Monday, April 18, 2016

Dad Siebert Turns 95

Dad Siebert reached a milestone on April 18, 2016 - 95 years old!!

It was a real treat to have Loren (one of Cherry's brothers) fly out from Portland for a 5-day visit around the time of Dad's birthday! His visit was a great encouragement to our father, and his visit also came at just the right time. Loren was a big help to us at the time of Dad's purchase of an electric wheelchair.  

Special days together with Loren, and as we celebrated Dad turning 95. Dad continues to settle in more and more in his Assisted Living apartment at Skyline Retirement Community in Omaha. It had been a rough past year for him as he adjusted to some health concerns, and we are thankful for a more settled and peaceful season now. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Our April Newsletter

Gary & Cherry Warrick
News and Prayer Update - April 2016
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Spring Greetings!

How we love spring! It is one of our favorite times of the year! With it, comes fresh, new life ... and with this new season of spring this year, comes a very exciting announcement, an answer to many prayers over the years!

Jake Loftis Applies for Full-Time Staff!

We are so thankful for Jake! He came to Christ in our Cru Blair movement (back in the "Student Venture" days!), grew consistently in his faith, became a student leader, graduated from high school and then from Grace University, all the while staying involved as a Cru volunteer. Jake then married another former Cru high school student, Chelsea, who was also volunteering with us in various ways.

After their marriage, and with a full-time job, Jake applied with Cru as a part-time staff member and began taking on more and more responsibility with our Cru Omaha area movement. In all this, Jake has been so dependable with a natural instinct about what to do to lead high school students to Christ in ways the students love as they are drawn to more and more involvement. He has become an indispensable part of our work.

As many of you know, we have prayed over the years for more full-time staff to assist us as our Cru Omaha movement has grown to 8 and sometimes 10 campus movements. At times we asked you to join us in praying for a certain young person we had "on the string". For several years we did have one other part-time and one other full-time staff person with us for awhile, but nothing stuck. (Thankfully, God has provided many faithful volunteers over the years!)

Through much of this time, we have prayed for Jake specifically, that he would sense God's call to become full-time with us. He continues to be such a key component of our area ministry, and Chelsea is such a great co-worker with him, even as she cares for their two beautiful daughters, and works full-time.

We are so thankful now that Jake & Chelsea have sensed this call of God on their lives. It is a huge step for them to take. It means that Jake will be resigning from his position at Castelar school in early May and will travel to Cru headquarters in Orlando for up to 10 days of New Staff Training. When Jake returns he will need to give priority for a season to raising the funds needed to devote full-time to reaching and discipling teenagers for Christ.

Please pray for them during this time. We would even ask that you would pray about committing to be a financial partner with them to enable him to become fully involved in the work as soon as possible. Most of all, join us in praising our all-powerful, loving God, who knows our needs and provides for us so masterfully!

In Personal and Family News ...

We have had an interesting and unexpected turn of events in the past six weeks. Many of you may be aware of the fact that Gary had a stroke on Feb. 28. We are thanking and praising God that there was NO lasting damage as a result of the stroke! You can read more about the circumstances and details of the stroke by clicking on this link: An Unexpected Event.

There have been many doctor appointments and tests done since then in an effort to find the cause of the stroke, and also to find ways to prevent a repeat stroke. We invite you to click on this following link to read more details: Six Weeks Later. Also within this link article on our family/ministry blog, you will see a list of things we would love to have you join us in prayer for - all related to the findings from the medical tests after Gary's stroke.

In other family news, we are looking forward to celebrating Cherry's father's 95th birthday one week from today! He lives nearby in an Assisted Living facility. We are also looking forward to welcoming one of her brothers (from Portland) for a visit over this special birthday time.

THANK YOU for your prayers as we serve with Cru! Another school year is drawing to a close already. We appreciate your prayers for each of our eight campuses, and each of our 25+ volunteers as they continue building into students lives in the weeks ahead. God is at work. At a recent outreach event six students indicated decisions for Christ!

