February 2021 Update

As we settle into 2021, we at Man Up and Go want you to know that God is opening doors only He can open. Just like the Apostle Paul had doors open to him in ministry (1 Corinthians 16:9), the same is happening to us as we look to prevent fatherlessness right here in the United States. While we cannot go into details just yet, please know we’re working hard behind the scenes to break the chains of generational fatherlessness like never before.

The reality is we have a different kind of pandemic going on in our world: fatherlessness. 80% of single parent households are headed by women. We’ve simply made it too easy for men to walk away from their responsibilities as husbands and fathers. The programs we’re implementing later this year will address this issue head-on, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

In the meantime, we’re looking for mentors all over the country who are willing to give of themselves for about 5 hours a month. If you would be interested in becoming a mentor for a young man who has aged out from foster care, please fill out this

short form. This will help us keep you in the loop as more info becomes available.

Enjoy the rest of this February update, and please let us know how we can be praying for you.

Regards,


Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

Check out the current numbers above from ourMan Up 100 program. For those who aren’t yet aware, Man Up 100 is designed to recruit 100 men in a given area to serve and support foster and adoptive children and families.

Man Up’s impact in serving and supporting foster and adoptive children and families continues to grow. This past month we had several special deliveries of food and diapers to many of the awesome foster families enrolled in our Adopt a Family program. Check out some of these smiling faces (we promise the kiddos are smiling under those hearts too!).

We rang in the new year by putting up a privacy fence and gate to a backyard for another foster family. Anyone who’s had kids under 2 knows this is a mission critical project. ©

We’re also pretty good at setting up play toys for our families like this trampoline pictured above, which is always a welcome addition! Any time the kiddos can get some fresh air (even if it’s 3 degrees?), it’s a win for foster mom and dad.

Did you donate to Man Up and Go last year? You should’ve received your tax statement from us either in your inbox or in your physical mail box. If you didn’t, please email us or call us at: 727.266.0226 and let us know.

It’s been tough for our international Authentic Masculinity Program (AMP) Cohorts during the pandemic. Recently our Cohort Coordinators in Uganda met in person and reported the following:

Because of restrictions by the government, the men were not allowed to meet in-person for several months.

Harsh methods by the government in Uganda – including caning and imprisonment – made starting/growing businesses challenging.

The inability to meet made it difficult for our men’s businesses to market and attract new customers.

Despite these setbacks, the men are hopeful. We know God has called men to protect and provide for th r families, and in developing nations, economic opportunity is often limited. The Man Up program has provided stability and optimism, even in a pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopia Cohort has learned to adapt – meeting outdoors, adjusting meeting times, and adjusting business proposals. Thankfully, just recently the men finally completed their business plans and received their loans. This after nearly 1 full year of participating in and completing Phase 1 and 2 (it should’ve taken 6 months, but for a pandemic).

Here are some of the businesses they’re starting: Coffee, honey,, cow butter, shoe wholesaler, shoe retailer and etc.

Believe it or not, we are sending a small team to East Africa this week. Yes, it’s been incredibly difficult to meet all the necessary COVID-19 protocols. However, rather than looking at them as setbacks, the 6 men in this team are looking at it as an opportunity to grow!

They will be once again climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and visiting our partners overseas. If you are a child sponsor and sent in your child sponsor gift, our guys will be delivering it next week some time.

Thank you for praying for our team as they travel.

We continue to praise God for all that He’s doing in and through theAuthentic Masculinity Program.

#PRAY127 10.05.20

Today’s #PRAY127 request will be a quick one. Typically we hold our annual Fall Football Fling Thing fundraiser in November at a restaurant with lots of TV’s and great finger food in a casual, come-as-you go atmosphere. However, with COVID, we want to make sure we’re being safe while at the same time not allowing COVID to undermine our need to fund the fight for the fatherless.

That’s why I’m asking you to pray with us starting today. Two months from now we’ll have our 4th Annual Fall Football Fling Thing in the Tampa Bay area, December 5th, and we’re going to be holding it in several smaller venues across the area. The idea is to have host homes with smaller numbers so as to minimize potential exposure to COVID-10.

