Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Our December Newsletter

Gary & Cherry Warrick
Merry Christmas 2015
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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

Into this beautiful world,
and into this world filled with chaos and tears,
Joy has come.
Even in the midst of the wind and the storms,
in our pain and in our losses,
Joy has come.


Isn't this what all of mankind longs for?
What we all desire?


We look for joy everywhere,
and we look for joy everyday.
We are made for this - to long for deep-rooted happiness,
the kind that bubbles up from within.


And we are not left alone to find this sought-after treasure ...
we are told where to find what we long for.


You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand
are pleasures forevermore.

(Psalm 16:11 ESV)

In our times of celebration,
when we are in need ...
Wherever we are,
whatever our situation,
there is JOY close by,
with us, within.
With Him.


I bring you good news
that will bring great joy to all people.
The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord -
has been born ...

(from Luke 2:10-11 NLT)

... they will call Him Immanuel,
which means 'God is with us'.

(Matthew 1:23 NLT)

Into this beautiful world,
and into this world filled with chaos and tears,
Joy has come.
Even in the midst of the wind and the storms,
in our pain and in our losses,
Joy has come.

Thank you for your friendship and for partnering with us as we reach out to middle school and high school students with this amazing message: "Immanuel - God with us"!

We pray that you will have a blessed Christmas with your loved ones, with times to reflect on this most precious gift of all.

Gary & Cherry
Gary & Cherry Warrick / Cru Omaha
Home/Office 402 468-5345 / Cell 402 659-3340
PO Box 184, Fort Calhoun, NE  68023
cruomaha.com / garyandcherry.com
pursuingheart.blogspot.com
Click here to donate to our staff account.

Copyright © 2015 Gary & Cherry Warrick, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your interest in Cru Omaha. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Our November News & Prayer Update

Gary & Cherry Warrick
News and Prayer Update - November 2015
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Dear Friends and Family ...

Greetings amidst this beautiful fall - we trust you are loving it, as we are! Along with the great weather, we're having great times with family.

Seth was home from San Francisco on a recent weekend, and Cristy & Mark & family from Dallas surprised us all by showing up for trick-or-treating on Halloween! And we are looking forward to Thanksgiving when all of our kids and their families will be together here at our home ... all 22 of us (plus a few others)!

We are also having great times with Cru this fall! We have active groups on eight high school and middle school campuses at this time with the help of our amazing volunteers who work with us!
Cru at Accelere alternative school in north Omaha is one of those campuses with a great start to this new school year! 

This is a school for 18-21 year olds who are coming back to get the diplomas they missed out on earlier. We are seeing exciting interest and interaction with the 25 or more students who often join us for our Friday lunches. Their spiritual interest is definitely a step ahead of previous years. They are asking great questions, and it's evident many are really thinking about what a relationship with Christ would be like.

Please pray for them, and for our Cru volunteers who so faithfully and passionately minister to them!
And we can hardly keep up with what God is doing through Cru at Marrs Middle School!

This after-school Cru club is growing every week! More than 55 students filled the classroom at a recent meeting. It took every ounce of my (Gary's) energy to keep their attention as I shared the Gospel with them. But God was obviously at work because they stayed with me ... even asking good questions along the way!

Many of them raised their hands saying they wanted to believe in Jesus! We then asked those students to pray along as I led a prayer to invite Jesus into their lives. Although we didn't get a count, the level of interest and understanding was high, so we believe that many were genuinely praying to believe in and follow Jesus!

Please pray for these students to continue to grow in Christ as Heidi and Nathanael lead them week after week. We thank God for these two gifted volunteers - and please join us in prayer for more volunteers to help them as the group continues to grow.
Can you believe that it has been six months already since our granddaughter, Crystal, had her kidney transplant?

How we praise God for how well Crystal is doing - and also for how well our daughter, Amy, the generous donor for Crystal, is doing! We thank God for good labs and good doctor reports! And we ask for continued prayers!

This photo of Crystal and her Aunt Amy was taken just this past weekend when Crystal's family surprised us and drove up to NE, from TX, over Halloween!
We continually thank God for you - for your encouragement, prayers, and financial support that make this ministry to students a reality!

