Sunday, December 25, 2011

A thousand thanks for your caring support and encouragement 
as we continue our journey in Kenya.
May the Lord bless you for your kindness towards us.

Jambo Dear Friends.

We received such thoughtful responses to our last update, "Beauty From Ashes," with questions asking how to support the ministry for widows and orphans in Kenya.
Checks can be written to CARE and attach a sticky note that says, "for Kenya."
The mailing address is
PO Box 3543
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

People can donate through PAYPAL by clicking the following link and going to the donate button on the sidebar.

Some of the relationship-based projects donate support  are:
  • The Discipleship Income-generating  (DIG) training for widowed moms so they provide for their children and not have to leave them as orphans.
  • Orphan Care Character Club - helps orphans with food and teaching about growing in Christ. 
  • Bio-sand water filter outreach program - builds water filters in oppressed rural areas and shares the gospel message that Jesus is the Living Water.
Thank you for believing that God's love for the fatherless goes beyond borders by sharing your blessings.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beauty from Ashes

Lillian surveys her shop with a look of satisfaction. It’s a modest place: white-washed walls enclose the small 5' by 12' area, no windows, but there is electricity and a strong green metal door to secure her new livelihood. Lillian has opened a hair salon in the Kondele slum, a dream she’s hidden in her heart since childhood.

Life has not been kind to Lillian. She grew up in extreme poverty and was married at the young age of 15. She bore three daughters. Shortly after, her husband ran off with a witchcraft woman and no one has seen or heard from him. That was 5 years ago; 5 years of desperately struggling to survive and put food into the mouths of her hungry little girls. The option of placing her children into an orphanage loomed over her head like a threatening cloud, ready to consume her last joy of life – being a mother. But God had other plans for Lillian, plans of good and not evil, to give her a future with hope. 

After participating in the Discipleship Income-Generating (DIG) training, Lillian learned who Christ is in her and who she is in Christ. She’s chosen to live in forgiveness and generosity. Lillian is now managing an emerging ministry enterprise in an oppressed area that longs for redemption. She creates beauty with her hands. Her customers are women like herself, who have very little but will spare a few shillings to sit in her quiet shop and have their hair braided. It’s a place of escape from the ever-demanding days in the slums. Soft voices share stories, testimonies and prayers for a new tomorrow. For Lillian, her new tomorrow has come.
As a young mom leaves the salon, her hair twisted into fine rows down her slender neck, Lillian whispers encouragement and hugs her. Lillian returns to her next customer and looks at me, saying words she never thought possible...
“I am happy.
My girls are eating and going to school.  God has given me a testimony to speak.
I have beauty from ashes.”

The DIG project meets widowed moms at their place of despair, teaches them about the transforming power of Jesus Christ, walks with them through healing, trains them to live sustainably, and helps them procure capital to invest in a ministry/business.  As a result of this, children who would otherwise be given to orphanages can now grow up with moms who love them. The women meet weekly to discuss issues and pray for one another. Together, this group is saving money from their businesses to host another DIG training. Their desire is to bless other abandoned moms as God has blessed them.
Would you please pray for Lillian, Mildred Anne, Benta, Beatrice as they begin their ministry businesses to support their children and share their experiences of God's great grace? 

Mildred needs prayer for her son who is very sick with a kidney disease.

Please also pray as we’re training 4 Kenyan women to facilitate the DIG project in other impoverished areas of Kenya.

DIG - a project of CARE4Nations/CARE defends the cause of widows and orphans in Kenya by providing Christ-centered assistance through relationship-based service.  Our vision is for the Gospel message to minster to widows and orphans in their time of need, freeing them from victimization to live the destiny God intended. 

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

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Joy-filled Air

Our family LOVES to visit Joyland Boarding School for Special Needs. We know this because Tavin and Taleah always ask when can we go there and after we leave, they always ask when we can go again. It might seem strange to enjoy a place that houses children whose crippled bodies just begin to tell their sad stories, but sadness is not where they live. Although violence, pain and rejection stole their innocence, the overwhelming power of God’s grace holds them. Even in the midst of a run-down facility that has no library, no playground, no games, crafts or activities, these kids find joy in simply being; that joy permeates the air. You can read about our last visit to Joyland and see some of our friends. They’ve been looking forward to you!

Dennis met us at the gate. Running along side the car, he showed us where to park. Dennis doesn’t put out his hand for us to shake because he has no arms. Instead, he bows his head for us to touch, and he responds with a sweet smile. Dennis is 9 years old. He writes and draws with ease. He’s also a mischievous clown. While Lisa was giving the kids balloons, so many little hands stretched out wanting one; all of a sudden a small foot reached in, bending it’s toes around a red balloon trying to lift it from the pile. “Dennis!” Lisa teased him, “If you do that again, I’m gonna tickle that foot!” He grinned, bumping his head against her arm.

