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Stories

mexico

Overcoming Poverty One Family at a Time

In Zaachila, on the outskirts of Oaxaca City, Mexico, live many impoverished families who’ve traveled from distant areas in search of more opportunities and a better life…only to find themselves confronted with the same devastating and debilitating effects of poverty: hunger, joblessness, water-borne illness, lack of education, gang violence, drug and alcohol use. Our Mexico children’s program, Trigo y Miel, was placed directly in the middle of this community to be a shining light in the lives of these families. Owen, Belen, and their two children, Caleb and Hannah, have seen their fair share of struggle, but God has done

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child sponsorship

Nubia’s Story: The Power of Love

Love has a way of radically transforming lives. At Forward Edge, we place our focus on helping children trapped in poverty reach their full, God-given potential (Ephesians 2:10) by meeting their basic needs (food, safe water, health care) and empowering them with quality education, vocational training, and spiritual discipleship. This holistic model helps vulnerable children receive the care they often desperately need. What is the result? They begin to thrive.   However, while food, water and education are crucial in breaking the cycle of poverty, love is what penetrates the heart and creates lasting change in the lives of the children

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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 Guadalupe, the community created to relocate the dump residents. In this environment, young boys are often left feeling aimless and fall as easy prey into a lifestyle marked by drugs, alcohol and promiscuity. Medardo couldn’t envision a different life for himself and began to join in with the other boys. The

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cuba

Children Step Up for Families

Tough Times It never ceases to amaze me the accomplishments children can achieve, but more importantly and impressively, their hearts behind it. The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but one of the largest hurdles the families in our programs have had to face is watching the prices for their basic needs increase dramatically. Parents are doing all that they can, going above and beyond working long hours, extra jobs, and difficult jobs to provide for their children. And God has been good and faithful to care for them and take care of their families.  But in the midst of

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stories

Ileana’s Letter

Ileana has been in our Nicaragua children’s program for the last eight years. Our team has poured into her heart, spirit, and education, and she has blossomed into a beautiful young woman of God. Her life hasn’t been easy, but as you’ll read in her letter, she has learned to depend on Christ for her strength.  Our ultimate goal for all the children and adults impacted by our programs is that they learn their true worth and God-given purpose, and we love seeing how God has faithfully done that in Ileana’s life. Hello to all the members of the Forward

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child sponsorship

Why Didn’t I Cry?

By Melanie Kruse Off On a Mission Trip  I’ve never been on a mission trip like this. This was the first time we served with Forward Edge and the first time our two daughters had joined us, but that’s not what made it different. On this trip I didn’t cry.   My husband and I had both been on mission trips before with other organizations, often with many tears involved. As we boarded the plane for Oaxaca, Mexico, I anticipated feeling emotions similar to those I’d experienced on past trips.  The next morning was filled with joy as we finally met

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change lives

Micro-Loans Change Lives in Nicaragua

Most families living in extreme poverty have very little opportunity to grow economically. Even if the will and grit to persue entrepeneurship is there, the start-up funds are not. Micro-lending is an increasingly integral part of international community development. Individuals wanting to start a small business are able to borrow the start up costs and pay them back with low-interest. Instead of building dependence on outside help , micro-loans create financial independence for families desiring to better their own future. Fortunately Forward Edge has been blessed to be able to provide small business owners in Nicaragua with micro-loans to help

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forward edge

One Week to Find Joy

Looking For Joy? Have you ever felt like you were on a hunt for joy? An 18-year-old boy was surprised to find it surrounded by people who had very little. He found it where you’d assume you’d find sadness. He went on a trip unsure of what he would experience but came back with a new perspective on life. When he returned, he reflected and shared, “I’m willing to say I saw more joy in this one week in Kijabe, Kenya than what I’ve seen in America throughout my whole nearly 18 years of life.”  What if I told you that you

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children's programs

2021: A Year to Celebrate

2021 has been an incredible year. At Forward Edge, our hearts swell with gratitude for all God has done. His awesome faithfulness through another difficult year has been such a blessing to witness. Children around the world are discovering their true worth and purpose and growing in intimacy with Jesus, and that is the greatest blessing of all.  Today, we celebrate some of the top highlights from this year:   Children help their families in Cuba – In Cuba, food and medicine costs have skyrocketed this year. As a response, several of the children in our program there decided to help

