#PRAY127 03.23.20

In the last two weeks, the entire world has been flipped on its head as we all deal with the coronavirus outbreak. As such, I’m going to triple-dip on this week’s #PRAY127 request. 

Our Partners

The reality of the spread of this virus is undeniable. I was speaking with a healthcare professional last week and we were talking about the serious nature of the virus. Not so much because of what it does to the individual, although it is certainly dangerous in the elderly and those with compromised immunities. It was more about the lethal speed of the virus, not only it its transmission, but in its ability to mutate and adapt quickly. 

When I think about what a fast-acting virus with no quickly-disseminated treatment could do to the people in some of the areas where Man Up serves, it is truly frightening. Not frightening in the sense of death, necessarily – all people will one day die. In fact, I’ve come to realize that most of Africa is far more competent to deal with death than those of us in the U.S. It’s more about the hope of the dying. Do they have it or not? 

When I think about what a fast-acting virus with no quickly-disseminated treatment could do to the people in some of the areas where Man Up serves, it is truly frightening. Not frightening in the sense of death, necessarily – all people will one day die. In fact, I’ve come to realize that most of Africa is far more competent to deal with death than those of us in the U.S. It’s more about the hope of the dying. Do they have it or not? 

For our partners, they will be on the front lines representing their people with very little access to the technology we have the West. And yet even with our technology, you see what has happened to Italy, and the fearful worry of our U.S. healthcare professionals about the ability to treat a full-on pandemic here.

The reality is, none of us knows how this will turn out. But as followers of Jesus, we can be confident that one day, everything will be better. Not just better, but perfect. It’s this hope that we have that enables us to endure the here and now. Christians shouldn’t in any way be fearful. Yes, we should exercise prudence and caution, but fear is for the birds. Ours is one of a sound mind. 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  – 2 Timothy 1:7

In this time of uncertainty, we can be certain of one thing – Jesus. We can be certain: 

  • Jesus died for our sins and proved He was God by rising from the dead (1 Cor. 15:3-4). 
  • Jesus has prepared a place for us with Him to enjoy forever (Revelation 21:2-3). 
  • Jesus has everything under control (Ephesians 1:22). 

Our first #PRAY127 request today is that you pray that our partners in the Dominican, Uganda, and Ethiopia will be able to convey the certainty of Jesus in uncertain times to those who need hope. And that’s all of us! 

Those Who Are Sick 

Along with the first request, we ask that you pray for several of our partners in Uganda who are battling malaria right now. It’s common for adults to get malaria in Africa, but it nonetheless is not a fun experience. With the threat of coronavirus, it can complicate recovery and indeed can be deadly. Please pray for two partners in particular – Sylvia and Mercy (pictured below) – as they battle with overcoming malaria. 

Authentic Masculinity in Ethiopia

We are so very excited to announce that last week, we finally launched our Authentic Masculinity Program in Ethiopia! For those who have been following the ministry, you know that the reason we started the ministry in the first place was because our visionary, Roger Gibson, adopted there. Many of our board members have adopted from Ethiopia as well, and despite our keen interest in Ethiopia, ministry has been nearly impossible to do. 

We have had a good partnership with Carry 117, an NGO in the trash dump of Korah who takes women from the dump and teaches them how to make beautiful handcrafted bags and accessories. By purchasing these products and selling them here, it has been a way for us to fulfill the E2 strategy of Man Up, which is to Empower Single Mothers and Widows. When men have abdicated responsibility, these women need training and a market to sell their products. Over the last several years, Man Up has purchased nearly 1000 products from these women. 

Right down the alley from Carry 117 is another ministry we were introduced to in 2017, Brook Hills Development Organization (BHDO). BHDO primarily deals with women and children. As we have gotten to know them and they us, we realized that a need to address the men in the community, a community wrought with poverty and hopelessness, most of whom make their living off the dump in some capacity. Our AMP platform provides a great opportunity for these men. 

After literally years of deliberation and discussion, and still not without details to work through, we are so pleased to announce that on Sunday, March 15, the Cohort officially launched! Yesterday we had 9 of the 10 men in attendance and believe the 10th will be joining next week. We have two coordinators who help administer the program – Tamirat and Sami – and Yemamu, the BHDO Executive Director who oversees the legal ramifications. We also have an American from Teach Beyond who is helping us by sitting in on the Cohort meetings (Eric), as well as our friend Toi who is all things BHDO from here in the United States. 

