Saturday, December 16, 2017

Say What?

You’re familiar with the phrase, “Say what?” Well, there’s so much to say that
I haven’t written in 3 months and that feels a bit overwhelming – like pile of papers growing out of control and needing attention. Well, I’ve finally mentally organized the mounds of information so I can “say what” you might want to know!  Grab a cuppa something yummy …

Summer in Kenya
Balmy evening air swept through the palm fronds. We sat at the water’s edge, watching a huge orange orb fall beyond the second largest lake in the world.  We would leave Kenya again, our second home, and didn’t know when we’d be back. Reflecting on our summer of ministry felt like the colorful dusk – beautiful with a bit of melancholy.

Highlights  
·  Watching the mamas read scripture from Luo bibles with their new reading glasses.
·  Evaluating programs with friends over chai and gingernut biscuits.
·  Seeing a healthy chicken project that was seed funded through AtL.  
·  Listening to plans for a new clinic above the Resource Center,
·  Helping the compound that hosts bio-sand filter construction get water successfully piped in.
·  Knowing all our friends were safe and healthy.
·  Good news certainly outnumbered trying times.

Tricky situations
An afternoon we took Henry to visit the children’s home where he lived for his first 5 years.  Although warmly welcomed, we could sense the anxiety he later expressed.  Helping him understand the untraditional beginnings of his life took some creative thinking, especially with his compromised hearing. Inspiration prevailed and Henry’s second visit went much better.

Sadly, the pending Kenyan presidential elections, empty shelves at the market and constant conversations about lacking ugali flour shrouded our interactions like descending darkness.

Actually, Kenya, in general seemed tense with political uncertainty.  We departed on the heels of horrible news – the Independent Electoral Commission ICT manager was brutally tortured, then murdered. As our  plane lifted off the tarmac we prayed for the sun to continue setting over a peaceful nation.

Upon returning to Pagosa, we found news that tension escalated into contested elections, an unprecedented Supreme Court decision, violence, deaths and another election, which didn’t resolve deep-seeded issues surrounding tribalism and corruption. 

Unfortunately, Kisumu bears the label of rebellious opposition stronghold.  We’ve never experienced that in any of our years living there.  We witnessed people who want a voice in their government to lift the severe economic depression, and encourage free market expansion without bribery.

Now, words like profiling, ethnic cleansing, economic disparity are associated with the country that hosted us for 5 years, the place we still facilitate fruitful ministry, the area we have friends close as family.

Sadly, the political unrest curbed ministry at the Resource Center.  Many were afraid to leave their homes. But lately, as the last hot election results cool down, the church is organizing new projects to serve the poor in their community. Our prayers continue – for truth, justice, forgiveness and peace to greet each day and last far beyond every sunset.

Stateside
Much to be done with Among the Least on this side!  A Two Nation Adoption Fundraiser idea began brewing a couple years ago. The idea – offer perspective adoptive families opportunities to host a sale of items crafted in Kenya. This event would raise funds for their adoption expenses and raise awareness of the work of family preservation in Kenya. Our “test sale” in November helped a local family raise $1,500 to put toward their adoption expenses.

Working from Colorado to assist in Kenya means hours of computer time developing spreadsheets, writing curriculum, and interacting via WhatsApp with the Resource Center Board.  We are also diligently working on updating our social media outreach, PR, and lending library. Thanks for all the encouragement!

Family
After acting as an immigration lawyer for the last year (wish I could have collected a pay check for that), documents and fees have been submitted. We continue waiting for a determination on Henry’s petition to immigrate to USA. Regardless that he is 100% our son, USA citizenship feels very far away, but sooner or later, it’s bound to happen. Praying it’s sooner!

The good news - we received medical insurance for Henry.  Don’t even ask about the details of that story or you’ll need another 15 minutes to read this post.  Suffice it to say, God preformed a miracle. Henry finished all the screening associated with becoming a cochlear implant candidate. He will receive his new “ear” in Denver on December 27th. Then the work of helping him interpret all the new sounds begins in earnest!

Henry continues to acclimate well to his new western world and family.

Currently we are in Pagosa for the remainder of the school year. 

Mark keeps busy helping me, the kids and doing various jobs. He experienced high blood pressure that took him to the emergency twice. A diagnosis of sleep apnea seems to be the biggest factor in the blood pressure issue so he was fitted for a handsome CPAP mask.

Our sophomore, Taleah ran cross-country, sings in the choir and enjoys her wilderness class. She had 6 wisdom teeth removed!

Tavin finishes his first semester of college, studying sports and recreation.

Amidst filling my days the usual things moms do, I have been fighting a constant UTI since summer in Kenya. The doctor prescribed long-term medicine.  We trust God for healing.

