the journey

How We Live In "the Missing"

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
― C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves

It can be hard living on the mission field in a culture so foreign from our own that we constantly question: “Where do I fit? How does this work? What should be done?” Some days it’s particularly tough. That’s when "the missing” happens. We long for those close to us - whose prayers, support and encouragement carries us.  Seeing friends and family on skype becomes a soothing salve we apply generously to cover "the missing" wounds.
We came to Kenya because of a divine call; one we heard as young believers.  We studied missions in Bible school, got involved in cross-cultural ministries and prayed as God nurtured our vision over many years.  Funny, when we set out to follow that call we expected good things, and rightly so because God is good.  He has destiny with future and hope.  We left our comfort zone starry-eyed and determined.  Sure, we calculated the cost this adventure extracts – missed celebrations, loss of familiar fellowships, especially the lively conversations with kindred souls over comfort foods – but, when it came to actually “paying” that cost, emotions can mess with  vision. Pun intended.

So, what to do when "the missing” becomes so tangible it pierces our soft spots?

1.  Have FUN.  Yep.  Do something meaningfully silly with people and ENJOY them.

2.  Be REAL with those God sent us to serve.  Healthy relationships form out of honest ministry.

3.  Always PRAY.  Let the Lord, who heals hearts, mend the brokenness and build new bonds.

We lived this advice all the way to Kajulu, a desperately poor village where widowed mamas, both young and old, care for orphans.  Who would have guessed that regularly gathering with 12 Luo women under the shade of a mango tree would ease "the tender missing?”  Warm evening sun finds us sharing our stories, our discoveries, our food and our laughter. (Note: Being silly = ammunition against overwhelming poverty.)

God gave us friends in Kajulu; ones where comfortable chatter bypasses language differences; ones that ask probing questions because the answers expose priceless value;  ones with interest in exploring the Lord’s plans for the future - together; ones that create a sincere, “Karibu sana” - you are welcome here anytime my friend.

For those we are longingly "missing," we send you sweet shalom. For our new friends here in this far away land, abundant thanks for embracing us.  Life is simply joyless survival without all of YOU. 
Warm chatter over sweet roselle tea.

Mama Mary's humor keeps us giggling.

Mama Carol's sweet smile is contagious.

Mama Janet oversees our group with gladness.
Rice is set in the fire-less cooker to steam and in 30 minutes we 
share the soft treat.  This method of cooking saves time and fuel.

Carolyne shares an activity that focuses the conversation on Jesus.

Mamas' pick colored papers with characteristics of Heavenly Father
and share testimonies of how He blesses them.
Mama Rose tells of painful experiences trying to steal their destinies, 
but God's grace intervenes.

Luo Bibles are few and highly valued. To have God's
Work in their heart language speaks volumes.

With what little she has, Mama Janet cares for these orphaned girls.

So blessed with "rafikis" of like passions.

What's next?  Continual relationship based discipleship and development so 
widowed mamas are equipped to care for orphans - a pure act of worship.
James 1:27.

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

The Blessed Catch

Jesus is calling, inviting, challenging us to trust Him in the deep places for the catch He will provide. The "deep" can 
be an uncomfortable place - filled with threats of danger, discomfort, and insecurities...
But when we obey, He's faithful to give all that's necessary - the blessed catch.
Question is,
What do we do with the catch?

    Disciple widowed/single mammas opened ministry-businesses where they tell testimonies of the Lord's provision to care for their children.
    Share God's love and redemption with handicapped, orphaned children.
    Minister in churches on missions, adoption and orphan prevention. 

Asante sana for helping us "go out in the deep" and "teach others to fish."
Let the cycle of the blessed catch continue in Jesus name.

