Week of Water 2

Since we are posting for this week about water in Kenya, let us explain what a bio-sand filter is, how it works and benefits to the communities where they are placed.

First, what is a bio-sand water filter?
It is a water treatment system using a slow sand filtration process. Bio-sand filters remove pathogens and particles from water using biological and physical processes that take place in a sand column covered with a biofilm (a layer of germ eating bacteria). It is a concrete container a bit larger than a office water cooler that is constructed by Kenyans (with Mark n our kids) using locally sourced materials.
Next, how does it work?
After the concrete case cures with an inset plastic pipe, it is filled with layers of washed sand and gravel. Dirty water is poured into the top of the bio- sand filter, where a diffuser plate (made by our Kenyan friend, Steve) evenly distributes the water over the sand bed layer. The water travels down through the sand bed, passes through multiple layers of gravel, and collects in the plastic pipe at the bottom of the filter. The clean water then exits through the plastic piping for a family to collect in clean containers.
The removal of contaminants and disease causing agents is possible due to a mixture of biological deprivation and natural filtration. The organic material in the dirty water is trapped at the surface of the sand bed, forming the layer of germ eating bacteria, which actively removes pathogens and contaminants. The water produced with the bio-sand process is tasteless, clear color, odorless and safe for drinking.

Finally, what are the benefits?                                                                                            
Studies have shown the bio-sand filter can remove more than 90% of bacteria and 100% of parasites, dramatically reducing the occurrences of water-borne diseases. Because of the filters’ effectiveness at increasing the safety of water, the ease of use/maintenance and lack of reoccurring cost, it is considered a suitable water treatment for developing countries.
Globally, hundreds of millions of people are trapped in a poverty cycle of chronic disease because they lack access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The statistics are unsettling: over 1.8 billion people are drink contaminated water, while 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation. We are helping Kenyan use bio-sand water filters, coupled with the gospel message of hope in Jesus - the Living Water - to bring affordable, sustainable potable water solutions with a focus on salvation through Christ.

Any questions?
There's a quiz next week. ; )
 Interested in more info?
 Send us an email at

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

Week of Water 1

Over the next 7 days we plan to post “A Week of Water” and tell stories about the importance of water in a developing nation like Kenya. Hope you’ll engage with us!

The African sun scorches Kisumu this time of year, putting an abrupt end to the stormy El Nino rains. Seems like overnight our compound has gone from lush foliage to baked brown grass. Hot afternoon winds layer grimy filth across everything. When the weather gets like this, water becomes like liquid treasure to many who amble along the dusty parched roads.  That’s where our story starts…

Jackie and Dorine are widowed sisters. Together they raise children in a place where opportunity is small and wages are smaller. When they realize a bio-sand filter has been donated to their household situated along a busy access, the idea of selling clean cold water to thirsty passersby initiates. However, these Christian mamas know that water is not the real need, but offering occasions to share Christ, the Living Water is their ultimate goal.

The plan: Fill new plastic bags with pure water from the filter and place in them with ice in a used cooler purchased from the market. Outside their gate, under the shade of a Jacaranda tree, chilled water will be sold for 10 bob a bag (10cents). They asked us to help design a small Swahili tract that tells the gospel message, which they will offer with the disease-free water.  

The bio-sand water filter donation provides potable water for the family, a small business venture, and a platform for sharing the Hope that lives within them.  Want to join these mamas for some real thirst-quencher? Please pray for their meaningful success, for the tract to be culturally appropriate and touch the hearts of those who read it.

Bwana Asafiwe! (Praise the Lord!) 
We have a date for Henry’s non-immigrant visa appointment at the USA Embassy 
in Nairobi – February 18th. Please pray with us for favor. Thanks for standing with us 
through this amazingly long process. It’s beautiful to see the lengths 
God goes to welcome a son into a family.

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

Reminded to Remember

I’ve been reading Hebrews and am stuck in chapter 11. I’m not stuck as confused, but stuck like God is trying to imprint something in me…

When I think of the things we’ve walked through over the last two years of consecutively living in a developing nation, and than I compare it to the prodigious people who experienced incredible challenges without loosing trust in God, I’m obviously awed and humbled; but, it’s chapter 11 verse 40 that stirs my heart…

All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.”

