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Stories
christian

Christmas and Salvation

Our children’s programs had wonderful Christmas programs full of food, music, celebration, and the true meaning of Christmas – in fact at least 13 people were saved through these programs! Oaxaca Haiti Kenya Uganda Ghana Cuba Oaxaca Haiti Kenya Uganda Ghana Cuba In Oaxaca, families were invited for a delicious meal and beautiful pageant. Each of the grades performed a dance or depiction of a Biblical story or truth. Pastor Victor shared the story of God’s love at Christmas.  In Haiti, the children gathered to celebrate the birth of Jesus with prayer, reciting scripture, a wonderful meal, and gifts. Pastor

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mission trips

My Forward Edge Story

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sheri Stanley, our Director of Operations & Mobilization, to hear her Forward Edge Story. While what we spoke about was only a fraction of God’s incredible works in her life, these significant moments were an inspiration to me, and I hope they will be the same for you.  Forward Edge stories are often, as team member Sheri Stanley puts it, “an illustration of the fruits of the Spirit.” She explains that they are worth sharing because they glorify God and His Kingdom. Sheri’s story does exactly that. It is full of illustrations

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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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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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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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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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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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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 Village of Hope, 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

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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

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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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 Village of Hope. 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 stayed

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child sponsor

For there are more children to love.

“Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the Lord.   “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. – Isaiah 54:1-3 – I didn’t expect these to be the scripture verses that God had for me.

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christian

Walter Experiences Love and a Miracle

Walter Simón and his family have attended “Valley of Blessing” Baptist Church (where our Cuba children’s program is located) in El Cobre, Cuba for over 17 years. Walter’s two children, one four years old and the other one of three years old, really like vegetables.  While in the church with his children and the pastor, they saw the garden, where the vegetables grow vigorously. Both children exclaimed; “Lettuce, lettuce, Daddy!” And they asked their father; “When will we eat lettuce, Daddy?” The church pastor, knowing the critical food situation in the area, gave them a bundle of lettuce and two

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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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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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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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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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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

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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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

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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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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child sponsorship

Divine Encounters in Oaxaca: Reflections from a Mission Trip

Bold Obedience In life, some moments stand out as divine interventions, where God’s hand is unmistakably at work. Mission trips are often such moments, where lives intersect with purpose, and hearts are transformed in ways beyond measure. Jilese’s recent journey to Oaxaca, Mexico, serves as a testament to this truth. I had the privilege of interviewing Jilese about the recent mission trip she went on. She went as a facilitator in training and shared that she was nervous about how well she would be able to connect with the group and if she was even cut out to lead. As

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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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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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build homes

Alice’s New Home

“Don’t worry Mum, keep trusting in God. Who knows? Maybe next month we’ll be in our own home.” Joseph fervently prayed for God to provide a new home for his family, and encouraged his mother, Alice, to keep faith. A Dirt Floor for a Bed  In a humble home in Kenya, Alice lived with four of her children and one grandchild. Her unemployment and reliance on sporadic, low-paying work made it nearly impossible for the minimum wage to cover the family’s essential needs.  They lived in a small wooden house with a dirt floor, an outdoor kitchen and no electricity.

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christian

A Strong Cord Built with Chavannes

This November, Forward Edge International celebrated 40 years of fruitful ministry at our annual Worth & Purpose Benefit for Children. As part of the celebration, Forward Edge’s Program Directors were invited to attend from around the world. As preparations and accommodations were being made, I learned that our Haitian Program Director – Chavannes Jeune – needed a home to stay in during his time in the Pacific Northwest. My wife and I offered up our home as a place to stay, thinking it would be a great chance to serve… but what I wasn’t expecting was how much we would

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christian

Sell a Home, Save a child: Members on mission in Oaxaca

Sell a Home, Save a Child (SAHSAC) Member Troy Daniels, accompanied by his business partner Veronica, joined us on a mission trip to our Mexico children’s program, Trigo y Miel and the Siloé school, to witness the direct impact of his contributions. In our interview, he shared his experience, his commitment to SAHSAC, and offered valuable insights for other members considering going on a mission trip.  Why I went on the trip:  I have been wanting to go on one of these mission trips for several years now but there always seemed to be a schedule conflict with work or

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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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Christian Charity in Action

Pearl Partner Spotlight: Kenya

This blog is a part of an ongoing series on Forward Edge’s Pearl Partners. Check out our highlights on Cuba and Haiti and enjoy this interview with Jane Wathagana.   20 years ago, Jane Wathagana was a successful businesswoman in Kenya, the Director of Animal World Safaris and Elangata Luxury Camps, when she met an American tourist named Dave Watts, who had come to see a safari in the Maasai Mara. After an amazing safari spent conversing together, Dave and his wife asked Jane if there were any opportunities to serve while they were abroad in Africa; so she introduced

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Collaboration

Two Countries, One Purpose

Relationships are everything. And it’s not just those in the U.S. reaching out to other countries; it’s the entire Global Church engaging with and learning from each other. As an organization, we seek to foster and steward those vital relationships. Recently, the director of our Uganda children’s program, Bonny Lugayizi, along with program staff member Philip, visited our Kenya children’s program headed by Jane Wathagana to learn, encourage, and dream together. They left their time feeling empowered, equipped and inspired. Jane (left) with Bonny (center) and Philip (right) looking at land that will be used to build homes for families in

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community development

Create Hope Ghana – Living Up to Its Name

It’s an exciting time at Forward Edge as we announce the launch of our brand new program, Create Hope Ghana, alongside our 40th anniversary celebration. We’re thrilled to witness the positive impact this program has already made on the lives of 75 children and their families residing in 10 different communities, thanks to the leadership of our dedicated Program Directors, Jonathan and Rhoda. Their commitment to providing food, education, spiritual guidance, and other essential support is a shining example of the compassionate and driven spirit that defines Forward Edge. The impact of Create Hope Ghana is best demonstrated through the

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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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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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Transform a Child's Life Through Sponsorship

Ka wula (hello), my name is Wunintira Rahanatu

  • location

    Ghana

  • 9 yrs. old

    10-09-2014

Entered the program: March 2023

Wunintira lives with her parents and three siblings in a mud house with a thatch roof. The family has no access to electricity or potable water. Residents draw water from the village dam until it dries up; then, the women and girls of the community have to walk long distances to find other sources. Wunintira’s village is very poor and lacks many resources.

Wunintira’s family is Muslim. Her father is unemployed and her mother periodically sells rice to help with the household income. They live on less than a dollar a day and usually have one meal a day. Before Create Hope, providing for Wunintira’s school fees and supplies was an added hardship. She requires ongoing healthcare; as she has suffered with seizures since birth.

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.