Good evening (or at least its evening for me as I post)…I pray as you read this that you have joy and peace in your heart and life. If not, I pray you seek the One who can provide both of those to you even in the middle of the storm. Robert and I are definitely seeking the Lord. I believe more now than ever before as a couple. It has definitely brought joy and peace though the storms still rage.
To catch you all up…The end of 2020 ended with me having Covid. I was the only one who hadn’t had it earlier in the year in our immediate family. God kept me healthy and virus free while taking care of 9 others who had it at our house. We are so thankful that even though all of us have now had this virus in our family and I’ve been taking care of patients with it, our family has all recovered. We are grateful for Gods mercy in keeping us safe and healing us. I have seen the illness and death firsthand as a nurse. We continue to pray for all of those effected and pray your family is well.
God has been so faithful even though Robert and I fall short often. He continues to open doors and provide opportunities we never could have imagined or done on our own. Upshaw Ministries was in 6 schools before the beginning of the school year 2020. That has now increased to 10 schools that Upshaw Ministries is present in weekly even with schools being shut down, virtual learning, and visitor restrictions at times. Robert has the privilege to speak to over 300 students weekly. As we sometimes say halfheartedly “Look at God” but truly… look at God. He is so gracious. He is such a good Father.
Some other opportunities have also been opened up for Upshaw Ministries. Robert has weekly classes for men at the Pulaski County Jail. We are also chaplain’s for the Arkansas Travelers MiLB team. Robert gets to meet with the players in person while my part will most likely be virtual with the wives/girlfriends of the players. Premarital counseling/officiating weddings has also been a privilege that has come our way multiple times with 2 more soon. Robert also recently spoke to the Lyons College women’s basketball team.
We continue to seek Gods will in our lives. Please be in prayer as we have recently let go of the reigns of our lives and what we think our life and ministry should like…honestly, we have to be intentional about this at times. Many hearts have been changed and salvations are taking place and we want to continue to chase after God’s will and direction for us individually, as a couple and with Upshaw Ministries.
Thank you for all of those that have donated and help support us with your financial gifts. Thank you for coming alongside us to make it possible for all of these lives to be touched. We couldn’t do it without you. We love you all. May God bless you and your families.
As God would have it, we are back in school…physically or virtually depending on the school and/or your personal decision here in AR. Our youngest is back in brick and mortar school. We are praying for her as well as our college girls. Please join us in praying for the safety and health of all students and faculty. We know this continues to be a difficult time for many. We are available if anyone needs to talk or have us pray with you. We are thankful for those that prayed for us as our house experienced Covid. We are so thankful our symptoms were mild and everyone recovered.
As we said, our youngest is back in school. We also had 2 other daughters move out last month so that leaves just the one at home. We are focusing most of our time, with this almost empty nest, on listening more to Gods call and growing this ministry. God has put big visions and plans in us and we know He is bigger than all of them. We’d love to share with you in more detail what those plans are if you’d like to learn more.
In August, Robert spoke to a couple football teams and we were able to provide “summertime snacks”. He encouraged them and gave them a brief overlook at what the weekly talks will look like. Robert hopes to help them discover their worth and identity in Christ, as well as, their responsibilities as a young man over this school year. We were also able to supply snack bags recently to a volleyball team for their long away game.
Now we are preparing school supplies to be delivered next week to a local organization to be given to those in need. Its hard to be successful in school and take notes, do homework, etc if you don’t have the basic supplies. Each notebook has a scripture inside and will have been prayed over. Please be in prayer with us that whoever receives these supplies will feel the love of Christ through the caring of others. Pray for their school year both in and out of school.
September is here and we have so many exciting things on the horizon! If you need something uplifting and positive to be involved with PLEASE let us know. We have so many opportunities for you to serve with us. We are preparing for the launch of ROAM next month. Please go to the ROAM tab and learn more about this ministry and pray about how you can get involved.
THANK YOU to our new donors/partners!! It is more confirmation of Gods plan as you come alongside us on this fantastic journey.
2020 for most of us has been different than any other year prior. Young Manhood classes continued at our area schools until Covid closed them down. However, Robert has been able to continue mentoring a few young men individually during this time. God also gave Robert the opportunity to be Chaplain for the Arkansas Travelers baseball team and Leslie the Travelers Women’s Ministry Leader for the 2020-21 season. Unfortunately, with Covid that season has been canceled. We’ve continued to find ways to serve. We delivered meals to our homeless friends on the street and donuts to area hospital staff. Tragically, we had a close family member killed several weeks ago and have been navigating new and unexpected waters for a few months now.