We appreciate your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers Ooo0

Back in Kenya

We're back in Kenya, among our friends, ministering with them in places desperate for hope. Jesus brings hope that grows into fruit shared, fellowship enjoyed, orphans loved, and unexpected blessings of participating in a leadership conference, ordination and baby dedication. Grateful to be found faithful to the call and entrusted with God's heart for the fatherless.  Photo's below of the last couple weeks. Take a peek into what the Lord is doing in Kisumu...
Poverty's oppression is thwarted by the DIGGS project as widowed/single mamas commitment to serve God by banding together to read the Bible, pray and 
share their blessings with others.
Agnus and Josephine taste fruit from USA, 
something their "tongues longed for."
Fruit of the Spirit is what their lives long to produce. 
Giving with generous hearts.

Tavin and Taleah ready for the first day of classes. 
 Last weekend we enjoyed fun fellowship 
with families at the first annual school picnic.
Mark and Tavin join in the big "futbal" competition.

As many of you know, we live in a house with a very small compound - no room for hosting DIGGS training. We prayed for something in a fair price range with a place for widowed/single mamas so they 
could come to us for classes. 
Tada! Photos of the new home of CARE4Nations
It's in a secure location, but a block from the slums.
There is also enough room for Mark to work on the evangelistic water project.  Yeah God!

Our family joy - ministering to the orphaned kiddos
 with special needs. 
They love to tease Tavin. 

 We participated in a two day leadership conference 
on Identity of Integrity.  After the conference, you could find Lisa outside the church with Pastor Mary spending time with the women and children.
 The women work together preparing 
food for the conference.
 Mixing ugali and making chapati.

The children learn about Jesus 
and how our camera works.

 Tom, part of the visiting missions team, is 94 years old!  He wanted to come to Africa before he got to old. 
(Gonna be just like that at 94.)
He's not sleeping.  He's praying for the food.
 Breaking bread and feasting as His body, 
joined by bonds of brotherly love.

 Asante sana for sending us back to Kenya to express 
the Father's love to the "least of these"
who are precious in His sight.
                                                    Matthew 25:31-33

hugs from 
the haugers Ooo0

Tax-deductible donations can be made using Paypal on the sidebar.

Carrying Pieces

He pulled his grubby fist from the pocket of dirty, torn shorts.  With pensive dark eyes, he examines his treasure, and then holds it out to me for a look.  It’s pieces from an electrical part he might have found among the trash littering the side of the dirt road.  I think he wants me to identify them, maybe put them together and make them work.  I can’t; instead I smile, rub his head and watch him scamper off, returning the random pieces to the only place in his shorts that doesn’t have holes.

He keeps carrying pieces, wanting to find their value and meaning.  We do too.

We just spend the last six weeks among my family and friends in Colorado and Phoenix.  We ate yummy foods, laughed to tears, talked late into the night hours, prayed, encouraged one another with stories of God’s amazing grace.  I left for Kenya, still needing rest but content with the time spent enjoying those who love me well.  As the plane lifted for the long journey across the world I realized many pieces of me were left behind.  I pondered how many pieces of you I carried with me. 

Carrying pieces.  Like the little boy with his treasure of electrical bits, we carry pieces - pieces of those our lives have rubbed against that find homes inside us.  We might not truly understand what relationships really mean this side of heaven yet I do know conversations with kindred faiths along the San Juan River, in the few houses warming the valley of Rainbow Drive, over grilled burgers and African sideshows, in churches, on decks, in coffee shops, and even the grocery store parking lot deepens my walk with Jesus.  We share pieces of who He is in each of us, like children exchanging treasures, and we scamper off to live, carrying more of Him to into the next encounter.  

Carrying pieces.  We’ve carried pieces of you all from Jesus back to this beautifully challenging place, to the hovels of the poor, to widows and orphans.  We bring the tenderness of lingering embraces, the giggles from clever jokes, the wisdom, the intercession, the help of sturdy friends with resilient hearts, the donation and support, the strong words and belief that our lives make a difference in the Kingdom of God.

Carrying pieces.  Like my little boy with his treasures hidden in a safe spot of his tattered life, we desire the pieces we carry to bring meaning, to reveal value.  We might not grasp how these pieces all fit together to work miracles of redemption in the lives of the fatherless, but we see the One who does.  We’re grateful for the piece of you He entrusted to us, for the peace He gave us to carry.

