Thursday, February 26, 2015

February Update 2015

The book of Romans (15:30) finds the author asking
“Will you be (our) prayer partners? For the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake 
and because of your love for (us) - given to you by the Holy Spirit - 
pray much with (us) for (the) work.”

We’re asking for the same… Because of love, 
will you partner in prayer for us and the work God is doing in Kenya?

These are our requests and shouts of joy…
Asking God for favor with all involved in Lil Man’s adoption process. 
We refuse to pay bribes. May God move the hearts of social workers, 
the lawyer and judge to make decisions in the best interest of Henry Jasper. 

Thanking the Lord for the JOY of delivering Luo Bibles to village mamas!  
Please pray as we facilitate bible study for women who have never 
known God’s Word for themselves.
Please pray for the WOW mamas to keep making progress in their 
spiritual walks and practical outreach to the community.

Smiling mamas can read God's Word in their heart language. 
"Erokamano. Nyasaye Opaki."
Sharing the Word.
Precious prayer time with gratefulness.
Amazing mamas now blessed with Bibles!

Some of our dear friends in Dadaab Refugee Camp were not sponsored 
to come back to school at Joyland. Since the ISIL crisis, funds for refugees’ 
education are not available.
Please pray the children at Joyland to be protected against violence and abuse.  
Please pray for the local youth to resist temptations to join terrorist groups in 
northern Kenya. May God’s words of comfort and peace find a home in their hearts.

We were awarded a grant to build 15 biosand water filters. 
May we have grace to complete the work with a focus of sharing the gospel.
A biosand filter will make this dirty lake water 
potable and prevent waterborne diseases.
Praising Jesus for the progress made on the church property. 
The permanent security wall is completed. 
Please pray with us about constructing a place for neglected 
mamas from the surrounding slums and villages to come, learn and 
access resources. The expected cost to build a multipurpose building 
is approximately $10,000.
Building the security wall. Many of these mamas 
now attend church.
Security guard poses with his machete.
Carolyne and Taleah strike a pose along the wall.
Mark poses too.
Without even knowing what was happening, a dear friend in USA 
felt impressed to share these verse a few days ago... 
Zech 2: 5. "For I, says the Lord, 'will be a wall of fire all around her 
and I will be the glory in her midst."
(Thanks Lynn!)

Please pray for our family to experience continued protection and provision.   
We are reapplying for our missionary permit. Our kiddos are in midterm and 
need an extra boost of confidence and commitment. We are also asking for
wisdom concerning options for the future.

Now glory be to God, who by His mighty power at work within us is 
able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream 
of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.  
May He be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because 
of His master plan of salvation for the Church through Jesus Christ.   
(Ephesians 3:20.)

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Don't Give Up on Anyone

My stepmom died on January 27th 2015.  I wrote her a tribute.  As I thought about her influence on my life, I recalled just how unlovable I made myself to her, to my family; me - the black sheep, the outcast, doing drugs, being irresponsible, no morality, no integrity - a parent’s ultimate nightmare teenager from age 15 to 21. I’m certainly not proud of that, but I am inspired by my stepmom’s tough commitment to care about me, even when I didn’t.

Today I’m thinking about those in my life that are difficult to love.  The ones who take carefully crafted plans to help and toss them aside like trash.  The ones who indirectly ooze their problems out of martyrs’ mouths yet find fault in any proposed solution. Those who spitefully use people. And those who simply suck the life right out of you and then ask for more. Yeah, those ones. The ones who don’t respond well to love, who misinterpret motives, who can’t comprehend truth.  The ones who make us feel uncomfortable. What do we do with those ones?

Jesus loves the unlovable. He waits for them. He’s patient, longsuffering and kind REGARDLESS. He keeps no record of wrong but rejoices in what is good.

“But He’s God.” you say,  “Of course He can do that.” 

Ok, then ask, “How much of God lives in me?”  Can I pray?  Can I listen?  Can I take a minute and smile? Can I forgive? Can I courageously ask the Lord to do or not do something through me to bring some small form of redemption, even when I might not see it appreciated?

Think about those estranged from you… Can the Lord trust you with His plan for them? It might take time, sacrifice, hard decisions like letting go… or embracing… but isn’t that what life is for?

However flawed our journey, it was certainly true of my stepmother’s life for me.

Tribute to My Mom
When I was young, I never thought I would really like you. I could not have been more wrong. 

It took a while, but then we didn’t see each other very often, usually just for a few hours on Sunday afternoons.  You were my dad’s new wife, and I’d watch you, test you, trying to see what you were made of… You didn’t flinch.

Instead you baked homemade birthday cakes with lollipops sticking out the sides. You helped Dad arrange summer drives for giant ice-cream cones at Measumers and winter fun like shooting down the icy toboggan run at Sheridan Park. We camped in Canada and played make-believe in the fields behind the house on Grand Island. You taught us to create candles, to build plastic signs and to make up when we siblings argued. Still, I didn’t exactly know what to think about you… “my Sunday mother.”

When I was a wayward teenager, Dad and you took me in. I continued the testing… Although we rarely saw things the same way, we enjoyed some pleasures like shopping for clothes and eating huge bowls of ice cream in the evenings while watching Vanna White turn the letters on Wheel of Fortune.

I finally pushed you and Dad away completely and set out to do life on my own.  Years went by and the only time I saw you was when I snuck in the back of the church at Grammy’s funeral. You hugged me, and I stayed behind in the end pew and cried for hours.

Then, I got sick. Very sick.

That’s when we connected. That’s when I knew I liked you for real, and I’d love you forever.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t wrap my brain around having a debilitating disease that constantly threatened to steal my life. I wanted out in the wrong way. Thankfully, you and Dad showed up in my life – again.

You spoke to me like everything mattered. You told me circumstances happened for reasons we sometimes don’t understand; but if I could find faith to believe, I’d see the answers, even if they were not the ones I wanted.  I hated those words, but I clung to them because I knew they sustained me. I knew it was my right way out.  In spite of myself, you always made sure I was encouraged when you left the hospital. You forced me to have hope.

After I stabilized, the pep talks continued, your assistance found me a place to live, your help got me started in college, you and Dad drove me to New England where I entered Bible school. On holidays, I’d travel down to Florida to stay with you and Dad. You mothered me – something I desperately needed.

I could go on about the special times at Tarpon Springs munching on gyros and Friday Flea Market where we’d hunt for treasures, and preparing for church teachings together, and eating lunch at Ryans (Dad always got his desserts before eating!) and afternoons lounging around the pool. You saved my life – literally – from drowning.

I shared with you my dreams of being a missionary, and you didn’t bat an eye, even when others thought about the impossibility of my weakened body.
“Do it.” you’d say, “Get prepared and go.”

I did, and that’s why I’m not there right now, sitting next to my sisters and brother at your memorial service. I’m here, in Kenya, in Africa, doing what you agreed I could do.  I’m here ministering to widowed mamas because you pushed me.  I’m here serving neglected, handicapped children because you didn’t give up on me.  I’m here adopting a child from a hard place because you loved me when I was unlovable.

Your influence helped create the life I now cherish.  Who knew – the little girl that put you through the wringer would someday value your presence in so, so many ways. Was it all perfect? Heck no, but then again, nothing is.  Thanks for believing in me when I couldn’t.  I love you forever. My mom you will always be.

One last hug till I see you again…
Your grateful daughter,