#PRAY127 01.27.20

Good afternoon! We are closing out January in our #PRAY127 initiative for 2020 by presenting to you, our Prayer Champions, one of our favorite African couples – Pastor Samuel and Mercy Mwesigwa.

Pastor Sam, as we call him, and his family have a special place in my heart. The first time I met them was in 2012, my first trip to Africa, as we travelled out to the “bush” to visit Papa Isaac’s son. Papa Isaac ran Canaan’s Children’s Home in Jinja for several decades, and his son – Sam – had gone from the big city of Jinja to plant a church in rural eastern Uganda in a town called Pallisa.

No one really wanted him to go. Why plant a church in the village when you have all the opportunities city life has to offer? The short answer is – God said so. A longer answer includes the fact that Pallisa back in 2009 was 85% Muslim or tribal religion, and the Gospel had very little root there. I appreciated his willingness to confront Muslims (at the time, I was very bold in confronting the new atheists here in the U.S., so we had a kinship of sorts).

Pictured above: Typical scenes on the road to Pallisa.

Since then God has blessed Sam and Mercy’s ministry mightily. Not only did they plant River of God Church and are rearing their four children to love the Lord, but what started out with just a few kids back in 2012 when I first met them has now grown to an accredited children’s home. Over 30 children call Kerith Children’s Home “home;” these kids have either lost their parents or their parents and/or relatives do not have the capacity to care for them.

I personally sponsor a boy, Philip, who has gone from a boy to now a young man and the elder statesman of the entire children’s home. I have seen first-hand what belief and confidence and hope can do for these kids!

Sam and Mercy are making a HUGE impact in the town of Pallisa.

Pictured above: Some of the children at Kerith’s. This shot was taken several years ago, and now many of the children have grown into teenagers.
Pictured below: The campus of the children’s home.

I haven’t even begun to tell you about the clinic, the school in Pallisa, the school in Osupa (which is where the children’s home is), the vocational training program for women, the agriculture endeavors, their support of AMP, and the extensive evangelism and church planting outreaches that Pastor Sam does through the church.

Early on Sam received death threats from Muslims as he “infiltrated” Pallisa and the surrounding area with the Gospel and good works. These days, the Muslims “tolerate” him because he’s feeding and educating their children at a high level.

Pictured here: Pastor Sam and Mercy’s children from left – Haddasah, Don, Rebecca, and John Mark.

I am truly only scratching the surface regarding the impact, breadth, and depth of this ministry Man Up partners with in rural eastern Uganda. But there are a few things that we ask of you in prayer today for this family and their ministry:

  • Please pray that the enemy would not divide their family and that they stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Eph 6:10).
  • Please pray for wisdom and discernment regarding decisions around the schools and children’s home. They are responsible for so many little lives.
  • They are in great need to separate the older children from the younger children in the children’s home. As children hit puberty, it’s critical to provide separate living quarters and age-appropriate spaces. Please pray for the resources to outfit and/or build a new facility that can accommodate this need.
  • Pray for continued blessing on their ministry – that the God of miracles would continue to make little resources stretch for big impact, like Elisha and the widow’s jar of oil (2 Kings 4:1-7).

Thank you for your partnership in this #PRAY127 initiative. Please invite others to join us in 2020 on this prayer journey. We are convicted it’s the thing most needed right now in the Man Up ministry!

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

Pictures below: These were taken on a recent trip by one of our team members, Emily Barnes, of a couple of the children in our Child Sponsorship Program receiving gifts from their sponsors.

#PRAY127 01.20.20

Happy Monday! This is the third week in our #PRAY127 initiative for 2020 and we couldn’t be more thrilled that you are participating alongside us. We are praying at 1:27 each Monday for a specific prayer request, but as our prayer Champion, you get a sneak peak at the request and more detail than we share on social media.

