Monday, March 31, 2014

March Family Birthdays

It's always fun to celebrate family birthdays, and in March we had three of them! A big one, with son-in-law Joe turning the big 4-0!! And also two birthdays in Carrie & Tyler's family - Tyler's 31st birthday, and also sweet little Eva's 2nd birthday! 
Amy did great planning a surprise party for Joe's big "40" day!
And a fun time celebrating sweet Eva's 2nd birthday - a special "pink party"!

Kidney Transplant Update - Thankful

Sharing recent kidney transplant news for our friends and family who are praying for our granddaughter, Crystal ...

In our last update on March 14 (click here), we shared that Crystal's kidney function level had dropped to 21.5%, which was concerning as a donor is not in place yet. Well, just a short time later, we found out that her levels went back up again! This gives more time for a donor to be in place - we are grateful!

Here is a portion of a CaringBridge update that our daughter, Cristy, shared on March 20:

"Last week we asked for bold prayers that Crystal's kidney function would stabilize.  She had dropped from 25% to 21.5% in 5 weeks, which was alarming because we will not know if I can donate until my MRI in May.  She will need dialysis when she drops below 15%, so I was beginning to fear we would be to that point before we have a confirmed donor.  And then...what if we find out in May that I can't donate and donor testing must start over?  This is where we just have to lay our burdens at the cross and pray for Him to be strong in our weakness and tendency to worry. 
Thank you for lifting up our dear girl in prayer!!!  Dr. Quan called today with the results of her latest labs, and she is back up to 25%!!  He feels that the lower labs reflected the fact that she was sick with strep when they were drawn.  I can't tell you how relieved we are.  While we know things will inevitably get worse before they get better, this really gives us the breathing room that we needed.  Thank you, thank you Jesus!"
We do appreciate your continued prayers for Crystal - thank you! And you are welcome to read more detailed updates on Crystal's CaringBridge site - click here.

Our News & Prayer Update - March 2014



March Greetings!

Isn't it wonderful to be entering into some spring-like weather! It has been a cold winter here in Nebraska, and we are ready for spring!
Thank you for praying for our requests in our last mailing! Here are the answers to your prayers - all our thanks and praise to God!
Successful Surgery! Mark's (our son-in-law) surgery to remove a lump on his kidney (discovered when he was being tested to be a kidney donor for his daughter) was successful! It was cancerous (renal cell carcinoma) but we are so grateful it was caught in very early stage. It was all removed, with no signs of having spread, and no chemo or radiation will be needed. The doctors will recheck it periodically, but are quite confident that it was all taken care of. Thank You, Lord! Visit our family/ministry blog for more details, and for future updates - click here.
Cru Central High - First Meeting on Campus! It was a very successful night on Thurs., Feb. 27! The students loved it, there were new students who came, and the whole night was amazing (games, food, and a special guest speaker from Belarus). See photo (above left) and click here for more photos on our Cru Omaha blog!
Cru Fort Calhoun - Freshmen Outreach! Our student leaders came up with the idea, and planned a special night for Mon., March 10, where they focused primarily on inviting new Freshmen students. It was a great night - beautiful weather (in the 70's!), games outdoors, new students in attendance, a few student leaders shared their stories of coming to know Christ, and Josh, our college volunteer shared the Gospel. See photo (above right), and click here to see more!

Please join with us in praying for ...

Cru Accelere - Pray for a way for these students to be discipled one-on-one or in small groups, in addition to the weekly meetings we hold with them during their school day.
Summer Opportunities for Students - Please pray for a number of our students to be able to attend our regional summer conference (Getaway) in Estes Park in June. Also pray for plans beginning to form for our Summer Venture program, where we hold area gatherings for students from our various campuses.
Our Granddaughter, Crystal - Her kidney function continues to decline; her most recent testing revealed that she is now around 21.5% kidney function. She is able to continue on with her classes and activities, though experiencing increasing side effects and general fatigue. Please pray for her as she awaits kidney transplant, which will take place when she goes below 20% and when a donor is in place. Visit our family/ministry blog (garyandcherry.com) for more details and for periodic updates.
Our Current Focus on Raising Funds - Please pray for us as we are in another season of needing to raise additional funds for our personal Cru account (for our salary and ministry expenses). As with all staff, we are responsible to raise these funds. Please let us know of others who have a passion for reaching high school students, and who might be interested in coming on our team with monthly, quarterly, or annual gifts. Feel free to forward this email on to them, or reply to us with their names.
We would love to be praying for you - let us know how we can pray. Your replies to this email come directly to us, and we would be honored to hear from you. Thank you for being a part of Cru Omaha, and for your prayers for this ministry, and also for our family.