This is a very, very exciting development! But as I mentioned, we have some kinks to work out. Please pray for the following:

  • That the men enrolled in the program will take the year-long commitment seriously. 
  • That we would be able to raise the necessary funds to administer the program (we need about $1500/guy in Ethiopia as compared to about $1000/man in Uganda). 

That we would be able to work out the financial and legal logistics of doing business in Ethiopia, which has been traditionally cumbersome. 

I know it’s a lot this week, but we value your partnership in these every-Monday-at-1:27 PM #PRAY127 requests! God bless you as you hold tightly to the hope we have in His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO 
Isaiah 1:17  

P.S.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127

Man Up and Go’s COVID-19 Response

I recently returned from an amazing trip to Uganda with a group of 25 college football players. It was substantive, impactful, and encouraging. I hope you’ll read the report HERE

Yet the world we left is not the world to which we return. 

As you very well know, the COVID-19 situation is drastically affecting how people all around the globe are transacting life. Some are fearful, others are nonchalant, and most of us are in the middle somewhere, trying to figure out how to navigate. 

In times like this I am reminded of one of my favorite passages in Scripture. It’s from the Old Testament, during a time when Judah is surrounded by three different nations, the threat imminent. When the king, whose name is Jehoshaphat, learns of the threat, he proclaims a fast and brings the people together, praying this: 

“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you…‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’…For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

If you’ve noticed, the recommendations from the CDC have changed often. What was true yesterday has been abrogated by a new announcement. The financial markets are in disarray, businesses and families are trying to navigate, and even nonprofits like Man Up and Go have more questions than answers. Does anyone really know the best way to contain the virus? Does anyone really know how this will turn out? 

The truthful answer is, ‘No.’ No human being on planet earth can provide any real assurances for what the future holds. 

Even so, at Man Up and Go, we want to be very clear about in Whom our trust rests – “…but our eyes are on you.” 

While the situation is ever-evolving, we want you to know that we’re committed to trusting Jesus for the ultimate outcome and acting with as much human prudence and caution as we can. We look to our playbook, the Word of God, for how to handle COVID-19, since it is “everything we need for life.”

As such, we are following the current CDC recommendations and are listening to our governing leaders in accordance with Romans 13. This includes “15 Days to Slow the Spread” document and plan recently remitted by the White House and which you can read HERE.

As it pertains to Man Up’s primary programming, we are currently taking the following positions: 

2020 Mission Trips

  • Trips slated to commence after June 30 are still being treated as normal. 
  • Trips slated to commence prior to July 1 are currently being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Man Up 100 / Adopt a Family Programming

  • Gatherings over 10 are suspended at least through the first full week of April. 
  • Services to our families will proceed with caution and prudence, albeit in a potentially limited fashion. 
  • Any volunteer who has travelled on an airplane in the last 2 weeks, domestically or otherwise, has been asked to self-quarantine for the recommended 14-day period (symptom free) before volunteering. 
  • Anyone with symptoms has been asked to refrain from serving for the next 8 weeks (through May 9), unless otherwise noted.
  • All volunteers have been asked to practice social distancing and use discretion regarding their movements.

Because of the fluid nature of COVID-19, please note that Man Up’s policies and procedures are a bit of a moving target. We appreciate your understanding with regard to the changes being made, and encourage you to check back on our social media outlets or our website for the latest news. 

Finally, we would ask that our current environment not deter you from giving to the mission. If God has blessed you as such, would you consider making one of the following gifts during this time? I myself have been self-quarantining (no symptoms, just precautionary) after my recent travels, and this has made it prohibitive to visit with Champions and prospective Champions of the ministry to engender their support. 

  • Your gift of $1000 will put one man through our year-long Authentic Masculinity Program in Ethiopia or Uganda. 
  • Your gift of $45 will support one child with school fees, food, supplies, and clothes for one month in our Child Sponsorship Program.
  • Your gift of $100 will feed approximately 1000 children in Super Saturday Feeding Program. 
  • Your gift of $25 will purchase one necklace from a woman in our Vocational Training Program. 
  • Your gift of $300 will support one foster family in the United States to help care for and meet the needs of a foster child for one month. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration, and thank you for working alongside us to fight for the fatherless at home and abroad as Jesus commanded! 

Regards,

CEO, Man Up and Go
Isaiah 1:17

Wheaton Football Mission Trip Recap

This blog post was written by our trip leader and CEO, Jeff Ford.