With our praise and thanks to God for His faithful love and care,

Gary & Cherry
Gary & Cherry Warrick / Cru Omaha
Home/Office 402 468-5345 / Cell 402 659-3340
PO Box 184, Fort Calhoun, NE  68023 /
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Copyright © 2016 Gary & Cherry Warrick, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your interest in Cru Omaha. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Six Weeks Later

Signs of beautiful spring are all around us ...  fresh blooms on our peach trees, goldfinches with their brilliant spring colors feeding on our bird feeders, a son-in-law tilling our garden for us (thanks, Sean!), and two sweet grandkids picking out some of our daffodils to bring indoors.

We also are experiencing some encouragement and answers in regards to Gary's health, particularly related to his stroke which was six weeks ago today. You can read the circumstances and details about his stroke by clicking here. We have so much to be thankful for!  Gary is experiencing NO lasting damage from the stroke!! None at all! He is continuing on with family and Cru responsibilities, just as before the stroke.

At the same time, the days and weeks since Feb. 28 have brought some winds and clouds, as well. Since his release from the hospital on March 2nd, Gary has had 8 doctor visits, 3 trips to Emergency, and 2 trips to Urgent Care. The Emergency visits were because of the necessity of the balancing of meds for high blood pressure. And most of the doctor appointments were for the purpose of finding out things that can be done to prevent another stroke.

We're very thankful for the thoroughness of the doctors in their various tests that they have done to try to possibly find the cause of Gary's stroke. All for the purpose of preventing a repeat stroke. 

Please join us in prayer for healing in the following areas that have shown up as possible causes of the stroke:

1) Deep Vein Thrombosis. We're grateful for the stroke specialist that we were referred to, who called for another MRI in addition to the ones that were done in the hospital. This MRI (of the abdominal area) revealed a still-existing blood clot (a DVT clot). It appears that this clot was the source of the smaller clots which traveled to his brain during the stroke.

Please pray that the strong blood thinner that Gary is on will aid in the dissolving of this still-existing blood clot.

2) Patent Foramen Ovale. We are also thankful for the TEE test which revealed that Gary has some small screen-like holes between the two atria of his heart (a condition called Patent Foramen Ovale - PFO), something he has had from birth. The cardiology specialists, as well as our stroke specialist, believe that some smaller clots broke off and traveled  from the DVT clot in his abdominal area, up through the small PFO holes within his heart, and to his brain ... thus, causing the stroke.

Please pray for Gary's appointment with a cardiology specialist on Tuesday afternoon (April 12) to discuss an outpatient procedure which can be done to close these holes in his heart. Our stroke specialist, as well as several heart specialists, are recommending that this procedure be done in an attempt to prevent more strokes.

3) Heart Monitor Results. Gary was released from the hospital with a heart monitor that he wore for 30 days. This was for the purpose of checking to see if there were any further concerns with his heart. The results showed that he had several episodes of missed heart beats. The electro physiology cardiologist initially determined that Gary would need a pacemaker put in.

Please pray for an outpatient surgery Gary is scheduled to have done this Tuesday morning at 11 am (April 12). The heart specialist decided that there was not enough evidence to call for a pacemaker at this point; instead, he wants to carefully continue monitoring Gary's heart to determine if one will be needed at a later date. A small device called an "Implantable Loop Recorder" will be placed under the skin in the chest area for the purpose of continued monitoring of his heart.  

4) High Blood Pressure & High Cholesterol. Both of these conditions, which contribute to strokes, are being treated with prescriptions. It has been a process to find the right balance of these meds. The first weeks after the stroke, Gary's blood pressure was all over the place ... sometimes so high he was told to go to Emergency, and other times, too low, and he was told the same. Things are balancing out now, for which we are grateful.

Please pray for wisdom with the meds, that the right balance will continue to be in place.

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If you have made it to this point in reading all these details ... you deserve an award - thank you! Many of our friends and family have asked how Gary is doing, so we thought we would share these details with you. We do appreciate your prayer for these things.

And mostly, we ask for your prayers for us as a couple (and as a family) as we walk this journey ... that we will be completely surrendered to God in whatever He allows into our lives. All for His purposes and His glory. How we thank Him for His peace and presence through this journey, and through all of life!