Emily and Joe met in March of 2006. Shortly after coming together they encountered the truth of the grace and love of Jesus Christ and their lives were radically transformed. Just seven months into their relationship Joe proposed to Emily by asking her if she would ‘spend the rest of her life chasing Jesus with him.’ Two months later they were married and continued to grow in their love for each other as they grew in their love for God.
Katelyn, the Knapp’s oldest daughter came along a few years later. Anna, their second daughter, followed a few years after that. Isaac completed the family of five as he burst onto the scene two years behind Anna.
Emily has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and worked in sales and marketing up until Katelyn came along. She is now a super-mom who home-schools their children, runs a photography business, and spends time loving on their friends, youth students, and church family.
Joe is an Information Technology Professional and has been working in the Internet Service Provider field for nearly 20 years. Until very recently he was the IT Director for the City of Sandy where he managed the deployment and operation of Sandy’s Fiber-to-the-Home internet service, SandyNet.
The Knapp’s began their life of ministry by taking small steps of obedience as the Lord opened doors and opportunities for them to serve within the local church. Working with children’s ministries, helping with media and worship, and sharing devotionals at small group gatherings were some of the first tastes of ministry and service. Once they had a taste, their hunger only grew.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
After a few years of serving the church in a layperson capacity. Joe and Emily were presented with an opportunity to join the church staff as Youth Directors. Recognizing a need for better training to take on this task, Joe began to study for and seek credentials with the Assemblies of God. Serving in this capacity for over six years has been one of the greatest joys of their lives.
Missions has been on the heart and mind of the Knapp’s since the beginning of their relationship. They have always felt that perhaps God had missions work in their future. When the concept of business as missions was introduced to them in 2014, they had a suspicion that God might use their professional skills combined with their love of ministry and the church, to take them somewhere away from home.
In 2017 Joe was invited to join a team of Pastors on a trip to Ecuador. It was during this trip that the Lord confirmed and clarified those suspicions. Though Latin America was never on Joe’s radar, it became very clear that the Knapps are called to utilize the skill sets God has been developing in them over their entire lives to serve with the Unsion team in Cuenca, Ecuador.
When missionaries Bill and Connie McDonald were offered a television frequency in 2003, God gave them a dream: offer the people in Cuenca, Ecuador, an alternative to the often violent and sexually explicit television broadcasts on secular networks. They had no idea that within the next several years their family-values programming would impact the Hispanic community worldwide through cable and satellite television.
Today, the ministry has more than 40 employees and many volunteers. Unsión is more than a TV channel, it is a MINISTRY through Unsión+ which has these four branches:
• Connection –Connecting people to churches where they can be disciples for Jesus Christ. Using Más Café as a connection to the public and community.
• Counseling – Unsión reaches into Hispanic life through Unsión+’s lay and professional counseling services, ministry to those with addictions (April Project), and call center.
• Compassion – Unsión’s compassion ministry is expressed through Latin America ChildCare, medical clinics, evangelism outreaches and church planting.
• Coaching – We provide training to groups and individuals in areas that will help them be better people, Christians, parents, and witnesses.
Millions still have not heard the gospel! Please pray for this innovative, life-transforming compassion ministry.
Joe and Emily will be joining the Unsión team in Ecuador and utilizing their experience in ministry, technology, and business as they work to expand the reach and effectiveness of this great work.