The following blog post was written by Mark Acre. Mark has gone on multiple missions trips to Africa and currently serves on our Board of Directors. He and his wife Stephanie live in Nixa, MO; they have three children, one of whom they are currently in the process of adopting from China.
“Where men refuse to step into the space that they are called to fill, the world burns!”
When I was 6 years old my father left my mom. She was left to provide and care for my two younger sisters and I. She had to do so with a job that paid her $4.18 per hour, which meant she brought home around $134 per week. Despite our tough financial circumstances and the struggle of being a single parent, she never faulted as a mother. She was always able to provide for us so that we were never hungry or in need of the basic necessities. Watching her resilience as a single mom and her steadfastness in God, I learned how to forge through any of life’s many challenges.
But let’s take a look at what could have happened to my sisters and I as a result of growing up without a father in our home…
- There are 710 Million children all over the world who go to bed without a father figure in the home.
- 1 in 3 children in the United States go to bed without their biological father in their home.
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
- 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.
And the stats could go on and on…
Below is a chart that illustrates the increasing trend of single mothers being forced to fill the void that men leave when they decide to abandon their responsibility as a father. As you can see the issue is not getting better.
The one differentiating factor that I always point to that kept my sisters and I from being one of those statistics was that my mom always pointed us to our Heavenly Father. We stood on the promise that He would never leave or forsake us and just as Jesus said in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” She continued to keep her faith in God and she cast the vision for our family to rely solely on Him in all circumstances. Thank God for good Mommas!!!
Because of my upbringing I am constantly reminded of the way that my mom had to fight and sacrifice for her children. I remember praying a prayer in college that God would somehow put me in a place to be able to be a testimony for fatherless children and to be an encouragement to the mothers who raised them at some point in my life. Now 12 years later, enter ManUp and Go into my world. As a man who takes great pride in being the husband to my wonderful wife of ten years, Stephanie and the father to my children Brynn, Maddox, and Tobias, I am honored to play a small role in what God is doing through ManUp and Go all over the world.
So you may be asking yourself, who is ManUp and Go and what are they doing to reduce the fatherless population worldwide???
Our mission is to shape a better future for fatherless children by making Jesus known, being a father to the fatherless, and equipping each man to take personal responsibility for his faith, family, and community.
We will accomplish this with the following strategies
ENGAGE the current orphan population
EDUCATE the next generation
ENCOURAGE our ministry partners
EMPOWER single mothers
ENERGIZE the Church
EQUIP men to lead
Since 2011 ManUp has:
- Personally loved, played with and ENGAGED over 8,000 children worldwide
- Adopted 13 children internationally (and growing…)
- Currently EDUCATE over 150 children at the Bethel Junior School in Uganda
- Purchased hand made products from and ENCOURAGED over 1300 women
- Facilitated vocational training to EMPOWER over 30 women with sewing and hairdressing skills
- Conducted men’s conferences to ENCOURAGE AND EQUIP over 3,000 men to be the man that God has called them to be
- We have impacted the United States, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nicaragua, Haiti and have trips planned to Kenya and the Dominican Republic
ManUp and Go Goal!!!
By 2020, we want to reach 200,000 men and equip 20,000 families through our men’s empowerment program.
How Can You Help???
There is no doubt that the crisis that we face of children not knowing what a father or husband should look like causes great damage to various aspects of their lives for generations to come for both boys and girls. Now that you see the problem as we see the problem I would like to ask for your help. Our desire to drastically reduce the number of fatherless children in the world is a BIG God sized goal, but we serve a very BIG God who can do immeasurably more than we can ever possibly dream or imagine!!
The first way that you can help is by PRAYING with us. We believe that all things are possible with God and we continually pray for God to guide us as He sees fit and that his Kingdom would benefit from all that ManUp and Go is doing in His name.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
The second way that you can help us is by joining us. If you are interested in becoming a part of the movement that God has started through ManUp and Go then simply click on the GET INVOLVED tab to request more information on how you can do so.
Lastly, I would ask you to strongly consider partnering with us financially. ManUp and Go has established relationships with people just like you who have the same heart for the men, women and children that we are called to minister to. Through your tax deductible gift you will strengthen the family unit all over the world and give the fatherless hope for a better tomorrow for generations to come! All you need to do is click on the DONATE tab to give quickly and securely.
May God bless you and your family however you decide to partner with us!