31 May 2008


We are praising God as He has blessed us with different appointments with potential ministry partners that have been really encouraging lately! It is so encouraging to share our vision and calling to a small group and have people come up afterwards as say that they were excited and want to hear more!

This encouragement is much needed because, reality is, God has called us to be raising support as a time where the economy isn't really doing that great. It's tough at time and, yes, we do ask ourselves: why now?

Sorry, we don't have the answer. One idea could be that perhaps God is pushing the world to begin to live more simplified in order to gain more glory for Himself. We don't know the big picture. We can't even begin to wrap our mind around God's plans. We just know that He has provided for us all along this journey. He is drawing us to Keynote, and He is our Ultimate Provider.

Reflecting back on just a few recent provisions:
-He provided us with a great community of believers with our church after just one week of living in Dayton after we got married.
-He provided a job for Jonelle for the last half of this school year that was contracted at the exact amount remaining on our car loan so we can be debt free.
-He provided us a place to live that will let us get out of our lease with no penalties when we need to move to Indy.
-Ultimately though, God has provided us with a way to live out our faith and allow Him to be glorified as we encourage others of what Christ's death has done for us.

Maybe it's not a big theology lesson. After all, it could be as simple as God saying something like: Hey, look at everything that I have provided for you already. Look where I have led you. Please don't doubt that I can provide for you in this stage of you lives as well. Just trust me and walk.

-J & T

15 May 2008


I finally got word on what the rest of my summer is going to look like. My supervisor cleared for me to do some short term TDY in lovely Portsmouth Ohio. I will be away from Jonelle during the week and come home thursday evenings in order to spend some time with her on weekends doing some fun MPD. It is a sacrifice, but I am okay with it, I just ask that you could pray for us during these next weeks while I am away. After that I will work in Montgomery county (where we live) doing some hearings for new home values, I know sounds exciting. That starts in July. So the outlook on my position will be done near the beginning of August. It is good to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but yet, we have a long way to go with support raising. Being away sounds like a bummer, but it will free up my fridays in order to commit a whole day towards MPD, so that is a blessing for sure. Jonelle will be finished soon with school and she can commit a lot more time to MPD while I am still working. Some might ask, why keep working, the answer is so we can pay off the lovely Saturn and help our Ministry Partners feel relieved that they are not paying towards our debt. It is almost paid for, we just need to see our government surplus check!

11 May 2008

Prayer Letter Update

Here is a link to our latest prayer letter for the month of May:

May Prayer Letter

Let us know if you would like to receive this monthly update via email.

-The Utts

10 May 2008

Back Again.

This past month has been crazy! [in case you hadn't inferred from our lack of posts] We apologize for the lack of updates since, well, you are walking along side of us on our journey and would love to know what is going on!

Right now we're getting ready to transition out of being youth leaders at our church. We certainly love the students whom we work with, but need to transition out of these roles to focus more on ministry partner development. We'll be 'officially' done at the end of this month. Two really neat things that have happened in the last month with the youth, though, are the spring retreat and a fundraising dinner/silent auction. I'd love to highlight those quickly for you.

Spring Retreat [taken from our most recent prayer letter]:

We recently went on spring retreats with the students whom we work with at our church. The boys and the girls went two separate locations. The weekend was filled with conversation, challenges, encouragement, and little sleep! Here is a small glimpse into each of our weekends:

The guys truly had an outdoor adventure – tent camping on a 10-acre lot. No showers. No bathrooms. Our theme was: R.E.A.L Manhood. We talked about what it means to Reject Passivity, Embrace Integrity, Accept Responsibility, and Lead Courageously as men in this world. We also did manly things like log throwing, cooking over a blazing fire, and hiking through a hailstorm. The boys had numerous questions about real masculinity, and the leaders were encouraged by the integrity that was expressed throughout the weekend!

The girls had their own adventure, packing into a cabin down deep in the woods of Southern Ohio – with no cell phone reception! Our theme was: Basilieos, which means “royalty” in Greek. We talked about control, identity, and worship, while focusing on 1 Peter 2:9:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
I was encouraged to see relationships being built among high school and middle school students! I pray these relationships grow back at home!

Spaghetti Diner & Silent Auction Fundraiser:

This is hot off the press! The event was last night. Our middle schoolers have been planning this event since January. All the money donated from ticket sales & the silent auction is going to buy supplies and items for the Miami Valley Women's Center, a local crisis pregnancy center. We had about 25 items up for bid for the silent auction ranging from family outing baskets, date night baskets, man baskets, and more. We were so grateful for all the auction items that were donated! We still do not have an exact total, but God raised a tad over $1,000 through ticket sales and silent auction items! Praise Him! My middle school girls' small group will be taking the money soon and buying supplies [such as diapers, formula, clothing, infant care products] for the center to help women & families who find themselves in crisis pregnancy situations. After we buy those supplies, we're going over to the center to put all the supplies away.

We've had a blast through the past two years with these students through small groups, retreats, camps, and other events. We will certainly miss hanging out weekly with our students and other leaders, but we really feel that this is the right time to be transitioning out of youth ministry. God has given us a great peace about the timing. Praise Him for the neat things that He is doing in our students' lives!