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 12.14.20

Instead of a prayer request, what a great praise report we have this week! Check out what the Lord did last week at our Fall Football Fling Thing – over $35,000 raised to fight for the fatherless. Wow!

We’re asking you to join with us this week in praise and adoration towards our very good Heavenly Father, who sees what we need before ask.

We’re also asking you to pray for those who sponsored the event (listed below), because they believed enough in us and the mission God has given us to help fund the event so that everything raised at the event could go towards our programs that fight fatherlessness. 

Amen, amen, amen! 

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 11.30.20

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 10.12.20

If you take your cues from the culture, it’s no wonder we’re confused. In days gone by, it was the educated class, the elites, the nobles, the scribes, and the religious priests – these are the ones who set the tone for how living occurs in a particular nation at a particular time. It took time to shift a culture, mostly because mobilization wasn’t aided by modern technologies.

But in the instant age of social media and Venmo and Amazon, where things move digitally in just a day (I mean, how many products are available for free 1-day shipping with Prime?), the culture shifts happen rapidly. Couple this with the devaluing of religious relevance and especially monotheism (the idea that there is only one way to God), and you see how the elites could persuade the masses to make the shift quickly.

It’s no question our elites are more Lady Gaga than Luther, more Kardashian than Calvin.

How did the shift happen? Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, notes the rapid reversal of cultural acceptance on human sexuality (including gender identity) in the 2nd decade of the 21st century and puts it this way:

“The first thing [that happens is that] what was condemned must be celebrated. The second is that what was celebrated must now be condemned. And thirdly, those who will not join in the celebration will be condemned.”

This brings me to our #PRAY127 request for today. It used to be in the United States that a man’s noble task of working hard and providing for his family, both materially and spiritually, was a virtue. Today, a man trying to live out biblical values of faith and family is so foreign and absurd to the cultural elites that anyone who does not openly mock such a conviction should be immediately “cancelled.”

The reality is that most men, apart from the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, have already jettisoned biblical masculinity in favor of cultural masculinity. With such a strong cancel culture among the elites – who convince the rest to fall in line or else – men have found it even easier to let women do the work God wants them to do. (By the way, this has nothing to do with whether or not women are given a fair shot in the work force – our biblical values tell us they should.)

So if women want to take over, what’s the big deal? Why not give men a pass?

In the prophet Hosea’s time, the northern tribe of Israel had embraced idolatry so forthrightly that their women “commit harlotry, and brides commit adultery” (Hosea 4:13). This was referring not just to running after foreign gods, but also participating in ritual prostitution. Yet how did God respond?

I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry, nor your brides when they commit adultery; For the men themselves go apart with harlots, and offer sacrifices with a ritual harlot.” – Hosea 4:14

You see who was held responsible? It was the men.

When a nation goes awry, when a community goes awry, when a home goes awry, it is the man who is responsible.

Of course this is not to say that women bear no burden. Only to say that God reserves a greater judgment for the men who failed to lead.

Leading is hard. But God has told men to do it with boldness, integrity, faithfulness, and trust. If you know a man who’s struggling to lead this morning, will you pray for him today? If you don’t know one, pick the one closest to you as he’s probably had his doubts recently. Please pray that men all over the United States and in the world will lead as God has intended – humbly, graciously, and in deference to others.

It will take courage to withstand the advances of the culture. But as Christians, we know this is nothing new, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we stand as emboldened as ever.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” – Ephesians 6:13

Thank you for 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 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 09.28.20

Last week we prayed for the 29 foster or adoptive families who have enrolled in our Adopt a Family program for the new term. This week I’d love for you to join in praying for the men who are serving these families through our Man Up 100 program.

We live in a world increasingly hostile to masculinity, and perhaps, rightfully so. In fact, I did a straw poll among some women I know a few weeks back and almost all of them viewed the word at least in part, negatively (and these were Christian women). I think this comes from two main factors.

  • First of all, there has been an increasing and rightful recognition in Western culture of the inherent and intrinsic worth of women, or those typically defined with feminine qualities. This is a good thing. The flip side is that in its extreme form, it becomes a feminism that caricatures masculinity as “toxic,” just by definition. It’s a throwing-the- baby-out-with-the- bathwater-response to:
  • The second factor, toxic masculinity (aka, the patriarchy). If there is such a thing as toxic masculinity, then we might just call that men living in opposition to that which God has called them. In that case, toxic masculinity does exist! And it’s a toxicity that has been produced from literally millennia of men behaving badly, especially in how we treat women (and to a degree, children).

Now if we go by a particular culture’s definition, then we have a moving target. What one culture tolerates another may not. We can no more call men making women wear burqas (Islamic culture says) toxic masculinity than we can forcing them to walk 10 feet behind us while going for a Sunday stroll (some far East cultures say).

And what if culture changes, like it has in America? How do we know what’s accepted as legitimate and what’s not at any given time?

Christians and unbelievers belong to two different worlds. The bible calls Christians “strangers and aliens on the earth,” misfits looking for their homeland (Hebrews 11:13-16). For an unbelieving culture, this world is all they have. They live according to standards, dictates, philosophy, and worldview that have no hope for anything better after death.

This is why revolutions come about, nations rise, fall, die, and are birthed again. It is all a temporal power grab that generally brings happiness for a few and a life of subjugation for the rest.

Which is why we can read the words of King David in his blessing to his son Solomon with confidence, when he said:

Be strong. Act like a man. Obey me. Then you will prosper.

In a nutshell, this is why Man Up exists. To see men “Act like a man,” which, in a biblical context, can be interpreted as being a protector of those who may be vulnerable to attack (“being strong”) and doing life in community with God (ie, “walk in obedience”).

The men enrolled in our Man Up 100 programs are trying to live out David’s charge to Solomon – to be strong and protect the fatherless, to act like men and care about others, and to obey Jesus and walk in harmony with Him.

This, says God, is masculinity.

These are the masculine qualities. These are the qualities of men. They are not a moving target, but are fixed and immutable; when we protect the weak, care for others, and walk humbly with God, we are living out our diving calling as men. Strong, humble men.

Will you join me this week in praying for the men in our Man Up 100 program? In the first month of the new term (Sept), we have 76 enrolled men who are giving financially and actively serving foster and adoptive families in two different locations (SW Missouri, Tampa Bay). In just one month, these men have:

This is really cool stuff. It’s practical, it’s tangible, and it’s befitting a man. A strong, masculine man, the kind who humbly gives of his strength for the benefit of others. All of this in obedience to a God who loves him.

Thank you for praying for these men. You might not know them by name, but God does; He can’t wait to empower them because of your prayers!

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.