One Couple's Generous Journey

By Ruth Leigh | 14 September 2016

One couple's generous journey - a stewardship blog

Suffolk-based Jane and Alan Hutt were leading a comfortable life with secure jobs. Life was settled: they attended a village church and had a strong Christian faith. Their three children were starting out on their own adult lives: one about to start teacher training; one ready to graduate and the youngest about to embark on his university career. The easiest thing in the world would have been to stay put. But in 2013, everything changed when they answered God’s call to move to Nakuru in Kenya and found the Beehive, a home for child mothers and their babies.

At the time, Jane was a Behaviour Support worker in a local high school, getting alongside disaffected students. Alan was a self-employed painter and decorator. “We did feel daunted at taking a leap into the unknown,” they explain, “but we trusted God and felt it was the right thing for us to do.”

As the Hutts faced an unknown future, they began to learn the habit of practicing sacrificial generosity. In leaving for Kenya, they were giving up a comfortable lifestyle, an assured income and standard of living, control over their own futures and the chance to be in the same country as their three children, all of whom were at the beginning of a new venture. “The biggest wrench for us was leaving as our son started his degree at Brighton – that really was a sacrifice.”

Jane and Alan spent a day with Stewardship getting to grips with the basics of support-raising and financial good practice, applied and were approved as Stewardship recipients, packed up and headed off to Nakuru. That was three years ago. From life on a quiet estate with one teenage son, they now share a typical Kenyan house with seven teenage girls, one bump and six babies and toddlers. “We are now Mum and Dad to seven girls and grandparents to six little children, so we’ve exchanged our peaceful home for something much more lively! What with broken nights, potty training, cooking, cross-cultural differences and a healthy dose of hormonal teenage girls, our lives are very different now!” explains Jane. “As well as the practical difficulties, we are fighting a spiritual battle every day too,” adds Alan. “We know all about Ephesians 6!”

This year, there have been more changes involving letting go. “We’ve had to make the decision to let out our family home and sell our family car. We’ve been offered a house on the Essex-Suffolk border to rent when we’re back in England, but letting our house and car go has been a real sacrifice for us. However, we know that we can trust God to provide for us as He always has so far.”

As well as sacrificing certainty and a measure of control, the Hutts have found that their friendships and family relationships have changed. “We see our friends doing lovely things on Facebook and we’d love to be involved, but we only come back once a year, so it simply isn’t possible. We’re also aware that every visit to Alan’s elderly mother might be the last one. That said, by trusting God we are able to change lives here, saving the girls from abuse and lifting them out of dire circumstances. One of our mums, Katherine* and her toddler Alice* probably wouldn’t be alive now if they hadn’t come to the Beehive. We are working to get the girls to a place where their lives are sustainable and independent.”

Jane and Alan are faithfully living out a life of sacrificial generosity which changes lives. Their faith and trust in God is genuinely transformational both for them and those whose lives they touch. As they head into the next year at the Beehive Nakuru, their vision is unwavering – to show God’s love and compassion to vulnerable child mothers and their babies and to serve Him as he leads.

*not their real names


 

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