April 14, 2020 // 10:52 AM

Serving Over a Lifetime

Written by Juanita Fox

In November 2019 Paul Hutton, a Garden Spot Village resident since September 2009, picked up a brochure in the foyer of the Garden Spot Village Chapel. Least of These Ministries was gathering a team to travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to install solar panels on the roof at Radio Lumière. They also needed a radio engineer who could go and work on radio transmitters.

“As I was looking at the brochure, God tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘you need to go,’” Paul says.

A history in Haiti

Paul’s first international experience was in Haiti at age 12. He and his family were there as missionaries  for a year, before leaving for Puerto Rico where they served as church planters. While in Haiti, Radio Lumière launched and Paul began to realize radio broadcasting could be a valuable mission opportunity.

A contemporary experience

As Paul was preparing to go to Haiti in late 2019 and early 2020, the country was in the midst of political unrest. Haitians were protesting, blocking intersections and burning tires. Until the last minute, the 10-day March trip was touch-and-go, and very dependent on the political situation in the country. In late February the situation quieted down and the team was cleared to go.

The team from Lancaster County and Neffsville Mennonite Church was joined by three people from ITEC, an organization that provides know-how and support for technical projects on the mission field.

 Paul says, “Most of the men were baking in the sun on the roof, installing solar panels, while I was in the shop, doing maintenance on 40-year-old radio transmitters.” The goal was to transfer the radio station from spotty government electric or diesel generators to a more reliable solar powered system that would save $3,000 a month on electricity.

A full circle journey

Paul’s work in Haiti in March 2020 brought him full circle in his life’s work. For over 50 years Paul and his wife Janie served with Missions Door, a church planting mission agency. Many of Paul’s years were in radio broadcasting in Central America. In addition to being thankful for the opportunity to serve by providing radio transmitter maintenance, Paul says, “The trip to Haiti was perfectly timed; we give the Lord all the credit.”

Paul and the team arrived back in the United States on Sunday, March 15, the day Haiti suspended most international flights and closed their border to the Dominican Republic.