Not only that, but we’ll also have a few other locations around the nation where host homes will gather. We’ll still have the Big Board and some great prizes to giveaway, and we’ll be going LIVE at a broadcasting location in the Bay area as we check in with our host homes around the country.

It’s going to be different, something we haven’t done before, and it’s always a little nerve- wracking. So thank you for praying with us. Specially, please pray:

  • That we can logistically put all the pieces together.
  • That we can communicate the need effectively.
  • That folks will be inspired and give financially to the work of the Man Up ministry.

One praise to report – we already have our food sponsor! (Thank you United Health Care!)

And thank YOU for praying – this may not seem like a big ask, but I can’t tell you how thankful I am for your commitment to take this before the Lord.

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 09.21.20

Earlier this month we officially enrolled foster families into our Adopt a Family program. What is Adopt a Family? It’s the program we offer for foster (or adoptive) families by which men enrolled in our Man Up 100 initiative serve and support these families to make their lives more manageable.

We have said this often…

If we’re serious about our relationship with God, then we must be serious about His words to us in James 1:27 (among many others in the Scripture); if we’re serious about those words, then we cannot pretend they’re only for a select few.

For followers of Jesus, all of His words are for all of us.

We will continue to onboard families but we have done the bulk of it in the first 3 weeks of September. Families enrolled in our program must have a current foster placement (or have adopted recently). Our Man Up 100 men (and women volunteers who serve in our ministry) are then responsible for meeting needs every single month for each of these families. These might be meals, diapers, household goods, trauma resources, yard work, or various other work projects.

So far, every family who’s onboarded has received a pizza party and other household goods, as needed. We’re also customizing a plan for each family for the rest of the term, which runs through May 31, 2021.

  • In Tampa Bay, we have onboarded 21 families so far.
  • In Springfield (MO), we have onboarded 8 families so far.

While we cannot share their names specifically, would you pray for these families today? They have been called (we believe, by God) to do the hardest kind of James 1:27 work. Our goal is to serve them and support them, and this includes praying. Will you remember them this week in your prayers?

As always, God bless you for your faithfulness in praying.

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 09.14.20

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on our AMP guys in Ethiopia, so I thought it would be a good time to ask you to pray for them.

In case you didn’t know, this is the first year we’ve run our Authentic Masculinity Program in the nation of Ethiopia. It’s been a long time coming! At the beginning of Phase 1, we had 10 men who wanted to go through the program. The 12-weeks has run its course, and we now have 7 men who have met the requirements to graduate to Phase 2.

Phase 1 is all about biblical manhood. Phase 2 is all about income generating activities and business development. I was on a video chat with our partners in Ethiopia last week and everyone is super excited about these guys and the opportunity in front of them. I was reviewing their profiles again late last week and was reminded of just how great a privilege it is for Man Up to partner with these men.

All of the stories have compelling elements, but I share this one as an example, in his own words:

This man – we’ll call “Meta” – has had the deck stacked against him most his life. But his faith in Christ compels him to move forward. What he didn’t write in his story is that he and his wife currently stay in a 6 foot by 6 foot shack they rent for $15/mo. Lest you think this is a great deal, Meta makes about $60/mo for his job as a guard.

He and his wife are also childless, and they have asked us to pray for a child. Interestingly enough, a child would make things more difficult financially. And this is where Man Up comes in. We want to see Meta and the rest of the men in his Cohort be able to live out God’s calling in their lives as Providers. Each man has a story and included in the story is the desire to provide for their families.

Or in Meta’s case, his future family.

Would you please take a moment to pray for Meta and the other men in their Cohort for today’s #PRAY127 request? I’ve included pictures of all the men here. Thank you again for your faithfulness in praying.

By the way, if you think the men aren’t happy in the pictures below, you’re probably an American. 🙂 In Ethiopia, when important pictures are taken, they will often put on a “stern” face to show professionalism, determination, and seriousness. I assure you – they are happy to be in AMP!

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 08.31.20

The past week was a crazy week.