For the third year in a row, Man Up has partnered with Wheaton College (IL) to bring members of their football team to Uganda on a mission trip. Intead of partying for Spring Break, these young men chose to spend meaningful engagement with our partners and the people they serve.

Wheaton Football Ministry Partners (WFMP) was started when I was a senior in college, back in 2000. Since then Coach Peltz, who heads the initiative, has partnered with dozens of former Wheaton players in Spring Break missions work.

This trip was unique because in addition to the 17 Wheaton players, coaches, and staff, there were 8 players/coaches from the Morningside College football team, the reigning NAIA National Champs, based out of Iowa. Each player was responsible for raising his trip cost.

The fellas got in early Sunday morning (4 AM) on a Turkish Airlines flight, which made for a very tiring first day. If you think it’s a struggle for a college kid to stay awake during a sermon normally, imagine doing it on jet lag and no sleep! But they persevered, and on Sunday evening, were able to hear testimonies from the men enrolled in our Authentic Masculinity Program (AMP), despite all of them struggling like crazy to keep their eyelids from closing.

Monday was a treat. We were able to take all of the Primary 1 – Primary 7 children at Bethel Junior School to the YWAM facility just outside Jinja. The hundreds of square yards of open grass to run and play is something most of those kids have never experienced before. The emphasis of this trip was “relationships, not tasks,” and this was an opportunity for our guys to pour into these kids on a day where there weren’t many scheduled activities except to PLAY!

The kids got to do an obstacle course that included a mini zipline, and everyone had a great time. Maybe most importantly, I was able to share with all 200 kids how much improvement I had seen in their behavior over the last 8 years. There was very little fighting, hitting, pulling on arms, or jumping on backs, something that was the norm even 4 years ago. This is a testament to the Gospel at work in the lives of these kids, as well as the teachers and administrators who are making emulating Jesus a priority.

Our drive out to the village the next day was a rainy one, but worth it once we made it to Bulangira and heard the testimonies of the men. Unlike Sunday evening when it was hard to hear the AMP guys speak because of the rain on the tin church roof, as well as the sleepy eyes of the college guys, all ears were on deck as the men from Bulangira shared. Shephered by Pastor Geofery, these guys were simply on fire! The impact of AMP in the lives of these men is incredible, and the testimonies were inspiring. We should truly praise the Lord for all He is doing through the Man Up program!

Not only that, but we counted up and there are 135 children represented in the 25 men enrolled in the Bulangira Cohort. Two men have 16 children! Think of the impact of these guys loving their wives and providing for their children. Man Up is extremely proud to be a conduit of Jesus in helping these men live out authentic masculinity.

Unfortunately we lost the soccer match to the locals. When I noted to Pastor Geofery, “These guys seem better than last year’s team,” he replied, “Oh yes, these guys are much better.” So they brought out the ringers, and though we were more athletic, we definitely showed a lack of ball-handling skills (and considering half our team was probably 230 lbs or more and hadn’t played soccer since grade school, I guess we can live with it).

All 26 of us were able to fit into Sam and Mercy’s guest house quite comfortably. For the next two days, the team split into two, with half the group going to Pastor George’s in Kibuku to help lay a cement floor for his church; the other half stayed in Pallisa at Kerith’s Children’s Home to help prepare one of the buildings in which they used to have chickens, converting it to a living quarters.

One of the issues at Kerith’s is that as the children get older, there is a need for separate living quarters. So the guys were able to clean out the old rooms and start plastering walls and filling in gaps with bricks.

The work at George’s – laying the floor – was man’s work. But again, we stressed relationship with the locals. If someone grabbed your ear or a child wanted to play, that took precedence. The relationship was more important than the task. This concept was a hard one to abide by, but as the week went on, the young men were getting it.

On our way back out of Pallisa on Friday, we spent time visiting some projects of the men in Bulangira.

  • We visited a cooperative goat-farming project by some of the men who had graduated last year.
  • We saw a rice farm of a man who had probably quadrupled his efforts after going through the lesson, “Man as Worker,” in AMP.
  • We met one man and his entire family (he kept the kids home from school because he knew we were coming!) who was rearing pigs with the loan he received from Man Up – a very profitable endeavor for the diligent!
  • Another man enhanced his bee-keeping business with the loan received from Man Up, and now has a vision to have two hives in every tree on his property. Again, a very profitable endeavor!

