Burgoyne Ministries International
So, how do you smile after such tragedy, such hurt and heartache, such great loss? By knowing and trusting the Lord, by believing and relying upon Him and His word, and by knowing what is to come.
I and my family have the great Hope of the Kingdom of God, and that He will do exactly what He has said and promised.
That all the scriptures that speak of the death of His saints are not only true but are going to be fulfilled to the full.
That I will see my great husband and friend Craig again, and that I will see my precious and wonderful son Noah again too, and that it will be very soon now.
That I can trust them to His care and not worry about them, as God is more than able to do all that is necessary and needed for them and for the rest of us too.
That before very long now I along with all believers will join them, and we will be together forevermore and it is in that I am greatly comforted.
We were as one Craig and I, we were a team, and we were blessed. I was greatly privileged to be Mrs. Craig T. Burgoyne and will forever be grateful and proud.
I just can't wait to see him again, to see both of them again. It has been over 3 years now since Craig went home to be with the Lord, it has been over 10 years now since Noah left, a very, very long time indeed to be without them.
But there are many who are in need, many who need to know the Lord and join them some day, and it is for them that I press on and work while I can. The time will come when our work will come to an end and I will not shrink back just because I have suffered loss.
Everyone suffers in some way and we need to be there for each other to help get through it. I told you before Craig was the strongest man I ever met, and you couldn't live your life with him without some of that rubbing off on you. He and the Lord actually forged some of that in me so that I could be used of Him to make a difference in someone else's life.
So, we press on toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus, to be faithful in all so that others may know and be saved.
One day soon, the Lord will take us out of this world and take us home. Then I will be with Craig and Noah. And not too long after that, Craig, I and Noah, and all the rest of us will return with the Lord to work with Him as He sets up His kingdom on the earth. We will reign with Him here on the earth for 1,000 years as He puts some order in this very disordered world.
We will be so privileged and honored to work with Him in this great endeavor. And so until then, I work and labor in the gospel, and do all I can to help people understand their need for Christ, for Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God who gave Himself for the sins of the world so that sinners (all of us) could be saved from the Judgment to come.
Craig spent his life in Christ, all 28 years of it doing just that. He went to the least among us as well as the most privileged, he went to the lovely and the unlovely, the wise and ignorant, the wealthy and the poor, the humble and the proud. He didn't care who you were, or, how big and bad you were, you needed Jesus and he told you so. And there are souls in heaven right now because he did.
He didn't waste any of his life and neither can we. And so Craig, until that day we will be just fine down here. And I know you are busy enjoying meeting everyone you can there, because that was who you were, and that is who you are, I'll see you soon!
All my love,
February 3rd 1945 - July 11th 2008
A small tribute to a truly Great Man of God
Wedding Picture August 9th 1980
Our new life in Christ in Newfolden, Mn 1980
Family Picture at Aunt Patti's Wedding
The early years at Lake Geneva Bible camp
The Burgoyne's could always be found at camp Lake Geneva Bible Camp
Craig was needless to say always in trouble, but he was also always learning and advancing himself with the things that he was talented at so that he would have the tools to make it in life.
He also made friends in all those prisons he had been in. Over the many years he told story after story about those people, about their lives and about his relationship to them. More than once the unbelievable would happen as that man would be in the audience totally unaware of who Craig was after so many years, until he started telling the story. Or a family member of that person would be in the audience, and what a great time they got to have because of it. Craig was a great story teller too and that served him very well throughout his life and ministry.
I met Craig when he had just come out of federal prison and was still in the halfway house. I had actually met him 4 years earlier but neither of us realized it until many years later. But on November 8th 1970, I went out with a friend one night just to get out of the house and was introduced to Craig. It was love at first sight for both of us, and we were together almost every moment (literally) of every single day for the next 38 years.
We loved each other, respected each other, were like each other, and were totally committed to each other. There were many issues in our lives back then as we were living the life he had been used to and that I was now a part of, but in spite of all that we had a great life, we were two peas in a pod and we made it all work.
Craig was still a married man at the time I met him, even though the marriage was over before he came out of prison. We went forward with our lives anyway, had a family, and raised our sons together. We were committed to each other, to family life, and to our children, and Craig was committed to making sure he had enough money to take care of us.
Then after 10 years, miraculously, we both met the Lord. We and all our sons were saved within six months of each other, and very quickly after our conversion the Lord said to us, "My children get married," and we said, "Yes Sir," and planned our wedding. Craig had received a divorce just six months before we meet the Lord and it paved the way.
