As demonstrated by the shirt in this photo (taken from the banks of the Nile River during our 2013 Man Up Africa Mission trip), Man-Up was born out of a desire to “Protect and Love the Fatherless.” We have primarily done this by going on mission trips to share the love of our Heavenly Father to children, women, and men who have rarely if ever had a relationship with their earthly father. In the last 12 months – Man Up has served this role in Africa missions, Nicaragua missions, and Haiti missions. While many that we serve are orphans, the Fatherless is not solely about orphans. The erosion of the family unit has created a vacuum of male leadership and mentorship. Our ministry partners are asking, “Where are the fathers and men?”
God is raising up a generation of Ugandan men who are willing to fill the gap and turn the generational legacy of fatherless, and one of our greatest joys and inspiration is to serve alongside these Godly Ugandans. These men: Samuel Mwesigwa, Kooli George, Andrew Wakabi, Buonero Samuel, and their teams are on the front lines every day sharing the love of our Heavenly Father and demonstrating what “Man Up” looks like in service to their own wives and children, as well as orphans, families, and single mothers within their communities. We are inspired and humbled by the opportunity to introduce our Africa mission teams to these men, who have dedicated their lives in service to the Lord by Protecting and Loving the Fatherless.
However, the fatherless is not just an issue in countries in Africa. This erosion of the family unit that ultimately leads to a cycle of poverty, inferior education, behavioral problems, and abuse is happening in the United States as well. I recently read that 43% of children in the United States live without their father. Phillip Holmes writes an excellent blog entry on Desiring God’s blog in which he describes the impact of sincere mentor leadership in combating the fatherless challenge. We encourage you to read it when you have a chance and ask God how He would have you be a father to the fatherlesss in your own unique way.