covenant that she will some day present to her future husband on their wedding day. She has an incredible love for children, especially from third world countries. She gives generously to missions & supports a young boy named Isaac from World Vision. She also loves music, shopping & her God.
Jaclyn Marie, our youngest, came to us during an extremely tough time in our lives. She was our special surprise from the Lord. Her mission in life seems to be to try & make people laugh, truly the family clown. She loves video games, basketball & going golfing with me.
In 2001 our family was hit with a tremendous tragedy. Our middle child Jessica Renae passed away four days shy of her eighth birthday following a three year bout with Leukemia. Instead of blowing up balloons, I was burying her body. She would have been 14 years old this year. She used to say, �I am the bestest kid.�, it was not good grammar but it was a true statement. She was a girly girl. She was an incredible child who loved God & the ministry. At her funeral I spoke a word that carries me to this day.
�This is not good-bye, just see you later.�
It is a statement we have engraved on her headstone.
Many around us feared that this tragedy would knock us out of ministry as it happened just as we started to plant the CWC San Jose church. My mom in fact thought I would give up because she knew just how close Jessica was to my heart.
I made a vow that this would not defeat us but make our resolve stronger. I ask myself daily “How can I give up, now?” Heaven is that much more of a real place to me now that I know she is waiting for me & cheering me on with the great cloud of witnesses!
Today, we have made the move from the only home my children have known to a new venture back to San Jose, California to be closer to our church. This step has stretched our faith & our family. The whole family is committed to this move & this call.
Remember, the best is yet to come!