Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Meaning of Our Lives

How do we know what God wants with us?  What is it that He has created us to be, to do?
How do we find His will, His desire, His vision for our lives?

These questions seem to constantly rouse Christians’ hearts, sometimes with anxiety and concern, sometimes with hope and excitement.  Whichever reaction you find yourself experiencing, 
it’s related to your belief about God. It might even be the difference between 
knowing about Him and truly knowing Him. 

Take the parable of the talents for an example.  
Matthew 25: 14-30 is a story about investment.  
We’re told that “a man” gathered his servants and delegated responsibilities to them depending on their varying abilities.  
Then he went away on a long trip.

Upon his return he met with the three servants to settle accounts. The first servant, who was entrusted 
with 5 talents, doubled those assets.  
The second servant was given three talents 
and he likewise doubled the endowments.  
Both were rewarded with 
“entering into the joy of their master.”

 The third servant… Well, his end turned out different.  
Why?  
Let’s look at what he believed about the master.  
He judged him to be a hard man.  
This belief caused him to fear so he hid his talent.  
When the master asked for an explanation he made excuses and returned what he had been given without appreciation.  
All was removed from his cautious life and given to those 
who were willing to take risks for the master.  
That third servant then lived in outer darkness, 
far removed from the master’s joy.

How does this apply to the questions of future and destiny that rumble in our hearts?

Consider this:

1. God’s entrusted to you His best gift – life through Jesus Christ. He longs for you to live it with abandon.

2. When you don’t trust the Lord and live in fear of the unknown, you miss the opportunity to 
fulfill the dreams of God.

3. When you risk a challenge in Jesus name,
 invest your life in something beyond yourself, 
you find you’re living in the Master’s joy. 
This doesn’t guarantee liberty from suffering and trials. 
On the contrary, it might even invite such hardships, 
but your focus is not the outcome of your investment. 
Your center is completely Jesus – a fulfillment that goes beyond human measurement of success. 
Knowing Him defines “meaningfulness.”

So today, invest you talent in simple, yet profound ways. 
Look for God in the lives of those who need His touch.

 You might ask, “Who’s that?”  Well, continue reading in Matthew 25; this is a good place to start…

Instead of avoiding the hungry, 
give them something to eat.
 Instead of ignoring the thirsty, 
give them something to drink.
  Instead of walking passed the stranger, 
invite him to join you.
Instead of buying more clothes, 
clothe the naked.
Instead of preserving your health, 
serve the sick.
Instead of being selfish with your freedom, 
visit those in prison.

If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to Jesus, you'll find both yourself and Him.                                                                                                                            Matthew 10:39

Love mercy, do justly = His will, His desire, 
His vision for you.
                  Micah 6:8

Thank you for investing to help us show mercy to widows 
and bring justice to orphans.
Below are photos capturing the meaning of our lives...

Teaching the lesson you just read to widowed moms.

Mark and one of our widowed mom's 
lead a time of worship.

 Prayer, encouragement and plans for serving the 
fatherless with the widowed moms, church leaders and pastors.

Jacquline, a single mom 
of six children from 14 to 4 (2 sets of twins) 
sells mandazi on the streets to provide for her family.
It was a sacrifice for her to attend the DIG training 
but she's committed
to know God and serve Him.
She's continuing to come to training; 
she wants to keep learning.

Carole, a widowed grandma, 
provides for her nephew's children.
She sells household linens on the street.  
She graduated from the DIG training
with the dream to serve Jesus 
by caring for orphaned children,
 raising them to know their Father God.


Sharing the love of God with the 
forgotten victims of this culture.
Now they see themselves as 
citizens of God's kingdom, ready to take
the challenge of moving forward with Jesus.


A small orphaned boy that struggles with autism, 
disconnected from those around him...
takes Tavin and Taleah's hands.


Jennifer, a feisty, four year old 
orphaned girl with withered legs, 
gets some big brother time with Tavin.


Moses, crippled and left abandoned in a ditch, 
delights in blowing bubbles with Tavin.
                                                                            
 Henry, abandoned because of cerebral palsy
has special time with Taleah.
They love playing together.

