Pearl Partners

In Matthew 13, Jesus is sitting in his friend’s home, after a long day of teaching parables to the crowds. His disciples ask him about the Kingdom of Heaven, and he shares another story with them, to help them understand: “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. 

Pearls have been considered one of the most valuable gemstones for thousands of years and across cultures around the world. Jesus knew that his disciples would immediately understand the value of a pearl – and the dedication a merchant would endure to find one.  

The fascinating part about pearls is that they are an object of beauty, value and worth that is hidden from plain sight. Finding a pearl requires hard work, and an investment of one’s time, resources and energy. But when you find a pearl of great value, all the sacrifice is worth it in an instant. 

Pearl Partners 

At Forward Edge, we have set out to find “pearls” among the nations: men and women who love Jesus, love their neighbors, and have made an incredible impact through their ministry. We seek to partner with them so that the lives of children in their communities can be transformed through Christ-centered, holistic care.  

And like the merchants from Jesus’ day, we have a thorough and dedicated process to finding our Pearl Partners. The six key characteristics that every Pearl Partner needs are: 

  1. A strong and visible relationship with Jesus Christ  
  2. High personal integrity  
  3. An impeccable reputation in his or her own community/nation  
  4. A track record of effective ministry in one of the following areas: children’s ministry, community development, church planting  
  5. A desire and felt need to form a mutually beneficial partnership with a Christian NGO in the US, i.e. they do not presently have such a partnership, but desire one 
  6. A desire and ability to build and maintain a transparent, mutually-accountable relationship with Forward Edge not centered around or limited to financial support from Forward Edge 

Finding leaders who fit these core characteristics requires patience, a listening ear and discernment of the Holy Spirit’s leading… but it is abundantly worth it.  


Creating Treasured Partnerships 

We have found Pearl Partners in Oaxaca, Mexico: Victor and Lety Velasco, who feed 120 children every day through their feeding program, while equipping young people with educational tools through the Siloe School and sharing the Gospel through their ministry at Trigo y Miel. 

Lety and Victor Velasco, Pearl Partners in Oaxaca, Mexico

We have found Pearl Partners in Tamale, Ghana: Jonathan and Rhoda Haruna, who have provided children with access to school, safe water, food resourcing, and critical healthcare needs while proclaiming the good news of Jesus in a predominantly Muslim community.  

Jonathan Haruna and Rhoda Wumbei, Pearl Partners in Tamale, Ghana

And by the grace of God, we’ve found many more over the years – in Nicaragua, Kenya, Uganda, Haiti, Cuba and Kosovo. Each of these treasured partners were already doing impactful and sustainable work for the Kingdom when we discovered them ourselves; but their work was already being molded and formed by the Holy Spirit and their dedication to loving God and their neighbors.

Pearls are created by oysters as a natural defense against an irritant or parasite which threatens to enter their body. In the same way, each of our Pearl Partners has experienced a moment where they rose up to defend, care for and protect children in their community who have been affected by poverty. They saw how a lack of food, clean water, healthcare and education can damage a young person’s future, and they made sacrifices to help meet their needs. They have created a ministry that is like a pearl for their community, shining brightly amongst the darkness of poverty 

When Forward Edge meets a potential Pearl Partner, we undergo a strategic process that includes meeting the leaders virtually, hearing their story, and then reporting back to Forward Edge’s leadership team and board. If this process is bearing fruit, our Director of Programs will conduct a “site visit” to connect with them in their context, identify key data points and then prayerfully submit these findings to the board.  

This process takes time, but has produced deep, trustworthy partnerships with leaders who align with the mission of Forward Edge. We feel incredibly grateful to have found these partners and are praying that God would lead us to even more! 

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Transform a Child's Life Through Sponsorship

Miredita (hello), my name is Leon

  • location


  • 16 yrs. old


Entered the program: October 2023

Leon and his family live in a small house that government aid helped them to build in the yard of their grandparents. Their furnishings are second-hand but in good condition. Despite this opportunity, there are problems within the extended family which make life very difficult for them. 

Leon’s mother is a hair stylist and has tried to work out of their home but there are many obstacles. Leon’s father is a truck driver but works sporadically. Because he is able to work, they can’t receive any government assistance, but he has heart disease and had to have surgery. Leon’s parents had to borrow money to pay the medical bills. Life is very difficult for them.

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.