Monday, April 27, 2015

April Update: Truth About Pain

Sad news filled ears and hearts over this last month – from the death of dear young ones in our stateside small town to the catastrophic Nepal earthquake. A quick look on any broadcast station adds more tragedies, unrest and tensions. On the heels of Kenya’s current terrorist attack, we experience sicknesses and loss here on the mission field of our calling. Painful times are not lacking for anyone.

I remember reading somewhere; “God only allows pain when something new will be born.” I also recall myself asking, “How do we see the hard, hurting world and know that this grueling pain means something new is coming?

Turning the pages of sacred scripture, experienced by lives endless, proves true - our Creator has a plan… 
(Romans 8 The Message.)

“All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance.”

Pain will come – guaranteed.

We might be tempted to abort the new thing that pain should usher in because we are afraid to labor through the challenges. We could give up since the work feels uncomfortable, inconvenient, overwhelming. Protecting ourselves from pain is natural but this birth is supernatural – creating redemptive beauty if we are willing to embrace the strenuous waiting…

“That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.”

In all this, there is a plan. Not flagellant piety of a deserved curse, but confident anticipation that Eternal Goodness transforms mourning into dancing. Let pain have its way? No. Let God have His way in pain.

“God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Will you please let the Spirit pray through you with us?

  • For families of those suffering because of the loss of loved ones. 
  • For God’s redemptive plan to unfold to those who’ve not heard or know of His unconditional love.
  • For deliverance and healing to manifest in those who need the Lord’s merciful touch.
  • For us to continue steadfast in serving the poor in Jesus name, finding joy in His inspiring presence.
  • For our "labored waiting" of this adoption process to be finalized.
Below is a more specific request that focuses on the work God is doing in Kenya and a way you can help...

The church we've been working with for the last four years has acquired the hotly contested property; they graciously gave the ministry a large corner to build a resource center to minister to the poor in the surrounding slums. It will house all the resources we currently have at our place - sewing machines, lending library, materials, curriculum, book cases, tables, desks, chairs. file cabinet... We were going to use a shipping container but building was compatible and a more timely option.

With the first donation, the building began in earnest. Several days into digging, torrential rains threatened to capsize the efforts but God's grace preserved us. The digging was completed on time, yet cost more than budgeted because of extra labor during those rainy days.


Mark's oversight and diligent efforts to see the work succeed brings strength to relationships. He's known as the "friendly wazungu" among the crew. The church's contributions have also lead to great progress. In a country that notoriously robs the disadvantaged, it's inspiring to see the poor work hard and earn a fair wage - a testimony of God's provision.


The construction is almost done but we could use some help. The church is partnering with the ministry to finish the stonework and plaster. We still need a roof, windows with security grates, doors and a western toilet (yeah!). The estimated pending expense is approximately $4,000. If you feel moved to donate, please see giving details at the end of this post. Our desire is to create a place where more widowed/single mamas can access biblical help, counseling, skills training and become blessings in their communities.

Giving options:

  • Visit the blog and make donation through paypal. Be sure to designate your gift.
  • Mail a check to Among the Least and attach a sticky note that says, "For Kenya Resource Center." PO Box 3543 Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Asante sana for helping us share the redemptive love of Jesus with those who are victimized and among the least here in Kenya. Divine destiny awaits them!

hugs from the haugers  


Thursday, April 16, 2015

About Friends: A Story from Terrorism

Monday afternoons I travel to be with the Women of Worth Group – an organized gathering of mama’s from surrounding slum areas who do table banking, bible study and hand crafts for selling or donating. Generally I enjoy my time with these mamas. I always leave with stories or news of their experiences reverberating in my mind, tugging at my heart. This Monday was no different.

We sit at a round table in an airy hut. After songs and prayer, the mamas pay loans, savings shares and charity offerings; they bring out flannel material to continue making washable sanity pads for orphaned village girls. This is when conversations spark hot and run deep. If I’m not teaching, I usually introduce a scripture in context and ask for thoughts. “What do you think Jesus met when He said,

 'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends. ‘ " John 15:12-15

An interesting discussion ensues:

Jackie, seriously direct, speaks boldly and laughs with passion: “Jesus wants us to obey Him since He is our friend.”

An even more direct and intimidating Janet huffs her reply: “Friends come and go. They do not obey. They are like vehicles. When one leaves, another will soon come to pick you.”

Everyone laughs. Janet defends her stand, “Is it not true? Yes. It is.”

A rare quietness settles over the group and it seems Janet begins considering how she should reintroduce her idea with a bit more clarity: “You know what happened to the students at the University in Garssia?”  Kenya mourns students.
(Kenya has faced over 50 Al Shabaab terrorist related attacks since 2011.)

All look up from their work, giving sober attention. Janet is referring to the terrorist attack on Mundy Thursday that killed 147 students in a place north east of us, about a two-day journey by bus.

“My neighbor’s daughter was killed.  My neighbor said the terrorists made the daughter call her and say she will never see the daughter again. After the daughter spoke those words – BOOM! It is when they shot her. Aye. My neighbor heard them shoot her daughter. The only girl. The 1st in family to go to University. A sacrifice for her. Imagine. Her daughter.

“Boom.” Janet whispers again slowly shaking her head. The mamas keep tracing patterns and cutting in silence.

Janet continues.

“Friends are like that situation. Hard life happens. People you know, those who love you come and go. You must be with those who can pick you up. Help you live right. I do not want to be dying with badness in me. When I die I want to have goodness. My neighbor. Her daughter had goodness. . Evil does not like good.  That is why she is in heaven now. She was Jesus' friend.”

The mamas listen, nodding their heads in agreement - something that rarely happens. 

As I sliced the black plastic lining with a sharp scissors, I felt the cutting away of ignorance. These women, whom I desired to be with, after years of stateside praying and planning, now surrounded me. I hear them applying verses to their difficult struggles to survive. Once desperately idle, I see them making something useful with their hands to share. Little bags, shoved deep into their bosoms carry extra shillings for their children’s care. My life in USA feels so very far away. All I read and researched sits before me in faces etched by incredible suffering. In the end, they want the same as I do - to bring goodness, to be Jesus' friend.

Please pray for those families who lost their children in a horrible massacre. Please pray for this hurting world to seek the God of goodness and become Jesus' friend.

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