All six of our sons were at our wedding, and so were a lot of people from our past. Drug dealers, prostitutes, gun men, a warlock, bookies, mafia men, and many others, and oh yes, a few normal family members too.
I was saved about the 20th of April 1080, and Craig was saved on June 22, 1980. It was then that our lives really began. Even though we had lived a very full, active, and some say "very interesting" life, we had not even begun to live until we met Christ. We had been saved out of so much, were so thankful and appreciative, that we never looked back. We had done it all, been everywhere you care to go in the world, and we'd had our fill. We went forward in faith, in joy and in anticipation.
The Lord led us faithfully, quickly, and raised us up not only to live good, committed, and wonderful Christian lives, but He also raised us up for the ministry to lead others.
The two fishermen at the lake - Craig and son Noah
Fish or people, he was always after the big one's
Son Noah's Wedding - It's a Burgoyne Boys affair!
Preaching, teaching, large or small crowds didn't matter.
Part of our International Ministry in India
Pastor Isaac Wilson In Bangalore, India
Craig was a great man, strong, powerful, wise, yet very gentle. He was very handsome, quick witted, funny, sweet, sincere and protective.
He also meant what he said, and said what he meant, always! He was steadfast, unmovable, and when he decided something, there was nothing and no one that could deter him from it, and, he would fight to the death the decision he believed was right and best.
Craig, always the gentleman
The Lord was watching over Craig very closely all those many years he was growing up and going through so many hard times. He protected him many, many times, in the most dangerous of times and kept him through it all right up to the end.
Craig, at the grave site of our son Noah who died Feb 15, 2002
The irony of this picture is that within just months Craig's body would be buried under the very ground he knelt on that day. That spot is where his plot was in our family section and where his body now lies. I tell you that to make the point that you really don't know what is coming, or when our last day on the earth will be and so we must all be ready for whatever lies ahead.
We took this picture that day because I am a public speaker for MADD, and I use them in my presentations about the life, tragedy and death of our son Noah.
Craig was a lover of God, family and fellowship
Our trips to Mexico and our winter place in Texas
Craig was born February 3rd 1945, on 18th and Central in North East Minneapolis, Mn. It was the day a bright light shinned into the world.
He was raised as an only child by his mother as his older sister had died at the age of 6 months from pneumonia, and his parents had divorced when he was only about 6 years old.
Craig was a most unique child, a man child they are called, someone always old beyond his years. He was a tremendously gifted child and was constantly learning. From his youngest years he studied all that he could about the world around him through his stamp collections, coin collections and baseball card collections.
A Numismatist, Philatelist and an Entrepreneur starting at the age 7, 10 and 12, he was very busy person, but still always made time for friends and baseball. He loved the game of baseball and dreamed of the day that he might be a professional short stop. He spent his early years honing all his skills and talents, and matured them for what he would later become. His natural talents and driving desires ended up paving the way to the trade in life that would be his, as everything led him to making money.
Business was his nitch, but not just business, or not just sales which were as natural to him as breathing, but of world finance. He was a broker by natural trade, but it would not be of stocks and bonds as he trusted nothing unstable, it was of gold and silver, the part in finance that hedged everything else. That was the part he was driven to, the part he knew best and had faith in.
He could broker anything, and did so over the years, as he would have to move from market to market as they rose and fell and as markets shifted. But gold and silver would always be the markets he watched the closest, as they told the temperature and health of the rest of the financials of the world. He was also more than aware of how governments continued to work to control everything and how they constantly thwarted the free market enterprise system.
He was a bear market buyer and learned well how to buy low and sell high. But, Craig never took advantage of people like some do, he would sell as high as he possibly could, and make all that he could from it, but not at the other persons expense.
Craig was so careful with his money, and with the possibility for loss, that sometimes people felt he had taken advantage of them, but he hadn't. He was just so careful to always make sure that he wasn't taking unnecessary chances by giving out that little bit more than the deal really deserved, which in that particular market and business is exactly what you must do, and he was an expert at it.
He could sell anything to anyone and they were happy to get it. But even in all that buying and selling which he loved, it wasn't everything to him. Craig was first and foremost a people person, and they were always what he was really after in life.