Would you also pray for us as we are meeting with other interested individuals during this season, as we are seeking to add more monthly or annual financial partners to our team? As is the case with all of Cru staff, we need to continually keep our support up. We have had some short salary checks in recent months, and need to raise an additional $1,500/month of financial funding. Thanks for joining us in prayer for this need!
Have a wonderful and memorable Thanksgiving season
with your family and friends!

Gary & Cherry

Gary & Cherry Warrick / Cru Omaha
Home/Office 402 468-5345 / Cell 402 659-3340
PO Box 184, Fort Calhoun, NE  68023
cruomaha.com / garyandcherry.com
pursuingheart.blogspot.com
Click here to donate to our staff account.

Copyright © 2015 Gary & Cherry Warrick, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your interest in Cru Omaha. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

School Starting & Time for Family

Summer's end and the start of another school year ... brings changes for us in Cru ministry, but also it brings changes for our grandkids! And these grandkids are growing up fast - too fast!

TEN grandkids: 
one in college, 
one a senior in high school, 
two in junior high - one in 8th, and one in 7th, 
five in elementary - two in 3rd grade, three in 1st grade, 
and one (our youngest grandchild) in preschool!

The first part of September brought some fun opportunities for us to spend time with some of these grandkids. First, was an overnighter with Jake & Cole here.


Two of our grandkids were part of our small town's Homecoming Parade, the route going right down the street in front of our home ...


And on Saturday, Sept. 12, an outdoor meal with family home, and then time together at a nearby orchard for their annual "Apple Fest" activities ...



So blessed to spend time 
with six of our ten grandkids 
this first part of September ... 
and missing our four grandkids in TX. 

Thankful for each one on this 
"Grandparents Day" 2015!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our August News & Prayer Update

Gary & Cherry Warrick
News and Prayer Update - August 2015
Greetings as summer ends and school begins again! It's a busy, exciting transition. We had a great summer! We are so thankful our granddaughter, Crystal, continues to recover amazingly from her kidney transplant. She even rode a zip line in the mountains while on vacation with her family! Now she is back in school for her senior year!

With Cru, all signs reveal that God is preparing us for a great school year ahead. Thank you so much for your prayers as we reach out to so many active, impressionable youth!
We love our volunteers! They are such an integral part of our Cru Omaha team, enabling us to work with students on multiple campuses each week!  The group above (a portion of our volunteers) met with us recently in our home. We shared hopes, dreams, ideas, and plans for the various campuses we each work with this school year. We then prayed together for God to anoint movements for Christ among students at each of these campuses.

Please join us in these prayers! Pray for all our volunteers. They are such a dedicated group. They love teenagers so much and passionately want them to know the joy of following Christ! Please pray also for more volunteers. There are some campuses where volunteers led ministries last year but where we won't be able to have Cru groups this year unless we find willing, capable volunteers! 
And we are already missing our Cru Summer volunteers! These are college students who gave their summer to disciple our area high school students and encourage them to walk with God. We had so much fun with them! They are so full of life and exuberance for Christ, which overflowed into the lives of the high-schoolers. They worked hard, planned fun activities, developed creative lessons, and led interactive discussions with the students. We are extremely thankful for each one! We will sincerely miss them, but thankfully, most of them tell us they will be back next summer! (Click here and here to read a bit more about these volunteers, and the Cru Summer program that they helped lead!)
Now, back on campus, we're meeting new students and catching up with involved students from last year who we didn't see over the summer. These students (in photo) at Omaha South High were so excited to come together again and bring friends who hadn't been a part of Cru before! Your prayers for a great start on each campus are greatly appreciated.
We are extremely thankful for each one of you who support our ministry so faithfully through prayer, financial support, or both! Some of you even gave an extra financial gift to help us get through another summer when contributions to our account were lower and expenses were higher due to the CRU15 summer staff conference. We truly thank each of you for the part you play to enable so much to happen for the glory of God! We continue to be dependent on God to provide this fall as our staff account is still not up to the needed level to allow for our monthly salary and other needs.

