Monday, August 08, 2011

What Is A "Man Upper"?!

If you are a friend of Visiting Orphans or me on Facebook then I'm sure this is the question you are asking! "What is a Man Upper?!" Currently through the wonderful partnership with our awesome team leader, Roger Gibson, we sent out a team to Ethiopia and Uganda with the whole concept of Manning Up for the orphans...

As Roger and his wife Kari would get together with me and my husband, Simon, one thing we would discuss at length was the trend we saw in our Visiting Orphans teams. Just about all our teams had about 80 to 90% women as team members, with little to no representation of men to be found on these teams. Now, us women are more than happy to REPRESENT in this way, but it saddened and grieved our hearts as it seemed men were just not "getting it"!

We understood that when you think perhaps of visiting an orphan that you think of holding and cuddling babies, and that's it. But the majority of Christian men were not realizing how many young boys and teenage men were orphans in this world! And yes, they loved being visited by women, but oh, how their hearts LONGED to be known by men. How they wanted to be recognized, known, and remembered by men who visited. Most of our trips...I would say 90% of them spend time with these boys, not babies. The babies need us too, yes, but it's those children who are stuck in the system who really need us..and these are the ones this blog post is specifically addressing.

At one facility we partner with in Kampala, Uganda there are usually 200 children there and only seventeen or so of them are girls! The facility is the children's prison which the ministry of Sixty Feet is actively trying to help. All these street boys who get picked up for minor offenses, or none at all...stuck for days behind bars...sometimes for weeks in solitary confinement, only because they are homeless and without a family...

So, our response was to send out a team targeted specifically towards men and it WORKED! We sent out a team of 38 people, 80% which are men to Uganda and Ethiopia this Summer. In fact, they are still in Ethiopia as I write...

At the children's prison in Uganda, these boys got to come out of their bars for hours and SCHOOL our American men in Soccer (futball). :) They learned how to play basketball from Dude Perfect. They worshipped without abandon and taught our men how to do the same! This is the Abba Heart of does this sound like a boring mission trip which is totally out of a man's comfort zone?! No...this is the heart of a man!!!

So, we have another Man Up trip planned next Summer and we plan to send another one in the Spring. But what I want men to remember is that we need them on ALL our trips. That's the point of this whole concept. To Man Up and love the fatherless... to be God's hands and feet as He shows how to be a Abba Father to them. Our other teams need you more than our Man Up teams do. Our goal is to see all our teams with an even ratio of men and women of God serving together. Our God is both male and female...and we are in His image. We need to serve together to be a complete representation of Him.

Please think about signing up next year for one of our trips, ESPECIALLY if you are a man and you "get it"! Join with us as a Man Upper and love on these orphans as only a man can do!

p.s. All photos are copyrighted by Wynne Trippet Elder, 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Amanda for sharing this incredible post with bloggy readers- Your passion and love for orphans is contagious and our family is so blessed to have caught the vision!! Our lives will never be the same!! We love you!!