His whole life apart from business, apart from gold and silver, and apart from the antiques which he collected, (he had a very good eye), were the people he met. Craig met people everywhere, and he met everyone he could all day long. In fact, life wasn't life if he wasn't out meeting people and talking to them. He studied them too, and had that instinctive talent to know them well, even though he had just met them.
Craig was a very appreciative person; he didn't ask things for himself, he was all about pleasing, blessing and taking care of you. He did that instinctively too; you couldn't leave our home even in the early years before the Lord, without him sending you home with something. An antique of some sort, a special cookie jar from way back when (he had a collection of over 50 of the best at one time), or a knickknack or something. And it wasn't for any other reason than that he just enjoyed it and loved to bless people. He was very much a giver and not a taker.
If there is one way to describe Craig’s life, it would be very, very busy. He packed so much into it you cannot imagine. He was busy all the time meeting everyone in his path and using all his gifts along the way. He had a much focused outlook about life too and spoke to people about it often. It was to not miss any of the opportunities that were there in front of him. He knew that if you were not focused and paying attention, you would miss the very opportunity you needed or should grab that was right there in front of you, and you would never have that chance to take it again. To him, that was a great loss and he didn't like to suffer loss unnecessarily.
He was a person who loved life, ventured out into it every day, and grabbed what he could of it. And, everyone else just had to try to keep up with him because he wasn't about to slow down or miss out on it just because others didn't appreciate it. He was a very special person and a truly great man.
He didn't have the privilege or blessing of having a father in his life to help him along the way, and his life had some great pit falls that he had to deal with and learn from.
He learned many things young, but some of the hardest battles came from trying to get the rest of the world to do things right. He had a real problem with that in life, and part of the problem was because he was usually right about most everything. He saw with an eagles eye, he knew instinctively the truths of life, and he spotted the wrong and injustice all around him. And although he himself would do things wrong as well, he would react to the greater wrongs that were in others and in the world around him, and he'd get into trouble.
Craig found himself in trouble very young, as even in the 1950s, if you were a child without a dad to help you, and a mother who had to work all the time, even a very good boy could easily find himself getting into trouble. In those days much less was tolerated, and punishment was handed out firmly, and swiftly, as expectations were much higher then.
He ended up going through the court system and spending time in the BarNone Ranch, a place they started in the 1950s for boys in jeopardy. Thistledew was his next stop, it is a forestry camp for kids between the ages of 13 and 17, and it was home for Craig for a time in his growing up years.
He also did time as a youth in a prison called Red Wing. He was there twice, and at the age of 18 was scheduled to be released directly into the adult correctional facility and sent to St Cloud State Penitentiary. This is a tough prison and not a good thing to happen to a young man unnecessarily. But a Mrs. Knoblocker who was the head of the parole board back then recommended a parole for Craig. She felt he needed a chance in life, and was adamant about it because she had known his uncle who had done 20 years in Stillwater State Prison.
Released from prison at 18 Craig began the next chapter of his life, he was now a grown man, out on his own, and alone. Craig was a very strong, capable, and determined person, still very independent and sure of himself, and he ventured forward in life with confidence. He married, had three sons, worked, and with a lot of determination purposed to make it in the world one way or another.
One of the jobs he ended up getting was absolutely perfect for Craig, as he was hired by the owner of Ostbye & Andersons. They were the top wholesale jewelry company in Minnesota at the time and one of the things they did was to supply all the jewelry stores in the five state areas with wedding rings. Craig was in charge of all the diamonds for the wedding rings and took care of all the orders.
Craig used to love to tell that story in the prisons to men who could appreciate the irony of it. Here he was an ex con, who had served time for stealing, and now had been given that kind of job. He was in quite a position and they knew what he could have done with it by stealing from the company. He would re-enact how every morning he would wheel out long carts full of diamonds and all the other precious stones that were to be worked on that day, and how he was in charge and responsible for them all. He would pretend to be pushing the carts along and whistling as he explained it, and the men in prison would roar as they could see and understand the position he had been in, and the great opportunity that he as an ex con had been given. And then he would show them what good character and integrity looked like as he would tell them that he didn't, and why he didn't, and how important it was that he didn't. He had appreciated the opportunity that Mr. Ostbye had given him and he had no intention of misusing his trust.
He was having a ball and was right in his elements in that job. At the next meeting when his parole officer asked if he had gotten a job, Craig told him yes, and where it was, and how much he liked it. But, he also told him this, "If you call them and check on it, I will lose my job, and if I do, don't expect me to get another one." That was Craig, no nonsense, straight forward, honest, and straight from the shoulder type of man.
