Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Titus

I've stared at these 4 photos from our time in Michigan more times that I can count. As I filled out pages upon pages of medical surveys, background information, and family history questions, it was bittersweet! Bitter not having any of those answers to be able to help medical professionals or to be able to tell Titus as he has more questions the older he gets. Sweet knowing that God called him to our family and we have the opportunity to watch him grow. 
You see, Malakai started praying for a little boy we saw in photos to have a mommy and a daddy. Shortly after that time, we knew that God was calling us to be the answer to that prayer and we stepped out in faith to adopt Titus. We had just moved out of the country and had a mere couple hundred dollars to apply to his $30k adoption fees. We had no idea how it would work out, but we knew that God said he was ours! So we took steps in obedience... one by one! As we reviewed all the medical unknowns and the lack of biological family information, we were scared. Very scared. But God kept telling us that fear was not a reason to not bring him into our family. Over time, we've seen miracle after miracle in this boy. We've seen God make him into a compassionate, kind, and sensitive child of God who desires to be loved, like each of us do! 
As I stare at these photos, I'm thankful for so many things. I'm thankful that God called us. I'm thankful that I followed the lead of this amazing man, my husband. I'm thankful that he reaches down to help Titus any time he's in need, just like the photos. I'm thankful for the progress that Titus has made. But most of all, I'm thankful that we serve a God that is so much bigger than a medical diagnosis. So much bigger than medicating a 4-year old for the sub-clinical seizures he's having. And so much bigger than the unknown growth and nutritional issues we are seeing. 
We know that God is so much bigger. We know that we are facing at least (some tests still outstanding) a $5,000 medical bill for the time we spent in Chicago. And we know that God can wipe that out if He so desires. PLEASE join us in prayer as we seek to do what is best for Titus and continue to learn more and more about how to best parent him and shepherd his precious heart!
If you feel led to pray, share this need, or even give, we would be so grateful!


Please pray {medical update}

Friends - we've been asked and wanted to let you know about an important need. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to have Titus at Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago to discover and find treatment for the seizures he has been having. They are, unfortunately, affecting development and many other things. We are prayerful that the treatment plan the neurologists recommended will help our sweet boy in the areas that he has been struggling in. 
Due to the nature of the exams that Titus needed, we are facing a financial deficit to cover a portion that the insurance did not cover. Right now, we are looking at needing at least $5,000 to cover these bills and are trusting the Lord to provide as He had every step of the way! 
Please pray and if you feel led, consider giving. Please click here and indicate "Titus Ucherek medical" on any donation. Thank you all!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Keep praying!

Friends - please continue to pray for the medical decisions we mentioned before for one of our children. We prayed for favor and our medical insurance has agreed to pay 80% of the exams that our son needs, praise God! We are trusting the Ultimate Provider for the 20% we will be responsible for and would covet your prayers! Thank you!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

COFFEE!!!

Friends and Family,

We are excited for another coffee fundraiser. We always try to do a coffee fundraiser this time of year as it starts getting a little cooler for most of you although we haven't felt that yet here :) All proceeds from our coffee fundraiser each year helps us to be able to pay for medical insurance for our family which allows us to serve another year here in Guatemala. As you know, God has called us here to serve orphaned and vulnerable children which we could not do without the love, support, and prayers of all of you. We rely on the support and donations of churches and individuals to be able to serve here and this is one way to support our mission.

Once again, we are offering the AMAZING Leiva's Coffee that is locally grown here in Guatemala by some dear friends. Their coffee farm isn't just a business, it's a ministry! Fair trade, organic, specialty coffee providing jobs, funding education, and providing a future for children in a remote Guatemalan village is how coffee business should be done! We are blessed to call the Leiva family friends and love how God is using them to minister to so many!


FLAVORS:
-Medium Roast (ground or whole bean)
-Bold Roast (ground or whole bean)
-Decaf (available in ALL flavors, ground and whole bean)
-Butterscotch Brownie (ground or whole bean)
-Jamaican Me Crazy (ground or whole bean)
-Cookiedoodle (ground or whole bean)
-Dolce Amaretto (ground or whole bean)
-French Vanilla (ground or whole bean)
-Pumpkin Spice (ground or whole bean)
-Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble (ground or whole bean)
-NEW: Walnut Fudge (ground or whole bean)
-NEW: Southern Pecan (ground or whole bean)


Bags are 16 OUNCES and $18 each plus shipping.


To order: Send us an email (ucherek1 AT hotmail DOT com)  with your order information, including mailing address and email address for paypal billing. You will be billed via paypal once items are shipped (approximately 1 week after the sale ends). On sale now through Sept 18th. 


**You can click here to read the descriptions of each flavor of coffee, but PLEASE order directly from us or the Leiva's won't know that the proceeds go towards our fundraiser.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Thank you (vehicle update)!!







Thank you! 

Thank you all so much for praying for us to be able to buy a different, more reliable vehicle for Dan... and for responding to that need so incredibly quickly. What an encouraging week it was for us as we shared something that was on our hearts and felt very far from our reach, to you all asking how you could give, then a match being offered, and within a matter of days, the Lord had provided every penny for us to purchase the truck.

