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4000-334-Knutson, Sam and Emma

God is directing us to be building the Kingdom with the people of Guayaquil, Ecuador. We will work with bringing healing and restoration in the lives of children and women who have been victimized and build a network of churches to better provide their communities with the resources that families need to find redemption.

Our Ministry:
We are being sent to Ecuador by WorldVenture, a missions organization that has over seventy-six years of experience in caring for the missionaries it supports so that those missionaries can all the more serve in the Kingdom of God. We have already felt that care and support that is ingrained in the culture of this organization. (For more information on WorldVenture, please see:

We will be teaming up with Paz y Esperanza (Peace and Hope) in Guayaquil, Ecuador. God has called us to partner with Paz y Esperanza to work alongside nationals in Ecuador to bring redemption and justice into the lives of the systemically abused so that the name of Christ is glorified and the people of Guayaquil see the love of our heavenly Father. Paz y Esperanza is an organization that works in Latin America alongside individuals, families, and communities in poverty so that they can live with dignity, free from violence and injustice. In order to effectively confront the culture of child sexual abuse and violence against women that is rampant in Ecuador, Paz y Esperanza implements a circle of justice, which consists of three key components: prevention, intervention, and reform. As part of the Guayaquil team, we will be working across these components. (For more information on Paz y Esperanza, please see:, the international website for Paz y Esperanza.)

Sam will use his pastoral and program building training and experience in supporting and building up a network of churches and seminaries that do social justice ministry to increase their theological and biblical capacity to address issues of violence and injustice, including pouring into local church leaders. He will also be producing pastoral materials and Bible studies that can be shared with churches on how to bring in the Kingdom of God visibly here and now.

Emma will be using her social work license to do therapy and case management with child and women victims and their families as they go through legal cases, assessing what next steps will be best to bring about healing, and following up on their needs. She will be supporting families and victims through sessions of psychological support, individual and group therapy.

A little about us:

We met at pre-orientation camp as freshmen at Wheaton College and dated throughout our collegiate career, during which God began to lay upon our hearts the desire to serve in Latin America. Emma was studying Spanish at the time and felt the tug of the Spirit toward that people and culture. As she shared this with Sam, he became excited and jumped on board. We married two months after graduating college ready to pursue this vision while also wanting to be realistic about where we were financially. Due to our student loans from college, we were unable to look into fulfilling that calling until now.

As we have waited for God to open the doors to missions, we moved to Colorado for continuing education: Sam received his Masters of Divinity at Denver Seminary and Emma received her Masters of Social Work at the University of Denver and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). We do understand the irony of waiting to pay off school debt and then pursuing further education, still God called us into those schools and provided for it all!

Throughout that time, we have served in many ministry roles together, including starting the student ministry program at our church and reaching the community surrounding our church through starting Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Columbine High School and Wyld Life at Ken Caryl Middle School. Throughout this, we moved from a student ministry that started with one kid to reaching over a hundred students every week. God worked through us in ways that we could never have predicted or planned. God affirmed our partnership in how we can be an effective team in building the Kingdom and we saw that ministry and Kingdom building happens by and through the Holy Spirit alone!

We are excited to take our passion for ministry and working together into the work God is doing in Ecuador. And we are so excited for you to partner with us in this mission. Please pray about whether God is leading you to partner with us in our ministry, whether through prayer, finances, coming to visit us in Ecuador, connecting us to others who share a passion for justice, or more.

Connect with Them on Instagram

Blogs and Articles on WorldVenture:
* From Participant to Volunteer
* How COVID19 Changed Language Learning
* God of Shepherds

Publications with WorldVenture:
* Peace to Those on Whom His Favor Rests–YOU!, Day 13

Ecuador, Americas