Well, it looks like the end of “say what” for now. Enjoy a blessed Christmas and amazing New Year!
Resource Center rising! New clinic opens in April.
Reading His Word in their heart language.   
Kuku = Chicken.
Hjambo from WOW mamas.
Henry shows his sledding video to friends.
Helen at her new duka (shop).
Henry plays with kids at Joyland.
So grateful to visit with Loisa and her healthy kiddos!
Henry gets his long awaited CI surgery Dec. 27th.
Our cross-country rinner who had most imporved time.
College student taller than Dad.
Watching unfiltered beauty over Lake Victoria.
What watched us while we watched the sunset.

Asante sana for all your prayers, support and encouragment.
hugs from the haugers O0oo0
 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Suddenly



Suddenly! Things happens!  
And we’re certainly not familiar with that.
Regardless that “suddenly” happens 87 times in the Bible, our lifestyle has been more of the “wait 
on the Lord” experience - till now!  Without warning  “suddenly” erupted and overflowed in the 
Hauger house!

After months of working on applications and more months waiting on USCIS to make decisions on 
Henry’s USA immigration paperwork, we felt eternal but not divine. Then suddenly, his EAD card 
appears which led to a sudden SS#, which provides opportunity to pursue his medical insurance. 
At the same time, Henry’s travel documents suddenly arrived and we are able to travel back 
to Kenya for 6 weeks. Also, Tavin suddenly got accepted at college with a scholarship to study 
Sports and Recreation Ministry. Taleah got a driving permit and a car.

 
 
 
 
With all these suddenly occurrences, we scrambled to make plans; here they are:

June 20 - Drive to Sante Fe deal with more of Henry’s paperwork (yes, feels endless but we’re
confident that it will suddenly end someday!)

June 23 - Drive to Mt Vernon Ohio to drop Taleah off at her Aunt Brenda’s so she can 
enjoy cousin-time.

June 28 - Drive to Columbus International Airport and fly to Dulles International Airport 
where we will catch a connection to Frankfurt, Germany and on to Nairobi, Kenya.

While in Kenya, we arranged to do a case study on the Resource Center.  This in-depth evaluation will help determine how to design a model for other Kenyan churches to develop ministry to serve the poor. We will examine what works, what’s transferable, what’s indigenous, where are mistakes and can they be fixed.  Of course we will spend time with the amazing mamas and kiddos from Joyland. Henry will see his old stomping grounds.

 
 
 
 
August 3 - Leave Nairobi, heading stateside via Frankfurt.
August 4 -  Land in Buffalo, NY
August 5 - Attend Lisa’s family get-together in Western NY
August 6 – Head back to Pagosa in time for Taleah to go on camping trip with her cross-country 
team and get Tavin off to college.

The rest of August will be medical appointments for Henry. Oh, and Lisa’s Dad will be in 
Pagosa for a few weeks!

Summer filled up suddenly!  Please join with us in prayer for:
  1. Strength and safety as we travel long and far.
  2. Henry’s ability to experience healthy transitions.
  3. Taleah and Tavin as they manage their summer schedules. Tavin stays in Pagosa working and preparing for school.
  4. Quick obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
  5. Sensitivity to hear and speak what the Lord intends.
  6. Hearts to perceive and understand what God expects.
  7. Amazing grace for the Resource Center board, the mamas and the kiddos whom we call our friends.     
We are grateful for your continued encouragement, prayers and support.
hugs from the haugers

Saturday, April 29, 2017

One-liners and More




It’s spring in the Rockies!  I imagine the lack of April showers will probably bring May snow ;).  This month’s update - our journal entry.  Hope it will give you an idea where our hearts wander.

These one-liners developed from our years overseas while living among the least…
  • Mercy and grace only carry redemption when founded on truth. 
  • Programs need good policies and procedures, but it’s good relationships that make them successful.
  • We can’t love our right to be right more than we love our neighbor.
  • Suffering, or lack of it, is never a good indicator of someone’s spirituality.
  • Jesus must be seen for who He is, not for whom we might pretend Him to be.
  • Normal is not necessary. (It’s actually highly overrated.)
  • There is a big difference between identity and destiny.
  • Someone might be on the right team but play by the wrong rules.
  • Our freedom is connected to others.
  • Our story is bigger than us.
  • There lives unspeakable beauty in unrequited sacrifice.
  • Frying bacon and rain have the same sound.
  • The first step in the fight against injustice is to repent of our own.

Someday these might be chapter headings for a book or blog post titles, but for now they are simple summaries of experiences carried in us. 

Living in a culture that doesn’t belong to us exposed stuff we didn’t know was harbored, like how westernized we perceived Jesus to be. How different it felt being the “other color.” How big the relational gap is between poverty and wealth. How Kenya’s widowed mamas and orphan children really survive.  