We are convicted and believe your prayers will do more for us this year than any strategy or vision or plan. Yes, we believe God has given us a vision, and yes, we have a plan, but without the hand of God through your petitions and prayers, we are bound to fall short of all that God has for us.

This week we’re praying specifically for our partners in the Dominican Republic – Pastor Kendar Robles and his wife Hozanna.

We met Pastor Kendar back in 2016 when we took our first Man Up mission trip to the Dominican Republic (DR). Pastor Kendar and his wife have been doing ministry in some of the toughest contexts in the DR for the past 20 years. An educated Baptist pastor who is theologically sound is very hard to find there. Moreover, Pastor Kendar has been serving the poor, the vulnerable, the orphan, and the widow – even harder to find!

They conduct their work in the “basurero,” or trash drump, in an area called Los Tres Brazos, in the heart of Santo Domingo.

Pictured here: A shot from the “basurero.”

Many of the people living here came from rural areas looking for work and settled on this trash dump. The make their living by collecting trash, bringing it back to their neighborhood, and looking for recyclables or other items to sell. The trash is placed on top of the marshy waters of the Rio Ozama River, which literally creates “real estate” protruding into the river.

Pictured here: Another shot of the basurero. You can see the carts that are used to go around town and collect trash, using horses as the mode of transportation.

After 18 months of relationship-building with Kendar and Hozanna, we helped implement
a child sponsorship program. At the time, no children were sponsored and Pastor Kendar and Hozanna were educating and feeding about 30-40 kids through the generosity of just one American champion. The name of their ministry is Centro Cristiano de Capacitaci√≥n y Ayuda Infantil (Christian Center of Children’s Help and Formation), but somehow we just call it CECCAI.

In the last 18 months, we have enrolled roughly 15 children to the program who are sponsored each month by Man Up champions in the U.S. This extra money has enabled Pastor Kendar and Hozanna to expand their reach to over 100 children, 15 of whom are non-literate adolescents.

Pictured here: Children from CECCAI, who range from 3-7, eat lunch.

As you could imagine, tripling the number of children you’re feeding and educating every day would put a serious strain on your ministry. But we know this is no challenge for our great God, and that’s why we’re asking you to pray this week in the following ways:

  • That Pastor Kendar would be resolute in his preaching, his theology, and his conviction that Jesus is the hope the people living in Los Tres Brazos need.
  • That Hozanna would receive wisdom and knowledge in how to administrate the needs of the school, which have tripled over the last year.
  • Our child sponsorship coordinator, Abbie, is transitioning out and her replacement will not be up to speed until later this year. Please pray for a smooth transition and clear communication.
  • That our child sponsorship liaison in the DR, Rose Mary, would continue to be responsive to our requests.
  • That God would raise up more Champions in the U.S. to sponsor children and thus help ease the tremendous burden being placed on Pastor Kendar and his wife during this time of trusting God for provision.

Of course there is more, but we are so grateful for your prayers in the above. We’re praying for big things even this week in the lives of Pastor Kendar and Hozanna Robles and in the lives of those they serve. Thank you for praying!

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please enjoy some of the pics below of Kendar, Hozanna, Rose Mary, and the children they serve.

#PRAY127 01.13.20

Thank you once again for taking a minute to pray as a prayer Champion in our #PRAY127 initiative. We are convinced as an organization that some things only happen by prayer (Mark 9:29), and we are lifting up a person, group of people, initiative, or aspect of our ministry at 1:27 PM each Monday in 2020 (in light of James 1:27).

This week we’re praying specifically for Pastor Andrew Wakabi and his wife Juliet, pictured below.

We have known Pastor Andrew and his wife Juliet since 2011 when Man Up took its first trip there. At that time he was pastoring in a church about a mile away from where his ministry – Home Again Ministries – took place.

He had started Home Again Ministries for the Karamajong, a displaced people group from the northern part of Uganda on the South Sudan border. This group was treated as outcasts by the locals, and were living as squatters on government land in a slum area called Masese III. When he and his wife found out about these people, he couldn’t turn a blind eye, and sensed the Lord telling him to give them a “home again.”

