Whitney Cerak

We, the Cerak family, are elated beyond description at Whitney’s return home. It is so much more than we ever imagined three months ago.We would like to restate our plans of not speaking to the media. There is still much on the road to Whitney’s full recovery. We want to thank the media for the respect they have shown of our privacy in this time. And ask that the same courtesy given us would be extended to our family and friends.

Monday, July 03, 2006

July 3.2006

July 3, 2006

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8

Sundays are great days. For many people they mean sleeping in, a family day, resting and preparing for the week ahead. Sundays mean that to us but most of all it means church going to God’s house and worshipping him. Some people think they don’t need to go to church but I personally disagree. Church gives you a spiritual family, friends, people to walk with you in good times and people to love you in hard times.

So guess what we got to do today for the first time since Easter? We got to go to church as a family. We couldn’t make it to our home church but that is another benefit of knowing God as our Father, we have lots of brothers and sisters in Christ. We started the morning off by saying good bye to Sandra and Matt and praying for another great week of service at Spring Hill camp and then we went to church.

After church we went for a boat ride with our friends. The doctor wasn’t sure how Whitney would do on the water but she enjoyed the day, trying to catch a few rays in between the clouds. She is a little behind in her tan this summer.

Even though it was an easy afternoon, the ride back was quiet as we all dozed off as Newell drove us home. Sunday wouldn’t be complete without a nap so we completed the day. Whitney and Carly went back to Hope in the evening to get ready for the week ahead.

We miss our church family in Gaylord and look forward to worshiping and fellowshipping with you. We are thankful for the brothers and sisters in the faith we can worship with till then. I want to close with a prayer from Paul for his brothers in Ephesus. “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know his love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through out all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-20

With love, Whitney’s mom


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello To Whitney's Mom, I am so thankful for you posting these updates...your family has become an extension of mine...I enjoy hearing about your girl and how well she is doing...but the scriptures are just what I need each time I read them. You are reaching thousands of people...people who perhaps do not know the Lord and those of us who do...this out reach is so good...I feel such hope for our world because of you and your family...

Praise the Lord for He is almighty.

a thankful Mom from Mt zion

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God for brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world. What a privilege for another church family to have you as visitors on Sunday. You will not take your own church for granted again--especially after all this time away.

Hopefully Whitney will be able to continue her forward steps and soon you'll be able to worship at your own house of God in Gaylord. Blessings to you!

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am praying that your family will be together and back at your home again real soon. Keep up the good work Whitney and you'll be home soon!

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Whitney got to go boating!? That's great! I was wondering, has Whitney been able to go home at all since the accident? If not, I'm sure it will only be a matter of time. It sounds like she's making great progress! You are all in the prayers of many, including mine. God bless you as well as the Erbs, Felvers, Larsons, Smiths, and VanRyns. I think about all of you daily.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Our Family said...

Since Robert and I have been married we have moved a lot from Michigan to Indiana to California to Georgia and now back to Michigan. I don't think I would have been able to do it if it hadn't been for all of the brothers and sisters in Christ that we have met along the way. God always had a way of blessing us with the people we needed just when we needed them most. I love being a child of God:)
I am once again smiling and tearing up as I update myself on your blog and the comments. Way to go Whit keep up the great work. We are praying for you and are so proud of you.
Newell and Colleen I love you so much and you are never very far from my thoughts and always in my prayers. Have a great 4th of July hopefully the weather will cooperate and you all can see some fireworks.
Bless you all!

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Last Sunday our family was at Bay Shore camp, in Sebewaing, MI...preparing for a week of service with Jr. Music camp. We had a small worship service with the staff, prior to the campers arriving.

I followed the instructions that Pastor Jim had given us a few weeks back, to "be bold in the Lord", and got up to speak, which is out of my comfort zone. The message was one of unity. (which was also the theme of the camp this year). I told of Whitney's story and how through this so many people have become united for Christ....all over the nation. We do not know how many lives have been touched, but we do know that there are many believers all over, coming to know the Lord better and praying for Whit's recovery and for those that have been affected by the accident.

