so, before we got “the news” we had planned to road trip it up to Springfield, MO for the Man Up & Go film premier. We were excited to meet up with our Man Up family (the first mission trip we took to Africa together, summer 2011) and see the film that had been in the works for a year & a half. Call us crazy, but we still decided to go . We couldn’t be in the states & not at this event – so we did it! We road tripped it 11 hours 5 days before leaving to pick up our babes.
A perk to driving that far, is having besties that live half way! We LOVE getting to stay in “the falls” with my bestie Brynn + her family! They have a beautiful community there & as always we were welcomed with love, gifts, a good meal and lots of laughter. Brynn outdid herself and even had a cake made in celebration!
then it was back on the road & onto Springfield! we were greeted by our family – the Neals & Gibsons and had a super fun dinner out followed by the best custard ever at Andys then some good ole fashioned fun – watching you tube videos & laughing so hard it hurt. so great to be back with our man up family!
(might I add that my fave part of the night is when me & hannie (to my left above) broke out to a tswift dance party in the restaurant parking lot. i had been practicing the words to “we are never getting back together” for weeks for that exact moment. hey, it’s what we did in Ethiopia to entertain ourselves.)
Saturday was the big day! everyone met downtown (Springfield has a pretty impressive downtown I might add) for coffee and breakfast!
LOVE this girl. she’s my sister. loved hanging out & having lunch after.
ya know those people that even if you don’t talk every week or every month you still know they are family & will be in your life forever…yeah. she’s one of those 🙂
after lunch & coffee it was off to get all dolled up for the big premier!!
me & my sister, mama kiki! LOVED getting to waltz into her house like I lived there. oh how I’ve missed her & her family!
one of the most fun things, was just getting to see so many amazing friends! from our mission trip, from my time this summer in ethiopia, baylor friends, LIFE LONG friends, adoption friends I’ve never met until now…it was a crazy fun mix of amazing godly mission minded people.
walking the red carpet! ready to see the film!!!!
emotions were running high at this point. getting ready to see our 17 day trip to africa played out on the big screen. the trip that started it all!
I was pretty proud of this guy.
although he wasn’t one of the 5 guys that was featured in the film, you can be sure to see him loving big on orphans. he has an amazing heart this one!
after the film, we headed back to Randy’s studio for dessert and a little Q&A with the man up & go film stars & directors!
Here’s a little more about Man Up & Go!
FATHER fa·ther [fah–ther] noun
a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector and provider: a father to the poor and orphans.
Why would an unlikely band of American brothers go on an adventure, a road trip, to the depths of Ethiopia and Uganda, and join with African men? They joined in a push to help combat the heartbreaking problem that there are over 7,000,000 orphans suffering in these two countries. They left their jobs and families to help bring to light the gut wrenching issue that over 700,000,000 children worldwide grow up without a father. Not dismayed by the staggering numbers, the men literally man up and go to change lives and discover their own lives are most impacted
This cast of characters is joined by a common passion — to love and care for orphans and people that are hurting and in need. To be a father to many, even if for one day. To hold and hug those children that do not have a father. To show women the healthy touch of a man and to be an example to other men what a real man is like…what it means to be a father. The Man Up team did dishes for the women, cooked, gathered food, washed feet, shaved and fed lepers, played games and simply….loved big.
Many of the men call home Missouri, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Uganda and Ethiopia. Miles apart geographically and worlds apart socially, economically and culturally, this band of American brothers includes a seasoned cop, a retired military man and an architect. Then there is the standout ex-college football player, highly successful businessman, well-known publicist, celebrity athlete and teenage boys. With over 30 adventurers on this rag tag team, most previously have never stepped on African soil.Focusing on five Americans, the film reveals the unique stories of the men…before the trip even starts. We see them at home, work and play and connect with their unfolding lives. The film’s journey continues as the team comes together at an airport in Washington DC — for most, a first time meeting, yet they unite as one.
The Americans are contrasted and compared with the lives of African brothers. Included are harrowing stories of survival through unthinkable situations — one being left for dead on a mountain of bodies and the second once orphaned himself, living in a dump. These stories and others represent shining examples of manhood and the spirit of the adventure.
Strongly drawing attention to the touching lives of orphaned children , the Man Up team travels to hidden children prisons and a dump site, which is home to thousands of orphans. The journey continues to a ministry for street children, a remote village in the middle of Ethiopia and to a multitude of orphanages. The needs of the precious children are revealed by the spirited actions of the Man Up team, entwining strong, common threads of hope, joy, love and the power these have over adversity In the end, the American team travels home to their comfortable lives…but will they ever be the same? Will the choking facade of the American dream grip them like it used to? The men return with the truth planted that life is not just about them; they are transformed by their African adventure and brothers, and are united with a strong commitment to love big and to be fathers to the fatherless.
here’s a little teaser to the film….
I have the DVD at my house if you are in Midland…we would love to have you view it!
they will be submitting the film to festivals & we are praying that god does something BIG with it!
it was raw, real, beautiful, heart breaking, motivating, inspiring, and oh so much more.
we are blessed to be a part of it!