Oops!

Oops!  Some recipients of Among the Least blog asked why we sent 2016 update AGAIN…

Well, we don’t know for sure, probably a glitch in our website program that we hopefully fixed.  Please let us know if you receive another 2016 update or one for any other year that’s not current.

We appreciate your feedback and did ya check out the video? Super grateful for the great things God has done! Your support and encouragement answered this prayer...

This!

This video made our hearts rejoice!  Sadly, we were not there to participate, but generous Believers dedicating the Resource Center made sure to remember us - all!  A great big THANKS to all who prayed, donated and encouraged this work.  God made the dream come true!

You might be wondering where we are - well, we are in Pagosa, still dealing with the drama surrounding Henry's immigration/medical issues.

The arduous USCIS journey continues: currently, we secured Henry's temporary green card and were just notified of an immigration interview scheduled in Denver for July 19th.  Coincidentally, we applied for Henry's USA passport using all his original, official papers (State Dept. requirements) - the same papers we need for the pending meeting with USCIS. Please pray they return our documents promptly.

Since Henry's cochlear implant surgery, he now hears the birds sing. He participates in daily therapy to help him understand all the new sounds and pronounce words he's never heard before. Unfortunately, Henry also got a positive tuberculosis result (latent). After more prayer, research and advice from friends who are medical professionals, Henry is on a 4-month TB treatment regime that must be videoed and prevents us from traveling internationally.

Other than Henry's news that holds us stateside, we are well.  Mark helps a landscaping business and does home repairs. Tavin likes his internship at a Christian camp on the Oregon coast. Taleah, our recently licensed driver, got a job at the local grocery store. Lisa does whatever she can to keep us moving.  Please pray for Lisa's continued healing and strength.

In all of this, we continue to regularly communicate with our Kenyan friends and colleagues, helping them to negotiate the ministry of caring for widows and vulnerable children in their midst.

As always, Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement!

hugs from the haugers 0ooOo

 These kids.     Posing outside the Resource Center.     Safe.     Learning about Jesus.     Having fun.  You helped make this happen. Providing a quality Christian place for vulnerable kids to gather and know they are loved.  Inside that door are games, art supplies, books, toys and teachers who care that these little ones are not left to neglect and abuse.  "Asante sana Everybody!"

These kids.     Posing outside the Resource Center.     Safe.     Learning about Jesus.     Having fun.

You helped make this happen. Providing a quality Christian place for vulnerable kids to gather and know they are loved.  Inside that door are games, art supplies, books, toys and teachers who care that these little ones are not left to neglect and abuse.  "Asante sana Everybody!"

Who are Among the Least?

We are. 

We are among the least because that's where God dwells. He speaks in the hovels of the poor (Psalms 12:5) and we hear Him say, "Serve. Be my hands and feet. Let your hearts beat with those who need to feel unconditional love."

  • We exist to serve the least among us through biblical orphan care by embracing family preservation and adoption.
  • We walk alongside those fathering the fatherless and share the widows’ burden by facilitating financial classes, skills training, “pay forward” micro loans, and service opportunities for widowed/single mamas in Kenya. We also offer adoption networking and fundraising options in USA.
  • By treating others as Jesus image bearers, we teach the supremacy of Christ in all things. Our passion is to equip nationals to care for orphans and widows represented in their countries and help them prevent generational patterns of oppression by offering active hope.

You can join us by:
  • Visiting our website at amongtheleast.org and liking us Facebook.
  • Commenting with a word of encouragement or advice on the posts.
  • Remembering with us those who are among the least by offering simple acts of kindness.
All donations work towards by bringing opportunity to widows, single mamas and orphans.
Mail your tax-deductable gitsto the address below or use the sidebar paypal button. Please make a note "for Kenya."
Among the Least
PO Box 3543
Pagosa Spings, CO 81147
USA

 mark and ~lisa hauger
 field directors for amongtheleast.org
 Kisumu, Kenya

People Projects

In this overwhelmingly hard world with continual tragedies, it's human nature to resolve problems by bringing solutions. Crisis resolution becomes the focus.  Money, time, resources and energy are spent planning big projects that look good on paper and sound better in academic discussions but never really solve anything. Injustice still runs rampant. Defending the cause of those living under oppression will never work as long as it is treated exclusively as a business void of relationship, especially relationship with our Creator.  