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stories from the field

Learning to Smile

Many of us have seen profile photos of children in sponsorship programs; they are often solemn, sad and sometimes down-right angry looking. I know I have thought at times, “Wow, that poor child must be so unhappy!” But then I come across a video from the same organization in which the children are playing and laughing, and I scratch my head wondering what the difference is. I recently had the opportunity to visit our children’s sponsorship program in Vernet, Haiti. In advance of the trip, one of the tasks I was preparing to tackle was taking updated photos of the

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child sponsorship

This is What Success Looks Like

A special message from our Program Directors in Mexico, Victor and Lety Velasco: Hola and Feliz Navidad from Forward Edge and our program down here in Oaxaca, Mexico. We want to tell you a story of the impact you’re making. One of the first families to join our program 10 years ago was The Santiago Lugo family. The parents had little education, they were very poor, and all six children were going hungry. We began to provide them all with nutritious food, doctor visits, safe water to drink, spiritual discipleship, and our daily homework club for the children. We were

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child sponsor

Siloe School Opens

Many prayers were answered this year when Siloe School in Oaxaca, Mexico officially opened to 28 elementary students! Siloe School is a private Christian school run by our Mexico Children’s Program. Our program has always supported education by providing tutoring and covering school supplies and fees, but this is the next step in giving children in this community the best education possible. We know that education is a key factor in breaking the cycle of poverty. LEAP Academy University Charter School Founder, Gloria Bonilla-Santiago says, “If you provide children with quality education options, support families and children holistically in a community setting and enlist

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sellahomesaveachild

What is Sell a Home, Save a Child?

Have you come across Sell a Home, Save a Child and wondered what it is? Abbreviated SAHSAC, Sell a Home, Save a Child is a funding program for Forward Edge International. The premise is simple: sell homes and save children. Real Estate professionals can partner with Sell a Home, Save a Child and help their business thrive while transforming the lives of children in poverty. It’s a win-win for everyone!  History of Sell a Home, Save a Child Sell a Home, Save a Child Co-Founders Nick Shivers and Erik Hatch had both been loyal supporters of Forward Edge International for

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Mary’s Story

In the extremely poor village of Kijabe, Kenya, there lives a crippled widow named Mary. After her husband died of AIDS a few years ago, she struggled to find food. While she suffers from HIV, too, Mary’s greatest challenge is a nerve problem in her legs. She has to use crutches to walk and can’t move very far. Most of the day, the pain keeps her seated, so she spends hours reading her Bible while her children are at school. Mary’s two young children, Robert and Elizabeth, were getting a meal every day through Forward Edge’s feeding program at the local

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child sponsorship

Berenice’s Letter

A special message from one of our sponsored children in Oaxaca, Mexico: Receive an affectionate greeting all of you. I would like to tell you a little bit about my life in Trigo y Miel Program. My name is Berenice Santiago Lugo. I have 5 siblings. Audre, Uriel, Joselyn, Dulce and Samuel, and my parents, Silvia Lugo Altamirano and Felipe Santiago Rodríguez, we are 8 members in my family. In 2011 I had the immense blessing of being part of this beautiful family “Trigo y Miel”. I was 12 years old, at that time I was in the last year

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children's programs

Three Elements to Changing Futures

Two Lives Forever Changed  Adriana and Itzel both grew up with difficult home lives but everything changed for them when they joined Trigo y Miel, Forward Edge’s program in Oaxaca, Mexico. As children, they didn’t have many material possessions, but because of the program they were privileged to hear about God’s love regularly. They also were given the opportunity to graduate high school and attend college. All while receiving letters of encouragement from their sponsors, reminding them of their value and God’s amazing plan for them. In short, they received the three elements of all Forward Edge programs that directly

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transforming lives

Escaping the Slum to Pursue God’s Purpose: Job’s Story

The past two years have been particularly hard for children in Uganda. Schools remained shut through most of the pandemic. Light a Candle, our program there, worked tirelessly to help these children succeed in their education despite the seemingly impossible situation. Despite school closures, children have remained committed to pursuing education however they can, and several have successfully passed exams to proceed to the next grade. In 2021, three of our students graduated high school and are now preparing for college! One of these graduates is Job. Job grew up in the slums of Kampala, where his life was defined