Asante sana for all your love, prayers and support.
hugs from the haugers oooo


Kenya created our home for 11 months. Tavin and Taleah attended school, birthday parties, participated in clubs and ran with laughing kids to a barrage of activities. Mark and I formed friendships with Africans that celebrated joy, struggled through trials, and felt comfort with each other's presence.  We decorated our white-washed cement house sparsely 
but our heart fully.

We traveled from Kenya back to Pagosa 4 weeks ago and found this place holds the same feelings left in Kisumu - relationships that challenge and nurture us, 
that connect us, make us vulnerable 
but warmly satisfied because we belong. 

In moving back and forth between countries, houses and friends, I've come to realize that neither place is my home.  It's not about Africa's muddy slums, flowering trees or sweet mangos. It's not about Pagosa's mountain views, 
green chili and hummingbirds. It's not about what I can have, what I miss or which place we think suits us best.

It's all about the heart of God.

At the risk of sounding too spiritual, 
I see life through a lens shaped by the orphaned child.  Regardless of where, the filter is passion 
to find family for the forgotten fatherless.

Maybe this focus formed because of my own current
physical limitations. Whether in Kenya or Pagosa, I'm
the penurious person, the one who attracts attention out of my need.  My body is weak. Without help, I wouldn't live. If somebody didn't dress me, I would not be clothed. If somebody did not get my food, I would go hungry. If I fell, there I would lie until somebody came to my rescue.

This image reflects a bigger picture.

Globally, there are hundreds of millions of children (today - right now) who will not have clothes because no body dresses them, who will go hungry, maybe starve, because nobody gives them food. Innocent young ones falling into places of horror and needing rescued, but nobody is there. 

Imagine a 4 year old on the street, without clothes, 
without food, without a safe place with caring family...
Imagine that child was yours...
Imagine if that child was you...

Literally, these children can NOT get what they need to live.
They need somebody. 

The difference between them and me 
is I have compassionate somebodies -
people that help me to not just live, but to live my destiny.
I want to do the same.
Help the helpless.
Make sure abandoned children, lost, left for death,
move gracefully, become accepted, belong, and fulfill destiny.
I want to find somebodies who know God enough to love Him beyond their comfort zones and risk loving that involves everything.

God's heart for the fatherless is my home. I want to live close to the problem because the Solution lives in me.
God lives in me. He made His home in me. Let my life be making a home for those God wants to father who have 
and will die of nothing is done.

I'm not talented to paint a pretty house.
I'm not designed to gather trinkets that change seasonally.
I can't feed the plentiful or clothe the rich.
My deepest motivation must match the world's deepest need
and there, I will see God smile.

My home?  
I don't think it's here. Not Pagosa. Not Kenya.
Not of this world.

I'm looking for a better place;
home where orphans are not orphans anymore.

Please pray as we prepare to return to 
Kenya and complete the task the 
Lord entrusted to us.

because God loves us.

Kwahari Kenya

 This evening, sitting along the shores of Lake Victoria, we munch on freshly cooked chips made in a fire pit by a toothless smiling mamma.  Mark visits with the boat men as the sun sets beyond the hills across Winam Gulf. Tavin kicks the futbal with orphaned boys from Covenant Home. Taleah wanders through the maze of tropical trees, sharing secrets and giggles with barefoot girls.

The sun drops slowly casting an orange glow along the horizon, and it's departure reminds me of ours. I linger, watching Kenya and her life sink deep into me; places and people settling in my heart. I've heard widowed mammas sing God's praises in the midst of certain heartache, then seen their lives transform from ashes to beauty. I've embraced vulnerable children as they hold hope for a better future with eager hands. Friends have died, leaving behind the grieving for greater glory. Joy of salvation prayers overcame poverty's grip. I've tasted the bitterness of corruption, felt anger at injustice, and wondered with awe that my failures are redeemed by God's amazing grace. All this spreads across me in reflective hues burning my memory bright.