Regardless of the extremes faced everyday that tempted to shut us down, God’s Word held us. Reading the Bible was not just to gain good teaching or a devotion ritual. His Word fed us grace to minister to the ungracious. It provided peace to wait for corruption to ease. It sustained us with mercy to accept unknowns and strength to forgive offenses.

Perhaps our season stateside, which has been unpredictable at best, generates dependence on God’s Word. Certainly the Lord doesn’t use manipulation to force us toward Him.  He knows human control complicates messy situations. What we think is best usually isn’t because of biased positions and tainted opinions. Letting circumstances stay slightly out of our ability to completely govern creates a safely mechanism, if we learn to trust Him who governs all.

So, could some irrepressible chaos be crucial for constructive spiritual maturity?  Does God want us to reach into what’s difficult so He can create useful empathy? Should we avoid pressures at the cost of missing His heart for the lost and broken? Maybe unresolved situations are needed for us to understand global realities and join God to influence them for better.


Below are a few more one-liners from quiet times while watching seasons change. They form questions that challenge a future vision…

  • Jesus didn’t die for us to stay comfortable.
  • He died for us to live – live as Christ.
  • He rose again to empower us to be the miraculous.

How do we live as Christ?
How do we bring solutions to the impossible?
How do we change the world unless we live among those who need their world changed?

1Peter 4: 7-19
The Message



Hope you enjoy the video of activities from the RESOURCE CENTER - a safe Christian place for mamas and vulnerable children to learn about Jesus and useful skills. Activities are donation based. Thanks for your gifts!




Please join us in praying for:
Henry as his immigration and education processes unfold.
Tavin as he pursues college plans.
Taleah as she finishes up her school year.
The Resource Center team in Kenya as they facilitate extra activities this month.
The Kajulu Women and WOW to follow the Lord’s leading and keep studying their Bibles well.
The children at Joyland to have what they need to know and follow Jesus.
The Water Project team as they write a proposal to bring piped water to the host compound for constructing filters.
Mark and Lisa as we plan for the future.

 Thanks for your prayers, encouragement and support.
hugs from the haugers
Ooo0O

Monday, March 6, 2017

Stuck! You Know That Feeling?


STUCK! Ugh.Don’t you hate that feeling?
You know - being caught in the proverbial limbo where pending plans hinge on a decision that can’t be determined yet.
Well, that’s where we are.
Trying to navigate United States Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) and Henry’s USA citizenship is a daily task of applications, petitions, paperwork, phone calls, photocopies and $$$.  If you recall, we originally wrote about Henry’s immigration story here.  Little did we know the saga would continue so long!  We just filed 6 application/petitions with 39 documents and fees. Praying for a favorable response!

   

 Considering our USCIS issue,  plans for returning to Kenya are not set like concrete. We must wait for “Advance Parole” approval before Henry can journey abroad. Our tentative idea is to travel to Kisumu in May and stay until early August. We will leave then because Kenya’s presidential elections loom large on August 8th. Our last experience with that found us hiding in a tin church while automatic gunfire and tear gas crazed the Kondele community - a situation not worth repeating.

Although we wade through unknowns, the Resource Center and Clean Water Project continue to thrive. Look what you helped make happen...
The Resource Center is a quality Christian place for vulnerable kids to gather and know they are loved. Inside are games, art supplies, books, toys and teachers who care that these little ones are not left to neglect and abuse. The learning focus is Jesus. The Center needs electricity to expand the programs. Please keep praying.
Clean Water Project provides bio-sand water filters along with the message of Living Water to communities.  It takes hard work to build and deliver the concrete containers, but it is worth it to see families have access to healthy water and the Gospel. This income-generating ministry also needs help to secure the development compound. Please pray as we investigate options.
Good work David and all who invested!
We’re excited about an emerging project called 2 Continent Baskets. We designed a solution to tackle these 2 big problems:
1. Adoption expenses can be overwhelming (average $25,000 for non foster/adopt).
2. Many moms in Kenya are a risk of loosing their children to orphanages.
Among the Least wants to help carry these burdens by partnering with a family preservation project in Kenya. Moms  earn a fair wage creating marketable crafts from sustainable materials. These items are then offered to perspective adoptive families for fundraising sales to finance their adoptions. This initiative is presently assisting a local family.  Cool graphics to inspire involvement...
As our family currently lives in the limbo of uncertainty dealing with ambivalent authorities, we are practicing peace, rest, patience, self-control and whatever other good thing that will get us through this phase. Pressures of feeling bogged down by the swamp of bureaucracy ease when we focus on our Creator - He secures our present and guides our future.

To you, our valuable supporter, thanks for sharing our tenuous “limbo” and praying for us. Thanks for continuing to sponsor worthwhile programs that help widowed/single mothers and vulnerable children. Thanks for helping to bring clean water into communities thirsty for the Gospel. God bless you!

 
       hugs from the haugers Ooo0o