Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wrapping Up Summer

Officially, the calendar still says it's summer for awhile yet, but in reality, the season has already made a change. The focus is now a new school year, both with our families, as well as for us who work with Cru. So here is one last post wrapping up some of our summer memories ... with family, and also with Cru.

We had a very special treat the first week of July ... a visit from our daughter Cristy together with her husband Mark, and the younger two of their four children, Luke and Brianna. Our grandkids are growing older, so two stayed behind: Crystal, with her summer job at DBU where she attends college, and also Abigail, who is now married and preparing for her first year of teaching after college graduation this past May! It's hard to keep up with everyone growing up and that also means that we are growing older, as well.



It was a wonderful time with family home! Then mid-way through the month, we headed off for Chadron State Park, in the northwest corner of our state, for a week of v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n. Our bigger trip of the year does not come until the fall season this year, but we knew that we needed a "week off" during our busy summer. We decided to stay fairly close to home, and reserved a cabin at one of Nebraska's state parks.



Our week away was just what we wished for, and more. Just the two of us ... resting, enjoying the beauty from our cabin deck, reading, extended devotional times ... it was glorious! And another special treat was driving back home to Omaha/Fort Calhoun via a stop in McCook. It was very fun to stop to see Carrie & Tyler, Cruz and Eva just three weeks after they moved into their new home there. We loved our visit with them, and getting acquainted with their new life there in McCook.

July and August have also been filled with Cru activity, as our involvement with students continues throughout the summer ...


Just a few days after our trip to Chadron State Park, we, together with some of our students, had the opportunity to partner with a group who serve the homeless in downtown Omaha once a week throughout the year. It was eye-opening, and heart-breaking, and such a joy to serve together providing a meal to nearly 175 of Omaha's homeless. You can read more and see photos by reading "Cru Summer Update" at CruOmaha.com.


Then at the beginning of August it was such a joy to have Jake & Chelsea, Eleanor and Audrey, over for a mid-morning breakfast gathering just five days after they returned from their month-long Cru mission to Tanzania, Africa. They, together with three other Cru staff, led a group of 16 college and high school aged students to love and serve students in Tanzania. We loved to hear many of the exciting things that happened, along with hearing about the challenges that were also present. You can read more and see photos of their trip by reading "Tanzania Summer Mission" at CruOmaha.com.


And now, as we near the end of August, schools have started up again, and we are very much involved meeting with our volunteers, our student leaders, and on campus in student meetings. On one of our campuses (Omaha North) a few of the students (above) joined us in a prayer walk around their campus at the start of this new school year.

Would you join us in praying for each of our campuses this year, as well? We desire to keep in touch often this school year, alerting friends and family to prayer needs, and also sharing what God is doing! You can check back here at GaryandCherry.com, as well as at CruOmaha.com for updates throughout the year.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Highlights from June

Continuing on with our desire to keep in touch with family and friends, we thought we'd keep on with sharing some updates from our summer. If there were a theme that we would pick for the month of June, it could be ... that it was a time for farewells. 

It was a time to savor times together with a daughter & son-in-law & two grandkids before they made a big move. These photos capture the special overnighter we had with Cruz and Eva before they moved from Omaha to McCook the end of June.



It was a blessing to be able to help our daughter and son-in-law, Carrie & Tyler, through the month with preparations for their move ... caring for the kids, providing freezer meals for their use, etc. A bittersweet time to have family move away; yet, we are thankful for how God has directed their move. And it is not as far away as it could be!


And June was filled with Cru ministry, as well. Though our regular Cru meetings on campus do not take place during the summer, we continue to still be involved with students throughout the summer. Our Cru Summer program provides an opportunity for students from our various area campuses to continue meeting. Students met in two different locations: a group in Washington County met in various student homes, and a group in Omaha met in a meeting room at Scooter's coffee shop. Each group of students used the Summer Connect video discipleship material provided by Cru. 

In addition to the Cru Summer gatherings during June, Jake & Chelsea (staff on our team) prepared to lead a team of high school and college students on a mission to Tanzania, Africa. In the photo below you see them with their two young daughters, as well as three high school students from our area. They left from Omaha's Eppley airport on June 27, joined a group of about 16 others in Chicago from across the nation, and flew to Tanzania for their month-long mission with Cru.


Bittersweet farewells, but a joy to hear news throughout the rest of the summer of how God used the team in Tanzania in amazing ways, and also of how our daughter and son-in-law, Carrie & Tyler, and two grandkids Cruz & Eva, are right where God wants them to be.

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Few Snapshots from the Month of May

Desiring to keep in touch with family and friends, we're sharing a few memories and snapshots from our month of May. As Cru staff, the month of May can often be one of the busiest months of the year. And it probably is the same for others, as well, with all the events that May can bring!

In the midst of finishing up another year of Cru on our seven area campuses, the month held a very significant event for our family! Our oldest granddaughter, Abigail, was married to her fiance, Addison. We couldn't have been more excited! They met at DBU (Dallas Baptist University), and both sense a deep calling to serve long-term overseas with World Venture to the country of Japan! With my (Cherry's) background as an MK (missionary kid) from Japan, this is especially exciting for me to have a granddaughter and her husband headed for that country!

We traveled to Dallas/Fort Worth for the beautiful wedding on May 20th. 



An added blessing for us was that all six of our (grown) children were able to be there for the wedding, as well ... a mini family reunion!


When we returned home from the wedding, we jumped right back into Cru responsibilities with finishing up the school year. Besides wrapping up student meetings, we took part in the big area fundraising program called Omaha Gives. We are so grateful for the funds that were brought in to help with funding our Cru Omaha Operating Account for the coming 2018-2019 school year.

That same week, we, together with Jake, the other full-time staff member here in the Omaha area, held the Cru Summer Kick-off event ... a fun time for students from various campus groups, and the start up of the summer program for students.