Trekking through rural Uganda with these players to visit the Cohort participants to see how they had taken advantage of AMP to better their position with their families no doubt left an indelible mark in the minds of these young men.

Which leads me to another critical component of this trip. These college football players grew as men this week. If Man Up is all about seeing men embrace authentic masculinity so that we have Less Orphans in the world, then we must view this week’s trip as a smashing success.

Each night several guys would share their testimonies. And lest you think these are surface-level, the fellas shared raw, unfiltered stories of their struggles and experiences:

  • Several shared of their addictions to pornography and how they’re fighting it;
  • Others talked about loneliness and depression;
  • Others had been affected by suicide, anxiety, eating disorders, and even sexual abuse;
  • One young man shared how he was in the car when another vehicle opened fire, killing his best friend and paralyzing his brother.

One of the Wheaton faculty who came turned to me at one point and said, “Most people on the planet have never had the opportunity to confess some of their deepest struggles in a safe environment like this.” I couldn’t agree more. I believe every man on this trip grew in authentic masculinity because of it, and for that we simply give God praise, for He deserves it.

With all of the coronavirus talk, it made for an interesting trip. The men all learned that upon returning home, they’d be packing up and going home for the rest of the semester to do distance learning. In a way, this was their send-off tour.

We don’t know what a day will bring forth and how this COVID-19 ordeal will play out, but I am reminded of a Psalm I recently read:

“Trouble and anguish have overtaken
me, yet your commandments are my delights.” - Psalm 119:143

I often tell people that as long as I’m right vertically, it doesn’t matter what happens to me horizontally. The horizontal may give us uncertainty and trouble, but when we focus on Jesus and His truth for us, we can not only survive, but delight in our present circumstances.

My prayer for the young men on this trip, for our partners, our staff, our Board, and anyone associated with the Man Up and Go ministry, is that Jesus might be our delight.

Indeed.

#PRAY127 03.16.20

Whenever I come back from Africa or the Dominican Republic, I bring with me a fresh perspective on all that God is doing in the world. This time around I am reminded of several things:

  1. That my life, while important, is not the center of the universe.
  2. That the American Church, while influential, is not as effective as we pretend it is.
  3. That God, while personal, is also communal, and He’s doing a zillion things in the lives of our brothers and sisters around the globe of which we’re unaware.

This time around, I was also reminded how wonderful it can be to be “off the grid,” unaware the world is on fire. When I finally learned of President Trump’s decision to close travel from certain places and that the CDC recommended a 14-day quarantine from those traveling from where I would be traveling (Amsterdam), I was relatively unmoved. Not only that, but my attempts to get more information from the airline and travel agency were unsuccessful. Even Google couldn’t provide accurate information! Why were people freaking out, I wondered?

But when I did grasp the serious nature of the travel ban, the uncertainty surrounding it, the major entities who had taken serious steps to curtail the spread of COVID-19 (MLB, NCAA, NBA), and most importantly, my wife’s persuasive pleading, I ended up rebooking and getting home 48 hours earlier than planned.

This time around I had been leading a group comprised of players, coaches, and/or faculty from Wheaton College (IL) and Morningside College (IA). As we sat around Thursday morning after having learned about the President’s remarks, we were all still rather unaffected. I believe the reason for this are the three reminders I listed above, which can maybe boil down to one point:

Our God is in the heavens and He does whatever He pleases.

Driving down the red clay dirt roads in rural Africa, looking out over the miles of rice and maize fields, and seeing a woman or child carry water what can only be miles to or from a well, I can’t help but think, “God knows that person by name, how many hairs are on her head, and in fact created her in her mother’s womb for a relationship with Him.”

Will she ever worry about COVID-19? Probably not. There is something nice about being “off the grid.”

But in God’s economy, she’s as on the grid as any Hollywood pop star or world leader. In God’s economy, she is valued with the exact same proportion as Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. The irony of her “ignorance” of COVID-19 as we rush to the airport to expose ourselves to greater risk of COVID-19, was not lost on me.

The Scriptures tell us that showing partiality is a grave sin (James 2:1-10). Whenever we discriminate against others based on class, social or socioeconomic status, gender, race, ethnicity, appearance, nationality, or anything else, we have sinned.