Churchill doesn’t like to talk. Shyly, he sat by our feet always watching and listening. Hugging a two foot high walking stick, his face holds experiences far beyond his tender four years. We’re guessing he’s four because nobody knows how old Churchill is. He waddled over to receive a yellow balloon from Taleah. He waddled back and finds his spot on the ground, looking at his prize with wonder.

Mark’s new buddy is Benta. She took a shine to him after they sang together, and he handed her a balloon. Benta’s struggles to walk because her legs have no bones below the knee. She loved that Mark patiently helped her move outside where all the fun was happening. Throughout the afternoon she followed Mark, which according to the dorm mamma, was the most Benta’s ever moved around! Benta doesn't speak, but she's constantly humming the music Jesus placed in her heart.

After singing praise songs, bouncing balls and eating sweets, a bunch of us hung around sharing testimonies. Finally Alvin, a tiny guy who wants to be a doctor someday, asked us why we are white and our kids are not. We looked at him with wide-eyed shock. “What!” we exclaimed, “We’re white??? Oh my gosh, when did that happen?” Everyone laughed, and we all sat comfortably in each others' presence, breathing in the joy-filled African air.

Below are some more photos of our day at Joyland. Ask Tavin and David (Carolyne’s son) how the boys with significant physical challenges teamed up to play an exciting game of soccer, till the ball popped!

Please pray as we develop a culturally relevant character club to take into the children homes we visit. Also, for Mark as he meets with his "water team" next Sunday. Lisa starts handing out her "tract" this week and continues working with the widowed mommas to take their spiritual training into practical places. Tavin travels to Nairobi with his school to participate in a track meet at Nyanyo Stadium. Taleah is helping plan a birthday party for Carolyne (who's never celebrated her birthday before). Shhhh! The party is a surprise.

Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.

hugs from the haugers oooo

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ministry Happens

Ministry happens here in Kenya, even when we're not ministering. It's unavoidable. You might think it's because of the overwhelming needs we encounter on a daily basis. Yes, we face poverty, neglect and corruption all the time, but that's not it. We're constantly ministering because of who we are as a family - really. Picture this: Lisa using an electric wheelchair meandering into the market with our chocolate kids, Tavin and Taleah. Everyone stares, especially the men and children. They watch us with curiosity that begs for an explanation. See, there are not many white people here, even less with chocolate kids. There are NO people here with electric wheelchairs! Inevitably, Lisa pauses long enough to talk to those who are brave enough to ask about the chair. It always leads to sharing the gospel.

Now, Lisa's writing a tract that tells about our life in Kenya and how God provided the chair to help her overcome a weakness. She says the chair was a free gift and it provides opportunity to move into places no one imagined she could go. Then, the parallel is drawn; God provides us with a free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ to overcome our weaknesses to sin. He helps us move into places that hold our destinies. The tract shares that we must accept we've sinned and fallen short of God's grace, believe Jesus died and rose again to free us from the bondage of sin, and commit to living the life God intends. It also includes local church contact information. We'll print these tracts next week, complete with pictures and hand them out to our constant crowd of onlookers so we can minister even when we're not! Please pray for us. By the way, Lisa still "hates" the chair, but is glad God gets glory through it!

We're processing how to serve a couple ministries here. One is Joyland - a school for 276 children who come from various homes and orphanages to receive an education. This is a unique school because the kids are physically challenged, many living with significant birth defects that could be better managed if they were in a developed country. In the future, we will be sharing their stories and photos of fun times we spend with them. We’re doing this for a couple of reasons.

One, they asked us to post their pictures because they are proud of who they are and what they can do. Too many people look away when they see a small boy with no arms or a little girl with deformed legs and no hands. These children don’t want to be ignored, nor do they want to be stared at like a freak show. They simply want what other “normal” children get everyday – affirmation for their accomplishments, encouragement to continue working hard, concern for their problems, playfulness and hugs, yeah – plenty of hugs. The other reason we’ll share is because the kids a Joyland are part of our lives. We love them, and we hope they will find a warm place in your heart too.

That’s about all right now.

Below is a photo of our chickens and rooster who also makes ministry of intercession happen by waking us up at 4:30 am everyday to pray! (We’re praying we don’t kill him!)

Also, the lizard on our security wall stayed outside where he belonged. Thank God he didn't snuggle up next to us during the night.