Having a more reliable vehicle has already been a blessing in the short time that we've had it. Dan has already been putting it to great use for the long trips he makes as well as the loads he carries. We are so thankful for each of YOU! We are thankful for the way you love us in spite of our distance, often times lack of contact for months at a time, and our fear to ask. We are thankful that the Lord has truly built a body of believers around us that supports, loves, and prays for us.

We would not and could not be here without each of you and we truly mean that! May God multiply your acts of sacrifice and gifts offered to Him!

Humbled,
Dan & Christi




Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Update



Friends & Family - 
We realize that we do a lot of quick updates on social media, but rarely find the time to sit down and write newsletters to you. We hope that you know that this is in no part a sign of our lack of gratitude or desire to keep you informed of what God is doing through our ministry here. Life is just moving at a rate that doesn't seem possible and we haven't had a chance to sit down together and write anything in, well, a long time!

Here are a few updates from some areas of focus this summer. We hope you enjoy them.

Community Care Center - A huge part of 2016 has been dedicated to starting a community care center in Chimaltenango that Dan is overseeing. The goal for this program is to provide holistic care in order to focus on family preservation and health. In the long-term, this helps to keep the cycle of poverty and orphans creating orphans from growing. The main areas of focus initially are: spiritual growth, health care, and educational support through tutoring. Starting in September, we will be starting an after-school program for 40 children that are currently in this program. Part of the focus for health care has also been installing efficient, safe stoves into the homes of the 50 families in this program.




Sponsorship - As you know, we oversee the sponsorship program in Guatemala for Orphan Outreach. This has been a blessing to us in many ways. The extra one-on-one time that we get with the children we serve by overseeing this program is priceless. This year we have made it a goal to try to keep the donors, churches, and individuals more connected to the daily lives of the children they pour into. In doing so, we've been very busy with updates, receiving, translating, and delivery letters to the children and back to their sponsors, providing video updates, and doing our best to help those relationships feel as close as possible. 

Our time with the children has truly become a precious time and we pray that the Lord uses it to encourage, disciple, and mentor them. The words that He gives us and closeness we feel to the children as we look in their eyes and just let them speak from their hearts is incredible. Many of these children don't have deep relationships, especially with adults and it is a privilege to use this time to minister to them. 




Mission Teams - Dan has had the honor of traveling with several mission teams this summer, both individual teams and church teams. Because of growing up in the US, being on short-term trips, then eventually moving our family, learning another language, and culture, we offer a unique perspective to these teams. While he has countless opportunities to minister to the children, improve their living conditions, and teach them more about God's Word, he has also had a lot of opportunities to minister to the teams that come to serve. While we didn't know the Lord had that in mind initially, He's made it clear that it's definitely a unique spot to be in and that we can add a lot of value to mission teams in this way. 

While it is hard for Dan to be away from home many nights in the summer, we can see how the Lord is using his skills and gifts as well as stretching him in his walk with the Lord. Here are just a few of the highlights from the mission teams that blessed us this summer so far - 

  • Seeing familiar faces from a supporting church in Illinois 

  • Building and painting projects

  • Pouring into the caregivers

  • Helping an orphanage move to a new building

  • Ministering to families in the city dump

  • Receiving new children into the orphanages 

    Please keep praying with us for our time of discipleship with the children, for more opportunities to equip and pour into the caregivers and teachers, and for more lives to be reached with the message of Salvation found in Jesus alone!

    It is an honor and a great privilege to be able to serve orphaned and vulnerable children and their families here in Guatemala. We thank God and our supporters for this opportunity! 
On the homefront - We are 11 weeks shy of the school year finishing up here... but who's counting anyway ;). Malakai is finishing up his transition year (equivalent to 1st grade) and is now considered fully bi-lingual for his age. We are still navigating some health items with him and he has oral surgery coming up later this week, so we ask you to please keep praying for him.

Finley is 4 years old and attends pre-school part-time. She's finishing up pre-K and doing really well. She's come out of her shy shell a bit and has made some really great friends. Please continue to pray for her to have good friendships and for her heart - she really misses her grandparents.

Titus is also 4 years old and attends the same pre-school that Finley does. They have been blessed with an incredible, very small school that is the equivalent of the OT and ST that he needs. He's also continuing to do PT and ST at home and is growing like crazy. Please continue to pray for his development.

IsaĆ­as is 20 months and is the funniest little guy ever. He reminds us of Dan so much and is so easy-going, well until he's hungry ;). He enjoys having a couple mornings a week with just him and Christi. 

Here are a few photos of an opportunity we had to serve at an elderly home recently, together as a family. 






We love and appreciate you all greatly!
In Christ,
Dan & Christi 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Match met!!!

We are speechless!! 

We know this may not come as a surprise to you all, brothers and sisters in Christ... because you know just how BIG our God is. Nonetheless, we are speechless... we feel loved... we feel affirmed... we feel supported and prayed for. In the midst of all the chaos in the world around us, you all saw a need, cried out to our Heavenly Father, and through Him, met that need. THANK YOU ALL! From the bottom of our grateful, over-flowing hearts, thank you!!

Dan has been very busy with a mission team that is here ministering in Chimaltenango this week. Lives are being changed and transformed because of the Gospel and we are so humbled to be a small part of it. He is planning to go talk with the owners this afternoon and we hope to be sending you photos soon!

*Please don't delete us... we realize this is 3 emails this week... but it won't happen again! ;)

We love you all!
Dan & Christi (and the 4 little crazies)