I am often asked, “Why are you going Africa when there is so much need here?” My responses range in degrees of snark, from, “I didn’t realize God loved Americans more than Africans,” to, “Oh that’s great you care so much about orphans here…I’d love to hear about all the things you’re personally doing.”

But the truth is, that person just doesn’t get it. Maybe they will in the future, but for now, they’re too “on the grid” to think like Jesus when it comes to His global economy.

My #PRAY127 prayer request this week, as simple as it is, is this:

  • Please pray for that unknown woman carrying a jerrycan of water miles down a red dirt road in Africa.
  • Or pray for the man trying to feed his family of 10 with the resources and tools available, completely dependent upon good weather.
  • Or pray for the child who has seen unimaginable trauma and is now at one of the children’s homes Man Up supports, unlikely to know what growing up in a nuclear family is all about.

Yes, God cares about Americans. He cares about COVID-19. He also cares about Africans, and He cares about Man Up’s presence among them.

Thank you again for praying – I am convinced it is the most important initiative we have.

Regards,

Jeff Ford, CEO Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Quick update – there were several players who shared brutally intimate details during our share times. These guys confessed addictions, insecurities, fears, past failures, and shared stories of loss, including having been personally affected by suicide, murder, and sexual abuse. I am so grateful for your prayers over the lives of these young men. God moved in a mighty and powerful way – thank you for praying!

P.S.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.

#PRAY127 03.09.20

Thank you again so much for committing to pray for us each Monday. It is a blessing beyond measure, one of which we are sincerely grateful.

Currently Man Up is hosting a Wheaton Football Ministry Partners (WFMP) trip to Uganda. The makeup is certainly interesting, considering that so many young men have chosen to leave the comforts of the United States, leave a week of leisure (and many times sin), to in fact give of themselves by going. In so many ways, this is all about how Man Up and Go even started in the first place – the willingness to GO into the world (Matthew 28:19).

There are 25 of us in total: 12 Wheaton football players, 1 post-graduate player, 1 coach, the dean of students, his 12-yer old son, 6 players from Morningside College, 2 Morningside Coaches, and 1 Man Up employee.  It’s been an interesting dynamic to have two different teams on mission, but it will be a good one when the week is over, no doubt.

The last 72 hours have been a whirlwind. The schedule has been brutal. There’s a 9 hour time difference from the CST zone, and yesterday the men’s flight landed around 4 AM local time. It wasn’t until 8:30 that they got to the guest house, showered, ate, and then headed to the church for worship with no rest. By the time they got back to the guest house, they had about two hours of downtime before heading back to the church to visit with the men in Man Up’s Jinja Authentic Masculinity Program  (AMP) Cohort.

The reports and testimonies from the men in the Cohort were so very encouraging. You must know that AMP is making such an incredible difference in the lives of these men. We even had one bring his wife to share. The man had said he’d been acting “primitive,” making his wife do everything around the house and basically treating her like a servant. AMP has taught him to value her, to help, to “die” to himself – a foreign concept for most African men. These testimonies were beautiful, and what smile God must have had on his face as He listened.

Likewise, the men on the trip were so encouraged. But even as they were encouraged, the body was so weak. Most of them were fighting back sleep, and the head-nodding was quite hysterical. Even Pastor Roy, Jinja AMP Coordinator, saw what was happening and cut it short for us.

Each night there is a time to share among the men. It’s a debrief of the day, yes, but also a time for the men to be vulnerable and give their personal testimonies.

We sent the itinerary last week so please check last week’s email for that. This week, as you pray for the young men, there are a couple of specific requests:

  1. There are a couple of men from Morningside whose faith is either in question or not there altogether. Please pray this would be a trip where Jesus would grab their hearts for Him.
  2. Please pray that the men would value people over tasks. Our American mindset is tough to shake – DO DO DO! Here it needs to be, BE BE BE. Be with the people. Value them. Ask them questions. Hear their stories. This is what God made us for – relationship.
  3. Pray for energy. It’s taxing work just getting over the jetlag, and each day will present opportunities for a lazy mind. Pray that the men are vigilant, steadfast in their thinking, and courageous in their ability to love the people of Uganda (and each other) well.

Thank you for taking time to pray for this trip and these men. Our partners are so encouraged when Man Up visits, and already there are signs of major growth taking place.

Thank you again for your #PRAY127 faithfulness. We are grateful!

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.