CRU15 was excellent as always - inspiring, encouraging, and stretching! We were challenged to think in some new ways that will help us more effectively reach more students as we return to the campus this fall. And we love it that the main emphasis is always to keep walking intimately with Christ and allow Him to work in and through us. The Holy Spirit is the one who reaches the hearts of students. It's the spiritual dimension that makes the difference!

We love and appreciate you all!

Gary & Cherry

 

For online contributions go to give.cru.org/0407850                  
____________________________________________________________________________
Gary & Cherry Warrick / Cru Omaha
Home/Office 402 468-5345 / Cell 402 659-3340
PO Box 184, Fort Calhoun, NE  68023
cruomaha.com / garyandcherry.com
pursuingheart.blogspot.com
Click here to donate to our staff account.
Copyright © 2015 Gary & Cherry Warrick, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your interest in Cru Omaha. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cru15 - Fort Collins, CO

Sharing memories of our Cru15 Staff Conference, held in Fort Collins, CO, last month. It was one of the best yet - uplifting, inspiring, and thought-provoking! So blessed that we could be there, and so thankful for the privilege of serving with Cru. Thank you to all our friends and support team who make it possible! 










We are now busy preparing for a new school year of ministry to high school and middle school students here in the Omaha area. School is already starting up, and our weeks have been filled since we returned from CO, getting together with volunteers and student leaders in preparation for a new school year. Thank you for praying for a fruitful year of students coming to know Jesus!

(Photos from our "Project Life" digital scrapbook, capturing memories of the summer.)

Monday, July 13, 2015

High School Ministry Days at Cru15

Hearing from our leader, Darryl Smith ...

Our Cru15 (Staff Conference) days started out with High School Ministry Days from Friday evening (July 10) through Sunday afternoon (July 12). What a great privilege to hear from our leaders and to connect with other staff. We always love these times together ...

After the opening BBQ Friday evening, held at a park in Fort Collins, we met for the next two days at Newsome Hall, part of Colorado State University campus.


Lunch together on Saturday between our morning and afternoon sessions ...

Our view of the Colorado mountains as we walked from Corbett Hall to Newsome Hall for our meetings ...

Beautiful Colorado sky view at dusk ...

Welcoming new staff who have joined since our last staff conference two years ago ...

Our last session together on Sunday afternoon was a Celebration and Awards time ... honoring staff for milestone years on staff (we will be awarded for 25 years at the Cru17 conference, two years from now!), and also welcoming the new staff who have joined since the last staff conference two years ago. It was exciting to have a record number of new staff join!

Such a blessed time to connect with our staff friends from across the U.S. And such a blessed privilege to hear from our leaders.

A few of the highlights from my (Cherry's) journal, notes taken during our sessions. 

From Darryl Smith:
  • Scope - "every" has always been on God's heart. The Gospel is for everyone ... "make disciples of all the nations". 
  • Passion and Compassion - both are important.
  • Passion = brings focus.
  • Compassion = brings scope.
  • The Good Samaritan gives us a clear example of "compassion". Though his passion would not have been to minister to a Jew, the Samaritan was filled with compassion to help someone who was in need. Though our passion as High School staff, is for high school and middle school students, our compassion draws us to care for all those whom God cares for ... everyone.
  • Always pursue First Love ... above what we do; our focus first of all is always the Gospel, always growing in our love relationship with Jesus. 

From worship songs:
  • I will live to carry Your compassion ... by the power of Your Name.
  • ... offer this heart, O God, completely to You.
  • ... remind myself of all You've done ... I am Yours, forever Yours.

Special focuses:
  • Tracy sharing how critical it is to reach middle school students - such a harassed culture, helpless; prime time to want to know Jesus.
  • Sunday morning prayer focus led by Stephanie. The key to God's heart is prayer; the door to God's heart is Jesus. Prayer (communicating with and listening to God) ... our invitation to come "home" to ultimate intimacy and acceptance. Intercession = laying our pressing emotions and heart concerns for ourselves and others before the King.

