Sandra Pauline Cruz, 64, died April 11, 2011, at her home in Lubbock, Texas.
Sandra was born February 25, 1947 in Battle Creek, Michigan to Sylvester and Ruby Craig. She graduated from Battle Creek Academy in 1965, and from Andrews University in 1972 with a degree in English and Spanish. While at Andrews, she met her husband of 45 years, Daniel Cruz. She later went on to get a Masters in Education from San Diego State University in 1997.
Sandra lived a life devoted to God and to service. She had a passion for mission work, spending seven years as a missionary with her husband in Korea. In 2001, she started the Philippine Project Mission, which has since built four churches, and has begun building an elementary school. Sandra devoted much of her time and energy to fundraising, training Philippine missionaries in ESL to teach in China, and planning short-term mission trips. While she won’t be there to see the school open in June of this year, the good work she began will continue to be carried out there by the many people whose lives she touched.
A lifelong learner herself, Sandra dedicated her life to teaching others, teaching everything from English to law classes. She jumped at any chance to preach or tell stories, freely sharing her faith with those around her. She wrote two children’s books, The Story Basket: Creation Stories and Animal Tales, using the profits to build the Navy O’Donnell Seventh Day Adventist Church in the Philippines.
Sandra enjoyed learning about new things, like Chinese herbal medicine, and traveling to new places. She absorbed herself in each new culture—Korean food and Philippine eggplant dishes became some of her favorite foods. A lover of languages, she learned Spanish, Korean, Tagalog, and had begun learning Chinese. In recent years, she took a break from her world travels to settle in the U.S. and spend time with her four grandchildren.
She loved reading, especially mission stories, children’s books, and Spirit of Prophecy books. She was an expert at puzzles, logic games, and scrabble, regularly beating the computer! Though small and petite, she was full of energy; daring her younger friends to keep up with her, whether shopping or exploring a new city.
A woman of action, she responded quickly and passionately to a new idea or someone in need, always believing in the possible, never the impossible!
Sandra was a remarkable woman who lived life fully. Her love for God, expressed through her mission work and her love for people, has made an impact on so many lives that will not soon be forgotten.
Sandra is survived by her husband, Daniel Cruz; her children, David Cruz, Nathan Cruz, and Sharla Crabtree; two sisters, Shirley Smith and Lorraine Wellman; and four grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her older sister Sylvia Atkins of Fredericksburg, Texas.
Memorial donations can be made to Philippine Project Mission, Inc., 1908 27th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79411.
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