2020 Mission Trip Schedule

As we sit well into the first quarter of the year, we see many concerns about coronavirus. Something unknown less than 6 months ago is now completely famous, and reminding us all of how fragile life is. We are but a vapor, says the Scriptures, here for a little while and then gone. It’s a good reminder to make the most of the time He gives us!

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This is exactly why I’m writing to you now – to encourage you to make the most of your opportunities this summer! One way you can do that with Man Up and Go is join us on a mission trip to one of our locations around the globe where we do ministry – Ethiopia, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic.

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If you’re really adventurous, we definitely have spots for you too! We’ll be going on our 5th annual RAGBRAI Bike-Across-Iowa mission trip fundraiser in July, as well as Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for the Kids again next February (2021) – now is the time to commit!

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I’m typing this letter as I’m waiting for my flight to Uganda. We’ve partnered with Wheaton College, my alma mater, to take a combined 25 football players from there and Morningside College in Iowa on a mission trip for their spring break. It’s incredible that these guys are willing to serve on the equator versus party at the beach.

Over the last two years, 12 college athletes have chosen to sponsor kids in our Child Sponsorship Program. These guys aren’t just going to Africa for a photo op – they are looking for ways to join in what God is already doing.

Please be praying for us this next week! ​

Regards,

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CEO, Man Up and Go Isaiah 1:17

VIEW ALL 2020 TRIPS
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Social Worker Trip – Uganda, May 28 – June 7
We’re looking for 1 or 2 more to join us on this purposeful trip working specifically with the children in our schools and/or child children’s home. If you have social worker experience, we especially want you! ​
RAGBRAI Bike-Across-Iowa, July 19-25
Biking enthusiasts and advocates for the fatherless, join us once again as we strap into our saddles and bike across the state of Iowa to bring awareness to the plight of the fatherless.
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Authentic Masculinity Trip – Ethiopia, July 22-31 
Man Up will be headed to Ethiopia in July to visit and encourage the leaders and participants of the Authentic Masculinity Program in Korah. These men have committed to growing in biblical masculinity, expanding their knowledge of business and income generating activities, and paying back a micro-loan provided to them by Man Up.
Child Sponsorship Trip – Uganda, July 28 – August 6
  Over 400 kids depend on Man Up sponsors for food, housing, and/or schooling. We currently have 80 sponsors. This trip will include special outings where sponsors can interact with their kids, but also for kids who need sponsors to feel included in the festivities. ​
Authentic Masculinity Trip – Ethiopia, Sept 18-24 
We will be conducting trainings with about a dozen men, helping them craft their business plans, and visiting their places of employment. This will be a quick but impactful trip and we’re excited to see what God will do on it!
Child Sponsorship Trip – Dominican Republic, October 9-15  
We will be working alongside our partners, Pastor Kendar and his wife Hozana. who pastor a church in Los Tres Brazos, a marshy area along the Rio Ozama. zana runs CECCAI, a school for K-3. Man Up runs a child sponsorship program out of CECCAI.
Authentic Masculinity Trip – Uganda, November 12-19  
We will be heading to Uganda for a quick trip to participate in the graduation ceremonies for men completing our 14-month Authentic Masculinity Program. We will also have time to conduct trainings with the men and visit their places of employment. 
Climbing Aconcagua Fundraiser Adventure – Argentina, January 2021 
We have just confirmed that this trip is on like Donkey Kong! We had such a good time climbing Kili last year that a couple of our guys are trying for the 7 Summits – that is, climbing the tallest mountains on each of the 7 continents. Next up? Aconcagua! This one’s not for the faint of heart. More details to come – stay tuned! 
Climbing Kili for the Kids Fundraiser Adventure – Tanzania & Uganda,
February 10-24, 2021
An “adventure” is an understatement. We will be climbing all of Mt. Kilimanjaro’ 19,341 feet. Then travel to Uganda to visit those projects which will be benefitting from the money raised from the climb. Are you brave enough to join us?
After a 2-year hiatus, the Bracket Breaker Challenge is BACK!! Create a championship bracket while making a tax-deductible donation to support a cause everyone cares about!
ENTER HERE
Additionally, we send out a special email that gives more backstory to the request we post. To receive this email, you must be signed up as a #PRAY127 Champion. Click the link below and request to join this insider group of Champions who are committed to interceding on behalf of the ministry!
Join THE #PRAY127 TEAM

If you live in the greater Tampa Bay area, please make room in your schedule for Saturday, March 28th! We have partnered with Focus on the Family to bring their Wait No More event to Tampa that day from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. 