These are just a few of the ways we heard from God through our time together; thoughts to carry with us. The biggest take-away from time with other High School staff with Cru is always ... the Gospel and growing in our love relationship with Jesus. This is always held up as of prime importance and focus. All ministry is an overflow from this ... 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Our June News & Prayer Update

Gary & Cherry Warrick
News and Prayer Update - June 2015 
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Summer Greetings!

"YAY! THE GETAWAY WAS SO HELPFUL AND INSPIRING!" This is a text we received from one of our Omaha South girls who attended the Cru Rocky Mountain Getaway. Her life was transformed in many ways! She was one of two van loads of students who traveled with Jake and Andy to this life-changing 5-day conference recently.

At the same time, students who didn't make that trip continued with our weekly Cru Summer gatherings with our college student volunteers. Omaha students gather at GAMe Omaha in the Old Market, while Washington County students gather at the Blair Depot / Lyons Park. The college students are full of energy and enthusiasm as they also meet with us an extra night of the week to plan and prepare for the student gatherings. Click here to see a few photos from Cru Summer. As you can imagine, all this means the summer is fleeting by quicker than we really desire!
 

In addition, we, as well as Jake, Chelsea & family will attend "Cru15", the every-other-summer Cru All-Staff Conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, July 10-21. (The photo above is from Staff Conference 2013.) This is a fun, worshipful, inspiring, and encouraging time for staff from all across our nation, and also some from around the world!

As you pray for God to use this conference to refresh and recharge us as well as the many other staff, would you also pray for us as we raise the funds that are needed for us to attend? We need to raise about $4,000 to cover the tuition, travel, lodging, and meals. These extra expenses, which are above our salary, hit our personal staff account during the summer months when contributions to our account are often low. Would you consider making a donation by giving to our staff account online - click here ... or by sending a check made out to "Cru" to our address listed below? Thank you so much.

All donations for this need are tax-deductible, and are an investment in lives of students as we reach out to high school and middle school students here in the Omaha area. Thank you for your part as you pray for this need, and as God leads some to invest.
 

We have great fundraising news concerning our other Cru account, our Cru Operating Account. As many of you know, we participated in the May 20 "OMAHA GIVES!" one-day fundraising opportunity for area non-profits sponsored by the Omaha Community Foundation. Thanks to those who prayed and contributed, and with the generosity of local matching donors, we raised $6,480 for the local operating expenses incurred as we work with students on the 10 campuses in our Cru Omaha area!

We are praising the Lord! Some of these funds made it possible for the Omaha South High student, mentioned above, to attend the Getaway where she was so significantly impacted.
 

We hope that you and your loved ones have a memorable summer! We continue to praise God for the healing He has brought to our granddaughter, Crystal, and our daughter, Amy, after the kidney transplant this past April. Both are doing well! There are continued doctor visits and lab draws for Crystal as all the meds are kept in balance to prevent rejection. Please pray for continued good results, and also for wisdom regarding her one remaining diseased kidney. It has been causing some problems, and it will likely need to be removed if this continues for very long.

Please let us know how we can pray for you - your replies will come directly to our inbox.

Gary & Cherry
 
Gary & Cherry Warrick / Cru Omaha
Home/Office 402 468-5345 / Cell 402 659-3340
PO Box 184, Fort Calhoun, NE  68023
cruomaha.com / garyandcherry.com
pursuingheart.blogspot.com
Click here to donate to our staff account.

 
Copyright © 2015 Gary & Cherry Warrick, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your interest in Cru Omaha. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Our May News & Prayer Update

Gary & Cherry Warrick
News and Prayer Update - May 2015
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Spring Greetings!

Another school year is quickly coming to a close, and graduation receptions and end-of-year parties abound. It was a great year, with some students becoming aware of the reality of Christ for the first time, some coming alive in their faith, and some learning to be spiritual leaders to their peers! We are so thankful to all our volunteers and student leaders who reached out to students and gave consistent leadership so that we could have a living witness on 10 campuses in eastern Nebraska.

