Answered Prayer!

We would like to say thank you to all those that joined UTRI in praying for the mother of Sara Gutierrez, founder of Pilar De Esparanza Orphanage and dear friend of UTRI. Her mother was in the ICU for over a week; no diagnosis was given, but her condition was serious enough to call in her family. However, she miraculously recovered last week, and was released to return home to Houston. We are rejoicing with Sara for God’s answered prayer in her life!


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The Power of Small Stories

Last week, a team from Colorado joined UTRI in bringing God’s love and hope to a neighborhood challenged by intense poverty. A house was built, another home was repaired and finished, and Bible studies were held each day for women and children. Behind each of these big projects are small stories that reveal the powerful way God uses His children.

One example is a girl named Iran; she and her family live in the same neighborhood and received a home from this team last year. The team had the opportunity during the week to visit her home and bring the family gifts. When she proudly showed them her room, they tearfully noticed a picture of them on her dresser. She remembered each one by name. Every day, Iran brought her friends and family to the Bible study and helped with the children’s activities. She glowed as she saw other children in her neighborhood receiving the same love that had changed her life a year ago.

Another example is Yadira, a woman who lives across the street from the house being repaired. She attended the Bible study the first day and shared a prayer request: her son was in prison. The second day, Yadira came to the work site and explained that she wouldn’t be able to make it to the Bible Study that day. Her son was injured in prison and was being taken to the hospital. The women from the team went into Yadira’s home and prayed with her, sharing Scripture and words of encouragement. They sent her with food for her and her son, and led the Bible study in praying for her that afternoon. This fellow believer, who had felt so hopeless, was strengthened by these sisters from thousands of miles away.

There are countless stories of God at work this week. A girl who came to the Bible study who spoke perfect English, and was able to help translate. Men that passed the construction sites every day, watching volunteers work steadily in the hot sun, filled with the joy of Christ. Two women who heard the Gospel and gave their hearts to Christ. Children that heard over and over that they are valuable, important, and loved by the God of the Universe. Each story is a seed planted, the Holy Spirit changing lives. Thank you, Summit Baptist, for giving of your time, resources, and hearts to make an eternal difference for the Kingdom of God!


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Tacos and Talk

Great Tacos!

I spent this morning in Mexico visiting with Jorge.  He runs a ministry that helps special needs children.  Next month a team from Colorado will be building a house to help one of his “kids”.  We discussed the details of that project and then Jorge asked if he could buy me lunch. We went to a local taco restaurant, “El Fagon” and enjoyed great tacos.

Please pray with us

  • For the health of the children
  • For the finances needed
    to continue
  • The parents will have the courage to continue to carry the heavy load
  • For the team coming to build the house
  • That the house will be a refuge
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A New Home for Jose


This Fall, we had the opportunity to meet the family of Jose, a 17 year old boy in Reynosa, Mexico. Jose requires continual care due to health issues and his family works very hard to care for him, despite difficult conditions. Their current home is small, poorly-constructed, and the lack of insulation makes the heat inside the house overwhelming.

This is where Summit Baptist Church, from Wiggins, CO comes in. In November, this church team will partner with UTRI to build Jose’s family a new home. They will be able to better care for their son, but even more importantly, they wil receive love and encouragement from other believers! Please join us in praying for Jose and his family, and for this upcoming construction project.

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Summer Teams in Salt Lake

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Pictured are young people from Gorman Baptist Church and Risen Life Church. Men pictured are from Emmaus Church.

This summer it was a privilege to come alongside Risen Life Church in Holladay, UT and Gorman Baptist Church from Durham, NC in fellowship, sightseeing, cultural training, Bible studies, manual labor, outreach, prayer, and play all for God’s glory!

We are also thankful for the chance to partner with the men from Emmaus Church (Springfield, Missouri) and Upon This Rock International in prayer .

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Get to know us: SLC Edition 9


1. Where are you from?

Greg- born in Boston, MA, grew up in Maine

Tiffany- born in CA, grew up in UT

2. What brought you to Salt Lake?

Greg’s mom actually met his Step-Dad, Kevin, on an online Baptist dating service back in the 90′s. Kevin came to meet Greg’s mom and the family decided to move to Salt Lake.

Tiffany’s mom got a divorce from her sister’s dad and their Grandmother had a sister that lived in UT and suggested that the family move here.

