The past couple of months have been busy ones behind the scenes at Man Up and Go. In addition to having a 2012 Man Upper, Kenny Xiques, spend time piloting a Men’s Empowerment program in Jinja, Uganda, we’ve seen our first more-than-short-term female missionary also head back to Africa.
Katie McGinnis, whose first experience with Man Up was back in June of this year, saw her life’s trajectory totally change after her 2014 Man Up Missions Trip experience. Feeling God’s tug on her heart to head in a different direction, she came home and prepared to head back to Uganda on a more permanent basis. She is now serving on the front lines with two of our ministry partners in Uganda – Kerith Children’s Home and Home Again Ministries – over the next 9 months.
Katie, a Certified Child Life Specialist by profession, writes about how a Man Up and Go Missions Trip completely changed her life:
“I cannot even BEGIN to explain to you all the ways that the Lord specifically orchestrated my steps to go on this particular trip with this particular group of individuals! I cringe to think that I was ever resistant to the idea of going to Africa and that I made so many excuses for not going for so many years, when this trip was VERY clearly part of the Lord’s perfect plan for my life all along! To say the mission trip was a life-changing experience is a vast understatement. We spent a full two weeks loving on kids in orphanages and slums, sharing Christ with people, encouraging pastors, and empowering young men to “Man Up” and become strong leaders and Godly men in their communities. I absolutely fell in love with the beautiful people and precious children of Uganda and knew throughout the entire trip that the Lord wanted me to come back and live there for an extended period of time. I have literally never felt more content, purposeful, and filled with joy than I did while I was on this trip….in fact, I can vividly recall a specific moment towards the end of the trip when I was sitting down in a muddy field in the pouring rain with a solid dozen slum children laughing hysterically and climbing all over me and distinctly hearing the Lord say to me, “This is exactly what I made you for and created you to do with your life!”
Of course going on a Man Up Missions Trip doesn’t mean you’ll end up living in Africa. But it will change your life, so long as you open your heart and life up to God’s plan for you, and not only your plan for you.
You can follow Katie’s journey on her blog, Musings from a Mzungu: Katie’s Uganda Adventure.