  • On Monday we had our bi-monthly Board Meeting.
  • On Wednesday we launched our Man Up 100 Tampa new term.
  • On Saturday we launched our Man Up 100 Springfield new term.
  • And in between we submitted two grants that will help us serve more families in our Adopt a Family program.

Overseas…

  • Our Jinja Cohort (Uganda), who recently lost our Coordinator, Pastor Roy (he moved back to Western Uganda), submitted their loan proposals for AMP and should hopefully receive their loans in the next week under the interim leadership of Pastor Andrew.
  • Our Addis Ababa/Korah Cohort (Ethiopia) is ready to graduate enrollees to Phase 2 of AMP.
  • We just received letters/updates from children enrolled in our child sponsorship program in the Dominican Republic, which went out to sponsors this past week.

All this while trying to make up for a lack of revenue for our partners who usually receive a bump due to the trips we take.

Whew! It’s definitely a lot. But no rest for the weary, as we look to enroll foster families into our Adopt a Family program this week both in Springfield (MO) and Tampa Bay. We had 24 total families last year, and this year we hope to enroll at least 44. To do that, we need enough men to step up and join the Man Up 100 so that we can service these families well.

Families in our Adopt a Family program receive services at least once a month from us, usually in the form of volunteerism from the men and/or their families in our program. Since the men are simply volunteering (not paid staff), it takes a lot of them to be able to bring more foster families into the Adopt a Family program.

So, with that in mind, will you pray? Pray God brings us the men ready to say “YES!” to His plan for their lives as it relates to Man Up, James 1:27, and the families we serve.

As always, we can’t thank you enough for praying. May the Lord bless you this 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 08.24.20

This week is the big week! Man Up will be launching new terms in both Tampa and Springfield (MO) later this week, and we are very excited about what God has in store for us over the next 12 months.

Interestingly enough, on our Facebook post about the event, we received some kickback from a woman who wrote the following (quoting verbatim):

Continuing to instill the idea that children need fathers is the biggest problem in fatherless households. Women continuing to depend on men, even when they are not there is the problem. Adding men to their lives wont solve their problems. Children need structure, substance, and people that genuinely care about them, whether they have a d*** or not doesn’t matter. Society needs to let go of this fantasy that is a two parent household.

Unfortunately, this is the culture in which we live. As Christians, we know that God desires both mom and dad to engage in the child-rearing process (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2). As unpopular as it is, we also know that God has given roles to both the male and female in the family (Ephesians 5:21-33). The manifestation of these roles in the 21st century may look different than in biblical times, to be sure. For instance, Mom may be the breadwinner, or Dad may do more of the “domestic” work. But ultimately, seeing healthy displays of both masculinity and femininity are crucial in the development of a child.

The bible not only says this, but so does current secular data. According to information found in the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau and compiled by Fatherhood.org, studies have found that children raised without a biological, step, or adoptive father are:

  • At a higher risk of having behavioral problems.
  • Four times more likely to live in poverty.
  • More likely to be incarcerated in their lifetime.
  • Twice as likely to never graduate high school.
  • At a seven times higher risk of teen pregnancy.
  • More vulnerable to abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • Twice as likely to be obese.

This is exactly why we’ve been praying these last couple of weeks. We believe children benefit in every measurable way by the presence of a loving, committed father in the home. And this week, we’re inviting men (and women, of course) to join us in the fight for those without fathers. Our kids need godly men who will love and cherish them, create confidence and build self-worth, model servant leadership, expose our need for a Savior, and point them to the only One who can meet all of life’s expectations.

Thanks for standing with us for one more week in this #PRAY127 challenge. Pray the men who God wants on the Zoom show up. Pray He continues to show us favor. Pray we make a difference for His name’s sake.

Thank you!

Man Up 100 Tampa Bay  AUG. 26 @ 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Man Up 100 Springfield (MO) AUG. 29 @ 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

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 08.17.20

Happy Monday! This is week two of three that I’m asking our prayer Champions to stand with us in prayer over our Man Up 100 launches happening later this month in Tampa (FL) and Springfield (MO).

