fbpx
A New Vision for the Village of Hope

The Road to Today

“Imagine a young girl forced to grow up inside a garbage dump, exposed to extreme filth and severe malnutrition, at risk of physical abuse, rape, drug abuse, pregnancy – and even being sold into prostitution by her family for first access to incoming garbage.”

These were the words we first used to describe an unimaginable existence, but a reality for many girls living in La Chureca, the largest open-air landfill in Central America. Any chance of having a healthy childhood here was lost at a very young age.

In 2008, Village of Hope was established as a response to this urgent situation, rescuing vulnerable girls and giving them the opportunity to have a safe, supportive environment, get healthy, learn life-skills, get an education and pursue a career – something that for many would’ve only been a dream. Since the Village of Hope opened, more than 70 girls have been rescued, introduced to Jesus and the healing power of the Gospel, and offered the chance to fulfill their God-given potential!

Thankfully, the treacherous days of life in the Managua city dump are a thing of the past. In 2012, the government closed it, replaced it with a recycling center, gave jobs to some of the residents, and provided newly-constructed housing.

This much-needed change in the community was the impetus for a broader vision to begin emerging for Forward Edge and Village of Hope.

However, despite these improvements, the poverty mentality and dysfunction so deeply ingrained in the people persisted, and young girls of the former dump community, as well as many similarly poverty-stricken ones, remained at risk from sexual predators and criminal behavior. The Village of Hope began reaching out to, and being contacted by, families in neighboring communities to rescue and restore other vulnerable girls from dangerous situations.

Over time, the scope of the Village of Hope broadened, and in addition to ministering to the girls in residence, visiting Forward Edge mission teams began engaging in work projects and outreach at local public schools, sharing the Gospel, and training students on teen pregnancy prevention.

The Village of Hope also began to train local pastors in holistic community development, conduct support groups for women, and minister to children in local neighborhoods.

Then, in the spring of 2018, things shifted once again as socio-political unrest arose that resulted in a national crisis for Nicaragua. For many months, normal operations at Village of Hope had to be suspended. All scheduled mission teams were cancelled; the girls were sent to their homes to be near their families; schools and businesses shut down; travel blockades were erected; mandatory curfews were implemented; and people stayed inside for safety as much as possible. Violence and fear were pervasive, but the staff at the Village of Hope felt a burden to reach out to their neighbors to see how they could serve. With the assistance of local pastors, they helped provide and distribute food and ministered to the children in local neighborhoods with daytime activities at the Life Skills Center on campus.

Over time, the protests and violence in the country subsided and, currently, a ‘new normal’ has been established. This new normal has allowed us to resume services at Village of Hope. Teams are regenerating, and the staff are eager to receive them as they reach out to serve those still recovering from the crisis. As is often the case, it was during this time of crisis that a new God-given vision for the Village of Hope was being crystallized.

The Vision

In as much as the plight of vulnerable young girls in the garbage dump was grossly evident and the need urgent and clear, the risk to young people is not exclusive to this community. Though possibly less visible, there is significant risk to many others that live in detrimental and degrading situations in which they are socially relegated to second, third and even fourth class citizens, and have practically no opportunities to get ahead.

These dire conditions of poverty lead to many forms of violent, sexual, and emotional abuse, unwanted pregnancies, drug use and trafficking, all manner of crime, forced labor (including prostitution), lack of education, life-threatening diseases like AIDs, depression, dysfunctional families, lack of self-worth, and suicide.

This is what motivates Village of Hope to continue reaching out with its heart to rescue others who are desperate for opportunities that would allow them to break free from the bondage of their circumstances. The desire is to offer them a new life and role model in Jesus Christ and to break the destructive cycle that, without help, the next generations would be destined to repeat.

We believe that we can help accomplish this goal through new strategies, and this next season of Village of Hope will be one of even greater impact to a wider range and number of vulnerable individuals.