Discussing the future of 20 abandoned babies and 
how to build an adoption network among churches. 

                             Stopping on the streets 
                        to share Jesus with a little one.


  We appreciate your prayers, encouragement and support.
hugs from the haugers oooo

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

It’s Good Friday
and I’m thinking about death. 

I’ve been perplexed by recent deaths – 
Franklin, a young man we admired 
who was fighting kidney disease and 
Benta, a young widowed mom we trained 
who became our dear friend. 
The last few weeks carry shock at youth dying 
because simple medical treatments were not available. 
These days bring grief of a teary-eyed boy and girl, 
now orphaned by the scourge of AIDS. 
I’m sitting on my bed, looking at tender flowers 
climbing over the grey cement wall, 
trying to make sense of disturbing sadness. 

I knew when we came to Kenya we’d experience 
life, raw and ugly. 
I studied the research of 1.5 million children orphaned 
by disease and destruction. 
I read the stories of victimized widows 
who sold their bodies to feed their babies. 
I understood the extremely alarming statistics 
on mortality rate, life expectancy, and per capita income. 
But now I see poverty devour. 
I hear anguish cry. 
I taste the bitterness. 
I feel the life of Kenya’s oppressed.
 The recent deaths vibrating WHY, WHY, WHY… 

It’s Good Friday 
and tonight I’ll celebrate worship with Jesus friends, 
sharing communion. 
I’ll remember His sacrifice and 
let these deaths be swallowed in victory. 
Franklin told his mom he was leaving her in peace. 
Benta created a ministry/business 
to provide for her son and daughter. 
The WHYs will fade because 
I trust the Eternal WHO gave His life. 
The grey hardness of suffering covered 
with fresh blooms of hope. 
I’ll place my affections there, 
on the beauty growing before me.

It’s Good Friday.  
His sacrifice is enough.  
Resurrection morning proves it true.


Please pray for Mildred, Franklin’s widowed mamma 
and Benta’s children, Seth and Winnie.

                                          
       You can read the story Benta Shares on this blog.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Back to Babies and the Tract

Not long ago we wrote about babies abandoned -
found in fields, empty shacks and even pit latrine.  
We pray for them.  
We asked you to pray, specifically for families to adopt them. 

One of our goals while in Kenya was to stir up local churches 
to pursue God’s heart for the fatherless.  
In a country almost twice the size of Nevada, 
with over a million and a half orphans, 
it’s the Kenyan church’s responsibility 
to defend the orphan's cause (Psalm 82:3, Is. 1:17) 
to care for them (James 1:27).

Orphanages are good since they provide basic needs for survival, 
but it’s not the answer for parentless children.  
God created families.  He intends for children to grow in families.  
When God found you abandoned, He did not place you in an orphanage. 
He adopted you. You belong in His family!

 Some of the pastors we’ve been ministering with 
became stirred by what we shared concerning orphans.
They didn't know.  
They were not aware of abandoned babies in their own town. 
we invited them to meet the little ones …  
the best is yet to come!

 Pastor George and Mary hold and pray for babies who need to be adopted.

They met with the home's director and have committed 
to helping find families for the babies.

 
Thank God for pastors who will live God’s passion for the fatherless.

Pastor Jeremiah and Joyce love on the babies.

Joyce’s first words after we left the home,
“We need that baby now.”
 They made an appointment with the adoption agency the next day.

Of course Lisa has to keep a baby with her at all times!

Mark, Tavin and Taleah teach the workers and the older kids 
to play duck, duck, goose and how God chases after us with His love.

Mark reads to a little guy who is precious to us. 
Please pray for his future…


We also wrote a post a while ago about ministry. 
Ministry here can happen all the time. 
Not. Even. Exaggerating.  

Because Lisa uses an electric wheelchair, which is a total novelty, 
she attracts a lot of attention, 
so much attention that she wrote a tract.  
She regularly hands this tract 
to curious onlookers who wonder about her situation. 
We trust God to manifest healing, but in the mean time, 
God uses the chair and the tract is amazing ways. 

