Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Update: August 2015: Change of Plans

What to do when best-laid plans crumble and disintegrate while helplessly watching?

Get alone with the only true Plan-maker and learn what’s next. He’s not stumped by the sudden change. If I worry about what’s not, instead of focusing on who He is, confusion and disappointment overtakes me. When I understand God’s in control and His plans for me have future and hope, the unforeseen fills with anticipation of goodness. I don’t mourn what is not. I value the present blessings. That is enough.

Our family plans to be stateside by now - visiting family in the East and Midwest, traveling to Colorado to attend a mission debriefing workshop, enroll the kids in school and settle in for a year - have vanished.

We continue to live in Kenya – the country of our call – and practice appreciating the everyday joys of serving Among the Least.  We choose to be grateful for:

Planting God's Word and trees in a place with desperate needs.
Mark's ability to sincerely engage Kenyans.
These smil'in faces of children who are learning about Jesus.
Boom-wacker fun!
Taleah teaching brother about fuzzy kittens.
An ice cream vendor who can interrupt a basketball tournament..
First place son with his little brother in tow.
Beauty among thorns.
Weird fruit, our laughing son and lovely friend.
Mamas who fast and pray for vulnerable children to be saved.
Lake Victoria for throwing stones.
Glowing sunsets.
Last but definitely not less, we are grateful for our family and friends who stand with us in prayer, support and encouragement. May God bless you for your kindness to remember us.

We pray with thanksgiving, making our requests known for:
  • David and Hillary: Kenyan lawyer and judge to "love mercy and do justly" for orphan children and adoptive families.
  • Carolyne, Lillian, Jackie: Widowed mamas to have school fees and all that is needed to send their older children on to higher education.
  • Simon: Sudanese war refugee to receive shelter, food, and opportunity be a contributing member to his community.
  • Finish the work on the Resource Center so it can host programs designed to help free those in bondage to poverty.
  • A fruitful leadership conference that will equip and empower Kenyans to do the work of the ministry.
  • Our family to continue trusting the Lord for all He wants to do in and through us.  Our heart’s desire is to travel to USA for a year to rejuvenate and get Tavin set on his future path.
Asante sana. Mungu akubariki. (Many thanks and God bless you all.)
hugs from the haugers. O00Oo

Thursday, August 20, 2015

An Afternoon in Nyweta

The sun beats down hard on rusty tin roofs as dust dances in tiny cyclone-like-swirls around barefoot children gathered to watch.

It’s water filter delivery day in Nyweta.

Just one water filter installed in this area can serve 50 people. Not only will it help keep them free from waterborne diseases, but it will also save the already overworked mamas time and money – precious fuel like charcoal or wood won’t be used to boil water clean.

Mark and David hoist the cement encasement into the small sewing shop already filled with mamas, colorful material and sewing machines. Everyone stops and curiously stares. I begin sharing the purpose for clean water and the spiritual parallels of a clean heart.

While our activity unfolds, a young girl, severely burned on her chest and with only one eye runs into the shop and giggles. The mamas begin to tease her about something I can’t quite figure out. I catch a few phrases and realize they made her a dress, although she could only pay 100 ksh ($1.00).  She tries it on, receiving a chorus of “Ooo” and “Ahhh,” followed by some tongue clicking approval. She hugs the mamas and skips away clutching her new treasure.

The blaring sun hides behind a relief of rain clouds. I’m quiet, absorbing the extremes of joy and beauty here. We bring a life-saving filter that will meet a great need among the mamas. And these mamas, with their little offering of a simple dress, bring a reason for happiness to an outcast girl.

From potable water that keeps sickness away to a lovely garment for a child who feels far from pretty, God is concerned with both - and everything in between. Matthew 6:25-34.

Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers   

Monday, July 20, 2015

Kenya Update: July 2015

I’ve been working on a blog post about “inbetween” but realized it would not be finished any time soon so we decided to post praise reports and prayer requests because for us, that’s the most important communicate right now. 



Friends from Pagosa are like a soothing balm. We thought we’d be traveling back to USA at the end of this month for a furlough but the current adoption crisis finds us here indefinitely. When Jaden Hinger and Jeannne Marie Soniat showed up on our compound, our souls oozed gratefulness. We couldn’t talk to them enough, or show them all we wanted to share, or hear all the stories of home… So thankful to smile at their familiar faces for a week!

Jaden makes everyone feel welcome.

Jeanne Marie's new buddy.

Always having fun.

Lessons on love through croquet.

Trees big enough for the family!

Look what we found...

Another buddy for Jeanne Marie.

Jaden showing the giraffe something interesting...

Sunset drama

More mamas from Women of Worth group (WOW) visited the Joyland kiddos, making Saturday afternoon full of games, face painting, story telling, prayers and praise. Needy Kenyan mamas embracing forgotten Kenyan children creates remarkable relationships. So thankful to know God cares for them all, and we get to organize the meeting of hearts.

Josephine reads with the kids.

Janet mothers little Raila.

Loisa always makes kids smile.