Thus, Home Again Ministries was born.

Pictured here: Pastor Andrew with some of the Karamajong women several years ago. Many of these women are now enrolled in a vocational training program to help them provide for their families when men abdicate responsibility.

Since he began Home Again Ministries back in 2008, so much has occurred. God has brought Man Up alongside Pastor Andrew and his wife, and we run a child sponsorship program for the school we helped them start – Bethel Junior School – in addition to a vocational training program for women.

Pictured here: You see here part of the first building we built in Uganda, which housed the first group of students at Bethel Junior School. This was in 2013. The school now has 6 grades plus the “baby classes” for the little ones, and has over 350 students.

We also run our Authentic Masculinity Program out of this location, which now has a growing church that Pastor Andrew planted in 2016. This is the first church actually located in the slum of Masese III (most of the churches stay on the “other side” of the tracks.

The long story short is that this man and his wife are doing the messy work very few are willing to do – going into an outcast society who speak a different dialect, who are very poor, who live in squalor, and who have very little hope. Most importantly, they need to know Jesus, and that is what Pastor Andrew and his wife are doing.

Pictured here: This picture of Pastor Andrew and his family is from 2015. From left, his three daughters – Shammah, Shalome, and Jireh.

You will learn more about this family and their ministry in the coming weeks, but for today, will you join us in praying for them in this way:

There are never enough resources to do the work of ministry. Please pray that Pastor Andrew and Juliet would continue to be good stewards of the money that Man Up sends so that they can have maximum impact.

Juliet’s job as an engineer pays the bills for the family, but she would like to leave that job and work full time with the ministry. Please pray that God would open doors towards this end.

Pray for the health and godly development of all three girls. Malaria is common and has hit the entire family at various times. Pray that God would grow these children into women who are game-changers for the Kingdom!

Thank you for praying for this weeks #PRAY127 requests – we greatly value your partnership!

Regards, Jeff Ford

CEO, Man Up and Go

#PRAY127 01.06.20

I want to thank you for signing up to be a Prayer Champion with Man Up and Go. You may have noticed from our social media channels and from other correspondences that we are releasing a new prayer request each week on Mondays at 1:27 PM. My goal is to give all of our Prayer Champions a little more info so you can know how to be praying more specifically.

Pictured in the featured image are the men who coordinate our Authentic Masculinity Program (AMP) in Uganda.

Left – Pastor Geofery from Bulangira, Eastern Uganda

Center – Pastor Roy from Jinja

Right – Eliazar, who coordinates the Pallisa Cohort in rural NE Uganda

You’ll learn more about these men in the coming year, but we are asking that you pray for these men specifically as a unit this week. Please pray that they would remain:

  • Faithful to the work God has given them to do with the men in their Cohorts;
  • Faithful to their wives and children, that they might demonstrate what Authentic Masculinity looks like in real time;
  • Faithful to the program requirements – that they are able to keep up with the monitoring and evaluating we require of them, which is sometimes difficult when technology doesn’t cooperate.

Each of these men are paid a good Uganda wage for their work by Man Up and Go. Their hearts beat strong for Jesus, for family, for AMP, and for Man Up. We believe that fatherlessness can be prevented by men who love and care for their families. This takes men who love Jesus and who are committed to becoming more like Him.

Thank you for praying on this first #PRAY127 week of 2020!

Regards,

Jeff Ford CEO, Man Up and Go

Pictured here: When I was recently in Uganda, I met with our AMP Coordinators as well as the Jinja Cohort. Here Pastor Roy is introducing Eliazar to the rest of the group.

Pictured here: Men in the Jinja Cohort receiving a bible in their “heart” language, which for most of them is Luganda. For the men to receive this gift, they must fulfill all the requirements of Phase 1 in AMP, which runs for 12 weeks.