Their faith is part of a bigger story. It becomes intertwined in ours and together we become part of God’s Great Story that culminates in Jesus. Their patient endurance, in the midst unimaginable trials, is not for comparing but for remembering. I am “reminded to remember” that God was with them. God gave them faith. God gave them courage. God gave them strength to “overthrow kingdoms and make justice work,” to even embrace a martyr’s death. A presumptuous outcome didn't justify their faith. A submissive and focused perseverance in God’s providence made their faith legendary. 
So regardless of what we encounter - be it a horrific crisis or daily frustrations - "let us run with endurance the race God has set before us by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”

We remain grateful for prayer partners and supporters like you who continually encourage our faith. This month found us delivering water filters and sharing the gospel, facilitating bible studies, meeting about the Resource Center, praying, preaching, parenting and navigating the final documents of Henry’s adoption. Below are our current requests and some important information.
Please pray for:

1.     Healing for our local pastor’s wife, Mary who has been diagnosed with benign but painful tumors in her abdomen.

2.     The Lord’s provision since a few of our widowed mamas’ children need school fees.

3.     The young adults of some of the mamas to stay strong in the Lord and resist the pull toward evil gain and drugs.

4.     The Resource Center to be managed with integrity and the team to make unified decisions that benefit the community. It’s ready to open for ministry next month after the inside is painted.

5.     Henry’s documents to be completed without unnecessary complications.
We thank God we received his adoption and birth certificates.  The Lord also      removed an impossible barrier when we tried to apply for Henry’s Kenyan passport. Yea Jesus!

6.     Our family:
·       Kids’ schooling to successfully continue. They have all been very diligent.
·       The packing process - we need wisdom on what to store, transfer and gift to others.
·       Cost effective and straightforward travel plans.
·       Restored health. We’ve experienced various infections that tend to linger.
·       Provision and Protection.

Working together, combining faith.

Telling stories, sharing faith.
Reaching out in faith for salvation.
A bubuzela in worship? Expressing faith.
Kenyan church.
Our 18 year old getting ready for his next step in life.
Our animal lover.
Can I travel yet?
We plan to take a 10 month furlough for over due medical check ups and Henry’s assessments, to investigate Tavin’s future school plans and raise awareness/funds for the ministry. Please pray about continuing your support during this time and having us share with your church, Bible group or organization. Feel free to contact us - mlthauger@gmail.com

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

Snowflakes and the New Year

You might think – “She’s in Kenya. How can she be writing about snow?” Maybe my Pagosa friends deliberate they had enough of that “four-letter word and skip reading this post. But, here it is anyway, my thoughts about snowflakes in Kenya – paper snowflakes that is.

During the Christmas season the WOW mamas enjoyed a simple party where we decorated some cookies, talked about cultural celebration traditions and the Nativity story.  As we read Luke 2 and considered the events surround Jesus birth, I snipped a tightly folded paper. When the mamas’ voices abated into a rare quiet moment, I unceremoniously unfolded the clipped paper revealing a beautifully detailed snowflake, (like many reading this probably made as children).

“Oh!” exclaimed Josephine with naive wonder. She stared at the intricate design. I scanned the other faces to see the same smiling delight at a simple paper snowflake.

“How did you do that out of a plain piece of paper?” quizzed Janet; grabbing up the scissors and paper, ready to have at it.  All the mamas gathered around and watched closely as I creased and bent and squeezed the sheet and then started cutting away.  They learned quickly and began creating beauty to share in their humble homes.

I’m writing this on New Year’s Day.  Some people quote, “January 1, 2016 is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

But me, I’m thinking about that blank page being transformed into a lovely snowflake – something admired, valuable, wanted by women who had never seen a paper snowflake before. How it endured being twisted and bent, and pressed and cut and cut and cut and when it was finally unfolded, it took those mamas’ breath away.

So, if 2016 is anything like 2015, I’m believing the Lord will take the blank pages that life seems to write without concern – the cutting heartaches, the uncomfortable bending of plans, the twisting and turning, the raw shaved edges and painful snips, the unbearable squeezing and pressing, yet when it’s finally unfolded, something so beautiful appears, it takes the world’s breath away.

“And you shall fold them up like a cloak; they shall be changed, 
and you are as you are; your years shall not end.” Hebrews 1:12.

Happy New Year from some of the WOW mamas
and the Haugers!
Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.

Working Hands

A huge ASANTE SANA (Thank You Much!) 
for those who gave towards our Christmas fundraiser! 
This is our last shameless plug
for funds to complete the Resource Center 
and expand projects to serve more widowed/single mamas.
So, in case you're looking for a place to share...

Working hands come from sharing your gifts with Among the Least,Kenya.
Discipleship through Bible study and fellowship encourages
sustainable income generating so vulnerable children stay with their 
widowed/single moms who are blessed to be a blessing.
Any donation made during this Christmas season will help us transition
these meaningful projects to the local church Resource Center.

