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Dorothy Mae Anderson Clay
Born June 8, 1918; Married 1942 (John Clay, d. 1990); Died January 15, 1968
Children: Carolyn Sue Clay, September 8, 1946;
Lawrence Clay, July 4, 1950;
Rosalind (Lindy) Grace Clay McCluskey, July 4, 1950
Dorothy was born in Albin, Wyoming, to Lawrence
and Esther Anderson. In 1924,
due to Esther's health, the family moved to San Diego. Soon they had become
acquainted with the friendly people at the Swedish Bethel Baptist Church at 16th and
E Streets in downtown San Diego - the church that would one day become College
Avenue Baptist Church.
Dorothy accepted the Lord as a child and took
her faith very seriously. She
would sometimes play Sunday School with her neighborhood friends and teach them what
she had learned the previous Sunday. As a young child, Dorothy started having recurring
fevers that would put her in bed for a week or two at a time. It was discovered that
she had polycystic (many cysts) kidneys, for which there was no known cure. A missionary
doctor from India, while a guest at church, prescribed something that seemed to aid
in Dorothy's recovery.
After high school and two years at San Diego
State College, Dorothy enrolled at
Biola in Los Angeles for a two-year course in Bible and music. It was during this time that she
met John Clay, to whom she became engaged, and they started planning for a future
on the mission field. They both had medical missions in mind, so after Biola, Dorothy
applied for entrance into nurses' training at County Hospital in San Diego and was
accepted. Usually, excellent health was a requirement for nurses' training, but
this is just another of the miracles in Dorothy's life. About the time that John
finished his training at Biola and had applied for entrance into a pre-med course,
the United States entered World War II and John enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
Dorothy and John were married previous to his going overseas to fly many missions
as a B-25 bomber pilot.
When the war was over, John and Dorothy
reconsidered medical school and felt
that six to eight more years of schooling was out of the question. Their pastor
recommended that they apply to the Sudan Interior Mission since the mission was in
need of both pilots and nurses. What perfect timing our Lord possesses! In 1949
College Avenue Baptist Church commissioned Dorothy and John and held a farewell service.
This was a time of rejoicing, though it was hard on Lawrence and Esther to see their
little three-year old granddaughter, Suzy, go so far away.
John served as a pilot and undoubtedly many
lives were spared and much time was
saved by his ability to fly patients and missionaries to their appointments.
Dorothy served in the medical dispensary at Kano. Each morning, after seeing their
little Carolyn Sue (Suzy) was well cared for by Maria, the nursemaid, Dorothy would
diagnose and prescribe treatment for over 100 patients. This was an incredible
task even for someone in perfect health, and the Lord supplied strength to Dorothy
in a miraculous manner.
What a time of excitement back in San Diego
when we learned that the Clays were
going to have another child. Even greater was the excitement when the news arrived
that the Clays had twins, born on the Fourth of July, 1950 - Rosalind Grace and
Lawrence (Lindy and Larry).
During the Clays third term on the mission
field Dorothy’s health failed, and
they were forced to return home. Tests revealed that the many cysts had taken their
toll, and the kidneys had almost ceased functioning. Kidney transplants were quite
rare in 1966 and, in view of Dorothy's health, almost out of the question. Dorothy
was given dialysis treatments every other week for many months. However, on January
15, 1968, at age 49, the Lord welcomed Dorothy into His glorious presence with
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Dorothy lived her life by faith in God and in
His Son, Jesus Christ. She lived
joyously - always with a smile and a word of encouragement to everyone she met. Her
enthusiasm for life and her laugh were her trademark. She lived triumphantly. With
Paul, the apostle, she believed “For me, to live is Christ - to die is gain."
- Thelma Overly (Ferguson), 1984
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