April 15, 2014 // 1:38 PM
Meet Your Neighbors: Paul and Janie Hutton
Written by Scott Miller
Paul and Janie Hutton came a long way to get to Garden Spot Village. The son of a pastor, Paul lived in New Jersey; Center County, Pa., Haiti and Puerto Rico — all by the time he was 13. Janie grew up in Belleville, Mich., where her father worked for Ford Motor Company, and her mother taught elementary school.
They met in Puerto Rico. Paul was living there and going to school at Inter American University when Janie arrived with a church group to work on construction, a vacation Bible school and a camp.
“After the summer, we wrote letters almost every day, and during Christmas break I went to Michigan to meet her parents and ask for permission to marry Janie after college,” Paul says.
Moving ahead—and around
The next year, when Paul’s mission asked him to go to Honduras to help build a radio station, Paul and Janie decided to marry and go to Honduras together. Since then, they have lived in Honduras for nine years and Hawaii for 16. They have lived in Illinois and Arizona, and spent seven months in Costa Rica. Prior to moving to Garden Spot Village, they spent 10 years in Colorado.
They moved to Garden Spot Village in September 2009.
“It feels like home, even though we came from so far,” Janie says. She says she loves the location of their carriage house, which offers views of the Legacy Garden and the Labyrinth and gives them “the blessedness of possessing nothing. It’s a very liberating way to live, yet at the same time the whole place is like a beautiful resort. We’re halfway to heaven.”
Getting involved—and involving the community
Janie has worked in several administrative and healthcare jobs as well as various volunteer positions. Paul is director of international missionary advocacy for Missions Door, headquartered in Denver, Colo. He has worked for the organization for more than 40 years. Through Missions Door, he organized a group of Garden Spot Village residents and staff to spend 12 days last August helping build a church camp in Honduras.
“The willingness of the chapel, the administration and the residents to participate in a camp project thousands of miles away with people they had not met was a demonstration of their faith and trust in the Lord and their desire to serve,” says Paul. “It gave testimony to how they would serve and care for Garden Spot Village and its residents.”
When they’re not traveling, both of the Huttons give back to Garden Spot Village, too. Paul is helping upgrade the audio and video systems for special events and in-house broadcasting. Janie helps Linda Dodge in the development office. Over the holidays, Janie coordinated the Angel Tree project to benefit the Garden Spot Village Benevolent Fund. She also subs in the Village Store and volunteers with Caring Connections, a program at GSV that works to provide support for individuals with dementia or in assisted living. She also appreciates the HealthAbility program and has participated in the Garden Spot Village Marathon.
“The approach to wellness that Garden Spot Village is taking is just one more cutting edge thing that this community does,” Janie says.
Appreciating the Garden Spot Village difference
Both Paul and Janie rave about the residents and staff at Garden Spot Village, and they have made many friends here in both groups. Janie points out that the staff and leaders are especially accessible. As Scott Miller, director of marketing, says, “My office is your office. I work for you!”
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2011 Destination Magazine.