Craig loved his job and was now not only working with precious metals which he knew so much about, but with gem stones too. Diamonds, Rubies and Emeralds, this was too good to be true and it was exactly what he needed to forge ahead and make something of himself in the field that was his. Sadly, sometime later he was in a car accident and he lost that job because of his injuries and absence from work. Mr. Ostbye could only wait so long and since he had to have someone to take care of Craig's responsibilities, he hired someone else.
I think that was another very important turning point in Craig's life, and it wasn't long after that, being in serious need of money, that Craig turned back to crime to get it.
His crimes were never against people personally, but were what are called victimless crimes, and they were always just to get and have money. But no matter what your motive is, when you make those kinds of choices, you will end up paying the price for them. He was soon arrested, went through the court system again that he was so used to and in the end had to deal with the reality of it.
He ended up doing three years of a five year sentence in the federal penitentiary at Sandstone. And, even in prison no grass grew under Craig's feet and he made good use of his time. He was put in school there to learn mechanical drafting, but Craig would have none of that as he knew it didn't fit him or his talents and he had no interest in it. Learning the tensile strengths of metal was fine, but he knew he needed much more, and so in class he would have his book open, but he would also be reading out of books he had gotten in the library that he had interest in and had the talent to do like architectural drafting.
It was something that we always knew was a possibility: it was something we were prepared for to a fashion, although as much as you prepare you are never really prepared for it. Craig had actually spent years preparing me to make it alone, to make it on my own should he die, and he and the Lord prepared me well. It was also something both he and the Lord had been telling me was coming in countless ways for many months before it happened.
One day as Craig was saying his usual line (he would teasingly chide me this way), that he could go home now since I was prepared so well to make it fine without him. I would chide him back and say, "You're not going anywhere, if you think you're going to go home to heaven and run around up there having a ball, and leave me down here with all these crazy people, not!" We would both laugh and he would have made his point and I would have encouraged him about how much he was wanted. But, this time I felt it was much more serious than it had been over the years, and I felt something was up. I actually asked the Lord if Craig was going to die, but he didn't say anything to me. I then said to the Lord that if this was what was coming, and that Craig was going to die, then to please take him in his sleep so that he didn't suffer.
That happened just a few weeks before Craig died, and I tell people to pay attention to what is happening in your life, and to be prepared that when you ask the Lord for something, don't be so surprised when you get it. I asked the Lord to take him in his sleep and that is exactly what he did.
Craig had tried to prepare us for what would come, and he always lived ready to go, he had to. He had lived that way for almost 50 years, and although it was a very hard thing to go through time and time again, even though it was not easy, he never let it bother the rest of his life and lived as though there was nothing wrong.
When the time came, he was ready, and I know he was excited to get home too. He was excited to see our son Noah, to see whatever other relatives of his made it to heaven, the other brothers in the Lord that he knew over the years, and of course, most importantly the Lord Himself.
I have no doubt that as soon as he had seen the Lord, which would have been the very first place that he went as he was a man that had a profound sense of respect and reverence for the Lord. He knew His Lord in a special way, and had such an appreciative heart that he would have had to go to say thank you right away. But, as soon as he was done with Him and with Noah, he would have been off and running through heaven stopping to talk to everyone he could along the way, and making the best progress he could to find some very particular people.
Evidently one of them may have been Moses, as he was adamant that he had to watch the Ten Commandments the night before he left. For whatever reason, I do not know, I only know that it was a part of the plan. Peter and Paul were on his list too, and after that everyone he could find. Maybe some of his many very famous relatives made it there as well and he has been walking and talking with them a lot. He would be finding out from them what life was like for them back in their times of history, and just how they met the Lord.
I know he has been having a great time, because that is what he did when he was here on the earth, even in all the turmoil and the hardships of life, he lived his life to the full. He tried so hard to make it the best he could, and was always concerned that you were doing ok. We'll, it is my great joy that I get to know that he is now doing ok now, and will be doing so from now on.
Every day life with Craig was always an adventure, as there were no regular days with Craig and each day was filled to the brim. He was funny, very witty and always a sweetheart. Everyday was Christmas for me too, as he always brought me flowers, candy, or a card, or something for the house even if it was just groceries or laundry soap. He was always looking for and finding a good deal too and so he never came home empty handed!