Since the Bay area is ranked #1 and #2 in terms of counties with the most children in foster care, the need is so great! You will be equipped and learn: 

* How to become an adoptive of foster parent
* How to serve those who have already adopted or are currently fostering

The event is FREE and that comes with a Chick-fil-A lunch, but you must register. Please register by clicking the link below and tell your friends! We believe it’s going to be a great day for Jesus and for our kids.
REGISTER NOW

This is Shakirah. Shakirah is a student at Bethel Junior School in Uganda. She along with several other sponsored children were hand delivered gifts and letters from their sponsors by our team that is in Uganda this week. 
 
We love working with our partners in Uganda and the Dominican Republic to provide basic care (and extra nuggets of love) for children who wouldn’t otherwise have it.
 
We still have many children who need to be sponsored. Will you pray about sponsoring one today? 
SPONSOR A CHILD TODAY

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#PRAY127 03.02.20

Welcome to March! Thank you for praying with us these last couple of months. We are so grateful for your commitment to pray!

Today we are praying for our upcoming trip to Uganda which departs this Friday, March 6. Man Up is partnering with the Wheaton College (IL) Football Team to bring 25 young men to serve alongside us in Uganda. I played football at Wheaton some 20 years ago now – hard to believe it! But we are excited to once again partner with Wheaton and thus today’s #PRAY127 request.

(Above is last year’s team as we met in Ankara, Turkey, during their layover.)

For the last two years Man Up has facilitated trips for Wheaton College’s football team. A little history. Wheaton started the Wheaton Football Ministry Partners (WFMP) program my senior year in college. The goal was to find a way to introduce these young men to global missions.

Coach Peltz runs the WFMP outreach. The goal is to find former Wheaton players throughout the globe who Wheaton Football can partner with. This not only gives the men the opportunity to see what God is doing in the world, but it gives them a common thread with the partner on the ground.

Unfortunately I wasn’t nearly mature enough when Coach Peltz started this my senior year in college. I went with buddies to ski in Jackson Hole. Thankfully God is patient with each of us, and eventually He got me to come around! Still, I would love to have been on the first inaugural trip.

Since then, WFMP has sent literally hundreds of young men on mission trips all around the world where former Wheaton Football players are doing ministry. This is our third year, and what I’ve been blown away with is the amount of young men who have sponsored kids in our schools/children’s homes! Over 10 players have sponsored children at $45/mo the last couple of years. Incredible! If these guys can do it, who are making pennies each month, can’t we all?

Here is our itinerary so you can be praying:

  • Sat, March 7 – Team departs Chicago (I will depart on the 6th from Tampa). Sun, March 8 – In Jinja with Pastor Andrew, his wife Juliet, our Jinja Authentic Masculinity Program (AMP, and the women of Masese III.
  • Monday, March 9 – In Jinja with children from Bethel Junior School for a “Field Day!” Tuesday, March 10 – Depart for the village of Bulangira to meet with the AMP Cohort there and play an epic soccer match with the locals (last year it was on the radio and the mayor and whole city came out!).
  • Wed, March 11 – One team will go to Pallisa with our partners Pastor Sam and his wife Mercy and help build a teenager’s wing for our Kerith Children’s Home; Another team will travel to Kibuku to put a floor on the church of our third ministry parter, Pastor George and his wife Sylvia.
  • Thurs, March 12 – Continue projects in Pallisa and Kibuku.
  • Friday, March 13 – Spend time with men in AMP in Pallisa, then head back to Jinja in the afternoon where we will spend time helping Pastor Andrew at the school.
  • Saturday, March 14 – Super Saturday Feeding Program in Masese III, then purchase wares from women in our vocational training programs.
  • Sun, March 15 – Wheaton team heads to airport for flight. Mon, March 16 – Wheaton team lands in Chicago.

Additionally, I will be heading to Ethiopia on Saturday the 14th for about 36 hours to launch our Authentic Masculinity Program there! We are very excited about this and I can’t wait to share more when I return. This is literally years in the making, after having been traveling there since 2011.

As you pray for the team, will you please also pray that we would avoid the dreaded coronavirus? While much of this is overblown, I fear, we want to take every precaution and be smart. Pray God’s protection and blessing over us as we travel.

Thank you again for your #PRAY127 faithfulness. We are grateful!

Regards,

Jeff Ford, CEO Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.