(The Man Up Leadership Team at the 2014 Summit get a look at our YouTube video featuring some of our ministry partners in Uganda.)
The time has come for Man Up to, well, Man Up. 2014 served as one of our most spiritually significant years. During our 2014 trips, which were centered around orphan care and men’s empowerment, we saw an outpouring of God’s grace in the lives of many young men and women. Unexpectedly, God opened doors in-country to share the Gospel in Ugandan high schools, middle schools, and primary schools, and we saw over 250 professions of faith. We recognize that only God knows the heart, but have been encouraged at those who are now plugged into a church with one of our local ministry partners in the area following their professions.
In addition to this, we have continued to partner with our ministry partners in Uganda in the following ways:
- Have cleared land for a forestation project aimed at building sustainability for our partner’s ministry
- Built a chicken coop for the same purpose of sustainability
- Purchased additional land to secure a space for future growth of the Bethel Junior School, a ministry of our partner, Home Again Ministry
- Helped finish the Kerith Health Clinic to reach rural Ugandans with both their medicinal and spiritual needs
- Lord willing will launch a Super Saturday feeding program in the next few months with the help of Convoy of Hope, aimed at providing nutrient-laden meals to over 100,000 children over the next two years
- Ministered to over 1000 orphans, 150 widows and single mothers, and 300+ men during our Man Up and Go Mission Trips by “loving BIG” on them
And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. This past year, it became abundantly clear to the Man Up and Go leadership team that it was time to incorporate as an official 501(c)3 ministry. Since 2011 when the Man Up vision was founded by Roger Gibson and the first Man Up and Go trip commenced, we have operated as an organization-less entity. That is, we are simply men and women from all facets and walks of life united in the common cause of orphan care, bereft of any official organizational leadership, doing what we could to make a difference. And while we are still united in Christ’s cause to visit orphans and widows in their distress, we are now primed to do it with intentionality and clear direction.
This past November, 14 members of the Man Up and Go Leadership Team commenced at a cabin in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri for a weekend of reporting what God has done, casting a vision for the future of what we believe He wants to do, and of course, “sick fellowship.”
(Part of the sick fellowship included consuming lots and lots of food.)
During this Summit, the following major decisions were made:
1. An Executive Team of Board Members would provide vision and leadership for the organization.
2. A subsequent team of carefully selected individuals with a passion for orphan care, individual talents and treasure, and love for Jesus would round out a larger Board of Directors, providing counsel and financial wherewithal to stabilize the organization’s growing needs.
3. Man Up and Go would hire its first CEO in organization history to champion the efforts and initiatives of the non-profit ministry, both domestically and internationally.
4. A world-class website telling the story of Man Up and Go, the need for Orphan Care in the world, and Our Response to this need, would be required to attract like-minded Champions who want to respond with us (be on the lookout for our new website!).
5. We would conduct at least two trips to Uganda in 2015, a vision trip to Nicaragua, as well as our inaugural RAGBRAI Bike-Across-Iowa Fundraiser to help facilitate God’s call on this ministry. You can request your application for these trips HERE.
6. We would continue to seek strategic partnerships both internationally and locally, and vet their compatibility with our initiatives.
7. Initiating pathways for engagement and discipleship of Man Up Champions, and creating a robust leadership training mechanism for future trip leaders would be vital to our continued success and God’s continued blessing and favor over the ministry.
8. Prayer. Prayer would be the organization’s lifeline, noting that nothing is impossible without God, and nothing is worth doing without God’s stamp of approval all over it.
2015 is shaping up to be our best year yet. We are optimistic that the hope of the Gospel is powerful enough to overcome even the deepest depths of spiritual, relational, emotional, and physical poverty this world has even known. The orphan crisis will not be solved overnight, but there is hope on the horizon, and we simply want to be a part of the solution.
I pray you join with us as we celebrate the new year, looking forward to all the great and mighty deeds our God will do in 2015!