The Reach UP Team


Crystal Wacker Knapp graduated Vanguard University with a B. A. degree in Christian Education. In the ensuing years she has been a teacher, a children’s pastor and a marketing assistant. Knapp credits the skills used in all those career paths as well as her nine years living and in one of the most dangerous inner cities in the United States, Brooklyn, New York for her current focus and passion – Reach UP Magazine. It was while in New York and working with an aggressive children’s outreach (which during her course of time reached in excess of 20,000 children a week plus families) where she cut her teeth on writing their donor communication pieces. She embraced the twin pillar of responsibility, that of identifying with the people by living in tenement housing and visiting families every week in her territory of 6×11 blocks located in East New York. Following her last session at their women’s conference, the seed-thought for a magazine specifically targeting marginalized women was planted. With no funds, but lots of connections and enthusiasm, Reach UP magazine debuted December 6, 2007. In addition to her role as Editor-in-chief of Reach UP Magazine, Crystal also serves with her husband with New Tribes Mission in their Public Relations Department on the Stewardship and Development team. They make their home in Mesa, Arizona, and are the proud grandparents of 28.

DAVID KNAPP (Business Manager; contributing writer)

Following Bible College and Seminary training at Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, David Knapp joined the ministry of Ethnos360, a missionary sending agency for primitive cultures of the world. His roles have included President of two training schools including a junior college level Bible school. He has also functioned as a PR field manager, recruiting representative and fundraiser for NTM over his 40-year career with NTM. His experiences have also included managing rental properties, operating a ranch and being owner of a carpet cleaning business. Knapp’s doctorate was awarded from Penial Baptist Seminary. Most recently David self-published his first book which made Amazon Best Seller list, I Didn’t Know What To Say and speaks nationally and internationally on the broad, universally experienced subject of grief. David has served on the Board of Directors for Kidz @ Heart Ministries.


Christina Williams is a full-time volunteer Adult Ministries Coordinator for City Church in Sanford, FL. She oversees discipleship and small groups, helping people grow in Christ. Prior to that she worked freelance for a Christian publisher, writing church curriculum, and ghostwriting and editing books. Christina has written adult discipleship curriculum for her church, and has taught classes extensively. She currently facilitates the biblical education for her church’s intern program. Christina and her husband, Kip, love spending time with their grandkids or snorkeling in the Florida waters. She has been the volunteer editor for Reach UP Magazine since its inception. 

ROBERT GIBSON (Graphic Artist)

Bahamas born and raised, Robert Gibson, graduated from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interactive Media Design. After graduating college, it took about three years before he was able to use the degree he gained due to the small design industry in The Bahamas. Undeterred, he got a job with The Bahamas Government for 18 months. Gradually he formulated his personal mission “to give start-up businesses who have quality products and services the look they otherwise couldn’t afford” and free-lanced utilizing his artistic skills. Reach UP Magazine had a vision that Robert liked and became one of his frequent free-lance jobs. As his client list grew Robert formed his own company, Square1 Media Group.

JODI-KAY AKERS   (Spanish Translator)

Jodi-Kay Akers has had a passion for Spanish ever since the 7th grade. A non-native speaker of the language, Jodi earned a B.A. in Spanish and a M.A. in Translation. She has translated Reach UP on a quarterly basis since 2009. She integrates some of the tools acquired during her tenure as a Translation Manager for an international missions organization. Jodi currently works as a Project Coordinator for a small software company and is actively involved in her local church serving in the Media Department and LifeGroups. She occasionally facilitates a Financial Peace University class with her husband to bring hope and guidance to those with financial burdens. She lives with her husband and their two cats in Plantation, Florida.

MONA RÉ SHIELDS   (Spanish Editor)

MonaRé Shields was raised in LaPaz, Bolivia. Upon her graduation from high school in Bolivia, she entered North Central University where she earned a B.A. Degree in Christian Education. She has her Masters degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, in Spanish and Education. Currently she and her husband are now the directors of the Latin American Advanced School of Theology which serves all the Spanish speaking countries of Latin America and the U.S. As such they travel extensively. Mona’s passion is to reach women and ministry leaders with Biblical truth that can bring joy, fulfillment and meaning to life. Since 2009 MonaRé volunteers as the second editor for the Spanish translation of Reach UP Magazine ensuring accuracy and comprehension for a broad spectrum of Hispanic cultures.

DEEDREE KUSTICH   (Bookkeeper/Accountant)

Deedree Kustich has been involved with accounting for 36 years.  She always loved numbers and the way they work. She received her AA in Accounting at Yavapai College in Arizona, but changed course and got a BS in Missions at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Texas. Deedree feels blessed to be able to use her gifts to help businesses and ministries. For 26 years she was the bookkeeper for her church and Christian school.  Presently, she divides her time as the bookkeeper for several businesses in Torrance, CA, as well as volunteering her services for Reach UP Magazine.



Karen Duckett spent most of her twenty-three years of inner-city ministry, living in the inner-city. “It gives you a different perspective than if you drive in from the suburbs,” she says. The best part of her work was visiting the children and families in their homes and bringing them to church each week, to help them connect with God and fruitful living.

Wanting to do even more, Karen fostered and/or adopted twelve children from the city, who are now grown and living on their own.

In both New York City and Detroit, Karen headed up neighborhood outreach, trained staff, volunteers, and interns, and led short-term missions teams. In her spare time, Karen created ministry videos and training videos that helped spawn like-ministries in many parts of the world, wrote children’s curriculum, and co-wrote a ministry manual on reaching your neighborhood with God.

“This is why I love Reach UP Magazine so much,” Karen says. “I know first-hand that it is NEEDED and that it WORKS to empower and encourage women of all ages! Partnering with ministries who distribute it to women as part of their on-going ministry to them is EXACTLY what is needed and what works!”

In 1997, while still in inner-city ministry, God birthed Karen’s current ministry, Rescued for Destiny – Joel 2 Army, in her heart. She enjoys leading this ministry from the middle, with God in charge.

Karen co-produces/hosts a live broadcast Christian music and talk show, Vital Force Radio, with her husband Timothy.


Mike Miller – coming soon


Elaine Mizuo – coming soon


Christy Sobolick, East Central Ministries

Everyone really enjoyed the last issue.

Bruce Marchiano, Actor, Author and Producer

“What you’re doing through Reach UP is very exciting and special. Well done!”

Joanna Lopez-Walker, Tampa Housing Authority

“Reach UP brings a smile to the people getting it.”

Linda “Peaches” Tavani, WowJam/originally of “Peaches & Herb

“Great to be Reunited. Love your mission. Blessings!”

Charreah Jackson, Essence Magazine



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