We leave Kenya, for a time  We pack up our experiences to carry home along with the African dust on our feet.  Warm welcomes we received surrounds us with peace that stays behind, blessing those we've grown to love. Like the lingering colors of a breathtaking sunset, our lives here set only to dawn again another day.

Kwahari Kenya
until we return!

What do you LOV?

living in Kenya... 
 that we're coming state-side in July to hug family and friends!  
 that God's leading us back to Kenya to keep
loving widows and orphans in Jesus' name.
The Lord led us to commit a year of our lives to serve orphans and widows in Kisumu, Kenya. That commitment comes to an end; but our time here has not.  
Because of your prayers, support and encouragement, we’ve seen His handed extended through ours. 
We LOV that...
  • True orphans embraced with care while families are found from local churches to welcome them home. 
  • 14 widows discipled to live for Christ and empowered to raise their children instead of placing them in orphanages. 
  • DIG trainings can continue in three local churches with Kenyan facilitators. 
  • A Christian school prepares to open in a rural area to serve the poor. 
  • Missions’ messages taught monthly in a Kondele church. 
  • The gospel shared through tracts, conversations, but mostly living with those who do not know a Heavenly Father full of mercy and grace. 
We feel deep gratitude for the work God has done in Kisumu among the oppressed. We sense He’s not done sharing who He made us to be. Holy Spirit’s tug gently pulls us into new projects that will multiply His influence in the lives of those forgotten.                 Many have asked us, 

“Why Kenya? 
Why don’t you work in USA where the needs are many?” 
Our answer is, 
"We’re called. 
We've ministered for years in the States
and when Father God equips for service, 
you don’t argue location.
It’s best to just say, 
'Yes. Here I am. Send me.' ” 
Other questions we’ve been asked are, 
“What’s next and how can we help?” 
"Read on"...
Many widowed mammas here come from very difficult places - a culture that practices polygamy and devalues females, lack of education, lack of resources, severe neglect and abandonment. The vision is to create a resource center that minister to these mammas holistically and trains churches to do the same. We will offer Bible studies, skills training, DIG seminars, parenting classes and reproductive health teaching and child care. We LOV to see more women prepared to serve their communities by finding their positions in God’s kingdom. We LOV for churches to be ready to assist the overwhelming population of widows and single moms that timidly hang on the fringes of community.

We will also offer adoption information to churches and orphanages so they can advocate for families to adopt parentless children. We plan to train caregivers in child development, and methods to practice strong bonding and attachment activities. Providing these services can keep vulnerable children from becoming 
victims of neglect and institutionalization.  
Continuing with water purification and visiting disabled children are on the agenda. 

LOV some more!

Last but not least, our family is actively pursuing foster/adoption of a 3-year old true orphan (totally abandoned at birth) with mild cerebral palsy. The daunting process has numerous obstacles but we’re plowing forward.
                                                (Notice the heart-shaped mark on his face
                                                       from his very 1st ice cream cone.)
 This little guy NEEDS A FAMILY! 
 We would LOV to be that family! 

          3 ways you can help us to LOV:

  • Commit to defending the cause of the oppressed through prayer. 
  • Give to start/operate the resource center. We are half way there but need sponsors to donate towards equipment and resources. Any size gift will help. Total start up: estimated at $3,994.Total monthly management: estimated at $2,140. 
  • People willing to serve short term or long term in evangelistic based development. 
We’ll be back in the states mid-July for 2 months. We would LOV to visit at your church, organization, bible study or simply share over an American mocha... and maybe some of Sarah's cupcakes... or Kevin's chocolate chip cookies... or even George's granola... mmmm! See ya soon!

Contact us at

LOV n hugs from the haugers oooo

Asante tena

Our passion with children here in Kenya is sharing Jesus.   
Many of these precious ones are orphaned, abused, neglected, 
infected with HIV, physically challenged by severe birth defects. 
They may be abandoned, but they are not forgotten. 
 Jesus inscribed them on the palms of His hands. 
He is their reason for living.  
He is their joy.  
He is their hope. 
They are His glory - fearfully and wonderfully made.  