We were at the immigration office. 
There are lots of M*slims at the immigration office, 
many from northern Africa, mostly refugees.  
Not many M*slims will start a conversation with “wazungus” 
since they realize we’re here as missionaries, 
but they will tallk to Lisa. 
They want to know about the chair.  
So, she shares the gospel by telling them about the chair. 
Then she gives them the tract.  
M*slims hear about the love of Jesus.  
Below is the tract Lisa wrote.  
Please pray for those who receive it. 
May they respond to the Lord’s saving grace.

M*slim woman at a kiosk 
near one of the widowed mammas ministry/business.


The tract... 
(in case you're interested)


Jambo!

You might be wondering,
“What is this mzungu woman doing here in Kenya driving around in an electric chair? Aye, how is that thing moving?  Who is this person? Why does she use such a chair?”

If time permitted, I would sit with you over a drink of mango juice and share my story; but life happens, and we all have our things to do.  Ill leave you with this note to ease your curiosity and tell you the wonderful truth of destiny fulfilled.

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Lisa, and Im a teacher from USA.  Im married to a wonderful man.  We adopted two children within the USA when they were small.  Those same children are growing up strong, kind, generous and smart.  They are our joy, and Im pleased to be their mamma.  Some years back, I was diagnosed with a debilitating muscle disease and doctors said I should have died, but God had mercy on me.  Everyday, I believe for continued healing.

This chair you see me using was a gift.  It was given to me so I can go various places and not be
confined by the severe muscle disease that limits my strength. The chair is powered by two dry cell
batteries that generate energy to a motor. My right hand manipulates the steering controls, which allows movement, speed and direction.  Like I mentioned earlier, this chair enables me to be out doing things no one imagined I could do.  It was a gift.  I paid nothing for it, but I must take care of it.

Actually, my situation in not uncommon.  I think we all experience some type of weakness that limits us whether physically, emotionally or spiritually.  We all need help in those weak areas so we can move into our destinies and do things no one thought was possible. Did you know there is a gift available for you to help you overcome your setbacks, your problems, your weaknesses and let you move into the life you were intended to live?

Just imagine for a moment that you were created for a purpose.  You have a hope-filled future planned for you by your creator, but choices youve made and hardships you encountered have prevented that hope-filled future from happening.

Do you think, “What must be done to redeem that lost life?”

You need a gift that your creator offers so you can know Him and the plans He has for you.

Are you tired of struggling with life?  Trying to live on your own?  Constantly creating mistakes?  Wasting time, energy and money on nothing of eternal value? Then know that God, your creator loves you.  He wants to free you from a fruitless life.  He sent His own Son to overcome the evil forces destroying you and provide a way for you to move into places you should be, like the gift of the chair moves me.

Are you asking, “How can this happen?”

  •        First, accept that you need God in your life. Talk to God through prayer by telling Him you are sorry for wasting your life on useless choices.  Tell Him you are tired of making mistakes that bring disappointment and frustration 
  •        Next, believe that Gods gift of salvation is given to you.  Receive by faith the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to cover the bad choices youve made.  Know that God forgives you through His Son. Jesus sacrificed himself to buy your gift of freedom, He rose from the grave to empower you to live your destiny. 
  •          Finally, commit your life to follow Jesus so He can change you from the inside out.


Now that you have embraced the gift of God, that you paid nothing for, know that you must take care of it.  Get a Bible and read it regularly to know your Creator and the life He has for you.  Find a place that teaches the truth about Jesus and you can meet people who are experiencing the new life of Gods love too.  Continue to pray, asking Jesus to help you become everything youre intended to be.  Below are some churches that teach the truth about Jesus.  If you decide to visit one of these churches, show the pastor this tract.

Covenant of Peace Church. Kondele, Kisumu.  Pastor George and Mary Gache

International Growth Church Nyallenda, Kisumu
Pastor Kevin and Lillian Oduor
     
    Community Life Church, Mamboleo, Kisumu
    Pastor Jeremiah and Joyce Machio
   
If we meet again, please come and shake my hand. 
Let me know what youve chosen to do with the gift God gives.
Mungu akubariki.