Looks like they will be visiting regularly!

We visited the mamas of Kajulu Women’s Group and gave the washable sanitary pads made by the WOW mamas so orphaned girls won’t miss weeks of valuable education. The mamas continue to read their bibles together and share their faith with others.

The Resource Center has a roof and now we have the photo! So thankful to see the progress! Soon ministry to the surrounding slums will be functioning from this place. Yea God!

We are facilitating a new DIGGS training to six widowed mamas, a pastor’s wife and a married couple with 5 children. They participate in engaging activities that teach who Christ is in them, who they are in Christ, whom did God make them to be, and organizing/planning/budgeting for their futures.

Creating thoughtful responses through art.

Please pray for this recently widowed mama of 3 little ones.

Burning and burying unforgiveness to live in freedom.

Tavin, Taleah and Henry finished school and are happily pursuing hobbies, friends, and ministry at Joyland. They were recruited to help paint biosand filters to deliver to those who need potable water.

Good job!

Taleah's hair on the last day of school. Really.

Peeling aloofas we received from a friend.

Taleah sharing her gift.

Tavin sharing his gift.

Henry sharing his gift.

Washing his car in his Yankees hat. Silly boy!

Adoption continues to be a trial for not only us, but the whole country. The Kenyan Law Society has filed suit with the government presenting the sad case of more overcrowded orphanages and numerous children waiting to be adopted due to the illegal moratorium. We go to court again tomorrow – July 21. We don’t know what to expect. We only know trusting God and speaking for the fatherless is our responsibility.

Please pray for…

  • Widowed mamas - keep growing in favor with their neighbors and their businesses as they grow in God. Their testimonies are powerful witnesses used to change the common social view that widows are worthless burdens.
  • Joyland children - the school term ends and many are sent back into situations far worse then what they experience at Joyland. May they hold fast to the Word shared with them on Saturdays.
  • The DIGGS classes - let Word of Truth take root in their hearts and bring changes necessary to bear good fruit.
  • Adoption - to flourish in Kenya and orphans be welcomed home into families that will love them forever.
  • Our family - to process delays without judgments and to see God’s provision in many different areas. Continued divine protection and good health.
Let us know how we can pray for you.

Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers Ooo0o

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Update: June 2015 Lessons in Dust and Mud

June 30th already!  Many of you reading this are watching your summer fly by. We on the other hand don’t even remember it’s summer since the equator weather stays warm.  We only have two seasons – dry and wet, or as we like to call them – dusty and muddy.

With that analogy, we’ll share the dusty and muddy of life here and ways you can pray for us.

The adoption of Henry has been a hot, long, dusty journey. Although we’ve seen God’s hand move amazingly through supportive relationships and timing of Henry’s placement with us, the path to justice for orphans is not for the faint of heart.  We prayerfully, carefully, legally pursued this journey because we felt Holy Spirit leading us. Little did we know our case would be in the midst of a grimy legal battle for the rights of truly abandoned, orphaned children to be placed in caring families approved for adoption. The lines are drawn in the shifting dust with government manipulation on one side and child advocates on the other. We are with the other, standing alongside the Law Society of Kenya and The Law Society of East Africa. The USA embassy in Nairobi is petitioning the Hague to intervene since Kenya is a Hague compliant country for laws governing international adoption.  Even local adoption by Kenyan citizens has stopped. Check the article below to read about a current lawsuit. restore-adoption

Every ministry project goes through muddy seasons, but we’ve noticed it’s actually fun to play in the mud!  Instead of jumping to judgments and becoming critical, we join together and speak truth in love. Issues that threaten conflict arise, but conversation laced with a bit of humor and served up beside sweet hot chai get us all back on the same page and projects continue moving forward. God saves the team from complaining about potential messes, drawing us closer to Him and each other.
Regardless of dust or mud, we are content to keep praising, praying, and believing. Will you join us?

  • Please pray the adoption process opens so children are free to be welcomed into loving families. Our next court date is July 7th.
  • It’s Ramadan and as we write this the call to prayer echoes through the evening air. Please pray we effectively share the love of Jesus with our Musl*m neighbors.
  • Please pray for the widowed/single mamas of the Women of Worth group and the Kajulu Women’s group to be faithful in studying God’s Word, successful in their businesses, intentional in their parenting, generous in their giving.
  • Please pray for the neglected kiddos at Joyland as we keep sharing Jesus with them on Saturday afternoons.
  • Thanking God for the progress made on the Resource Center construction. Grateful for the gifts and the local church's sacrificial giving that helped build partitions.
  • Please pray for Tavin and Taleah as they take exams the next couple weeks.
  • Still waiting on the approved missionary permit renewals…
  • Yahoo!  We get to spend next week with Jeanne Marie Soniat and Jaden Hinger. SO EXCITED!!! 

Waiting at one of our many court appointments.
Our dear friend Steve sharing praises at Joyland.
Building the Resource Center together.
Our prayers for dear friends and family are that you to truly enjoy the summer vacation by relaxing in the One whose rest is never ending.

Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers 0ooOo