Monday, September 28, 2015

A Story for Service

Setting:  A new church building on the edge of Kondele and Ubunga slums in Kisumu, Kenya. 

Characters:  50 students ages 7 to 17, 3 missionaries, 5 church volunteers.
Plot: The church, after experiencing violent hostility from corrupt men over land issues, has now constructed a church building.  For the last year, regardless of torrential rain or harsh heat, we met under a tent and worshiped Jesus.  Now, a brick structure with tile floors welcomes those who need ministry. 
Public schools in Kenya closed in a month long teachers' strike, leaving 12 million students -- more than a quarter of Kenya's total population with no opportunities.  Idle students long for activity but there is only trouble crowding the narrow mud alleys that twist around their tin houses.

One Sunday the church introduces an event to meet the community need by inviting students for afternoons of music, spiritual encouragement, fun learning, snacks and competition.  With a single announcement and no outside advertising, 50 students of various ages enter the church. The day overflowed with singing, learning and laughter – things these kids earnestly desire but rarely find. The church not only tells the gospel but also shows it through service. What the devil intends for bad, the Lord turns around for good.  Instead of complaining about the strike the church found something good to do. 

The Lord uses your gifts to assist us in equipping the local church to empower those living in poverty (vulnerable widowed mamas and orphaned children) to become contributing members of their communities.

Please pray, as the “almost complete” Resource Center will be a venue for more local church outreach into the community. Metal window frames and doors are fabricated should be installed next week. Electric is wired but still needs to be connected to the transformer.  The building also requires a cement floor and plastered walls.  Septic, painting and minor landscaping will be the final details before we move furnishing and supplies from our compound to the Resource Center. 

More news:  After many long months of waiting and praying the judge wrote a 5 page ruling in favor of Henry’s adoption into our family!  YAHOO JESUS!  One big hurdle out of the way and only a few more left. Our finalization date is October 27th.  After that we register the adoption, get a new birth certificate, apply for a passport and head to the American Embassy for a travel visa. Then, we purchase plane tickets. So still a few months before heading stateside, but a least we are coming there as a family - with Henry! Please pray for a quick, uncomplicated finalization.

Maybe there will be a Resource Center Grand Opening and Child Dedication of Henry all in one very special day… want to come join us for a real Kenyan celebration?

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What a Mess!

Life gets messy. No matter how hard we try to prevent turbulence, it happens - flinging debris and rumble everywhere.  Ugh. What a Mess!

I always seem to buy into the illusion that control is supposed to stop disasters and many times, good planning does divert them; but imagine my aggravation when some calamities are not avoided. Boom – the MESS! Frustration motivates me to become wreckage manager. I mumble through the chaos, fixing blame and promising myself it will never happen again. Ha. Who am I kidding? 

I was reminded of a worthy lesson the other day when my family worked together to clean the huge construction mess in the Resource Center. We could have complained at the layers of dirt, rocks and wood chips covering the floor that should have been cleaned earlier. We could have whinnied over the choking dust and smoldering heat. Don’t get me wrong, there was some of that; but overall I watched a transformation. God used a MESS for my family to function like a team - unifying with a common goal, encouraging one another and focusing on finishing well.

After 4 hours of shoveling, sweeping and dumping, the MESS was gone. It felt good. Real good. We sat for a while in the setting sun, enjoying rest before heading home. Mark sent us off with an evening prayer:

“Thanks Lord for helping hands to clean the MESS. With the clutter gone, we can use this building as a shady kitchen for the upcoming leadership conference.”

On the drive home I think about the current messes in my life – adoption confusion, accidents, paperwork delays, broken vehicles, security threats. They are not met to provoke anger or confusion. They are intended to mold my character, to become more Christ-like in my attitude and actions, to make me realize life is not mine to governor, but to give in service to others in Jesus name.  Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4.

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

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