From our time serving in Kenya, we found there is no "one size fits all" remedy for providing assistance to the disenfranchised. While working "among the least," we've seen people assume that thoughtful strategies would produce mass effectiveness, productivity and gratefulness among those who received services. This is not true.  People living in poverty, just like everyone else, are pron to greed, bad choices, and haunting demons that cloud judgement. Both project facilitators and clients can corrupt good programs if hearts grow selfish and honest evaluations are ignored.

At Among the Least we value principles that honor dignity and integrity. We are a small organization but that's good because we know the people we work and tailor "projects" to truly help and not pass them by. We fill our tool belt of service with a variety of ideas from the development continuum. Our relational approach lets us experience each others' characters - strengths and weaknesses. Goals are reached by uniting with those who live "among the least" in purpose, prayer and practice.

Projects serve people, not the other way around.

Why care about "HOLY?"


We're in Kenya watching the Creator make common lives holy, To Him, everyone - no matter how lost, how damaged, how wounded - are unique, valued, worthy of unconditional love. To Him all are holy.
Now let me ask you...
What do you treat as special?   
Where do spend your money, your time, your resources, your energy, your life?
That's your holy. 

Now one more question... 
Is it worth it? 
Is what you value so much worth everything you give it?
Only you can honestly answer and when you do, know there is a difference you can make (that will stretch who you really thought you were) by treating those among the least as holy.

Holy. It's not just a "religious word" for stuffy people who judge, criticize, and make living miserable.  It's a revolution of good. It's your Creator saying, "There's more... and it's beautifully hard and challenging and full of trusting faith, and meaningful forever."

Let your common become more - "intact, complete, made for higher purposes."

Become Holy.


Extra Thoughts

 ONE IN MILLIONS


 One in millions and I have three of them - children who have been adopted.



They come home in many different ways – as infants, as older kids, special needs, kinship, inter-country, domestic, or combination of ways. There are millions of people affected by this journey called adoption, and millions of families formed along the way, each with their own unique story of how it all happens.



I’m one in millions.



I’m a mom and my kids don’t look like they belong with me. I love them like birth, life and death gushed out of me the moment I held them. It’s still gushing. I parent them with thoughtfulness and frustration and mistakes and forgiveness and arguing and cuddling and laughter and tears and therapy.  We are a family that was built different, that looks different. Celebrating differences has been our family mantra. For us "normal" is highly over-rated. Sadly, the world rarely appreciates uncontrollable differences so we've lived through cruelty that cuts deep - unimaginable and not worth repeating. 




Lately, I’ve been reading lots of stuff on social media concerning the process and journey of adoption.  Some articles sound critical of adoption choices, some compare processes and outcomes. I don’t see how these articles are fruitful. They do nothing to help families formed through adoption.  These single-sided opinions about adoption reinforce doubts, fears and regret that some families might already be experiencing.



As one of the millions I want to say a few things…



1. We constantly need education, support, resources and places to get help when things feel like they are spiraling down an abyss, and they can because adoption starts from loss. Some of the best places I’ve found to receive encouragement are: rageagainsttheminivan blog adoption posts, Paula Freeman’s blog, Empowered to Connect, Christian Alliance for Orphans and the listening ears of those caring souls who know and love our family without judgments.



2.  We need to comfort and encourage families whose adoption journeys have been difficult at best or even disrupted. We need to hear their stories without comparing them to another or advising them beyond our boundaries of friendship and knowledge.



3.  We need to separate the orphan crisis from those who choose to adopt.

Not all the millions of families and children touched by adoption need to be banner bearers for the cause of rescuing orphans.  Some do choose to advocate in a variety of ways and that’s great – for them. No adoptive family should be forced to do either. Guilt is not a healthy motivator.



There are good adoption practices and bad ones. Both can be intertwined because adoption is a process facilitated by flawed people whose own ideas and agendas can blur motivation.  All agencies claim they are doing what is in the “best interest of the child.” Each child’s birth situation brings a host of reasons why certain choices are made concerning placement.  Some social workers’ bias – be good or bad - can influence outcomes. Perspective families’ expectations and preparedness can do the same.  Even under the “best” conditions, adoption journeys are not guaranteed to turn out well, but then neither are biological relations.



Adoption is very much like real life – raw, distinctive, beautiful, ugly, hard, joyful, sad, rewarding, devastating, surprising and so much more…  It’s a way to create family in this messy world and try to give children what they need in spite of what they lost.



