Reaching Broken People with Unconditional Love in Salt Lake City

Bryan Catherman praying and sharing the gospel with a woman on the street

In some ways, the west side of Salt Lake City, Utah, mirrors the Samaria of the Bible.

“Our area is a lot like Samaria,” said Bryan Catherman, a North American Mission Board church planter and lead pastor of Redeeming Life Church. “Many people don’t want to come to the west side, and most of those who live here wished they lived somewhere else. There’s a shame complex here, meaning that people who live in our area are seen as kind of second-class citizens. . . . Many . . . feel they have little or no value in light of the larger community.”

For 4 years, Catherman, wife Lisa, and their 3 children have been taking the love and gospel of Jesus to forgotten people.

“As ambassadors of Jesus’ kingdom, we are called to reach broken people like Jesus reached us, [with] an unconditional love,” Catherman said. “Many people in our area . . . have been hurt by a false religion preaching a false gospel. That means, we must invest years, decades even, loving them long enough that they can see and hear the hope, grace, and love of Jesus and follow Him. . . . We also go into some of the most challenging pockets of brokenness (places marked by homelessness, drug addiction, and human trafficking) to shine the light of Christ. It’s not easy, but it’s where the gospel and prayer are greatly needed.”

Between 2015 and 2018, the Cathermans and missions teams sought to put the gospel into 56,000 homes on the west side. To date, 17,000 gospel booklets and 800 Bibles have been distributed; 1,200 nonbelievers have received prayer; and the plan of salvation has been shared more than 200 times. Forty-eight individuals have asked Jesus to be their Savior, and 25 have been baptized.

Prostitution and drug activity are decreasing; businesses are returning. Also a couple of hundred missions team members have committed to living for Jesus in hardened areas, Bryan Catherman said.

Pray for God’s redemption in Salt Lake City; continued resources to support Redeeming Life Church; and more laborers to work in the area.

Leigh Pritchett lives in the southeastern United States, which is a vast missions field.

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