Accident leads to couple finding faith in adversity

Some students may find their faith tested and challenged during their time spent at California Baptist
University. Life, in the most unpredictable sense, can change course presenting hurdles and obstacles for those facing a test of faith.

Dec. 3, 2016, marked a turning point in the lives of Grace and Ivan Utomo. Grace, department secretary of physician
assistant studies and formerCBU student, was struck by a car while walking across the crosswalk on Magnolia Avenue headed toward campus. The hit-and-run left her skull fractured, her knees injured and her pelvis  fractured.

While Grace’s physical abilities have faltered, her and her husband Ivan’s faith have not. After many surgeries, Grace is on the road to recovery.

After the accident, Ivan quickly took to Facebook to share the incident and continues to update loved ones on the status of Grace’s recovery.

Currently, Grace and the
Utomo family are adjusting to life after a traumatic brain injury.

Ivan and Grace met in 2014 while playing piano and violin, respectively, in the University Choir and Orchestra. A year later, they married. Despite the adversity the couple now faces, they say the prayers of their friends and family and faith in God provide peace.

“We continue to trust God through this,” Ivan wrote in an update. “To him be the glory!”

Jericho Taetz, junior music education major and close friend of the Utomo family, said he is constantly amazed by Grace and Ivan’s faith.

“(I’m amazed by) Ivan, for his unwavering commitment to Grace and unequivocal trust and ultimately submission to God’s plan, and Grace for her determination and strength in Christ,” Taetz said. “Together they are a testimony of God’s goodness.”

Ivan has set up a GoFundMe where many friends, family and strangers have donated to help meet the $100,000 goal to cover hospital expenses. Taetz said the many groups in the music department take the time to pray for the couple daily.

“Many of the small groups have been praying for Grace and Ivan. I know my small group, Hope, has sat down numerous times to pray for God’s intersession on Grace’s behalf,” Taetz said. “Some of the ensembles have also donated financially
toward their hospital bills.”

Grace and Ivan have demonstrated their love of God and strength of their faith through this situation. To donate to Grace’s Recovery Fund, go to                       

About Hannah Tamimi


Leave a Reply