I praise God for the opportunity to touch lives through Whit's story...and thank you for allowing us to do so.

We miss you, Cerak's...but we know that you are not far away...as we are all ONE under His care.

God Bless you all and we continue to pray for total healing for Whit and for strength for all of you.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous One of God's children said...

Thinking back....how many times did you wonder if Whit and Carley would grow up to truly be close...during the sibling squabbles that all families have. All of the prayers, the lessons, the "talks", the devotions, the disciplining......wow!

Now, look at what incredible daughters you have...who are truly there for each other. From the strong witness that Carley was at the services, to how she is there for Whit now.

Well done Newell and Colleen, you are awesome parents and have raised incredible daughters for the Lord! It is ok to sit back and be proud....you deserve it!

And...way to go Carley...you are a blessing to so many and we are so proud of you!

Whitney...we continue to pray for your healing and thank you for the inspiration that you have been to so many people...not just through this time of trials, but through your life...you are incredible!

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Kings Kid said...

Hey Colleen, Newell, Carley and most of all Whitney,

I know exactly what you mean by being away from church. For medical reasons I was not able to attend the service on Father's day. Dr's orders were to stay home and rest. In fact his orders have not changed. I am only suppose to get up and go to the kitchen for a sandwich or make trips to the bathroom. But being the stubborn person that I am I went back to the E Free last sunday. As I sat there in the very last row tears came to my eyes. I was so happy to be there. Many of the people I don't know yet but it seems I meet new brothers and sisters in Christ all the time. I am excited when Sunday arrives knowing I will be headed to church.
Your posts are an inspiration to me as well as many thousands of others. Praise our mighty Lord Jesus Christ that you are able to touch so many with your story and the scriptures. So with all this being said...I will close for now. I am praying as many are that you will soon be making a home coming trip to Gaylord with Whitney. Keep up the good work Whit. I always knew you were a go getter!
Kings Kid

4:08 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

I've been reflecting on my blog since July rolled around- a month-long reminder of all I love and miss about Teagan. The Fourth of July always holds special memories, as it was the last family picture we had taken with Teagan. We watched the fireworks up at Mackinaw with the Ryans...the first time Chip had gotten the day off in 8 years. We had no idea how important that day would become just a few weeks later. Anyway, I just wanted to share with you how I enjoy reading your thoughts each day and we're so thankful for you to have a renewed faith and fervor for sharing it with others. Life takes on new meaning in light of all you've gone through...how can it not?! Wishing you continued rest and progress, Whitney. Enjoy each and every minute you have with one another. Happy Fourth of July from the whole Ferlaak gang. Maybe you can all sneak away to the golf course one of these weekends. Chip would love to set you up with a round. =) nitty.grittyjody@yahoo.com

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a blessing this site is! Thank you for your updates! Have a very happy 4th!

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so SO much for enabling comment moderation! It is a joy to read all the encouraging and uplifting comments made by others that are truly caring for Whitney and her family. :) Indian River continues to pray for all families involved in the accident. We look forward to the time when Whitney is able to return home. It'll be big news even in our town! Gaylord is "home" to us as well (re:shopping!). Also look forward to more entertainment and Gaylord E Free!
love, your sister in Christ in IR

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am happy to hear you had such a nice, family weekend. I wish you all a happy 4th and will continue to keep you all in my prayers. :)

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Ceraks for the daily updates!! It makes my day to hear of Whitney's wonderful progress. :) May you enjoy this wonderful holiday weekend TOGETHER!!! Y'all are continually in my prayers.