Asante sana for the gifts 
of developmentally appropriate toys, backpacks and bibles.
Asante sana for the financial donations.
Your kindness helps us show God's love in tangible ways.
Mungu akubariki Rafikis.
(God bless you Friends.)

hugs from the haugers ooo

Tax-deductable gifts can be made to 
P.O. Box 3543
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.  
with a sticky note directing the funds to 
CARE4Nations - Kenya.

Or visit the sidebar and make a donation through paypal.

.09 seconds for 2 hours

This .09 second video clip (thanks Casey) was our experience for two hours. An experience that speaks...
Descending the Rift Valley escarpment, Mark worked his 
way though the winding road as rain began to fall in 
earnest.  Along the flat bottom, cars had stopped… 
Wildlife? An accident? Then, we saw it move – earth 
heaving toward us, throbbing with water from the 
mountains. Dirt, silt, small trees and large rocks churned along the side of the car, some rolling violently across 
our path.It seemed surreal, like someone had planted 
an invisible movie screen outside the window. 
We were in the flood zone with no way out.

We waited. We prayed. We watched, amazed and a 
little concerned as the muddy water flushed out onto 
the Serengeti savannah stretched before us. Masai 
observed from the hills, leaning on their spears, murmuring 
to one another. Mutatus, trucks and automobiles shifted 
back and forth, trying to avoid high waters that broke over 
the road. Fretful faces stared at the strong currents slipping 
under their vehicles. Uneasy tension rose with the water.  

That’s when I heard the still small Voice of scripture 
bubbling in my mind.
“When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit 
of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” 
Isaiah 59:19 KJV

Yes, we all know those times when we feel the enemy’s 
presence on every side. Pressed down by torrents of tests, 
trials and temptations.  Crises overwhelm us like a deluge; 
we struggle to keep our heads above, gasping for the breath 
of God. Those times inundated with trouble, remember 
the promise – He rises up a standard of protection and 
provision.  Truly a lesson to meditate upon considering our situation.  These words comforted me, yet something 
unexpected seeped in…

“Move the comma.”


“What if the comma came after the word enemy instead 
of flood?

(For all of you who think I just blasphemed by “changing 
scripture” I certainly did not. Consider the word flood in 
this verse means nahar – prosperity, sparkle, cheerful.)

“When the enemy comes in
like a flood the Spirit of the Lord 
shall lift up a standard against him.”

I saw God in the flood. He agitates cleansing currents 
against evil influences, whipping the weights that so 
easily beset us. His rolling presence penetrates the drought 
of our neglect, breaking up hard ground so new life can 
grow.  He is in the flood - powerful, surging, bring a standard 
of obedience and blessing (Isaiah 28:2).

I gazed at the rising filth with new eyes.  I saw sin being 
swept away.  I saw God’s covering hand holding us as 
His strength removed the debris that pollutes our souls 
(Psalm 90:5). His intensity to rush in like a flood to save 
made sure a way out. His waters overwhelm with grace. 

In the midst of a storm in central Kenya, that delayed our 
best-laid plans for hours, God spoke. When life experiences 
feel like drowning waves, the Lord’s standard comes in like 
flood of freedom  (Ezekiel 47:1-9).

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

Women's Work

Sounds like derogatory words, huh? That’s only because you don’t know what we’ve been up to in Kenya! Our definition of "Women’s Work" brings hope to women who live as victims of poverty, abuse and neglect. We’ve been working with women by helping widowed moms lay a biblical foundation that blends income-generating, raising healthy children and sharing the gospel in meaningful ways. We’ve started training at Covenant of Peace Church with 5 beautiful widowed mommas, the pastors, and our multi-talented trainee, Carolyne. These few participants lend toward better interaction, easier facilitator training, and more depth of understanding. None of these women can fade into the background, something they do so easily.

We open the class with sweet acapella praise to God and prayers for each other. Then we move into an object lesson, like balancing an egg on its tip. They each have one minute to try.

“What?” the Pastor (of a faith church) shakes his head.
“It can’t be done.”

