Jay Craig started working for Shiloh Christian Children's Ranch on Jan. 1, 1980 and will be retiring after nearly 40 years of service as of Jan. 31.

Jay Craig started working for Shiloh Christian Children's Ranch on Jan. 1, 1980 and will be retiring after nearly 40 years of service as of Jan. 31.

As many as 60 children ranging in age from birth to 18 years are cared for by loving home parents in six Shiloh homes on spacious ranches in Clarence and Kahoka. The ranch sites include livestock, gardens and ponds, which provide opportunities for children to learn, grow, overcome their past and have fun. Over 700 children have been cared for and provided for since Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch opened in 1977.

Craig said the most rewarding part of working at Shiloh has been seeing the children change. “When many of the children arrive here, they are glum and sad, and understandably so. But after they've been here for some time, as short a time as a few months, they become more happy and sociable,” Craig said.

In Craig’s tenure at Shiloh Children’s Ranch, he has seen it grow and develop new programs. Craig said he is pleased with the growth of Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch. “During the nearly 40 years, we've built an additional six homes for children, a Christian School, a counseling staff, playground equipment, and vocational training,” Craig said.

Craig said he is most proud of “seeing how the place has developed, from being a place with only one home, into becoming a complete program that includes all the things mentioned above.” The dedication Craig has shown to Shiloh has been a family affair. Craig’s wife, Marge, retired from Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch after working there for 38 years. Their son Tim is the Director of Stewardship for the organization.

Craig said, “My son Tim has "taken over the helm and is doing a great job. I may not live to see it if it happens, but think it'd be great to see one of Tim's children take the helm from him, here, some day.”

The dedication to the mission of Shiloh by Craig is to be commended, and he will be missed both by the staff and children served through the Ranch.

Visit www.shilohranch.org for upcoming events and hear from Shiloh parents and children in this video https://youtu.be/MdfGGVM1Y4w. For more information or how to donate to Shiloh Ministry, contact Tim Craig at timcraig@shilohranch.org or 573-588-2191.