JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin woman has found her calling, traveling to Guatemala every 6 weeks to help people who literally live in a landfill.
It’s something so close to her heart, but her love for people reaches far beyond that mission work.
Nancy is our next Remarkable Women Finalist.
Nancy Hutson, Remarkable Woman Finalist, said, “The thing that probably has always stayed true in my life is watching what love can do.”
Love has been a driving force for Nancy Hutson.
She gives back to her community in so many ways, including Shining Star Ministries.
“Speaking at women’s conferences, women’s gatherings, trying to bring some inspiration and encouragement to women.”
She’s also a Chaplain, helping people as they grieve the death of a loved one.
“Because I’ve had loss and it’s very important for us to understand, you know, a human loss and the heart and how bad it hurts and families need a lot of love during that time.”
Caring for our area’s homeless is also near and dear to her heart.
“Those people have souls and need love too.”
But, when it comes down to it, it’s here where her heart is really fulfilled.
“It’s a very strange story of how I got involved with Life of Hope because I owned a Harley Davidson dealership.”
Little did she know, a knock on the door after selling that business would lead her to a landfill in a country thousands of miles away.
“It’s huge. It’s 27 football fields big. It’s this ginormous hole and the families, the parents generally, live in settlements that have been created that surround this big hole in the earth.”
She goes to Guatemala every six weeks with Life of Hope Ministries.
“Medical care, needing food, clothing. Whatever the basics are. That those things, one at a time, gives them hope that is way beyond whatever I could imagine.”
And, she — along with her husband — have made sure 5 Guatemalan children get all the basic life necessities — including Anderson, who they’ve sponsored for 7 years.
“I’ve watched him grow and raised up living in the landfill, living in a horrific situation, has a great mom, but mom is working really hard to just provide basic needs.”
Maybe she loves Anderson so much because it isn’t the first time she’s taken a child under her wing.
“I met a young lady when she was 6 years old. Her name was Jessica.”
Nancy met her daughter Jessica while volunteering at a muscular dystrophy summer camp and, over time, they became inseparable.
“Her real mother and I came to an understanding of sorts that I really, really, really loved her daughter. And she asked if I would be willing to care for her daughter.”
Although Jessica died 9 years ago, when she was just 27 years old, Nancy looks back at their time together with fond memories.
“We had a lot of fun together. I got her into trouble, I got her out of trouble.”
Nancy fiercely loves god and her faith gets her through each and every day.
But it wasn’t always that way — an unfortunate incident when she was 18 would make her question everything.
“It completely changed my life and I ran from God. And I chose to go the complete opposite direction because I thought, ‘Wow. How could God love me in this, right?'”
She lived recklessly for the next 18 years of her life, until she found her faith once again.
“I could have died, but God kept me for something different. And I’m really thankful for that.”
So thankful, she’ll continue her mission work in Guatemala for years to come.
“Our days are numbered but it doesn’t mean they’re numbered until the end. It means they’re numbered to do today the best that we can to do what we do.”