- Frisco, Texas

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to let you know I wrote before thanking you for bringing me to Christ...thank you for helping me in ways you will never know...Whitney you truly are an earth angel...I am humbled to have met you...(well through the internet anyhow). Your tragedy has shown many people how Jesus works and again thank you...Your family and you have saved myself and my children in ways I could never explain. I am truly sorry for all the pain for all the families but thank God everyday for Whitney...You have shown us Jesus. (Keep in mind I was a non believer before you)

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good day! Glad to hear it! God is so so good!


7:48 PM  
Anonymous Barry, Carol M's husband said...

Dear Whitney, I pray for you every day! My wife and I hold you in our hearts every day. WE LOVE YOU! Keep up the good work!! God Bless You!!!!


7:59 PM  
Anonymous Dick and Jane said...

Oh, Whitney's Mom, thank you for being a Mom that prays such wonderful prayers, direct from the Word of God. We pray it back to you. Love you all so much.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any way to post pictures of Whit to see her progress?

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sky is the limit! This is what I was told to remember when our four year old autistic son was still unable to speak. We took him to therapies, loved him, and prayed over him. Now our nine year old son has been diagnosed with aspergers and is brilliant.
He loves Jesus more than any child I've ever seen and totes his Bible everywhere. Through a church program our son learned 350 Bible verses this year! He accepted Christ in his heart, was baptized, and loves to tell others about Jesus. The sky is the limit with our son and with Whitney's progress. God has great plans for Whitney! Jeremiah 29:11

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom and DAd Cerak,

You really are a testamony to people all over the world.
You have the model family- your daughters will always stand up and call you blessed.
Carley, you are a true witness for Christ. you are a wonderful sister to Whitney- and the two of you will always have this bond - that is so precious.
We all have been blessed to read these blogs- and all that has happened to your family- God is so good- Just think of all the people you have touched.
Also. the same can be said about the other family involved- I have never met any of you- but I want to thank you for being a blessing to so many people.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a friend of one of the professors at Taylor. I live in California, and I am a Bonemarrow transplant nurse for City of Hope Medical Center. I have to tell you that you are apart of my daily devotion. I have walked daily with you through this and have felt your pain and experienced your joy as your daughter has been restored to you. I am grateful for this experience in one sense, as it has drawn me closer to Jesus. I continue to pray for you all... Donna

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good evening Cerak's. I was watching the firework display over the lake at my parent's home when your family crossed my mind (as you do daily.) As I was watching the bright flashing lights I looked around to see the expressions on the faces of all those I love. I started thinking about how much fun the kid's were having earlier that evening as they had been running around laughing, oooohing and ahhhing, catching toads and fireflies. It made me take a moment and think about "life" how lucky I was to be gathered tonight as a family. I thought about how good God is. How much he has given to my family alone. It made me think about how in an absolute second your whole world can be turned upside down and nothing... even the pure sound of laughter holds much meaning. It made me think about how you must be shouting, dancing and rejoicing every single second you see your sweet baby girl. I could not help but rejoice for the health and presence for my own loved one's that very moment. My precious little boy's with their messy faces and sloppy kisses! Sometimes we take those simple moments for granted. I feel so sad for the VanRyn's tonight... along with all the other families who's world has to feel as though it has come to a hault. Thank you for sharing Whitney's progress daily. Your message is so inspirational. This Mommy is slipping under the cover right now to give extra snuggles to my sleeping angels. Rejoycing with you and yours... tonight and forever more.

XO Chicago

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy July 4th, Whitney, Carly and all! Am praying for you, dear family, and you inspire us all!

I pray also for the VanRyns, and all the other families who have lost loved ones.

God Bless You, and keep you safe and secure in His arms.

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is my hope that one day your family as well as the other families in the accident will write books and make a movie to share all of this joy/ pain with the world...what a wonderful work is taking place from all of this tragedy...the Lord is so good.

Enjoy each moment and let us all remember the ones who went to be with the Lord that April 26th evening.

a mt zion mom

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one ever mentions Sandra. Is she a daughter? Just wondering.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of us have trials in our lives. By example, your family has given us a Christian way to embrace those hardships.