Of course, active ministry doesn't stop for the summer, so we count on your continued support as we enter into 'Cru Summer', the Rocky Mountain Getaway, and Staff Conference!

Fundraiser for Cru Omaha Operating Account!
We have been given an amazing opportunity to participate in a major fundraising campaign this month. This is our first year to take part in this fundraising effort!

Donations made online through OMAHA GIVES! will provide much-needed funds for our Cru Omaha Operating Account. These funds will provide for our operating expenses, student scholarships to both the summer Getaway Conference in Estes Park and the winter Denver Christmas Conference, and will provide funds needed throughout the school year to reach students on our ten campuses.
 
We praise God for an anonymous donor who has offered
to match each gift given to Cru Omaha ... 
 
$1 for $1, up to $10,000!!

Please consider making a donation on WEDNESDAY, MAY 20 to help fund the 2015-2016 school year of reaching students in the Omaha area!  All of the funds donated to Cru Omaha through this fundraiser will go to our Cru Omaha Operating Account. 
 
Spread the news and help us reach our goal of $30,000
for the 2015-2016 school year!
 
Simply go to OmahaGives24.org
and click on 'Give' or 'Non-Profits' at the top of the page.
Then type in 'Cru Omaha' in the box at the top of the next page.

This will take you to the Cru Omaha page, where we have info and photos, and you can make a donation by credit card. Thank you so much!!

Kidney Transplant News & Praise!
How do we put into words all that has happened since we sent out our last newsletter? Our granddaughter Crystal's kidney transplant is now history, and we are filled with thanks to God for all that He has done. The whole process went very well, even beyond what we even dreamed possible!

Crystal was admitted to Medical City Hospital in Dallas on April 18. The photo above was taken that afternoon, as we, together with our daughter Amy spent some time with Crystal. Amy,  the very generous kidney donor for Crystal, was admitted very early on April 20. Both surgeries took place that morning - a very emotional time as we waited together as family ... for us, a daughter in surgery and a granddaughter in surgery at the same time. We praise God for His presence, and for a successful kidney transplant! Crystal's new kidney from her Aunt Amy began functioning right from the start! We praise God for caring for our granddaughter and that now she has a healthy, functioning kidney after two years of not feeling well as her kidneys declined ... and we praise God for our daughter who so selflessly donated one of her kidneys.

We were blessed to be in TX from April 15-29 to help throughout the weeks of transplant. Our list of thanks is long, as there were many amazing ways that God cared for our family throughout the transplant process. We thank you for your prayers! Please click here to go to Cherry's Pursuing Heart blog to read about some of the incredible ways that God cared for all the details of the weeks of transplant and recovery.

We appreciate your prayers for continued full recovery for both Amy and Crystal. And please continue to follow Crystal's journey on her CaringBridge site. Please pray for no rejection in the weeks and months ahead.

 
Thanks again for all your love, encouragement, prayers and financial support!
We praise God for you, and for all that He is doing through Cru Omaha!

We would love to hear from you! Please reply with any news, comments, or prayer requests you may have.

Gary & Cherry
 
Gary & Cherry Warrick / Cru Omaha
Home/Office 402 468-5345 / Cell 402 659-3340
PO Box 184, Fort Calhoun, NE  68023
cruomaha.com / garyandcherry.com
pursuingheart.blogspot.com
Click here to donate to our staff account.

 
Copyright © 2015 Gary & Cherry Warrick, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your interest in Cru Omaha. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Transplant Day!


Monday, April 20 - the day all of us as family, and especially Crystal and Amy, had been waiting for! It was a day greatly anticipated, and also a day that we approached with apprehension. It would bring the much needed kidney transplant for Crystal, but it would also bring surgery, pain, and recovery for both Crystal and Amy. But we all knew that we would not be alone - we had the promises and presence of God to carry us through all that lay ahead.

Crystal was admitted into the hospital on Saturday morning, April 18 ... and the next day (Sunday, April 19) Gary and I, together with Amy, checked into the nearby Residence Inn so that we would be close to Medical City Hospital for Amy's early entrance to the hospital the following morning. It worked out perfectly, and we made the 5-minute drive to the hospital very early (5:30 am) on Monday morning, April 20, with no problems at all. 