It’s not easy.



We, MY FAMILY, are called to adoption.




We’re starting on the whole crazy journey again.  Will it turn out right?  I don’t know. What’s “right” anyway besides giving a child the love they can receive and helping them be safe - however that looks.  We are just one in millions.

___________________________________________________________________________

CHASING SUNSETS

I love sunsets.

I chase them.

In the early evening, on days with extra time, I periodically peek at the sky, predict cloud movement and determine if we should hop in the car to find the pending sunset that will loom large and lovely over Lake Victoria. The sky can display stunning colors washed across the horizon, leaving lingering beauty beyond my words.

Within these quiet moments I rest my mind, my body, but my spirit soars to places only angels see. Photos are obviously not the same as the experience, but the glow reminds me that at the end of each day, God speaks.


Taking time to cease from our efforts and observe quiet beauty becomes necessary when needs bombard us daily - needs to parent, and clean, and cook and serve, and hear information, and serve, and lead, facilitate, coach, mentor, encourage... Sometimes these overloaded schedules forces us take too much on our weak and weary shoulders. We make the mistake of thinking outcomes depend solely on us when it does not. It completely rests on the Creator who designs the clouds to move in such a way they disperse glorious light from a glowing orb. I am reminded He moves us and the work of effective missions belongs to Him.

Why Give?

 Giving means to freely transfer, to cause, allow and supply with.

When you give to Among the Least, Kenya things happen
Your donation:
  • Freely transfers what God provides to help victimized mothers get healing & hope.  
  • Causes meaningful change to happen in the lives of those living in poverty.
  • Allows us to be on the ground facilitating biblical training. 
  • Supplies Among the Least with resources and funding for income-generating projects.

Many widowed women in Kenya are treated as outcasts. They suffer from discrimination, systematic seizure of property, evictions from family homes, sexual abuses and forced re-marriage. Some must leave their children at orphanages because they can not afford to care for them. Our service to these women brings biblical teaching and skills training. We help them learn: 
  •  That God loves them and their children.
  •  To earn a fair wage.
  •  Participate in church.
  •  Contribute to the needy in their communities.
 If you would like to give though prayer and volunteer effort please connect with us. 
Tax-deductible financial gifts can be sent to the address below with a note stating, "for Kenya" or see the donate button on the blog sidebar.

Among the Least
PO Box 3543
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 

Emmanuel, God with Us. Where?



Relentlessly dismal news hangs over us like thick grey skies, predicting gloomy days ahead. From bomb ravaging Aleppo, to friends’ struggle with cancer, tragic fires, plane crashes, terror and corruption, one might wonder about the Christmas greeting:  
Emmanuel - God with us.

God with us?
The question pleads, “Really? Where?”

I’ve been tempted to ask this since returning from Kenya. Our first Christmas home in 5 years but hard realities of living in a developing nation return to haunt me… broken children crawling, limping, hoping for a smile. HIV positive mamas, orphaned babies, millions of abandoned, neglected, forgotten... God with us?  I cry at the loss while colorful lights twinkle.

Where is He? The Savior heralded by an angel to lowly shepherds so long ago:
“Don’t be afraid! I bring good news of great joy to all people.”

“God is with you.” The voice resonates in my heart.
I’m reminded of a recent prayer time when an acquaintance assured me with confidence, “God wants you to know He is with you.” Or the stranger at the mall on Black Friday who took a risk by walking over to me, placing her hand on my shoulder and confessing, albeit uncomfortably, “I’m supposed to tell you God is near. He’s with you.”

These reminders shake my core. I recognize the mistake of missing this truth. Instead of welcoming God in the midst of misery and believing He restores all in His time, I expected God to follow my plan to right the wrongs. I forgot; there is an enemy named evil. Sadly, God get blamed for all its ugly turmoil. God also becomes guilty of mankind’s depravities – choices to inflict wickedness that spreads like a pandemic. The consequences ruin even innocence. Maybe God hates evil because its wounds infect us - His beloved. 

Our Creator’s great love keeps us from being utterly consumed. He came as a babe who grew to a man. He felt tired, hungry and thirsty. He wept, groaned and experienced agony.  His pure devotion, uncontaminated by evil, sacrificed to win our freedom from depravity.  He willingly took the reproach forced on Him to remain with us forever.