The women giggle in anticipation. Mark hands him the egg. He fumbles with it on the small table. It wobbles a few times and then, stands. His quizzical face breaks into laughter. The women also balance the egg. Smiling at the success of a seemingly impossible task, they are ready to learn.

Mark made the chalkboard that diagrams the lesson – Who Is Christ In You? The women pair off and examine scriptures that tell them that Jesus is their


We discuss the difference between “knowing about God” vs “knowing God.”

They share stories about how God has carried each of them in times of hardship. Stoically they expose their woundedness, and I want to weep. How hard it is for a young widowed mom in Kenya who has nothing and needs to feed her children. We move into a time of forgiveness. The women confess their offenses on paper, and we burn them in a hole Mark dug around the back of the church. The pastor takes the shovel and buries the ashes. He shows them he’s there to support their freedom.

Back to the chalkboard and more diagrams of the next lesson – Who are You In Christ? Again the women look up scriptures and read aloud that they are

More than conquerors, Servants, Ambassadors,
Adopted Children, Christ’s bride, Dearly loved,
Citizens of God’s Kingdom, Fruit-bearers,
New Creations, Joint Heirs in Jesus...

We distribute small balls of clay and talk about modeling a Godly life by staying soft and pliable in the Master’s hands. They are thinking, squeezing the clay into bowls and flowers. Next we hand out fruit and discuss what could prevent them from producing fruit of the Spirit. We share about service to God from the heart; that being a servant is who they are, not just what they do. We encourage them to beware of the enemy’s schemes, how he whispers lies that they are not appreciated or have nothing to offer. They are rulers in the Kingdom, practicing self-discipline and overcoming evil with good.

We end out time together with role-playing. The women act out real life situations that will try their faith, that will test their fruit. They practice responding in the spirit, instead of reacting in the flesh. The egg comes back out and we remind each other that when things look impossible – God will do a miracle.

The spiritual base for practical training is being set. We rejoice at the women’s progress, their questions and comments, their willingness to move on regardless of tremendous obstacles. Women’s work. It’s part of what carries the next generation. It’s valuable in God’s kingdom.

Mark making chalk boards.

Carolyne, learning to be a facilitator.

Sharing with the women.

The women symbolically bury their offenses.

Balancing an egg - it's possible!

Please pray as this training expands outward to other widowed moms. We have many more small group trainings scheduled in various churches that will be facilitated by Kenyans. This coming week we visit Joyland ( a school for physically challanged children) and back to Covenant Home to play and pray with orphans. God's heart is for the fatherless and our desire is for Him.

hugs from the haugers oooo

These Women: Our Friends

The women we've met in Kenya are strong. Even the pastors and church leaders say if you give a good Kenyan woman a seed, she will grow a tree that produces shade for her family, fruit for food and seeds to sell. We've seen these same good women have a keen sense of finding fragile threads of opportunity, and from them, weave hope.

Our desire is to help them bring their hopes into reality. We work with them to identify their dreams, articulate their stories, and receive training. Then, we give them a seed.

By providing a basic foundation that reveals who Jesus Christ is to them, who they are in Christ, how to share their giftings and principles of good management, we've experienced the joy of watching these women move from victims to contributing members of their communities, happily raising their children instead of having to leave them in orphanages. They're not shy about giving God all the glory for the great things He has done!

We are blessed to call these women our friends.
We had our first training with Carolyne, who had no resources to raise her son and orphaned nephew. Now she runs a successful grocery kiosk and is director of Love in Action, a ministry that serves widowed moms.

Our second training was held in a small room set up near Carolyne's shop.
Communion with the widowed moms.

 Lois and her small son, TAVIN (yes, she named him after our boy).

Lois sews and embroiders to provide for her children.

She also  shares the blessings God's given her with other widowed moms.
Florence sells vegetables to earn a living so she can care for her two boys.
Florance's boys, who now do not have to live in an orphanage.

Florance shares her faith and training with other widowed moms.

Please pray for these women and the others who will participate in the training. May the Lord continue to pour out his favor on these forgotten ones who have so much to give.