In this photo is a small boy in a torn striped shirt… we’re praying for him… and we don’t now why… but we might have an idea…

Thanks so much for your prayers, support and encouragement.

hugs from the haugers oooo

Monday, October 24, 2011

Full Days

Our days have been full - ministry with the children from Joyland and Covenant Home, hosting missionary friends from Mbita for a few days, teaching Bible studies, meeting with pastors, finishing up the first training with the widowed moms, our kids running track at Moi Stadium, an afternoon swimming at Kiboko Bay on Lake Victoria. So many stories to share… hmmm… where to start?

We’ve settled in at a Kenyan church in Mambo Leo where we worship in a tin-sided building with about 40 believers who know how to rock that place! Last Sunday we met with the leaders to discuss organizing outreach by building bio-sand water filters in villages where widowed moms and orphaned children live in desperate situations. With this evangelism plan, both clean water and the Living Water – Jesus, are offered to those who thirst. Mark will train a team to construct water filters and develop teachings starting the last Sunday of October. He’s also been teaching a bible study following afternoon prayers at Covenant of Peace Church where we had the discipleship empowerment training for the widowed moms.

Will you pray for Mark as he moves into this new area of ministry?

Speaking of the training, we enjoyed lots of laughter during our object lessons! Imagine never having made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, putting directions to make one in order, and then explain the directions to another person who has to make the PBJ when she’s never made a PBJ either! Now, imagine it’s a competition, which, by the way, Kenyans love. The lessons learned dealt with communication, prioritizing, approaching new ideas with confidence, giving and following specific directions. After that we examined scripture’s on vision, planning, finances and wise counsel. The moms worked hard creating their goals, objectives and details concerning ideas for the future.

After 3 weeks (27 hours) of intense training we had the honor of presenting certificates of completion. Prayer, where Holy Spirit gave words of knowledge, culminated the ceremony. We celebrated by enjoying ripe mango, biscuits, juice and sweet fellowship. It’s so comforting to know these widowed moms are moving in a direction that will help them raise their children and not have to place them in orphanages because of poverty.

Can you pray for Anne, Mildred, Benta,
Beatrice and Lillian as they begin their new lives as employed moms
who will share their testimonies through their businesses?

Saturday is Family Day when we usually catch up on chores neglected during the week, but this past Saturday found us enjoying the pool at Kiboko Bay on Lake Victoria. For a few dollars we played in the water all afternoon, ate tilapia stuffed with mint and coriander, drank cold soda and relaxed under a beautiful sunset sky. Praise God for His creation and the opportunity to appreciate it!

Tavin and Taleah regularly run in track meets (since track and swimming are BIG sports here). Both placed in a meet at Moi Stadium. They have been invited to compete in a meet in Nairobi at the end of October. Their school absorbs the cost of travel and they stay in dorms at an international academy. So, with much prayer and reminders to be polite, pack toothbrushes, wash hands, this mama is sending her kids to the big city 10 hours from home.

With this last week being mid-term break, we had the pleasure of hosting our missionary friends from Mbita! We met them in 2006 and they visited us in Pagosa in 2007. CARE actually helped them with the adoption of their daughter. Refreshing conversation, pillow fights and warm chapatis highlighted the visit. Next time, we’re heading to see them in their rural home on a peninsula in Lake Victoria. Maybe we’ll plan a baptism for the kids!

Now, for the orphaned children… It’s difficult to write; probably hard to read, but I know that God does not want us to forget them. Most people do you know - forget about these kids because it’s hurts too much remembering. I can’t forget their fragile smiles and eyes that hold a world of sorrow. I must do something because faith without works is dead. I’ve embraced abandoned children in my own arms and now, I am responsible. I see their pain and it moves me, their courage to wait and watch for someone to notice them, to look at them and truly see…

What must it be like…
to be three years old and not eat for two days…
to drink dirty water… to scramble for whatever is offered –
a balloon, a cookie from a white lady…
a song sung about Jesus… a story from the bible…
a prayer for tomorrow… please God - let a new tomorrow come…

The orphan crisis is so complex. I want to take all those little ones, like a hen gathers her chicks, but that’s not to happen now; so we carry them to Jesus in prayer. Below are some photos of children who must be remembered. We can’t legally share their names or their stories, but you can see their faces.

Would you help us carry them to Jesus in prayer?

Thanks for your encouragement and support.
hugs from the haugers oooo

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Women's Work

Sounds like derogatory words, huh? That’s only because you don’t know what we’ve been up to in Kenya! Our definition of "Women’s Work" brings hope to women who live as victims of poverty, abuse and neglect. We’ve been working with women by helping widowed moms lay a biblical foundation that blends income-generating, raising healthy children and sharing the gospel in meaningful ways. We’ve started training at Covenant of Peace Church with 5 beautiful widowed mommas, the pastors, and our multi-talented trainee, Carolyne. These few participants lend toward better interaction, easier facilitator training, and more depth of understanding. None of these women can fade into the background, something they do so easily.