               Tax-deductible donations can be made by using paypal on the sidebar of this blog
 or  make checks out to Among the Least and mail to 
PO Box 3543, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

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

An Unexpected Advent

As we keep securing loose ends here in Kenya and preparing to head stateside for an extended furlough, the Christmas season finds us waiting - waiting on official documents, waiting for work to be completed on the Resource Center, waiting to travel… 

Waiting in the midst of transition feels awkward. Do we decorate a tree when our home is basically packed, and the living room hosts more boxes than furniture? Do we participate in gift exchanges when we’ll just need to package up whatever we give or receive? The “normal” activities surrounding Christmas are not normal anymore, especially when community around us doesn’t traditionally celebrate the way we expected to this year. To sum it up - we didn’t plan to be here now. We need to rethink Advent.

Advent means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. The Advent of Christmas is supposed to prepare us for meaningful commemoration of Christ’s birth. Giving gifts, decorating, eating special foods and being in the midst of family helps set the season apart, but they cannot be essential elements. Life’s many twists and turns force us to find Advent’s meaning without aesthetic props.

This unexpected Advent changes us. In the waiting for what we want, I see waiting’s power - its ability to destroy hope or build anticipation, its capacity to tempt worry or create childlike wonder. In the midst of disappointment, can we let our hearts become inflamed with Advent's joy? The choice is made by what we yearn for most.

This year, we’ll hang twinkling lights over our packed boxes and make paper snowflakes to hang in the African sun. We’ll play games with orphaned children and cook sweets with widowed mamas. Together, during this unexpected Advent we will eagerly wait for His Arrival

The Birth of the Savior.
The Appearance of Eternal Life.
The Emergence of Redemption.
The Dawn of Liberation.
The Rise of Love’s Kingdom.
The Approach of Justice.
The Coming of the King.

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

Prayer Requests Please

We feel humbly grateful for friends and family to contact for prayer, especially during these timesof elevated unrest.

1.  Our local pastor's daughter, Mercy was kidnapped on Friday, Nov. 27th after her evening class at the local college not far from where we live. The kidnappers used Mercy's phone to threaten her parents and then turned the phone off so it can not be traced.  There has been no further communication.  An investigative team is involved and took  2 men for questioning but did not produce any leads. As you might imagine,the situation is a heart-felt crisis. Both Pastor George and Mary continue to stay strong in their faith and are encouraged by the many prayers and support. May Mercy be returned to her family unharmed. 

2.  There have been numerous "rumors" that terrorist groups are currently functioning in this area. Considering Kenya's geographical location, this is not surprising. We trust the Lord for wisdom, protection and provision

3.  We are in the final stages of transitioning the sustainable programs from our compound to the Resource Center. There is a "Grand Opening" tentatively planned for the beginning of January that will be a community event, inviting people from the surrounding slums to know they are not forgotten - God loves them.

4.  We are in the final stages of adoption "paper-chasing" - registering, receiving certificates, applying for a passport and visa. We will certainly keep you all posted on our pending  furlough schedule, but right now, timelines are too vague to even predict when we will travel. We are praying  - SOON! Please consider having us visit your church, Bible study, or group to share what the Lord is doing in Kisumu, Kenya. May we as a family prepare well, stay healthy and keep focused on Jesus.

Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers Ooo0o
Rock'in some silliness since a
joyful heart is good medicine!

Sharing Makes Merry

From its inception, the Resource Center has been a
gift of sharing that makes many merry...
 The gift of land.
Partnership with people.
Generous giving.
 Quality volunteer services.
Materials and resources.

We invite you to share in its continued progress -
Would you consider sharing a gift of any amount to seed-sponsor Resource Center programs
that equip and empower the victimized and vulnerable to become contributing community members?

Total Tutoring
Lending Library
Bible Basics 
DIGGS Training
 Bio-Sand Clean Water Project
Fruitful Catering Classes
 Sustainable Sewing, Sasa Crafts 


Donations can be made on paypal sidebar 
or make a check to Among the Least and mail to: 
PO Box 3543, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

hugs from the haugers Ooo0o

Thanksgiving 2015: Thoughts While Waiting

(From Lisa's journal while we wait in Nairobi for adoption paperwork to be completed.)

It’s almost Thanksgiving Day in USA. Mark and I sit in Nairobi Art Café. Conversations in many different languages waft around us. It’s late. Christmas lights blur through the heavy rain, and we want to be home. We long to share this holiday with family and friends, but no. We won’t even be with our kids when Thanksgiving blooms. We’ll be driving across the country toward them to share whatever is available at the market to cook. 
In this, we give thanks.
Tonight, the congested traffic keeps us stalled because the Pope visits this international city. 
Tonight, we sit among Chinese, Arabs, Somalians, so many rural Kenyan dialects we can’t discern. 
We wait. We pray. 
We share with the young woman who sit by herself busy being alone on her phone. 
We watch the burka-covered girl leave with a group of men. 
We read the newspaper - Turkey shoots down a Russian Jet. Tunisia suicide bomb kills 12. 
Our hearts ache.  
But tonight we are thankful to share His truth with those searching.