Moving forward, the five programs of Village of Hope will include:

  1. Scholarship Program: Providing boys and girls with necessary items for their education (uniforms, supplies, bus fares, etc.) and regular spiritual discipleship so they can pursue a quality education and a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2. Boys Discipleship: A quarterly, weekend discipleship camp for boys (as well as monthly one-day retreats) to provide vocational training, recreational activities, and a Christian mentoring atmosphere, teaching them life skills and how to become spiritual leaders in their families and communities.
  3. Girls Program: Providing a haven for bright, motivated young women coming from extremely difficult circumstances that would prevent them from flourishing. This exclusive situation is designed to equip and empower young women with the potential to be future leaders and influencers in Nicaragua.
  4. VIDA Program: A poverty-prevention training program aimed at fighting Latin America’s highest teen pregnancy rate (30% become teen mothers), which many call the “door” to repeated poverty. This program teaches the Gospel and the value of sexual abstinence to thousands of teens in the Nicaragua public school system.
  5. Community Development: Visiting Forward Edge mission teams invest in local schools, churches, and communities with maintenance and construction projects, evangelism and discipleship. Local pastors are also trained in holistic ministry for their communities.

Perhaps the most exciting part about the vision for these five programs is that, God-willing, in time they will extend throughout Nicaragua through pastors of local churches who we’ve already taken through extensive holistic community development training. These church partners will be able to replicate these programs in their own communities, so that together, we can impact thousands upon thousands of at-risk children in Nicaragua!

However, as with most major endeavors, changes are often slow and small in the beginning. Due to the significant revenue loss the Villa experienced during the shutdown last year, we are moving gingerly, but deliberately, into this new vision with God’s guidance and provision. These growing ongoing programs have monthly costs, and monthly support is vital to ensuring the long-term, consistent care they provide. We’re trusting God to bring both the financial and team resources we need, through others who catch, and are passionate about, this same vision for Village of Hope. 

It’s an exciting time to see and be part of what God is doing through Forward Edge in Nicaragua as we stay the course and prepare for new, unprecedented growth! We’re thankful for the vision He gave us in the beginning and the one He continues to give for the future.

Village of Hope has always been a place of healing and hope, and will continue to be so, for even more children, for years to come.

Will you Invest in this growing impact?

Join the Village and be part of transforming futures for more children in Nicaragua.

community

Taste of the Nations

One of Forward Edge’s most dearly held values is the importance of relationships. And what better way has God given us to bond with others than over a table of good food. Culture is often shared through food. Sharing meals isn’t just about filling our stomachs—it’s about connection over stories,

Go to Blog »
nicaragua

Discovering His Worth: Medardo’s Story

“If I look back and see what I was, I can see a nefarious, and even a little perverted, young man. I was someone aimless, without knowledge and without any foundation.” Medardo grew up in an open-air garbage dump called La Chureca in Managua, Nicaragua, and then later, in Villa

Go to Blog »
christian ministry

Pearl Partner Spotlight: Cuba

As a kid growing up in the late 1990’s, I idolized my favorite athletes of the day. I cut out their pictures from the newspaper or Sports Illustrated for Kids and hung them on the walls of my bedroom. When I played baseball, I mimicked Derek Jeter’s batting stance. When

Go to Blog »
education

Get Them Jesus and an Education

In my mind, I can still hear her cries of defeat and see the tears pouring down her face. I can see the “I am stupid” notes she had written on her school worksheets that day.   My precious eight-year-old daughter was fighting to overcome dyscalculia – basically the math version of dyslexia – and we had no idea. It was

Go to Blog »
Transform a Child's Life Through Sponsorship

Miredita (hello), my name is Dorian

  • location

    Kosovo

  • 14 yrs. old

    09-30-2009

Entered the program: November 2023

Dorian lives with his parents and sister in a two-room apartment. Their furniture is second-hand but kept very clean. Dorian’s mother lost her eyesight in 2013 and doesn’t work. His father works as a waiter in a restaurant for a low wage. During the summer he must work long hours so Dorian and his sister look after the house and their mother, as she cannot be alone. This is hard for Dorian because he doesn’t have the opportunity to be with friends. He has had to take on adult responsibilities and has very little time to enjoy activities.

Dorian's sister, Eneja, is also in the Corner Stone program.

Sponsorship Level What's this?

Three $38 sponsorships are needed to cover the complete holistic care of one child. Cover one, two, or three sponsorships.