We open the class with sweet acapella praise to God and prayers for each other. Then we move into an object lesson, like balancing an egg on its tip. They each have one minute to try.

“What?” the Pastor (of a faith church) shakes his head.
“It can’t be done.”

The women giggle in anticipation. Mark hands him the egg. He fumbles with it on the small table. It wobbles a few times and then, stands. His quizzical face breaks into laughter. The women also balance the egg. Smiling at the success of a seemingly impossible task, they are ready to learn.

Mark made the chalkboard that diagrams the lesson – Who Is Christ In You? The women pair off and examine scriptures that tell them that Jesus is their


We discuss the difference between “knowing about God” vs “knowing God.”

They share stories about how God has carried each of them in times of hardship. Stoically they expose their woundedness, and I want to weep. How hard it is for a young widowed mom in Kenya who has nothing and needs to feed her children. We move into a time of forgiveness. The women confess their offenses on paper, and we burn them in a hole Mark dug around the back of the church. The pastor takes the shovel and buries the ashes. He shows them he’s there to support their freedom.

Back to the chalkboard and more diagrams of the next lesson – Who are You In Christ? Again the women look up scriptures and read aloud that they are

More than conquerors, Servants, Ambassadors,
Adopted Children, Christ’s bride, Dearly loved,
Citizens of God’s Kingdom, Fruit-bearers,
New Creations, Joint Heirs in Jesus...

We distribute small balls of clay and talk about modeling a Godly life by staying soft and pliable in the Master’s hands. They are thinking, squeezing the clay into bowls and flowers. Next we hand out fruit and discuss what could prevent them from producing fruit of the Spirit. We share about service to God from the heart; that being a servant is who they are, not just what they do. We encourage them to beware of the enemy’s schemes, how he whispers lies that they are not appreciated or have nothing to offer. They are rulers in the Kingdom, practicing self-discipline and overcoming evil with good.

We end out time together with role-playing. The women act out real life situations that will try their faith, that will test their fruit. They practice responding in the spirit, instead of reacting in the flesh. The egg comes back out and we remind each other that when things look impossible – God will do a miracle.

The spiritual base for practical training is being set. We rejoice at the women’s progress, their questions and comments, their willingness to move on regardless of tremendous obstacles. Women’s work. It’s part of what carries the next generation. It’s valuable in God’s kingdom.

Mark making chalk boards.

Carolyne, learning to be a facilitator.

Sharing with the women.

The women symbolically bury their offenses.

Balancing an egg - it's possible!

Please pray as this training expands outward to other widowed moms. We have many more small group trainings scheduled in various churches that will be facilitated by Kenyans. This coming week we visit Joyland ( a school for physically challanged children) and back to Covenant Home to play and pray with orphans. God's heart is for the fatherless and our desire is for Him.

hugs from the haugers oooo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

These Women: Our Friends

The women we've met in Kenya are strong. Even the pastors and church leaders say if you give a good Kenyan woman a seed, she will grow a tree that produces shade for her family, fruit for food and seeds to sell. We've seen these same good women have a keen sense of finding fragile threads of opportunity, and from them, weave hope.

Our desire is to help them bring their hopes into reality. We work with them to identify their dreams, articulate their stories, and receive training. Then, we give them a seed.

By providing a basic foundation that reveals who Jesus Christ is to them, who they are in Christ, how to share their giftings and principles of good management, we've experienced the joy of watching these women move from victims to contributing members of their communities, happily raising their children instead of having to leave them in orphanages. They're not shy about giving God all the glory for the great things He has done!

We are blessed to call these women our friends.
We had our first training with Carolyne, who had no resources to raise her son and orphaned nephew. Now she runs a successful grocery kiosk and is director of Love in Action, a ministry that serves widowed moms.

Our second training was held in a small room set up near Carolyne's shop.
Communion with the widowed moms.

 Lois and her small son, TAVIN (yes, she named him after our boy).

Lois sews and embroiders to provide for her children.

She also  shares the blessings God's given her with other widowed moms.
Florence sells vegetables to earn a living so she can care for her two boys.
Florance's boys, who now do not have to live in an orphanage.

Florance shares her faith and training with other widowed moms.

Please pray for these women and the others who will participate in the training. May the Lord continue to pour out his favor on these forgotten ones who have so much to give.

Check back for more to read about other moms'
testimonies of redemption. We're currently designing a blog for them to share their stories. We'll let you know when it's up and running.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support.

hugs from the haugers