God came to live with us.

He’s still here.

God wants to reach the desperate in Syria, He longs to rescue the lost from dirty streets, hold the overlooked, and find the broken hidden in far-away hovels. He desires to feed the hungry, to satisfy thirsty souls, to comfort those who suffer and soothe their aches with healing balms.

How does God do that when the earth itself moans from the weight of inhumanity?

God lives in the hearts of those who ask Him. And from those hearts, He touches others with mercy. His truth-bonded grace carries redemption far beyond the temporal.  I see it when volunteers work with refugees and when our church shares food boxes with needy families. I read about it in a woman’s post thanking the community for their care during her grief and in beautiful letters from missionaries serving in desolate places. I receive it when helpful hands surround me, reminding me…

God is with you.

As you scan the horrible headlines or live in unnamed sorrow, please know Hope shines even when foggy confusion hovers. Believe the words of the angels spoken long ago –

“Don’t be afraid… there is good news that brings great joy…
Emmanuel, God with us.”





Why The Silence?


Why the silence?

For the last 5 years I’ve written thoughts and experiences about our family, ministry and life in Kenya. I posted over 700 updates for those who supported our journey. It became therapeutic and a lovely way to record memories. For the last two months, I did not write. I avoided my blog and social media. It took me a while to respond to emails. I didn’t know what to say.

We’ve been stateside for 8 months. We have a few more to go.  When we left Kenya for a much-needed furlough, weariness followed me.  While home in Colorado, it shimmed up as my partner. Confusion joined in. Then Frustration appeared forming an overwhelming trio. For the last 8 weeks, every time I tried to write, these three actively get in the way. On the laptop, Word’s “new blank document” screen became my nemesis. I joined a great writing group to spark motivation but became disappointed by my lagging participation. I simply didn’t know how to communicate without feeling tired.

So. Very. Tired.


With that said, I apologize to those who support us for not keeping you updated.  Please know how sorry I feel, how lost I felt, and how I’m processing long term life in Kenya - the fight for Henry, the threats of security, the management of effective cross-cultural ministry - all while being a wife, a mom, a friend with profoundly limited strength in a extremely foreign setting.  Many of these things are still the reality we navigate from more familiar surroundings. I’m not feeling bad for my self. I certainly detest pity parties. I am recognizing I’ve been emotionally injured and the ever-healing wound sometimes seeps, especially when ignored.


As God nurture’s His “unforced rhythms of grace” within my heart, I’ve found my voice again but it may sound a bit different. Probably less-filtered.  I’m searching for my humor though... Might wanna end me a joke to flesh it out...


Thanks for understanding.

~lisa

Prayer desires:
  • Obviously, for me ~lisa.
  • The kids continued healthy transitions to life in USA.
  • Henry’s medical needs to be addressed effectively - a consensus on the best course of action. Also, that immigration issues solve without uncomplicated delay.
  • Mark’s bio-sand water filter training.
  • The ministry in Kisumu – may fruit remain and multiply.
Praise explosions:
  • Henry is doing so well acclimating to school (even though he did pull the fire alarm yesterday).
  • His Special Needs Resource Team is AWESOME! (Which includes my super sis!)
  • Taleah doesn’t experience anxiety attacks anymore. She really enjoys school, friends and singing in the traveling choir. She plans to attend One Thing at IHOP.
  • Tavin’s maintaining his job, car and gym membership. He’s also songwriting, studying for the ACT and is a huge help around the house.
  • The Resource Center’s amazing ministry to moms and children in Kisumu.
 

Ears That Don't Hear


A warm July sun streams through Juniper branches, and we sit in their shade eating ice cream sandwiches. Henry’s eyes close as the summer breeze tickles his ebony cheeks. I smile while warblers happily chirp, and I ask Henry if he likes the birds’ songs. He keeps his eyes closed, licking the frozen treat. I wait and repeat the question. Then I remember. He doesn’t hear me. He can’t hear the birds. He won’t respond unless he opens his eyes, looks at me and reads my lips; even then, natures’ high-toned melodies are lost to him.
A few days earlier, the diagnosis of Henry’s profound hearing loss carried waves of shock and sadness. We thought he couldn’t comprehend certain sounds but long awaited tests results revealed a severely profound impairment. Henry has lived for 7 years without understanding functional language.  He has ears that can't hear.