With all of that said, we are so grateful for God’s grace and provision for us. He is not caught off guard by anything that we’ve gone through. We will praise Him in the valleys and for the valleys. We are taking this time of being home due to Covid and due to this tragic death to focus our energies on the Lord, our family and ministry. Leslie is now also doing full time ministry with Robert. We are busy reading and praying. Using this time for creating a budget, vision plans, letters; making phone calls, zoom calls and occasionally holding one-on-one meetings with potential partners has been our focus as we prepare this ministry to have a solid foundation now that we have non-profit status and both of us are doing full time, all the time, ministry together Thankful! “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24 (NIV)
We are OVERJOYED to announce that we have our EIC number and are now a 501C Nonprofit! This was after much prayer, paperwork and $$$. Thank you to those that have supported us with your prayers and with your donations even before we had our nonprofit status. We are so grateful for you and pray that you along with many others will be led to come alongside us to serve others and minister in a variety of ways in the days and years to come.
We wanted to update everyone on what God has been up to through us during the last several weeks. Heres a quick rundown….
- Recently, Upshaw Ministries partnered with New Life Church in Pine Bluff. Jack Robey Jr High was offered a 6 week class dealing with anger management for any students that wanted to attend. Those classes finished up last week and Robert and the pastor in Pine Bluff will be meeting soon to evaluate the program.
- Robert met with the Head Coach and Athletic Director at England High School to discuss Young Manhood classes. He started March 1st meeting at that Hight School with all male athletes meeting weekly. Coaches and parents have given very positive feedback.
- At Abundant Life Christian Academy in NLR, Robert spoke M-F to 7th-12th graders during their Missions Emphasis Week…pictures and video uploaded to website. There were 8 SALVATIONS throughout the week!
- We provided approximately 50 sack lunches to Central High School and NLR High School basketball teams for their trip to the boys basketball state tournament.
- The youth at Antioch Baptist Church in Conway got to hear about leadership last Wednesday from Robert. The Lord keeps opening doors and we keep trying to recognize them and walk through in faith.
God is really growing the ministry right now. Its amazing to experience. People are calling and texting to inquire and we aren’t even sure how they heard about the ministry. Look at God! Robert is continuing to go out to area schools and share with the teenagers. His focus has been on manhood and what it takes to grow into what God intended men to become for their future families and their community. We had a surprise visit from a Little Rock news channel, KHTV 11. The reporter said he had heard what a difference Robert was making by coming to talk to these young men. Of course, we recognize Robert is the tool and God is the one making the difference. You can click on the link below and view the news spot done last week. Thank. you Lord.
I still work in CA as a RN. I’m there usually about 10 days out of each month which leaves me a lot of time at home with family and to give my time to this ministry. Please be in prayer with us for direction for R.O.A.M., RNs On A Mission. This is the part of our ministry which will be the hands and feet to help out in times of need such as natural disasters, man made disasters, or volunteering wherever there are needs, medical and otherwise. Specifically I need clarity in where God wants us to start…location. Where do we serve first? He has pressed on my heart several places so I’m just waiting for His timing to tell me where and when. I will definitely let you all know. If you are interested in being in the trenches with me, please let me know. You don’t have to be medical to be involved.
Robert’s father passed recently. I only bring this up here because he lived a very full 95 years and his story is worth hearing. You can see where Roberts solid foundation and example of manhood started. If you didn’t know him or his story, you can click on the link to read an article about him. What one man who had faith in a mighty God can do and the amount of people he can touch is INCREDIBLE! The writer did an excellent job capturing the essence of this great man who would divert all this praise to his source, God. Thank you Mike Arnold and Blanco County News. We love and miss you Jasper (Dad).
Thank you again for coming on this journey with us. Let us know how we can serve you or pray for you. If you’re interested in serving with us, please also let us know. May God bless you…
The Lord has been doing quite a work the last few events. I sometimes hesitate to put numbers because if only 1 comes to know the Lord or if we just get to plant seeds and share his Word we are overjoyed. However, for some that give financially and want to hear what God is up to or those that want to pray specifically here you go:
- Mills Jr High football team came together on 10/3. Proverbs 19:21 was shared with them and there were 11 salvations.
- Robert shared Gods Word to over 1,000 Jr High/High School kids in the Van Buren, AR area last week for Fields of Faith. Here are the statistics but more importantly 41 young people are now SAVED!!!
– Gideons gave out over 400 Bibles– over 1100 people were there– almost 100 volunteers helped out– over 9 school districts involved, 3 of them from OK– over 13 churches were involved as 1– 41+ hearts and souls are now in the hands of Jesus Christ that weren’t before
- Approximately 50 teenagers gathered with FCA this morning at Freshman Academy. Of those that were there, 14 came to personally know the Lord.