What are we thankful for as the rains pour down on a country that currently forbids families to adopt orphans, that welcomes a religious dignitary while hiding corruption behind well manicured receptions, that ignores a call to take up their cross and follow Him…? 
The rain continues falling.  
 But we are thankful, 
as God will not let the pounding rain drown out the cry for justice, for mercy, for grace.
A song reverberates over the sound system…”Oh Africa…Africa… Africa… where are you?”… 
We wonder.  
 An old man sweet-talks a teenage girl over pink ice cream. 
A young wazunju guy plays games on his laptop ignorant to the sadness around him.
Hard rains do not relent; colors look hazy, images distort.  
Yet… God. He is not foggy or far. 
We sense His presence near. 
Ready to save. 
Ready to bring freedom to a place that knows only expensive loss for fake liberty. 
They cannot pay for the real. 
Only Jesus - He sacrificed for us all. 
We are thankful.

Blessed Thanksgiving friends and family.
Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers Ooo0o

Melodrama to Miracles

Yikes! This week the adversary of all that’s good played melodrama to an extreme, heaping relentless crisis to a fever pitch of tragic haplessness, trying to leave us emotional barren…  Melodrama worms it’s way in, tempting us to latch onto its nail-biting, anxiety-driven, whirlpool of sensationalism…

Melodrama 1: 
Henry’s adoption… unstable rules, months of delays, 15 times in court, lost files, absent judges, missing lawyers, neglected reports…

Packed court left us standing in the hall listening for our case to be called.
Melodrama 2: 
Unexplained sicknesses… 
reoccurring fevers, body aches, unreliable lab results, 
too much vomit…

Melodrama 3:
  Violent thugs… 
vandalize the church, welded shut the entrances, threatened those 
going for prayer, graffiti warning people to stay away...

Our Creator never intended us to be overcome by all the exaggerated predicaments 
authored by the enemy of our souls. No, God wants us to ignore the commotion, 
enjoy the story and trust Him to write the final scene.   
He changes melodrama to miracles.

Miracle 1:   
The judge declared we are FINALLY, LEGALLY, OFFICIALLY Henry family forever! 
Yippee Jesus! Psalm 68:6 - God sets the lonely in families. We are grateful to be 
Henry's family. God rescued an abandoned baby boy, placed him in a good orphanage till 
He joined us together. Such beautiful justice from His amazing grace - a son!

Henry sharing sweets at the orphanage where he lived for almost 4 years.
Rocking the family bliss, although Baba looks a bit confused.
Miracle 2:   
 The undiagnosed sickness is leaving just as abruptly as it came.The boys
consistently tested negative for typhoid and malaria. Thank God!

(Imagine smiling children and empty vomit buckets.)

Miracle 3:   
The authorities dealt with the thugs and the corrupt man who seeks evil. No one 
was hurt, and more people came to church to see what all the fuss was about. 
The leadership team worked well supporting one another and the church.

WE ARE THE CHURCH!  Beautiful, brave sisters proving the enemy wrong!
      Gates of the church open wide for all to enter and pray.
God provided security.
Freedom to worship without fear!
 Please keep praying with us as the Lord takes what the adversary means for 
bad and turns it around for good.
  • Continued successful training as we move programs and projects to the church Resource Center (which was not vandalized at all!).  May the leadership team and staff keep communicating the vision to biblically help the poor by using viable, sustainable ministry tools.

  • The mamas of the two accountability support groups remain faithful, to grow spiritually, and build wholesome relationships in serving others.  May they prosper to pay school fees. May their children develop well and seek the Lord.

  • As we work on exiting this compound and make plans to travel stateside, we need paperwork completed – adoption order, certificate, passport, visa and plane tickets. We have to make a few trips to Nairobi offices to secure these documents. We also maintain a full schedule of ministry responsibilities. May our kids thrive and process their experiences well. May the Lord provide and protect us.
We are sincerely blessed by your kindness to remember us and those we love in Kenya.
Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers Ooo0o


Sometimes I forget we live in Africa.  Transplanted from Southwest Colorado to Kisumu, Kenya over 4 years ago, life here is our current “normal.” Monkeys, enormous lizards and green mambas visit our compound regularly, and I’m not surprised.  Extreme poverty exists just outside our gate, and we found ways to truly help without feeling disturbing sadness. We clean water regularly, smile through police check points, sleep under mosquito nets, spend large amounts of time behind locked security fences, communicate in broken Swahili, embrace victimized mamas and vulnerable children. That’s our average day. Then there are moments I recall living in USA as if it were just yesterday... I want to drive on the other side of the road, drink a glass of tap water, devour delicious Italian food and escape the intense destitution surrounding me… 

We are “inbetween” two worlds, both vastly different but each being a huge part of us.

Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to join them together - San Juan Mountains saddled up against Lake Victoria; barbecued elk with a side of ugali under swaying palms by a clear cold creek; feathery snow covering the hot, dusty Kondele slum in crystal white; friends and family of various shades, from different cultures enjoying sincere fellowship.  Guess I’m imagining heaven… well, minus the ugali!

One of the biggest challenges of living “inbetween” is not the peculiar foods, new languages, diverse perspectives, or risky environment, but communicating experiences among our host country and passport country. With valid reasons, each side cannot sincerely understand our lives; some pieces will stay “just ours” regardless of how hard we try to interact.

When isolation engulfs me in toilsome conditions, I’m reminded of Jesus as He prepared to go to the cross. How many times did He tell His disciples about the journey of suffering that lay ahead? How could they really understand? His words filtered through their personal thoughts and ambitions.  None understood till much later, after their “eyes were opened.” Although my trials don’t compare, I sense a longing to bond with friends when aching fills the soul.

We all go through deep difficulties that feel impossible to share. Everyone everywhere nurses those challenging paths that are “just theirs.” No amount of reaching out can bring others in, except One – the One who endured all. He offers help through it all. Walking with Jesus across unavoidable deserts, desolate of relief, can create pools for intimate healing. His presence brings sweet redemption, complete restoration. It’s a journey where Jesus belongs. He transforms loneliness to hope. He fills the "inbetween."

To our dear friends, family, prayer partners and supporters, we remain grateful for your time spent reading our updates, your listening ear tuned to Holy Spirit’s promptings, your generous hearts to remember us.  May the Lord bless your kindness.   As we live “inbetween,” it’s good to know we belong to a collection of people who might not fully understand our life overseas, but encourage us to pursue it.

Think our monkey friend wants to play on the slide.
 This big colorful guy hangs out in our yard..
This African eagle make a nest in our mango tree.
Kitty left the green mamba without a head at our door.
Nyalenda slum down the road from us.
No more street eating.
Hello road security.
Home in the slum.
Mamas and baby time. Thankful this one has a safe home.

A impromptu futbal game with locals.
A favorite place to just be still.

Prayer requests:
1. That our new adoption court date - Nov. 5 - will bring victorious finalization.
2.  Adoption paperwork would process quickly and travel documents will appear without unnecessary complications.
3.  Ministry will transfer to the Resource Center smoothly.
4.  The mamas will continue to grow spiritually, prosper in businesses and share testimonies in their communities.
5.  That orphaned and abandoned children will receive good care and adoption will resume in Kenya.
6. Safety, provision and wisdom for our family.

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

Time to Eat

Almost everyone likes to hear these words yelled in the early evening – “Time to eat!” or something similar.  A few weeks ago at our church leadership conference it was definitely “time to eat” - physically and spiritually. 

In Kenya, a country that claims 70% Christian population one might think believers enjoy a steady diet of God’s Word. Not so. In fact, many Kenyans in slums and rural areas, including pastors, don’t own bibles, let along receive solid biblical teaching. This is also true through much of East Africa.  So, when the leadership conference commenced, you can envision droves of pastors (from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and many of Kenya’s counties) flocking in to eat God’s Word - dining on foundational teaching that satisfied a deep spiritual hunger (Jeremiah 15:16).

For three days they feasted on God’s Word and nutritious food prepared in the Resource Center. Kenyans who live in the slums or rural areas rarely eat well-balanced meals. Many survive on watery millet porridge and black tea in the morning and a bland corn flour paste (ugali) with a bit of kale at night.  Imagine our joy to prepare chicken, goat, potatoes, rice, carrots, peas, cabbage and chapattis to serve those who taste these foods only on special occasions like Christmas.

Yes. It was “time to eat” - to share, to enjoy, to bless dear brothers and sisters in Christ that faithfully serve the Lord in difficult places – where famine of both God’s Word and food are all too common.

Galatians 6:10 says, “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone--especially to those in the family of faith.”
Thanks for helping us be part of such a generous opportunity.

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

Devouring good spiritual food.

Preparing yummy physical food.
The almost complete Resource Center becomes a kitchen.
Amazing sound man, David made it all work. Thank God.
Conference host, Pastor George and Mark.

Mama Benta in charge - lining up for food and fellowship.

Usher Emily and her pretty little daughter ready to eat.

Awesome Kenyan mamas who helped serve at the conference. Love them!

We got to drive security back to their station. Yikes!

For Bob

My friend died today. I felt it in the morning as I opened my eyes and heard birds sing in the mango tree.  “Bob’s left this world.”  I brushed off the feeling and began the day by readying kids for school and preparing for ministry. About mid-morning, with Kenya’s bustling street noise in the background, I read the confirming news on my email… Bob was gone.