As I watched Henry that late July afternoon, I realized how many time my ears have failed to hear. I’ve compromised that ability through selfishness - especially to maintain my “oh so important agenda.”  In retrospect, my rejection to listen with understanding ears became the main nemesis in many blotched situations:
  • “Authoritarian ears” neglected children’s explanations that I assumed were excuses.
  • “Western ears” misinterpreted cultural innuendos on the foreign mission field leaving Kenyans confused by my actions.
  • “Rebellious ears” willingly ignored my Creator - the very One who formed them to hear!  
…Yet, every time I ask the Lord to change my selfishness to sensitivity, His kindness causes my ears to hear resonances of tenderness, confidence, acceptance and hope. Things that sound like God.

How do I end this post that prods me to sincerely hear as I parent a child who currently can’t?  Remember
Remember we are gifted with this amazing sense to...
  • Respond without preconceived judgment.
  • Build communicating bridges over haunting misconceptions.
  • Enjoy His Still Small Voice that urges us to listen carefully.

“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” Matthew 11:15

Praises and prayers…
We received an extension for Henry’s non-immigrant visa for 6 months. Please pray as we actively pursue medical assistance for the cochlear implant surgery. 

Taleah and Henry both started school and are doing well overall. Please pray for good friendships, for a timely intervention concerning Henry’s educational needs and for Taleah to feel peaceful and encouraged.

Tavin is working a full time job and saving money to start school next year. Please pray for him to know and understand the Lord’s revealing plan.

Please keep the ministry in Kenya in your prayers. The Resource Center continues to thrive and the biosand water filter project keeps producing.  God’s word is taught and those who have ears are hearing the good news! Your continued support helps keep these programs growing.

David and team continue water filter project.
Bible trivia challenge!
Watching Nick Vijicic video - Life Without Limbs



     
Pastor Mary teaching a Bible foundation class
Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement. 
hugs from the haugers O00Oo

"We Don't Know...Yet."



If I had a nickel for every time I said that phrase over these last 4 months, our support would be covered for months! As missionaries on furlough, most conversations start like this…

“Your back!”
“Yep.”
“For how long?”
“We don’t know… yet.”
“When are you going back to Kenya?”
“We don’t know… yet.”
“What will Tavin and Taleah do when you leave?”
“We don’t know… yet.”
“Are you going to rent your place again?
“We don’t know…yet.”

I could go on, but you get the idea.  For this lengthy yet over due post, I try to explain our redundant, ambivalent answer given to many reasonable questions, and hopefully pray for us. I wanted to refrain from writing till we had some concrete news to share but details are far from settled… Sooo:

We are currently on furlough with a USA immigration (USCIS) visa for Henry that expires September 27th. Henry is 100% adopted - our child, our son; but since we adopted as residents of Kenya, USCIS requires us to have legal and physical custody of Henry for 2 years while living outside the USA after the adoption finalized (November 2014).  We’ve been in USA since March 28th and this time does not count towards the 2-year requirement rule. (Note: this would not be a current problem if we were not detained by Kenya's adoption moratorium that went into effect in the middle of our process.)  Sooo, (it gets more complicated):

In May, Henry's hearing was informally checked by BOCS. He failed those tests, which led to more formal testing in June.  In July, Henry was diagnosed with bilateral nerosensorial profound hearing loss. In other words, he can’t hear information. (Think if you only heard loud garbled announcements made at airports… Yeah. That’s Henry’s world of sound.  Fyi though - doctors/audiologists are AMAZED at his coping strategies Click link for how Henry hears you.) Henry is now a candidate for cochlear implant surgery that involves mega money, tedious therapies and time-time-time. 

Our dilemmas that require the repetitive “We don’t know…yet” are:

1.     Do we do the surgery and when? Henry will loose whatever natural hearing he has if we elect to go this direction. We need a long stretch of time in USA for it to benefit Henry.
2.     How do we finance this? Henry is not a citizen yet so insurance for him in USA is E.X.P.E.N.S.I.V.E. He does not qualify for government medical programs because he is not a citizen. Every grant program we seen so far has citizen requirements.
3.     How do we start this process that needs consistent attention if Henry is not allowed to stay in USA or get citizenship?