May God continue to give you and all of us the strength we need to live with our earthly trials.

a mom from Indiana

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On this day, July 3,2006, my oldest grandson was four years old. His little brother turned one on March 1, 2006. My point is that those two boys can get alone just perfect one minute and the very next they will be fighting. Yes I mean fighting and arguing. Bet these two boys are a very special part of my earthly life.

I honestly think that if something know that if something happened to one the other steps up to the plate to help out the other one. Even at there YOUNG age.

When I was over there for his birthday party yesterday, it was awesome to see nearly every family member come to celebrate with these boys.

Now for the other awesome acts of our Lord and Saviour; I met a young lady at the BIG TICKET event a few weeks ago and her daughter turned one also yesterday. They were all alone and wanted me to come and be with them but I could not be at two events at the same time so we invited them to come to our part (to which they had fun) and we just combined the two parties.

That afternoon my friend in Christ asked me to be her baby girls Godmother. I asked her one question, would you consider having her dedicated? To which she stated "yes". I them tearfully, with joy, accepted the absolute honor to be a part of this baby's upbringing in a Christian home.

When I left to come home last night from the family shindig, my oldest Grandson came running out to my car and he is yelling at me "Grandma, Grandma you can't leave yet, I have'nt given you your hug and kiss yet ( now I have had many but there will never be enough for me). So out he runs with his arms stretched out to jump into my arms and give me his biggest and hardest hug and kiss he could muster.

My point is that children are so very special and so very inocent. Give them as much love as you can with all the kisses and hugs that you can give because there may never be that second chance.

Newell and Colleen, you are so Blessed to have that second chance with Whit and Carly.

I wish I had that second chance with my children to raise them up in a Christian home instead of a "home". That is why I enjoy my Grandchildren so very much and pray that I can have the opportunity to teach them the graciousness of God's ways.

The tragic/joyious events of all this has had a very big impact on my daughters life and I pray and hope "and hope does not disapoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts...., Romans 5:5 ASSB", that her and her husband will have softened hearts and come to know the LORD.

God Bless you my Family of God,

7:56 AM  
Blogger Renee Pray said...

I am so glad to hear of your family time away and being able to go to church TOGETHER again. I saw hunter today as I was walking our new pup, reese. He is doing fine. Please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers daily. Whit keep up the great work--I always knew you were a shining star. Love to all

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a powerful way to tell about God's love .....such goodness coming from such heartache...yet, once again the Lord has used it to His good...

We cannot know the pain and loss these other families are going through ..yet God is bigger than any of the pain...He will draw them closer to Him and we will see His work being done.

Taylor U must be a very loving, Christ center, school...to have seen the faith I have seen ......I can only thank God for His being there through it all.

I am a mt zion mom who knew and loved Betsy...such a special girl with so much love to give...and I know her love is still flowing to ever so many people...she is still doing God's work even as she sits with Him...she set the example just as Brad, Laurel, Laura, and Whitney have...their lives reflect Jesus....and Whitney can still do God's work here on earth..God is so good.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Congradulations Whit on such an awesome recovery. When a person wants there independace back that is such a great sign of recovery.

I also have a bit of envy in me "again" as I read the blog and I hear that you got to go out boating and watching the sunset. That has got to be the most beautiful sight that God could give us outside of watching the birth of a baby. Sunrises are also very pretty but the sunsets I think are the best.

I hate to take your dad away from your family but I do pray that he can be with all of us on Sunday to give us an update on how you are doing and maybe some pics on the big screen would be great.

You see we are all just patiently, or maybe impatiently is a better way to put it, to have you home agian. But we want you home in GOOD heath.

So my dear you have a wonderful 4th with family and friends and I will probably post again. I so enjoy being able to read about your progress. You are constantly in my prayers and thoughts.

The E-freer

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord - anonymous 7:43!!

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS...saw Whitney's picture on the Today show. She looked beautiful!

C in Grand Rapids

6:11 AM  

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