Check back for more to read about other moms'
testimonies of redemption. We're currently designing a blog for them to share their stories. We'll let you know when it's up and running.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support.

hugs from the haugers

Are You Hungry?

The orphaned kids at Covenant House don't eat everyday. Watching them play and sing, seeing their shy smiles and curious gazes, it's hard to believe they are much different than your children or mine. Can you imagine not feeding your family everyday? Do you wonder what it must be like to tuck a hungry little one into bed?

One afternoon at we had a popcorn party there. As we visited with the older kids we asked, "What would make this place better?" They hesitated... We thought they might be thinking of playground equipment, or musical instruments. Maybe they wanted bikes, or games, or books... We waited and asked again, "Really, if you could have anything to improve where you live, what would it be?"


Yes. Hard to believe, huh?


They want to eat everyday.

The facts are
  • Every Friday the kids of Covenant House pray for food.
  • $55.00 would provide 25 kilograms of rice for 175 children for two days.
  • $100.00 would provide 90 kilograms of beans for 175 children for one month.
  • They need help.
Covenant House is filled with children whose needs go beyond food. They are orphans - kids with no families. The buildings on the 1.5 acre compound could easily be set up as homes, each with 12 children and trained house parents to care for them, as we work at an indigenous adoption program. Please ask God to show us how to be what He wants us to be for orphans. We're so hungry to help.

hugs from the haugers

Times of Grace

Of course everything moves slower here. Plenty to do without the choices that lend towards effective time management. Eight people with one driver. A household to create from one store (think Alco only). Food to prepare (for 8 people) on a table top burner. Water to boil, always boiling the water. We bouncing along in traffic among the peci-pecis, matutus, buses, cows, chickens and people ambling along the roadside. We wait. We wait in jams, for meetings to start, vendors to barter, decisions to be made... This is life for the last 14 days, and it probably won't change any time soon. As we live, we find ourselves moving on the rhythms of God's grace.

Just yesterday we went to a shop to find fabric for Becky and Addie to make curtains. Waiting outside, at a busy intersection of town, we saw a young boy fall to ground and start seizing. He convulsed while cars whizzed by without concern. We prayed. Mark ran to buy a water and walked over to the boy after he came back around. We find out that his name is Eric and he sniffs glue. His life is harder than the dangers of sniffing glue. Mark prays with Eric and we watch him wander away. We have to believe God follows after him. It's a time of grace.

Becky and Addie's room is on the upper level of our home. It has a veranda that overlooks our broken-bottle encrusted, cement security wall and into the neighborhood.. That evening Becky tells us about the girl she sees from her veranda who lives in a corrugated metal shack next to the wall. She has a baby. The baby cries a lot. The baby is hungry. The next day, as Becky washes her clothes, she finds the baby's new cleaned diaper cloths draped across the security wall, drying in the warm African sun. Becky has to do something that will help. We talk. We pray and the following morning, while the diapers are out drying, Becky pins a thousand note shilling on to one of them. She prays again believing God will make the difference from this simple act of kindness. Another moment in grace.

His name is Timothy, and he wanders up to me at the Nakumatt market. His stares at his feet and whispers, “Will you please take me?” He glances up at me, tears brimming in his chocolate eyes. His story is not uncommon here. Neglected. Alone. What can we do? How does God want to make a difference in the lives of the “Timothys” that overwhelm this land? I pray with him, telling him it's dangerous to ask people to take him home. Does he want a ride? A meal? Where is his home? I give him some change and he wanders away. That night my prayers surround Timothy, and I have to believe God is with him, surrounding him with what I could not yet offer.
We realize these grace moments fill our live not because of who we are or what we have to give. It's not about our efficiency or effectiveness. It's always about God and what He is doing. Yes, we'll work hard on projects that help the poor, participate in prayer and fasting, share the gospel. We'll cultivate good friendships and be thankful for our blessings. We'll acclimate to the differences we encounter daily but in the end, it's the moments of grace that show us were all in the same place; needing our Father's tenderness to heal our broken places.

