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.

Top 10 2020 Moments

2020 didn’t go like we thought it would. But really – does any year ever go like we think it will? In light of God’s complete sovereignty and absolute control over even the slightest detail (check out Isaiah 46:9-10), I’d like to submit to you that 2020 went exactly the way God wanted it. 

The pandemic? Check. 

The financial hardships? Check. 

The job losses? Check. 

The deaths? As hard as it is for our human brains to understand, even the deaths were ordained by God. (People are destined to die once and then face God – Hebrews 9:27).

All of life is in the Creator’s and Sustainer’s hands. And while we may have predicted something different for this year, the God this organization serves trusts that everything He does is for our ultimate good and His ultimate pleasure. 

Yes, even in 2020.

With that in mind, we hope you enjoy Man Up and Go‘s 2020 Top 10 Moments below. 

#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.