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great commission

God Uses Two Sisters and a Mission Trip to Change Lives

The decision to join a mission team It all started with two sisters who chose to go on a mission trip to Nicaragua. Val spontaneously joined her sister Donna at a trip team meeting, and decided during the meeting that she too wanted to serve with the team.     A Humbling Experience During the trip, Val found herself with the opportunity to visit the home of a little girl living in Managua, Nicaragua. Immediately she longed to do something to improve this family’s living situation, as she was humbled and shocked to see the poverty. The team leader, Kay, and other staff told Val the best thing she could do

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Viola’s Story

Viola lives in the slums of Kampala, Uganda with her parents and five siblings. Living conditions in this area are cramped and unsanitary. Viola’s family lives in a small, brick, two-bedroom house. The whole family shares one room and the other one is used to house chickens and a goat that are being raised to sell.  When the lockdown measures hit the world this spring, each of our programs had to pivot from their normal services at schools, churches and community centers, and venture out with more home visits to care for our children. This cost a bit more, but we knew

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disaster recovery

Team Shows Love After Hurricane Harvey

Three Team Members, a piece of cake, and Miss Bonnie It had been three days, and none of us had met Miss Bonnie. “We could see this small shed on the property as we were working, but weren’t sure if someone was actually in there. And then we heard that Miss Bonnie had gone through an entire night sleeping in that shed, without electricity or heat…on a night when it was below freezing.” That’s when the three youngest members of the Houston team from New York decided to pay Miss Bonnie a visit. A Fateful Trip to Houston Even before

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events

Why I Went Over The Edge

A Birthday with a Purpose Rappel down the side of a building to raise money for children?! I’d never heard of such an idea, but it sounded great to me! I’d get to challenge myself, do something fun, and help children all at the same time.   My fundraising goal was $1,000, and I decided to accomplish that by asking for donations as gifts for my upcoming 40th birthday. It felt so special to do something meaningful for my birthday. Instead of getting gifts of material possessions, I knew that each dollar coming in was helping children. Helping children in poor

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nicaragua

AIDS Orphan Dreams of Being a Doctor

Imagine a child, seven years old, living in a garbage dump and watching both her mother and father die slowly of AIDS-related illnesses. This was reality for Erminia before she joined Forward Edge’s program for at-risk girls in Nicaragua called Villa Esperanza (Hope Village). If Erminia had continued to grow up living in the dump, she likely would have had a teenage pregnancy (one in four girls do in Nicaragua). That could have happened through rape, a drug-induced mistake, or even forced prostitution—all things not uncommon among girls living in the dump. One thing is almost certain: if Erminia had

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boy's discipleship

Medardo’s Story

Villa Esperanza, Managua, Nicaragua My name is Medardo Sánchez. I am 19 years old and I am currently in the 4th year of high school. I want to tell you that before I met Villa Esperanza, I was thirteen years old and studying third grade of primary school. If I look back and see what I was, I can see a nefarious and even a little perverted young man who liked to grope girls. I was someone aimless, without knowledge and without any foundation. At 12 years old I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior, but I

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child sponsor

A Future Rewritten Through Education: Berenice Graduates!

Berenice was used to seeing the same narrative play out around her growing up: a life marked by poverty, wealth inequality, and barriers to education. Most families in her area in Oaxaca, Mexico have traditionally come from smaller villages in search of a better life and are facing severe unemployment and dire housing conditions. Instead of just focusing on daily survival, Berenice often pondered a different way. She was determined to not follow in the footsteps of many of her peers, and knew God had big plans for her.   The pivotal point in Berenice’s life came through Forward Edge’s Trigo

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Transform a Child's Life Through Sponsorship

Habari (Hello), my name is Allan

  • location

    Uganda

  • 19 yrs. old

    05-15-2003

Entered the Program: March 2020

Allan lives with his parents and siblings in a small three-room house with no electricty or running water. For lighting the family uses a two bulb solar panel that is connected to the house, water is fetched from a borehole that is 2 kilometers away, and firewood is used to cook and boil drinking water. The children do odd jobs like fetching water, farming, and making bricks in the community so they can earn so money to assist with the family’s expenses. 

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.