Our Journey Begins

Weaving in and out of traffic along the rim of the Great Rift Valley, we begin our great adventure in Kenya. In reality, this journey started long ago and many prayers away.
In 2001 Africa was planted in our hearts. God watered it with tears for the poor. He fed it with intercession for orphaned children. As bible school graduates with mission majors, the idea of living in a foreign country had always been on our radar; but, it took our 4 year old son to fertilize the ground of the field the Lord was calling us to harvest. His nightly prayers, asking God to help orphans in Africa led us ask how we as a family could share our lives with a hurting world.
The vision to “go” sprouted into our first trip. In 2006 we travel to Kenya. It was not what we would call a good experience. Surrounded by adversity that threatened our commitment, we returned to the states feeling lost, but with hope that God could restore the dream. After two more trips that produced amazingly sweet fruit, we endured the tests of time by waiting for God to push open the doors for long term ministry. Now, we are here.
I watch the road unfold before us, dotted with colorfully-clad bodies, small markets, zebras and baboons. Little ones play with sticks and old bike tires. We moved on through small villages and sprawling towns, carried down this artery of African life, carried to a destiny.
As we continue on this journey, we pray that God would keep revealing His heart for the fatherless and enabling us to work the ground He's given. We're believing Him for miracles of grace.

packing up a life

Today my sister came over and we packed up the hutch, the place to display all the things with sentimental value. We wrapped Mark's grandma's china in newspaper and reminisced about other pieces from our beloved Nana. i gathered together souvenirs from other mission trips. After packing 4 boxes to pass to another generation, and more boxes loaded for the pending yard sale, my sister headed home and i wandered outside to welcome the evening air.

While watching the sunset reflect off the mountains, i tried to relate my past to the future. i realized how little i knew about my ancestors. i thought about how little my children know about their birth families. i connected all this to the calling. We're going to live among children who are truly abandoned at birth. Attachments severed before they even had opportunity to emerge.

i'm wondering what we have to offer them?

i'm praying we help nurture them to know their heavenly Father who will never leave or forsake them.

i'm believing they will be given families who will embrace their futures and provide for them a sense of belonging.

i'm packing up a life here to unpack destinies in Kenya.

Taleah surrounded by our suitcases in our small room during our first month long visit to Kenya.

how then do we serve?

In 51 days we leave our sweet home nestled in a small mountain town for the unfamiliar poverty of friends who live in Kisumu, Kenya. These friends expect better times to come and serve each other with whatever blessing God placed in their hands. i like to think we could do the same.

i'm going to live in Kenya, East Africa as a disabled wife, mom, woman. Do i believe for healing? Of course. i look to H
im everyday to restore my body; but, should i wait for that before i go to be among those who are disenfranchised, fatherless and without resources in a country overwrought with corruption and disease? After getting the doctor's okay and counsel from the wise, i don't think He's telling me to wait. If fact, i see how much i can offer, inspite of what i can't do. A successful financial advisor recently encouraged me with these words, "God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called."

And so, without the ability to dress myself, p
rovide for my personal care, to stand by myself or lift my arms away from my body, i'm preparing to go. With the help of those who believe God works through weakness and are not ashamed of my lack, i'm moving to a place far beyond my own significant inconveniences. i'm anticipating how God will remove the insulating comforts of this everyday life and immerse us into a culture where "being different" is our commonality.

Yet, isn't that what God calls us to? Are we not enlisted as servants of the Most High, regardless of our circumstances? Should i stay secure in the boundaries of my control and predictions? Or, should i journey into the great unknown, being certain that in losing my life, i'm destine to find the one God has ordained?

For me, it's a humbling privilege to be called to serve. Regardless of past experiences or current situations that could easily culminate
into valid excuses, God wants me. i'll not serve on condition of receiving a promise. by His grace, i'll serve according to His Word, according to His call.

"Lord, let my life move in the rhythms of relationships inspired by grace, created for Your glory. 
Bring the light of Your Love into dark, overwhelming places. Show us how to serve You the way You must be served. Help us serve others in purity and truth."