He was very much a family man even though he was an only child and most of our time was spent with just the immediate family. He was someone who very much liked being at home when he was there. Traveling was such a big part of his life as he was always coming and going somewhere, that when he was home it was very special to him.
Give him his library, his books and a tape player and he was happy. He listened to tapes to study, read the great preachers of the past and loved his collection of children's bible stories. He liked keeping things simple as people learn best that way and he also loved and respected children.
When he was out in ministry, or in a church somewhere and he needed prayer, he would often call the children to pray for him. They had honest, simple and trusting faith he said, and he also liked giving them the opportunity to not only learn to pray but to become a part of ministry.
Craig was always trim and basically a healthy person, but he had certain issues too as we all do. He had always had very sensitive skin, even from a baby so we always had to watch many things he used. He also had a heart condition, an electrical problem that came on when he was 16 years old.
It was something he lived with all of his life and had to put up with on a constant basis. When I met him, (he was 25) I found that he would have an attack once every month. His heart would take off and beat fast and steady at over 300 beats a minute. It was like a race horse running hard and nonstop. It was a very hard thing to put up, and it would do that for about 72 hours straight and then would correct itself and go back to normal. That would leave him exhausted, and it would take him a few days to recuperate. He worked on his health a lot over the years and was very faithful to do the best he could with what we knew to do.
Twice it almost killed him as it raced well over 300 beats per minute nonstop for 7 straight days (the first time) and 6 straight days the second. The second time he was hospitalized, and they put him on a special medicine which controlled his heart rate and it worked very well.
It helped keep him calm as well which was nice and very helpful. Craig was a type AAA personality, (and I mean AAA, not A), so that alone made him someone you had to try to keep up with. But his heart problem also contributed to his being very high strung, often touchy, and made some of life hard for him and others to deal with. This medicine was great as it regulated his heart, calmed him, and gave him the rest he needed as he was always under such extreme stress from his heart.
But as is true with most health conditions and most medicines, they may fix one thing yet often bother something else. It appears that it bothered his skin a lot. His skin was so sensitive, that when something new was introduced to it he would have a reaction almost immediately. And it didn't seem to matter what we did to try to fix it, sometimes nothing worked.
So we had worked all those years to keep him free of the things that bothered him, and because of it he did very well and had good healthy skin. But it may be that this new medicine he had to take every day for the rest of his life was the culprit that bothered his skin so bad because no matter what we did, we could not get it under control.
That last spring during his checkup, his doctor told him that he was doing so well with his heart that he thought he could take Craig of his medicine. Craig had already cut down his dose to try to get the skin condition under control, and so with the doctor felling he could get off of it, Craig did what it took and he was off his medicine completely in a few months.
It was something that I never felt good about though, I knew too well that his heart needed that medicine, and although it bothered his skin, it was not something I believed he could be without. But his doctor felt he could, and he was so excited to be off of it, and he also continued to do all the other things in his program to stay healthy, so he went for it.
He was disciplined and very faithful to take all of his health products every single day, and they really did help him all those years to give him everything he needed to live such a busy and active life.
We enjoyed that last spring and summer tremendously, and we prepared to go to family camp where we went every year for 26 of the 28 years we had known the Lord. Craig really went out of his way this year to get the whole family together and make sure they got to camp, even those in the family who hadn't been there before.
He had a great camp, (10 days long), saw everyone which of course was one of the most important things about camp to him. He spent a lot of time praying for everyone too, and I do mean everyone. One night before we left camp after the preaching was over the minister had everyone form lines throughout the worship center (it holds over 2,000 people and it was pretty full), everyone got prayed for and everyone got to pray for everyone else.
Craig was one of the last people in the line praying, and he prayed just as fervently for the last person as he did for the first one. We also spent a long time saying good bye to everyone as you hate to leave, and then headed home Sunday evening. We spent the days after camp resting a lot as we were both tired from having so much fun and from running around.
Thursday evening for some special reason that I don't know, he wanted to watch the "Ten Commandments" (his favorite movie), and at 10:00 pm he said that he was tired and going to bed. I didn't think much of it as we were both tired, but went and said good night to him, talked for a few minutes and went to sleep. Then at 7:00 am the next morning, Friday the 11th of July 2008 Craig died in his sleep.
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I was chief, if He could save me, He can save you, just ask Him and see...