In the last blog I mentioned that I would not have been much of a missionary without Doris. Pictures of her, though few, spark many memories about her ministry. Because she played the piano and organ so well, we purchased an electronic organ that we could transport to ministry locations. Long before that we purchased an accordion—it was especially useful in open air programs. Playing the accordion seemed to come natural to Doris although in the interior at times it was more convenient to use a small portable organ.
When a ministry was needed, Doris stepped in. She started Sunday Schools, taught children in Junior Church and began weekly youth gatherings. There one of the attractions was the cakes she made for ;them. And the ladies who came to these church plantings projects needed encouragement–so Doris began special get-togethers for them.
All this was added on her mothering of our two small children with our son Vernon just a baby for he was born in Brazil. When we moved into our home in Neves it was not only part of the building where we held services but our apartment was still under construction. At that time we could carry most of our belongings in suitcases. Doris had courage to face it but she did say she’d never again move into a house until it was finished.
Now I want to review a little of her upbringing. Here Doris stands as an eight-year-old with her parents: Sparling and Elsie Craig with her sister Iva and baby brother Eldon. It is a Godsend to even have this picture for those were hard times for this Craig family. You see, the family house burned just before Doris was born. At that time Pa Craig struggled with stomach ulcers, had the farm to care for, build a house and care for his wife with their baby Doris.
Everything changed when Doris’ dad came down with a kidney disease. That left him a semi-invalid for a long while. The summer when Doris was about 14, she and her mother did all the work on the farm. Doris said that she helped milk the cows morning and night—though she had been milking long before that summer. She then delivered the milk to the factory that was over a mile from the farm and she did all that before going to school. As we chatted about it, she put her hands on my desk and made the same motions she’d have made when milking by hand. She said, “I think I could still do it.”
The Craig family were part of the Standard church in North Gower. The church children were encouraged to memorize sections of the Bible and here is Doris’ certificate as proof. As well, it was expected that every child would be able to rhyme off the names of
Doris wanted to be a nurse but was too young to be accepted at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. So she spent a year in Brockville Bible School; that was fortunate for me, for we met there. Later she graduated and by the end of that week we were married. During many of her years of ministry in Brazil, Haiti and here in Canada, the Christian Ed. courses she took stood all of those churches in good stead. As well our family had its own private nurse. Wow!
It is so true the words of Scripture, “All things work together for good tp those who love the Lord.” As I write this I find no other way to explain how our lives have worked out.