Gary & Cherry
Gary & Cherry Warrick
Cru Omaha
Home/Office 402 468-5345 / Cell 402 659-3340
cruomaha.com / garyandcherry.com
Click here to donate to our staff account.
Copyright © 2014 Gary & Cherry Warrick, All rights reserved.
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Gary & Cherry Warrick (Cru Omaha)
PO Box 184
Fort Calhoun, NE 68023
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Friday, March 14, 2014

Following Step-by-Step


Life is certainly filled with the unexpected; journeys that we never dreamed we would need to travel. What would we do without God, our loving Father, who walks along with us, and who gently and lovingly carries us through the most difficult times? We are in need of Him, every day.

A year ago this month our dear granddaughter, Crystal, was diagnosed with a rare genetic kidney disease. (Click here to read more details.) Since then she and her parents and siblings, along with all of us as family, have been following God through this unknown journey, step-by-step, many times not having any idea what the next turn would reveal. 

One of the turns in the road which took us so completely by surprise (after the initial diagnosis), when we were not sure we could even handle this journey, was when we found out that Crystal also has the eye disease that is sometimes associated with this kidney disease. And then again, we were completely taken off guard when the doctors discovered that Mark (Crystal's father and our son-in-law) had a cancerous lump on his kidney (discovered when he was being tested to be a donor for his daughter). This lump was successfully removed at the end of February. (Click here and here to read more details.) The pathology report shows that it was, in fact, cancer (renal cell carcinoma), but it was caught in early stages, and was all removed, with no need for chemo or radiation. Thank You, Lord!

And now ... one year after the initial diagnosis, we are continuing on this journey, wondering what lies around the next corner. Wondering when Crystal will be at the point where they will proceed with the kidney transplant. Typically, the doctors will proceed with transplant when kidney function goes below 20% (though it can go even lower, with the patient put on dialysis when it reaches about 15%). And, of course, a transplant cannot be done until a donor is in place.

As a result of Crystal's most recent lab test, the doctor is estimating that her kidney function is currently around 21.5%, down from 25% just five weeks ago. He is planning to retest to be accurate, and will have the results a week from now. The doc is still saying that she may be able to wait until this summer for transplant, which is now just a few months away.

Please pray for a donor to be in place soon. The doctors are now saying that our daughter Cristy (Crystal's mother) may be able to donate after all. They plan to do another MRI the end of April on Cristy's kidney to see if the cyst they had found earlier shows any sign of concern. They are quite confident that there is no concern but needed to wait a number of months to retest it. (We're grateful for several other family members who have offered to be tested if it does not work out for Cristy to be the donor.)
We now know that this delay in determining if Cristy can be the donor was by the providence of God, as it led the doctors to proceed with testing Mark as a donor ... which led to the discovery of his cancer, which was removed by surgery last month. 
So we continue on this journey - Crystal struggles with side-effects each day, though she never complains. She continues on with her sophomore classes and activities. Please pray for strength and endurance for Crystal. As her levels decline, the side effects increase. We thank God for the peace and trust she is experiencing, in the midst of this very difficult journey. We're so grateful to all who are praying for her ... 

We will continue to post updates here periodically, and you are also invited to read Cristy's updates on Crystal's CaringBridge site ... click here. Thank you for praying for our dear granddaughter and her family!

(We will be traveling to TX at the time of transplant to care for our family for several weeks - please also pray for us as we plan for this time away. And for strength and peace for us, as well. We are in need of His grace and mercy, each day.)