3. What are your occupations?

Greg is Tech Support with Client Track here in the Salt Lake area and Tiffany is a stay-at-home mom to Presley age 5, Scarlet age 2, and Jude age 10 months.

4. What do you enjoy most about being part of Christ Fellowship?

Real relationships, not getting lost in a crowd, and transparency

5. What verse do you lean on for courage and strength?

Jude 1:24-25 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Greg and Tiffany chose to name their youngest, Jude, after this verse and it is a constant encouragement to them both as they hear it in different contexts. They had no idea how uplifting this verse would be when Jude was born.

Tiffany shared that as soon as Jude was born they only had a short time with him before he was rushed off to the NICU. The nurse had told Greg that she would bring him back by, but when Greg went to go look for him in the nursery he found that his son wasn’t there. No one told them that he even needed to go to the NICU. It was 16 hours later that they were finally able to see their son again.

When Jude was 6 months old he was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus. He had a cat scan done and then the possibility of him having Dandy Walker Syndrome or a brain tumor came into play. Jude came through the surgery great, but the possibility of having Dandy Walker still greatly concerned both Greg and Tiffany. It wasn’t until 5 weeks later at Jude’s post-op appointment with his surgeon did they realize that Jude did not have this Syndrome. The Dandy Walker Syndrome had been grouped with the Hydrocephalus because most often it is the cause in infants.

God uses what has happened with Jude constantly in Greg and Tiffany’s lives. They have had many opportunities to share about God’s goodness and connect with other people that they may not have ever connected with had it not been for Jude!

Check out Emmaus’s visit to Salt Lake City at!

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National Day of Play

Alamo has been named “Playful City USA”.  To celebrate this they held a National Day of Play and invited us to participate.  We spent the day organizing/playing games and helping with whatever needed to be done.  Our relationship with the City of Alamo continues to grow and we look forward to partnering with them in other community events!

Chalk art by UTRI interns:)

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North Carolina Team Visits Salt Lake

Check out more pics of the Gorman Baptist Church youth group and learn what they did this past week at!





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Serving at Pillar of Hope

In June, we spent two weeks serving at Pillar of Hope orphanage.

Evergreen Church from Springfield, Missouri spent the week of June 17-22 serving with us at the orphanage.  We were able to move all the equipment from the old kitchen into the new kitchen and complete all the plumbing.  The new kitchen/dining hall is now fully operational!  In addition, the team helped with miscellaneous maintenance jobs and cleaning.  They also held a cookout for the kids, shared the gospel and tie-dyed t-shirts!  Evergreen not only served at the orphanage but worked at UTRI constructing a permanent canopy onto the side porch.  It was a great week and we appreciate all that the team accomplished!  Thanks for serving us and with us!

Preston Baptist Church from Preston, Oklahoma spent the week of June 24-29 also serving at Pillar.  We spent the week painting the entrance of the orphanage and the fence.  Due to the extreme heat, our days started early to avoid the rising temperatures. The dedication of the team was not only encouraging to us at UTRI but also to Sara, Paulien and the kids at the orphanage!  Each afternoon we would hang out with the kids and love on them!  Thanks Preston Baptist for coming down, enduring the heat and sharing God’s love with our friends at Pillar!

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Get to know us: SLC Edition 8


1. Where are you from?

Jefferson City, MO

2. What brought you to SLC?

Because of the low evangelical rating, the Payne’s began looking into the possibility of moving here while Javan was attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Javan learned about Adam and Christ Fellowship through one of Adam’s mentors in the seminary. Both, Javan and Lindsay, want to be part of something where they can partner with other like-minded people. They believe that church planting should be done in teams/partnerships like the biblical model that we see with Paul and Timothy.

3. What are your occupations?

Javan- part-time Bible teacher

Lindsay- full-time wife and mom

4. What do you enjoy most about Christ Fellowship?

community, fellowship, intimacy, worshiping together, sharing meals together, striving to be Biblically grounded and be what the Bible says the church is.

5. What verse do you lean on for courage and strength?


I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Phil. 3:14

Stanza from “O Church Arise”:

So Spirit come put strength in every stride
Give grace for every hurdle
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful
As saints of old still line the way
Retelling triumphs of His grace
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When with Christ we stand in glory


Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.    - James 1:22-25


Check out what we talked about Sunday, ” Uniquely Wired & Placed For God’s Mission ” at!


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