Man Up and Go’s mission statement is to spark a passion in men to fight for the fatherless at home and abroad as Jesus commanded. The biggest way we do that at home is through our Man Up 100 Cohorts. The spark is starting to catch as men are realizing that God has called us to so much more than leisure and the pursuit of money. He has created us for Himself and His bidding in the world. That means standing with Him for one of the most marginalized people groups on the planet – the fatherless.

In both Tampa and Springfield we have been preparing for the launch by inviting men and sharpening our program. As a prayer Champion, you should know that we require three things of our men in this James 1:27-inspired initiative.

  • We want them to GATHER. It’s tough right now with COVID, but we’re making the most of it with Zoom. Proverbs 24:6 says, “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisors.” We view fatherlessness as something against which we must make war. It’s a visceral tactic from the “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,” Satan himself, and victory is ours in Christ Jesus, who instructs us to come together for counsel from one another. That’s why we meet.
  • We want them to GIVE. Since everything is from God (Romans 11:36), and everything IS God’s (Deuteronomy 10:14), we must live with open hands, not clenched fists. The state can only do so much for these children in child welfare. The real hope for any answer lies in the hearts (and bank accounts) of God’s people. We want men to experience the joy of giving, giving that generously finances projects that serve and support foster and adoptive children and families.
  • We want them to GO. The real work is done in serving these foster families. Many of these men and women endure sleepless nights and “bad” behavior from foster children who are simply scared, vulnerable, hurt, protective, misunderstood, and often feeling unloved. They are there through no fault of their own, and what should have been a safe, loving environment at home often becomes a living hell.

Trauma causes kids to lash out – it’s perfectly normal. Many foster families falter not because they don’t want to help, but because the job can become overwhelming at times. By serving these families with an occasional meal, a fix-it project, or a birthday party voucher, it’s just enough to help them take the next step forward in ministering to these children.

So again, thank you for praying for the men who will be attending next week’s launches. Pray God pricks their hearts even now to attend. Pray the enemy stays at bay. Pray they get involved in the fight for the fatherless – it’s the fight God longs for us to pick!

Man Up 100 Tampa Bay  AUG. 26 @ 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Man Up 100 Springfield (MO) AUG. 29 @ 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

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 08.10.20

Today’s #PRAY127 is one I’d love for you to pray over for the next three weeks.

As you know, COVID-19 has changed the way we do life. No one has been immune. It’s cramped our styles, it’s inconvenienced us, and it’s even taken some of our loved ones. It’s been a wake-up call for sure, but in some ways it’s been like Groundhog Day – can we please just get off this Bill Murray merry-go-round?

All that to say, one of the “magical” components about Man Up is the way we gather together and encourage one another to greater heights for God’s glory. Mission trips and our Man Up 100 initiative are predicated on the “gathering.” Yet because of county ordinances (and prudence, mind you), we have had to go digital instead. Digital is doable, but on a human level, seems to be less impactful. Especially 5 months in.

That’s why I’m asking for you to pray for our Man Up 100 Cohort New Term Launch Gatherings slated for later this month. (The schedule is below.) Please pray that God would move on the hearts of men (and women) to want to fight for the fatherless. To see this as a need. A mandate from God Himself – which it is! (See James 1:27, Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 68:4-5, Micah 6:8, Deuteronomy 10:18.)

There is so much need in our communities for us to pick up this cause and fight!

  • A child comes into the child welfare system every 2 minutes in the United States.
  • As many as 9 in 10 trafficked children have spent time in child welfare.
  • Parents are losing their children to the State because they’re losing their fight against drugs.

We can fight for these folks. We can advocate. We can give. We can serve. We can pray.

I want men to catch this vision and hop our on Launch Gatherings via Zoom later this month. Will you please pray for conviction among those who have served and those who need to? Please pray God does a mighty work in convicting us, that even if we can’t physically meet, His call to servant leadership rings loud and true.

Man Up 100 Tampa Bay  AUG. 26 @ 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Man Up 100 Springfield (MO) AUG. 29 @ 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

We also are excited that Man Up 100 DFW will be launching hopefully next month! So thank you for praying – you are crucial to this mission!

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.