Bob’s true friendship came hidden in gruff abruptness. Albeit we first meet under polite exchanges of pleasantries, the relationship would not stay surface only. I don’t think anything long lasting with Bob could ever exist only on the surface.

We sat on the church missions committee together, along with some of Bob’s peers. This is where we saw his passion for justice, for doing right things the right way. His arguments about effective strategies and detailed budgets challenged the more merciful in the group, but only for the better.  As it came our time to plan serving in overseas missions, we did a daring thing. We asked Bob for advice. Seeking council from Bob was not for the faint of heart, nor the easily offended.  Our first meeting forced us to consider 26 questions about viability, sustainability, finances and perspective. Bob left no stone of criticism unturned.  I don’t know if it was our refusal to be defeated or our desire to have qualified oversight that made Bob stay along side us like a trainer, a coach, a mentor…

I remember morning meetings at our house exchanging friendly banter over warm tapioca, and the day we visited a financial advisor - Bob took him to task about helping us earn money to serve the poor. I recall Bob’s smug smile as we left the advisor’s office with everything Bob wanted. He looked at us with a bright twinkle in his eye and said, “Let’s go get ice cream.” For 2 years we met with Bob. He listened to us, corrected us, demanded from us, questioned us, informed us, keep records, keep track, and keep us from making mistakes. Sometimes he was like a bad-tasting medicine that made us get better. Through it all we realized Bob believed in us. By smashing any dreamy idealism, he helped build confidence we never even knew we were missing.

For almost 5 years now, we are serving on the mission field of Kisumu Kenya – assisting victimized women and providing potable water in Jesus name.  Bob never gave a dime personally to us but his wisdom and generous donations aided 17 widowed mamas to run small businesses, 49 vulnerable children to stay in their families, 2 self-help groups to provide bible study and accountability, numerous discipleship trainings facilitated throughout the area, and 6 different communities to have filtered water sources.
“Bob Bigelow!” we’d say when he picked the phone to receive our long-distance calls seeking his advice. 
Bob Bigelow, even three weeks before his passing, counseled us about water treatment - still watchful, still involved.  Bob Bigelow, a straight-shooting man, slight in stature but with an enormous heart. And because of that, many around the world benefit from his legacy.

What might he say if given an opportunity to speak at his own memorial service?
In true character, I think he’d give his opinion on advice from King Solomon:

“What are the realities of your problem?  Ask questions.
Look at the reality?  Gather knowledge from observation.
How do you apply your knowledge to your reality?  Use wisdom.
Put your wisdom to work in your reality.
Let’s live as God taught us.”

Thanks Bob. May the huge file on my laptop filled with your notes, your comments, your explanations and your reports always help us serve Jesus by making this world a better place.

Some of the Kenyan mamas that Bob's donations helped wrote letters to Bob's family and friends.The scanner wouldn't reproduce them well so they are typed below.  Imagine these mamas, sitting under a thatched roof, writing thoughts about a man that lived far, far away, whom they never met, but his consistent thoughtfulness helped change their lives forever.

"To the family and friends of Bob, regret the demise of Baba Bob. 
We are indeed very grateful for the blessings we received from him. We wouldn't 
be where we are today if not for the gifts from him. Every one of us has been touched 
by his kind donations to us. We have been blesses to know him though we have not 
seen him, have felt his love and kindness. May Almighty God bless his family and 
friends and rest his soul in peace.  
To God be the Glory. Amen." From  WOW - Woman of Worth Group.
"To the family and friends of Baba Bob. I am Mildred Atino in Kenya. I would like to 
say pole sana for the family of Bob. He was good to us. Rest in peace Baba Bob."
"To the family of Bob. I am Jackie Akoth,, a widow in Kenya. I say pole sana about Baba Bob. 
He stood with us and made us to stand. Rest in Peace Baba. Amen."
"I am Raiel Mbono in Kenya. Pole sana for Baba Bob. He was loved but 
God loved him more. Rest in Peace. Shalom."

"With deep sorrow and much regret to hear about the demise of our beloved Bob. 
Though we have not met him but felt and saw his kindness and big heart he had for 
women empowerment. Being a beneficiary of his good work in Kenya I am here to say 
may God rest his soul in peace." Carolyne Auma.

 Many photos of the blessed mamas...

 "...we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we have heard of your faith 
in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people,  which come from your confident hope of 
what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first 
heard the truth of the Good News. This same Good News that came to you is going out all over 
the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from 
the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace." Col. 1

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

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

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

An Afternoon in Nyweta

The sun beats down hard on rusty tin roofs as dust dances in tiny cyclone-like-swirls around barefoot children gathered to watch.

It’s water filter delivery day in Nyweta.

