By all accounts, our recent trip to Uganda (June 5 – 17, 2016) was a God-sized success. Not because we are anything, but because we continue to see God move in the hearts and lives of both the people we serve and in our team members. We count it a privilege to be able to serve alongside some of the strongest Christ-followers on the planet while there (it makes doing ministry easy!).
Of course numbers don’t do justice for the impact that was made on individuals, but here is a brief overview of this team’s impact.
In Pallisa, a rural community in northeast Uganda with a primarily Muslim popluation:
- 120 men attended our 4th annual Man Up Men’s Conference in Pallisa; Pastor Samuel of Kerith Ministries and River of God Church was our host. Our theme this year was Complete in Christ, and what the looks like in our families, our churches, and our communities.
- Nearly 100 were impacted by our first ‘Woman Up’ conference at Pastor Lawrence’s church, a plant of River of God church. The ladies talked about being rooted in Christ and how it enables us to influence the next generation. It was a moving time of sweet fellowship among Christian women from across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences. Only in Christ can we truly come together in such a sweet unity.
- The team loved on the kiddos from Kerith Children’s Home – there are 24 children there currently, half of whom still need a loving sponsor for food, clothing, housing, and education. Please contact us if you’d like to hear more about our sponsorship program with Kerith Children’s Home.
In Kibuku, another rural community in between Pallisa and Mbale:
- 90 men attended an abbreviated 1-day conference with Pastor George, Executive Director of Ebenezer Ministries. Ebenezer oversees a children’s home and a primary school located just down the road. The men of the community came from miles around by bike to attend the conference. Ebenezer was a recipient of a bike delievery courtesy of Bike4Orphans, a non-profit based in California, whom we connected with Pastor George this past Spring.
- We loved on the kiddos at Ebenezer Children’s Home where approximately 45 children live. Many of these children have HIV, as George and his wife Sylvia felt called by God to minister to this specific demographic. Each year we provide a big meal for the children, serve them, and hang with them. It was also neat to see many of our ladies connecting with the other ladies who work at Ebenzer day in and day out. Sweet communion and mutual edification and encouragement!
In Masese, a slum community located in the town of Jinja, an otherwise fairly developed area:
- 170 women in Masese attended our first ever Woman Up conference. We have been purchasing necklaces for 6 years now from the ladies there, and they are hungering for the word of God! Our team didn’t have nearly enough time with them, so we are planning a woman-only Man Up trip next year specifically to minister to the ladies in Masese. This is one of our E6 Strategies, to Empower single mothers and widows and so fight against fatherlessness.
- Almost 500 kids showed up for the Super Saturday feeding program, a program Man Up helped implement last year. This program is an evangelistic outreach to the community, and provides food, play, and bible lessons to children of all ages. Thanks to Convoy of Hope for providing the container of food to support this initiative!
- Approximately 250 men attended our 4th annual Man Up Conference in Jinja with Pastor Andrew. Pastor Andrew is one of our staunchest allies in the fight against fatherlessness. Through his leadership and partnership, the Bethel Junior School sees about 120 children receive a Christian education and employees roughly 15 locals. He is also recently launched a church plant in the community of Masese III, the only one of its kind. He is truly shining a light in what has been a traditionally dark place, and the community is coming to life, praise God.
- We held our first ever Man Up soccer tournament under Pastor Andrew’s direction:
- 8 teams participated in the 1-day tournament
- Approximately 1000 came out to watch the festivities
- The Gospel was proclaimed by our team members
- 6 of the men came to the conference the following days
- We learned a lot thru this first-time event, and plan to use it in the future as an outreach to invite men to follow Christ!
- We purchased over $1000 worth of necklaces from the ladies of Masese. Since our influence in the community, these necklaces have evolved to include sytles many Westeners enjoy, and are being sold in the local market to tourists! The ladies now have necklaces in two different stores at the area known as The Source.
In Kampala, the capital city of Uganda where 2 million Ugandans reside:
- Approximately 100 youths (ages 12-20) and 15 young men came to our 4th annual Man Up conference in Kampala, put on in conjunction with Pastor Samuel of Return Ministries. 11 youths confessed Jesus at the conference, praise God!
- Our ladies ministered to almost 500 children in the community alongside local Ugandans doing VBS-type activities and having spiritual conversations with these kiddos.
- In our first attempt at a Man Up soccer tourney in Kampala, 26 teams consisting of 20 men each participated in a 12-day tournament, culminating in the Championship game while we were there:
- Pastor Samuel estimates over 2500 people came out over the 12 days
- 35 men gave their lives to Christ during the call at the end of the tournament
- Local leaders from Parliament, the press, and many other curious observers came to see the final two games while we were there; our team leader, Jimmy, was able to present the Gospel and the vision of Less Orphans, More Families to over 1000 people!
In all, we estimate over 1000 children were impacted, 600 men at our Men’s Conferences, and nearly 300 women at our Women’s Conferences. Approximately 3500 locals came out to our soccer tournaments, in what we believe will pave the way for future ministry opportunities.
In addition to the work done in country, this trip had a tremendous impact on our team members. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to read and/or watch some of the individual testimonials from our team members which you can find HERE. We also have a short video we’ve titled Testimonials that you’ll want to check out as well.
Thank you so much for standing with us and for supporting the ministries and initiatives of Man Up and Go!