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 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.