Dear Man Up Champion,
July means it’s halfway through the year. Being halfway through the year means it’s time to assess. Assessing means asking the following: Where have we been? Where are we going? Did we accomplish what we set out to do? Where are we off track? What changes need to be made in the second half to insure we cross the end-of-the-year finish line well?
As I write this letter, I’m on vacation with my family in the Ozark Mountains (pic below with the fam at Dogwood Canyon), which means this Florida boy gets to see a different kind of handiwork from the mind of our Creator. The mountains are one of God’s best metaphors for life. They provide the challenge of the climb, the reward of the view at the top, and the realization that there’s always another hill to ascend.
At our 2018 Board Summit, we set six major objectives for 2019. Three of these dealt with internal development and opportunities for growth, while three dealt with our direct programming:
1. To continue monitoring and evaluating our current Authentic Masculinity Program (AMP) cohorts.
2. To launch five more AMP cohorts by the end of the year.
2. To launch our Man Up 100 initiative in two U.S. cities, Tampa (FL) and Springfield (MO).
How Have We Done?
We give God praise for all that He’s doing in and through AMP. As the 2018/19 Cohort nears the finish line, we are very pleased with the results. 63 men started the program in three different areas of Uganda. 89% of the men made it to the loan distribution phase, which bested our goal by nearly 25%. At the time of this letter, we have recouped about 41% of the loans distributed, which already beats our goal of 33%. More importantly, we have received numerous stories of “transformation” in these men. These men have fathered over 250 children collectively and need the tools and resources to be better protectors of and providers for their families. If we’re going to get upstream of the orphan crisis in the world, we are convinced fathers and husbands play the X factor.
Currently our AMP Coordinators are taking applications for three new cohorts in Uganda and one in Ethiopia. Both of these countries are scheduled to launch in August 2019. We’re not good enough or smart enough to pull this off, so we give God the praise that’s due Him.
I’m also happy to report that our Man Up 100 cohorts are scheduled to launch next month in Tampa and Springfield. We have over 30 men committed already and anticipate close to 100 men at our breakfast launches in August (Aug 21 in Tampa, Springfield is TBD). Man Up 100 will serve as the flagship domestic outreach of Man Up and Go to fight for the fatherless here in the United States. We envision launching these local cohorts in cities across the U.S., with 100 men (and their families) in a given community praying for, serving, and financially giving to see Less Orphans, More Families in their area. We are stoked to get this off the ground and invite you to serve with us!
Where Are We Going?
Just like on a peak in a range of mountains, we’re enjoying the view from where we currently sit, but realize there are more hills to climb. While the child sponsorship program in the Dominican Republic is strong, we’re still in the planning phases of how to responsibly launch our 5th AMP cohort of the year by December 31, 2019. With our resources right now, that’s going to be a “God’s-time” decision.
Domestically we believe Man Up 100 will impact thousands of fatherless kiddos in our own backyards, while providing our Champions with an easy on-ramp to serve as well. But with growth comes the additional need for staff and volunteers, organizational development, and the technology to handle it well. I want to follow the leading of Jesus as we work with the local church in these communities to spark a passion in men to fight for the fatherless.
Finally, we’ve found favor with the Florida, Missouri, and Texas child welfare departments who see the value of AMP for men in danger of losing their children to the state. We are cautiously optimistic about partnerships with faith-based coalitions in these states to meet the demand of the need for Authentic Masculinity here at home. We’re praying for wisdom and church partners who believe they are called to prevent future fatherless children from becoming another statistic.
Thank You for Your Support
All of this would be impossible without the Champions of Man Up and Go giving financially to the mission and serving alongside us. It’s hard work to change a mindset where fatherlessness is viewed as normative. But Jesus compels us to offer a different outlook by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). We believe Authentic Masculinity, rooted in the message of the Gospel and the power of the living God, is our best hope to answer the hopelessness we see in so many communities. You are invited to continue to partner with us in this noble fight.
There are still more hills to climb. Let’s get to it!
CEO, Man Up and Go