Things we’ve done to discover solutions to the “We don’t know…yet” are:

1.     Prayer – prayed and praying!
2.     Researching speech development for children with hearing loss and how to introduce hearing to a child who has never genuinely heard the variety of sounds that form communication.
3.     Filed our $350 visa extension for Henry with the USCIS.
4.     Contacted our US Rep. Scott Tipton asking him to contact USCIS on our behalf and request Henry’s citizenship. This will help free us to make decisions that are in our family’s best interest and continue working as missionaries without travel restrictions.

What’s happening now?

1.     Henry got hearing aids this week. The aids will only enhance the sound he can already hear. They are the first step to introduce hearing changes to Henry. He is also attending a summer school session to help with socialization.
2.     We wait, patiently, persistently, proactively for God, knowing He works all things well.
3.     The ministry in Kenya continues – We interact with the management team regularly. Resource Center files are completed via our internet correspondence.  The mamas keep meeting regularly for bible study and a new tailoring class starts soon.

Saying, “We don’t know… yet” to Henry’s situation and our pending mission strategies (implementing orphan caregiver programs and taking DIGGS Resource Center model to African leadership conferences) is difficult, except for the word - yet.  That word carries hope because we know Jesus - the One who knows all.  He directs the universe and has the hairs on our heads numbered. Nothing escapes His attention. His love for us is unlimited. We remain confident in Him - faithful God.  

Those who wait on the Lord are not put to shame. Psalm 25:3.

We are abundantly grateful for your continued support at this time. Please be free to connect with us through phone calls, emails and comments. We love hearing from you.

Praises:
Mark and Lisa have a full schedule of speaking for August.
Tavin has a full time job and his own vehicle.
Taleah does part-time work and dance.
Henry continues to thrive and adapt well.
The ministry in Kenya keeps functioning without crisis.

Prayer:
Favor with USCIS.
Some health issues for Lisa.
Henry’s continued development.
God’s wisdom for pending decisions.
One of the mama’s we worked with, Rose Brenda, was in a serious motorbike accident. She is pregnant medically unstable.


Big brother drives!
Ants in Kenya are a big problem but Taleah likes these ones.
Henry gets new "ears!" and our amazing audiologist.
 
Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement
hugs from the haugers
 Ooo0o 


A Few Observations from This Side…


A Few Observations from This Side…

1. Cats and dogs are so much fatter here.
2. I can leave a plate of food unattended without swarms of ants devouring it.
3. Security checkpoints are only at airports.
4. Road traffic makes sense.
5. Small children do not roam the streets unsupervised.
6. No one begs for anything.

After transitioning between hotels and homes, we finally settled in one place for the next few months. We are experiencing things that go along with re-entry like unpredictable fatigue, confusion from the copious amount of choices and strange cravings for chili mango and ginger soda at 2:00 am.

Our schedule changes daily as we learn about Henry’s developmental assessments. He underwent a bunch of labs to make sure he’s parasite-free and has no underlying condition that is causing some periodic vomiting. Extensive audio screening revealed Henry requires hearing aids and cochlear implant surgery. His lagging speech development is our biggest concern, but overall he’s adjusting well to his temporary home in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Our trip to Texas in June has been postponed until we get our Henry boy the care he needs.



Tavin graduated from Pagosa Springs High School on June 4th. We look back at this last year in awe at how God provided a free, uncomplicated answer for Tavin to complete his senior year. Thanks to some GREAT people in the education arena in Pagosa, we watched to watch our “first-born” walk across the stage and receive his diploma. His future holds a variety of options that we are helping him investigate.


Since Taleah finished 9th grade through Calvary Online, she’s busy catching up with friends, enjoying dance class and appreciating her “favorite place in the whole world.”


We certainly miss our dear Kenyan friends but are happy to hear the mamas continue to meet for Bible study and accountability. The Resource Center hosted youth/children activities for vulnerable kids from the surrounding slum while mamas’ participate in catering class and sewing training.

 
We still need our faithful donors to help during this six-month furlough. With Henry’s medical assessments and immigration issues, we are looking to God’s provision to carry us. We feel grateful  as we seek the Lord and His next phase of serving victimized mamas and at risk children in Kisumu.

Please be free to contact us to know more about life Among the Least in Kenya.