The angels are rejoicing as we are too over all these salvations in the last 10 days. We pray you will rejoice with us and pray for these young followers. Each student that accepted the Lord will receive a Bible and a reference pocket guide for easy location of verses.
The Lord has kept us very busy over the last couple of months.
- We were fortunate enough to minister together at Kidz Kamp in Blanco, Tx at the end of July. I was the camp chaplain and Leslie was camp nurse. Kidz Kamp is probably one of my favorite camps because its a time I can give back to my hometown. A place where people invested in me growing up. It has also been exciting to see some of the kids that were campers now give back by being counselors at camp. It’s neat to see how God has grown them and to see them invest in the next generation. Several kids came to know the Lord this year at camp. There was also a baptism of a little girl that accepted the Lord last year at camp that wanted to be baptized this year at camp. It was great for the kids to be a witness to her decision. It was also a privilege to watch her Dad baptize her. (Pictures tab)
- In Houston at the Northland Christian High School football camp, I was led to integrate spiritual truths with team building. We played games that helped the players communicate with one another. We challenged them to step up and lead regardless of their age. The key was trying to help them understand that individuals don’t win championships, the team does. At the conclusion of camp, we had a cookout for the players and their Dads. It was a special time. A time where Dads were asked to convey to their sons how proud they are of them, how important the son is and not the game, and how much they love them. In return, the sons were able to thank their Dad for their support, leadership at home and sacrifices they make daily for their sons. There were many tears shed and hugs given. It was a great night of seeing God work on the hearts of Dads and sons. (Pictures tab)
- Abundant Life High School chapel speaking engagement for 5th-12th graders was all about “time”. How do you spend your time?
- There was a monthly gathering of men (tailgate) by the East Union Missionary Baptist Church with the theme Act Like Men. I was able to speak about one of the great Dads of the Bible, Job. I challenged the men to love their wives, pray for their kids, and lead them towards Gods righteousness. (Pictures tab)
Please pray that Gods hand continues to be on this ministry and that His sweet spirit will change lives…Robert Upshaw
There has been a lot happening since we last posted. My apologies for not keeping this up to date for several months. Thank you to those that have kept in touch and/or kept checking in here to see what was new with us and Upshaw Ministries.
With my travel nursing back and forth to California and life at home, with a daughter graduating about a month ago, we’ve been praying, planning and serving but haven’t had a lot of time to post. We had a prayer answered and I took an On Call position in CA. I’ll be traveling there approximately 1 week out of every 4 or 5 weeks which will leave a lot of time for family, friends and ministry.
Robert has been very busy with Upshaw Ministries since my post in February. Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the wonderful things God has been up to through Robert:
- Guest speaker at chapel at Baptist Preparatory High School in Little Rock, AR – Over 300 kids in attendance as well as faculty
- Spoke to Blanco High School baseball and softball teams in Blanco, TX – It was the 30 year anniversary of the high school’s run for State in baseball when Robert was a Senior (Pictures tab)
- Invited to and participated in Congressman French Hill’s Teacher Roundtable on School Safety and the Opioid Challenge
- Central Arkansas Annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet – Panel Speaker and received award for his 18 years of service in the state of Arkansas (Pictures tab)
- One on one sessions mentoring students and young adults, as well as, relationship/marriage counseling with several men and couples
By His Grace,
Last week, Robert had the opportunity to speak to over 150 men in Greenwood, AR. Men’s Fraternity at First Baptist Church invited him to speak at a kick off dinner. Roberts talk used Psalms 1:1-3 as a foundation.
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
Some of the statistics used in his talk were:
There are approximately 94 million males in the U.S. 18 years old or older. Of those:
- On any typical weekend 26 million men attend church services, 68 million do not
- 27 million men read the Bible during a typical week, 67 million do not
- Approximately 1 in 3 men rely on Jesus Christ as Savior while approximately 60 million do not
- 85% of all unchurched men were previously churched
(Tune to Men’s Needs by Sid Woodruff)
Of men that identify as Christian:
- 44% of would like to change the way they feel about themselves
- 43% feel a deep sense of failure when they think about their past
- 25% indicate satisfaction with themselves as fathers
- 62% are satisfied with their relationship with their wife
- 81% describe their job as highly stressful
- 53% admit fantasizing about sex with other women
- 54% feel shame about past sexual experiences
- 64% admit to viewing pornography once a month
(National Center of Fathering Christian Men)
Robert has had and still has a heart for mentoring men. If you’d like to talk one on one with Robert about your past or recent experiences with church, your personal challenges etc. or have him come share to a group, use the contact information on the Contact Us tab.