Just one water filter installed in this area can serve 50 people. Not only will it help keep them free from waterborne diseases, but it will also save the already overworked mamas time and money – precious fuel like charcoal or wood won’t be used to boil water clean.

Mark and David hoist the cement encasement into the small sewing shop already filled with mamas, colorful material and sewing machines. Everyone stops and curiously stares. I begin sharing the purpose for clean water and the spiritual parallels of a clean heart.

While our activity unfolds, a young girl, severely burned on her chest and with only one eye runs into the shop and giggles. The mamas begin to tease her about something I can’t quite figure out. I catch a few phrases and realize they made her a dress, although she could only pay 100 ksh ($1.00).  She tries it on, receiving a chorus of “Ooo” and “Ahhh,” followed by some tongue clicking approval. She hugs the mamas and skips away clutching her new treasure.

The blaring sun hides behind a relief of rain clouds. I’m quiet, absorbing the extremes of joy and beauty here. We bring a life-saving filter that will meet a great need among the mamas. And these mamas, with their little offering of a simple dress, bring a reason for happiness to an outcast girl.

From potable water that keeps sickness away to a lovely garment for a child who feels far from pretty, God is concerned with both - and everything in between. Matthew 6:25-34.

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

Kenya Update: July 2015

I’ve been working on a blog post about “inbetween” but realized it would not be finished any time soon so we decided to post praise reports and prayer requests because for us, that’s the most important communicate right now. 



Friends from Pagosa are like a soothing balm. We thought we’d be traveling back to USA at the end of this month for a furlough but the current adoption crisis finds us here indefinitely. When Jaden Hinger and Jeannne Marie Soniat showed up on our compound, our souls oozed gratefulness. We couldn’t talk to them enough, or show them all we wanted to share, or hear all the stories of home… So thankful to smile at their familiar faces for a week!

Jaden makes everyone feel welcome.

Jeanne Marie's new buddy.

Always having fun.

Lessons on love through croquet.

Trees big enough for the family!

Look what we found...

Another buddy for Jeanne Marie.

Jaden showing the giraffe something interesting...

Sunset drama

More mamas from Women of Worth group (WOW) visited the Joyland kiddos, making Saturday afternoon full of games, face painting, story telling, prayers and praise. Needy Kenyan mamas embracing forgotten Kenyan children creates remarkable relationships. So thankful to know God cares for them all, and we get to organize the meeting of hearts.

Josephine reads with the kids.

Janet mothers little Raila.

Loisa always makes kids smile.

Looks like they will be visiting regularly!

We visited the mamas of Kajulu Women’s Group and gave the washable sanitary pads made by the WOW mamas so orphaned girls won’t miss weeks of valuable education. The mamas continue to read their bibles together and share their faith with others.

The Resource Center has a roof and now we have the photo! So thankful to see the progress! Soon ministry to the surrounding slums will be functioning from this place. Yea God!

We are facilitating a new DIGGS training to six widowed mamas, a pastor’s wife and a married couple with 5 children. They participate in engaging activities that teach who Christ is in them, who they are in Christ, whom did God make them to be, and organizing/planning/budgeting for their futures.

Creating thoughtful responses through art.

Please pray for this recently widowed mama of 3 little ones.

Burning and burying unforgiveness to live in freedom.

Tavin, Taleah and Henry finished school and are happily pursuing hobbies, friends, and ministry at Joyland. They were recruited to help paint biosand filters to deliver to those who need potable water.

Good job!

Taleah's hair on the last day of school. Really.

Peeling aloofas we received from a friend.

Taleah sharing her gift.

Tavin sharing his gift.

Henry sharing his gift.

Washing his car in his Yankees hat. Silly boy!

Adoption continues to be a trial for not only us, but the whole country. The Kenyan Law Society has filed suit with the government presenting the sad case of more overcrowded orphanages and numerous children waiting to be adopted due to the illegal moratorium. We go to court again tomorrow – July 21. We don’t know what to expect. We only know trusting God and speaking for the fatherless is our responsibility.

Please pray for…

  • Widowed mamas - keep growing in favor with their neighbors and their businesses as they grow in God. Their testimonies are powerful witnesses used to change the common social view that widows are worthless burdens.
  • Joyland children - the school term ends and many are sent back into situations far worse then what they experience at Joyland. May they hold fast to the Word shared with them on Saturdays.
  • The DIGGS classes - let Word of Truth take root in their hearts and bring changes necessary to bear good fruit.
  • Adoption - to flourish in Kenya and orphans be welcomed home into families that will love them forever.
  • Our family - to process delays without judgments and to see God’s provision in many different areas. Continued divine protection and good health.
Let us know how we can pray for you.

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

Update: June 2015 Lessons in Dust and Mud

June 30th already!  Many of you reading this are watching your summer fly by. We on the other hand don’t even remember it’s summer since the equator weather stays warm.  We only have two seasons – dry and wet, or as we like to call them – dusty and muddy.