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

So Many Miles



So many miles…
1,989 + 6,238 + 382 + 487 + 1,587 …

A family of 5 traveling approximately 11,000 miles to various destinations and living out of suitcases for 31 days should make us expert packers, right?  After the first week our best laid packing plans unrolled into possession chaos:
   “Where’s my toothbrush?”
   “Those are my socks!” “
   “I know I packed that shirt…who took it?”
Plus, our generous family and friends added warm clothes to bless our un-acclimated bodies to the chilly temperatures…
   Hats.
   Scarves.
   Gloves.
   Sweaters.
   Jackets.
   Boots.
Yep, time to get a trailer (or some warmer weather)!

After sorting through our compound in Kenya and transitioning ministry to the Resource Center at the local church, we began our long adventure over the ocean and across the USA to see family, visit friends and share stories of God’s amazing grace to those living among the least in Kisumu. We’ve received many warm and big-hearted welcomes.  THANK YOU for loving us so well!

We are happy to report the Kisumu Resource Center continues to prosper. A church in Ohio recently provided funds to build one porcelain toilet system for the elderly/physically challenged and two flushing squat potties. The Kenyan advisory board and management team provides unified leadership for ministry programs so those living in poverty have opportunity to belong, to contribute and to serve – just like the Bible teaches. 
 
 Kisumu Resource Center Family Day

As we settle into our Pagosa home for the next 5 months, our personal goals include:
  1.  Preparing Tavin to graduate from high school and investigate his next step. 
  2.  Helping Taleah reintegrate into a community she left over 5 years ago.
  3.  Navigating immigration rules and Henry’s path for healthy development.
  4.  Participating in some family debriefing sessions. 

Our speaking schedule takes us to Texas in June so please connect if you would like to know more about how we “equip developing-nation churches to biblically minister to people living in poverty, specifically widows and orphans” Does your organization or church support missions that need sustainability tools? We can assist. Working together creates caring churches.

"Hey, has anyone seen my mittens? I’m freezing!" 

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

Just Check'in In...


Just check'in to share a quick update –

After living in the chaos of separating, packing and moving and packing some more, we are on our way to USA – with Henry. It feels surreal to write these words; after 2 years of “unknown” for this little orphaned boy (who’s grown tall) and consistent ministry with those living in extreme poverty, we are more than ready for furlough. We will miss our good friends in Kenya but we are EXCITED to see family and friends back home.

Serving in Kenya for 5 years reaped beautiful fruit of transformation. Culturally relevant discipleship programs built healthy relationships. Those living in poverty now serve in their communities. Victimized widowed mamas feel empowered to raise their children. Clean water is shared with the gospel message in villages and the slums. A functioning Resource Center equips the local church to biblically minister to those in need. Only God can take a seed of a vision and cause it to mature into meaningful reality.

If you’d like us to share some of our experiences of seeing God moving while living among the least, please be free to contact us and we can set aside some time to visit.  We can also present at churches, small groups and organizations. Below is our itinerary:
  • March 28th - 31, Washington DC.
  • April 1 -7 Buffalo, NY
  • April 8 – 17 Columbus, Ohio
  • April 17 -21 Driving to Colorado
  • April 22 Staying in Pagosa Springs (but can still travel to share)
Our time frame for returning to Kenya In not scheduled yet, but it will probably be in late December.

Please pray for us:
  • International travel with Henry -  a first for this boy!
  • Continued health and provision. (Taleah's still dealing with a painful tooth ache.)
  • Continued unity and effectiveness for the ministry in Kisumu.
The Resource Center Advisory Board, Management Team and some of the mamas.

We certainly appreciate all the prayers, support and encouragement.
As we say here in Swahili, “Asante sana. Nema shakuru. Mungu akubariki sana.”
“Thanks you so much. We are grateful. God bless you so much.”

hugs from the haugers Ooo0o

Oops! In all the excitement we forgot...


Oops! In all the excitement, we forgot our last post for “Week of Water.” What excitement? We have Henry’s non-immigrant visa to visit the USA! Yea Jesus! Thanks for all your prayers.

Below is the missing water post and prayer requests.

 
Meet David Otieno. He’s our “water guy” - the person in charge of constructing, delivering, and informing his community about bio-sand water filters. His own story helps share the importance of providing opportunity to access potable water...

“She’s sick again” David hung his head when we asked about his little girl. Three-year-old Mary was fighting diarrhea and fever for months. Consistent medical expenses to treat her were draining the family’s small income.

