Lucy Huston

January 8, 1921 – February 23, 2011

Lucy-Huston-1-237x300Lucy Huston, who passed away February 23, 2011, served more than 22 years as a Free Methodist missionary in Paraguay.

Lucy Solomon, born in New Castle, Pennsylvania, became a member of a Free Methodist Sunday school when she was about four years old. As a teen, she became very active in youth work in both local and district organizations. Practically all of her activities centered on the church, including Sunday school and Young People’s Missionary Society activities. Following an appeal by Miss Genva Sayre at summer camp meeting, Lucy dedicated her life to missionary service.

In 1943 Lucy entered Roberts Wesleyan College, North Chili, New York, for her first two years of college education. She then transferred to Seattle Pacific University, Washington, in January 1946, completing her work for a bachelor’s degree in 1947. There Lucy met and married fellow student, Ernest Huston.

For the next few years, Lucy taught in Seattle area public schools. In 1952, Ernest was asked to serve as pastor of a new church being organized as the North City Church of Seattle. The Hustons saw excellent growth and earned practical experience they would put to use later internationally.

Following appointment by the missionary board in June 1956 to Paraguay, the Hustons started language school that fall in Costa Rica. They arrived in Asuncion, Paraguay, by September 1957.

Lucy set up her “family school” to teach their five children: David, James, Richard, Gene and Suzanne. Soon other missionary parents asked Lucy to enlarge her class. The second year, there were 13 children in grades 1 through 8 at the school named Asuncion Christian Academy. More and more families wanted to send their children to a Christian school, especially an American one. As a result, a school for international children developed. By 1980, the staff expanded to 12 teachers and 125 students from pre-K to 12th grade were enrolled. The school ministered to Paraguayan, Brazilian, Italian, German, English, Rhodesian, South African, Korean, Chinese and Japanese children and their families. One of Lucy’s most significant experiences was leading foreign students to the Lord, helping them grow spiritually and witnessing to their parents.

Lucy-Huston-2-300x259In addition to serving as principal and at times teacher at Asuncion Christian Academy, Lucy also prepared Spanish materials for vacation Bible school and held home Bible studies. She conducted literacy classes and Bible studies for women, some of whom would not attend services at church.

“This year,” Lucy wrote in 1979, “we can report that, after all these more than 20 years, our Free Methodists here are showing maturity and spiritual growth. The majority of the church leaders are nationals now, and it’s exciting to see former Sunday school children as teachers or leading the service. For many church members, tithing has finally become a pleasant habit.

“The Women’s Missionary society has begun a ‘ten cents-a-day for missions’ program. The funds are divided for partial support of a lay pastor in the interior, a monthly offering to a new family of believers who are very poor, and sponsoring a child in Haiti.

“Here in Paraguay people are not coming to the Lord by entire families or tribes, nor by the hundreds and thousands through mass evangelism. They are coming to the Lord by ones and twos, but we know that the angels in heaven rejoice over each one. And our work and your prayers and offerings are not in vain.”

The Hustons returned to the U.S. in 1980 after more than 22 years of service in Paraguay. Ernest returned to pastoral ministry. Lucy continued teaching.

In 1983, Lucy was honored as the “founding mother” of the Asuncion Christian Academy. A ground breaking ceremony kicked off plans for the new Lucy Huston Library. Lucy was able to attend ceremonies for the 25th class graduation.

Lucy’s Colleague Writes

“When I remember ‘Donya Lucy,’” writes former missionary Tim Shumaker, “I think of lamb stew made with grape leaves she picked right there on the mission property which we shared when we first arrived in June 1968.

“Lucy took us shopping for fruits, vegetables and meat in the open air market, fresh bread and pastries at the Landau Bakery. She took our kids to school at ‘ACA — Asuncion Christian Academy’ — which she helped start and she directed when we were there. Our kids, Mark and Beth, piled into the Jeep Wagoner with Suzie and Genie and we traveled down Espanya St. to an old mansion near the Spanish Embassy the school rented at that time.

“Another ritual Lucy presided over was Family Night. This usually involved a trip downtown to a restaurant where we would all climb up on the round stools around an endless semicircular bar to order two empanadas de carne and a ‘Pulp Naranja’ soft drink. Afterwards, we would sometimes go to the “mirador” which overlooked the Bay of Asuncion and watch the boats moving on the water and the people fishing as the sun went down.”