With that analogy, we’ll share the dusty and muddy of life here and ways you can pray for us.

The adoption of Henry has been a hot, long, dusty journey. Although we’ve seen God’s hand move amazingly through supportive relationships and timing of Henry’s placement with us, the path to justice for orphans is not for the faint of heart.  We prayerfully, carefully, legally pursued this journey because we felt Holy Spirit leading us. Little did we know our case would be in the midst of a grimy legal battle for the rights of truly abandoned, orphaned children to be placed in caring families approved for adoption. The lines are drawn in the shifting dust with government manipulation on one side and child advocates on the other. We are with the other, standing alongside the Law Society of Kenya and The Law Society of East Africa. The USA embassy in Nairobi is petitioning the Hague to intervene since Kenya is a Hague compliant country for laws governing international adoption.  Even local adoption by Kenyan citizens has stopped. Check the article below to read about a current lawsuit. restore-adoption

Every ministry project goes through muddy seasons, but we’ve noticed it’s actually fun to play in the mud!  Instead of jumping to judgments and becoming critical, we join together and speak truth in love. Issues that threaten conflict arise, but conversation laced with a bit of humor and served up beside sweet hot chai get us all back on the same page and projects continue moving forward. God saves the team from complaining about potential messes, drawing us closer to Him and each other.
Regardless of dust or mud, we are content to keep praising, praying, and believing. Will you join us?

  • Please pray the adoption process opens so children are free to be welcomed into loving families. Our next court date is July 7th.
  • It’s Ramadan and as we write this the call to prayer echoes through the evening air. Please pray we effectively share the love of Jesus with our Musl*m neighbors.
  • Please pray for the widowed/single mamas of the Women of Worth group and the Kajulu Women’s group to be faithful in studying God’s Word, successful in their businesses, intentional in their parenting, generous in their giving.
  • Please pray for the neglected kiddos at Joyland as we keep sharing Jesus with them on Saturday afternoons.
  • Thanking God for the progress made on the Resource Center construction. Grateful for the gifts and the local church's sacrificial giving that helped build partitions.
  • Please pray for Tavin and Taleah as they take exams the next couple weeks.
  • Still waiting on the approved missionary permit renewals…
  • Yahoo!  We get to spend next week with Jeanne Marie Soniat and Jaden Hinger. SO EXCITED!!! 

Waiting at one of our many court appointments.
Our dear friend Steve sharing praises at Joyland.
Building the Resource Center together.
Our prayers for dear friends and family are that you to truly enjoy the summer vacation by relaxing in the One whose rest is never ending.

Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers 0ooOo

Colorful Lessons

I watch them draw with unexpected abandon.  Quietly putting color on blank paper, transforming thoughts to images, their resolute expressions speak strong. They are absorbed in the process of creating.  Regardless of the lack of experience with paints and brushes and crayons and markers, their determination to share testimonies of who Christ is compels them.  As always, I ask permission to taking pictures and tell their stories. What I hear humbles my heart.


Josephine’s husband died, leaving her to raise two children without support from extended family. She sells vegetables:

“My life is like this tree. Some parts have color. Some do not. If I am deep rooted in Jesus. He can grow sweet fruit like mango to share.”


Christine, a member from the church who helps at WOW.

“Life has many storms. Jesus can make those storms useful in our lives and the lives of others.”


Jackie, a widow with two children who used to sell glue to street boys but now works as a cook at a street boy ministry.

“The same, same sun is like Jesus. He brings light, makes us warm, grows food. Yes. All this comes from Jesus. Who are we not to worship Him?” Can you make food grow or bring light?”

Simple representations of foundational truths.  Sometimes life becomes so complicated we forget God always provides our needs. We run away from stormy times instead of letting them be funneled through Jesus, our Source of redemption. Good fruit grows when our roots go deep in Him.

Three years ago when I first began meeting with these women - victims of severe neglect, abuses and corruption, I sincerely wondered if change would really happen. Now after time spent building relationships, I’ve seen a change happen in all of us, especially me.

I’ve learned that my story is always part of a bigger one that God is writing.  In this chapter He molds my weakness to strength among Kenyan mamas and He bonds them together in service for others. Their colorful pictures reveal genuine faith and mine is challenged.

This group of mamas have come so far. Each one has a business they use not only to earn money for living but as platforms to share their testimonies of Jesus amazing grace. Their new group venture? Work together to form a catering service called 
"Fruitful Service - serving you with fruits of God's spirit."
If you would like to help them with capital to purchase items necessary to develop their service, please donate through paypal on the side bar.

Also, please keep our adoption process in your prayers.
Thanks for your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers Ooo0o