#PRAY127 11.30.20

This is a take-your-pick kind of week as you pray for the ministry of Man Up and Go.

Coming off of a Thanksgiving where, despite the challenges of 2020, we have much for which to be thankful, we look towards the first week of December as we have three meaningful events scheduled.

  • Wednesday, December 2 is our Man Up 100 Tampa Bay quarterly gathering . Please pray that we might continue to recruit men to the cause of fighting for the fatherless. Currently we have 60 men enrolled for the current term. We have 21 foster families that we serve every single month, which means 70 kids are impacted. The more men we have to serve, the more families we can help.
  • Saturday, December 5 is our Man Up 100 Springfield (MO) quarterly gathering. Just like in Tampa, we pray for more men to enroll. We have 25 officially in the Springfield cohort, but we know there are more men who need to join the fight.
  • Saturday, December 5 is also the date for our annual Fall Football Fling Thing in the Tampa Bay area. Due to COVID, we’ve changed venues to Keystone Ranch, a 4-acre outdoor ranch with plenty of social distancing opportunities. We’ve also made this an online event, as we’ll be streaming live both on Facebook and YouTube.

This is our one big fundraiser of the year. 2020 has definitely been a hard one in terms of raising funds, so please pray with us that God’s people are moved to give. Our goal is $25,000. We have a $10,000 match, which means we need to raise $15,000 this week. Tomorrow is #givingTuesday and we’re opening up the Big Board, so folks can give all this week.

Thank you for praying – we’re believing God for a big week!

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.

#PRAY127 11.23.20

This past weekend we had the privilege of delivering pre-cooked Thanksgiving meals to foster families and caregivers in our Tampa and SW Missouri locations.

In total,

Big shoutouts to GrowLife Church and First Baptist Church New Port Richey for teaming up on this project – we love seeing the body of Christ working out James 1:27 together!

One of the great challenges in life is to remember, internalize, and actually believe that no matter the circumstance, there is something for which we can be grateful. For kids – well, for most anyone – this can certainly be elusive. Kind of like a Bears’ Super Bowl victory. (Woe is me.)

But unlike this passing world and our life in it, a life which James says is “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes,” we can be sure that whatever God says will come to pass.

Peter wrote that “The word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Pet. 1:25), and the prophet Isaiah (40:7-8) before him wrote,


The grass withers, the flower fades

when the breath of the Lord blows on it;

surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God will stand forever

So when the Psalmist (118:1) writes, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever,” we can be sure that there is always something for which we can be grateful – His love.

It stands the test of time, it was here before us, and will be here long after we turn to grass.

Since this is the case, will you join us this Thanksgiving week in praying for the hearts of the families and children we serve, that they might all have an attitude of gratitude this season, rooted and grounded in Gospel love and the hope of a future where there will be no more tears, no more crying, no more pain, and no more sadness (Revelation 21:4)? What a future indeed!

You see some of their faces here. Thank you for this #PRAY127 request. Have a grateful Thanksgiving this year – yes, even in 2020!

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.

#PRAY127 11.16.20

There’s a verse I came upon recently in Galatians:

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13, emphasis mine).

In America, it is natural and culturally acceptable to talk about freedom as perhaps life’s highest virtue. We abhor the idea of slavery and recoil at the thought that someone other than “self” might violate personal autonomy.

For example, how many times have we heard this – “It’s my life…I can do whatever I want!”?

In general, as Christians, freedom fits perfectly with our worldview, as we see here in Galatians 5

– we were called to freedom. Yet there’s a catch – we can’t use our freedom as an excuse to

indulge the flesh. That is to say, it’s my life but I can’t really “do whatever I want.”

In fact, what’s our freedom supposed to yield? Love demonstrated through serving each other.

Yet we in the West have taken the biblical ideal of freedom and turned it into a license for serving ourselves, not others.

Today, as I’m thinking about this verse…

  • I’m also thinking about the 18+ million fatherless kids just in the U.S. alone.
  • I’m also thinking about the 400,000 children who are in foster care right now.
  • I’m thinking about the 20,000 children who will age out of foster care this year without a family.
  • I’m thinking about how 70-90% of human trafficking victims have spent time in foster care.
  • I’m thinking about how the Super Bowl is not far away, and that many of those 20,000 will be prostituted out for the very first time, somehow convincing themselves that it’s okay because at least their traffickers give them a place to stay and put food in their belly.

In light of this, my #PRAY127 request this week for us is two fold:

  1. That we would pray for those in foster care today, that God might be a Father to the fatherless to them, as we know from Scripture He is.
  2. That the church would continue to wake up to this reality, and take serious the words in Galatians 5:13 – Serve one another in love.

Once again, we give God praise because of your prayers. Thank you. We are convinced they are effective and powerful (James 5:16)!

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.

#PRAY127 11.09.20

ast Monday I was participating in a charity event with Habitat for Humanity (okay, it was a golf tournament!), so that #PRAY127 request took a brief hiatus. However this week I’m happy to share the results of our first ever Awaken Tampa Bay event!

You’ll recall that we had spent nearly two years planning a Wait No More event with Focus on the Family that we had to cancel due to COVID-19. That was back in March of this year. After working with Focus to come up with an alternative, we decided to conduct Awaken Tampa Bay– Taking Up the Cause of the Fatherless, an online and in-person round-table discussion by experts in the foster care system.

If you missed this event, you can watch it on our Facebook page.

Although we only advertised it for just a couple of weeks, there was a strong showing of interest. We had about 80 in person attendees at Calvary Church, and another 300 who registered in some capacity online. Overall there were about 1100 views on the night of the event, and as of Monday November 9th, we’re up to nearly 2000 views!

Even more encouraging, of those who attended, here are those who expressed interest in:

  • Adoption – 12
  • Foster care – 9
  • Guardian ad Litem – 57
  • Supporting foster parents – 90

We are now in the process of following up with these families. Will you please pray that the Holy Spirit would convict? More so, since we know the Holy Spirit does convict, please pray that the Church of Jesus would respond in faith to this conviction.

It was an exciting evening that we pray continues to catalyze the Church in Tampa Bay and beyond. Psalm 31:3 says of the Lord, “For Your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;” our #PRAY127 request today is that He would do this for the Church around the area of fighting for the fatherless.

Thank you for praying friends. We love you so much!

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.