David and Nancy both grew up as orphans, raised by guardians. Neither knew the close care and comfort of a mom and dad. Mary’s chronic sicknesses made them feel helpless, instigating a root of rejection and threatening loss.

“Let’s pray.” We joined with David requesting God to intervene and show us the cause of Mary’s weakening condition.

In the following weeks David and Mark worked on bio-sand water filters, transporting them to widowed mama recipients. As we discussed the benefits of the filtered water, David had a thought… “Mary’s continual illness could be related to contaminated water.” David lives in a flood plane of Lake Victoria and many children suffer because their small bodies cannot effectively fight water-borne illnesses.

On a warm Sunday afternoon we delivered a bio-sand water filter to David’s humble home; since then, Mary’s health has dramatically improved.

Clean water ministered to this family - bringing health, income and assurance that their Heavenly Father knows how to care for them.

This “sustainable story” was seed funded by your generous donations.


Please join us in praying for…
  • Our travel plans.  We should be departing Kenya at the end of March for a stateside furlough. While there, we hope to visit with as many people as we can to share the vision of biblical ministry to those living in poverty.
  • Ministry in the Resource Center to function with unity and integrity found in God’s amazing grace. We’re excited about the advisory and management teams!
  • The widowed mamas who still need school fees to send their very bright older children to school. The mama’s are not just given funds. They contribute volunteer services to show appreciation for the help they receive.
  • Continued heath, provision and protection.


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

Week of Water 3: Do you know the Living Water?

Our third post in Week of Water shares the tract we 
use to explain the gospel message with those who 
are gathered to watch the process of setting up a 
bio-sand filter in a community.  
Do you know the Living Water?


LIVING WATER 
Both natural and spiritual life requires water… God created human beings to enter into the world in birth through water.  We need clean water to sustain our lives - water free from parasites, harmful bacteria, and toxins.  Drinking water that is not clean makes you and your children sick with runny tummy that brings death. Also, not drinking enough water will make you feel weak and confused. If you miss water for many days, you will die.

Our physical need for water reflects our need for spiritual water.  The Bible says we all thirst for Living Water.  John 4:7-13 says a Samaritan woman was at a well, drawing her daily water.  She was embarrassed by her life because she had lived with many men.  Jesus walks to the well, asks the woman to give him a drink. She was surprised that Jesus, a Jew, would even speak to her because Jews and Samaritans disliked each other.  Jesus explained that if she knew who He was, she would ask him for Living Water. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again.  Whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty. The water that I will give him will become in him a well of life that lasts forever.”

Have you felt the Jesus won’t speak to you because of who you are?  Have you felt a desire for Living Water to satisfy your thirst for truth? Jesus can cleanse you from fear, shame and evil .  Ezekiel 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.   John 7:37 If any man thirst, let him come unto  (Jesus), and drink.  He that believeth on (Jesus), as the scripture says, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.   This promise is made to you and your children as it says in Is. 44:3 “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”

Who do you say that Jesus is?

John 3 says there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus.  He came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, did you come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”  Jesus answered, “ I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “ Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  Nicodemus answered, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Isaiah 12:2-3 says we should draw water with joy from the wells of salvation.
Do you want Jesus to cleanses you from every act of wickedness? Do you want to be saved from the grip of evil? Do you want to know how to draw living water from the wells of salvation?  Do you want the life God intended for you?
1.  Accept that you need spiritual cleansing and acknowledge Jesus alone can bring you new life.
2.  Believe that Jesus, perfect in goodness, died on the cross, He suffered a horrible death - a penalty that should have been ours for the evil choices we make.  Jesus willingly suffered that penalty Himself so He can cleanse us with His precious blood. By Jesus Christ sacrifice you are washed clean from sin and free to have relationship with God Almighty.
3.  Confess aloud for God to forgive you, to wash away your old life and birth you into a new life in Christ. Thank Him for rescuing you with His amazing love.
YOU ARE BORN AGAIN! Live your new life by reading the Bible, praying and attending a healthy Bible - believing church.  May you drink deep from God’s endless Water of Life and grow into everything He created you to be.
Aunt Rose giving water cleaned by her biosand filter to children in the village.
There are four filter in this community and one more to be placed later this month.
That's five areas the gospel of Living Water is being proclaimed and disease-free water 
is available.


But now, because of your help, the number is decreasing 
and people hear the truth about Jesus.

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