Amy reported to Day Surgery on 2nd floor to be prepped for surgery, and then was taken to the Holding area at about 6:35 am. We were able to be with her until about 7:30 am when she was taken for surgery. Amy was so brave and sweet through every step of the day, as she has been from the beginning of her decision to donate one of her kidneys to Crystal. It was such a priceless blessing for us as parents to be by her side. 

Crystal had already been admitted to the hospital on Saturday morning, two days before the surgery. She, as well, was brave and courageous even as she faced surgery, held up by God's peace and strength through her two-year journey of kidney failure. Her surgery was scheduled for 8 am, but was actually delayed until about 9:20 am because of a mixup in scheduling of the anesthesiologist. And we think that Amy's actual surgery was probably delayed a bit, as well, to keep the timing of the two surgeries just right for transplant.

It was quite a morning for us as family who were waiting while the surgeries were going on. Two precious family members in surgery at the same time ... a sweet daughter in one surgery room, and a sweet granddaughter in another. On the same floor, with surgery rooms near to each other. So much emotion with our hearts and prayers focused on two different loved ones going through kidney surgery at the same time. Amy's left kidney would be removed to donate to Crystal, and then taken on ice directly to Crystal's surgery room. Crystal's right diseased kidney would be removed, and she would be ready to receive Amy's kidney into her lower right abdominal area at just the right point.

We received texts on the progress of each surgery, and also kept watch on the screen in the waiting room showing what stage of surgery they were each in. The method of showing which stage of surgery was with a symbol - so we saw either the symbol of a knife, some stitches, or a bandaid. (We heard later that they are planning to change the use of the knife symbol to something else - and we thought that would be a good idea!) We all waited in the same waiting room for the first part of surgery, but then we needed to move to separate waiting rooms in order to keep receiving notices of the progress. Mark & Cristy & Abigail needed to be in the pediatric surgery waiting room, and Gary and I in the adult surgery waiting room. These two waiting rooms were just down the hall from each other, so we could still keep in contact with each other as family without a lot of difficulty.

Amy's surgery was started at about 8:30 am, and Crystal's at about 9:20 am. We received a text message at about 10:45 am that Amy's kidney was about to be transplanted into Crystal! We were amazed that things could be moving that quickly, that the transplant was actually taking place! So amazing and so incredible - and so emotional for us as we waited together as family! We were filled with thanks to God for His provision of a healthy kidney for Crystal Mae.

Shortly after, there was a bit of confusion for those of us in the waiting room as we were watching the progress on the waiting room screen ... as it looked like Amy was back in surgery after having been in the recovery room for a bit. And as we heard later from the doctor, that is exactly what happened! Dr. Aronoff remembered that there was one more procedure he likes to do for thinner, petite patients, and so Amy needed to receive a bit more anesthesia, and be taken back into the surgery room for some more stitching on an inner layer of muscle. We are so thankful that doctor made the effort to take care of this step.

Because of that bit of delay for Amy, Crystal was done with surgery and was moved out of surgery ahead of Amy. After their surgeries, Crystal was moved directly into  pediatric ICU at about 12:30 noon, and Amy was moved from the recovery room to her room on 8th floor at about 2 pm.

How we thank God for the good reports from the doctors - both surgeries went very well, and Crystal's new kidney from Amy began working well right from the start!!! How amazing!! You can read much more on Crystal's CaringBridge site, where Cristy so beautifully shares interesting detail about transplant day.

As time allows, I'll continue on with more posts about the days following the actual transplant day. This has been such an anticipated event for our granddaughter (and for all of us as family), and recording this journey is one way for us as grandparents to preserve our memories, emotions, and details of all that happened during transplant. We are filled with thanks to God, and also filled with thanks for all of our friends and family who are praying for our family throughout this transplant journey. Thank you so much - we are blessed by you, and are so very thankful for God's provision, love, and care! So much emotion as we anticipated transplant day, and so much emotion as we continue on.