Myeoshé Marie Edwards – An L.A. Sentinel Champion of Faith
As young people deal with many challenges in today’s world, Myeoshé Marie Edwards aims to help them be victorious in life through her ministry, F.A.C.E.
The initials stand for fearless, artistic, charisma and elegant and those are the qualities that Edwards hopes to instill in youngsters residing in South Los Angeles.
“The mission of F.A.C.E. is to help young boys and girls to become independent, fearless and assertive,” explained the 31-year-old Edwards. “We want to expose them to self-love to help them become comfortable in their own skin without fear, but knowing that all power is from within.”
Launched in 2014, F.A.C.E. offers classes in self-esteem building, self-awareness, loving each other and financial literacy. This year, the nonprofit became part of the Enrichment Program at Crete Academy Charter School to instruct sessions for students in the 3rd through 6th grades.
“God gave me the vision four years ago and I had to do the groundwork. But last year, God began taking it from the ground and now for the first time, I have an original program in a school,” Edwards said with a smile.
F.A.C.E.’s programming also includes guest speakers, such as C Bleu, a 12-year-old up-and-coming rapper from Compton, sharing with the youth and children’s book authors, who read excerpts from their works to the students. In addition, the ministry just partnered with the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation (HBMFF) to expose young people in underserved communities to the music industry through workshops, showcases and other activities.
“Last month, we went on our field trip to see ‘Bringing Down the House,’ a HBMFF program that arranges for young musicians from ages 13 to 19 to connect with industry insiders and show their talent,” said Edwards. “All of the children in the F.A.C.E. program who were artists performed.”
F.A.C.E. plans another field trip in August where the youth will visit Nickelodeon studios to view the “Lip Sync Battle Shorties” competition.
In addition to her F.A.C.E. ministry, Edwards serves as a youth pastor at Christ Commissioned Chapel in South L.A., as well as the chaplain for the Los Angeles chapter of the National Congress of Black Women.
While her schedule is busy, Edwards said instead of being tired, she is inspired to do more to assist young people in the area where she grew up. It’s also the place where she experienced difficulties and setbacks.
“I was born and raised in South L.A. by my grandparents. I used to get bullied in school because I was being raised by my grandparents due to the fact that my mother was on drugs at the time and my dad was out of my life,” recalled Edwards.
“I was raped at the age of 13 by a close family member and that made me have a lot of problems because it was something that happened and we didn’t talk about it. I didn’t go to counseling for it and I didn’t talk about it.”
After graduation, Edwards embarked on a life of promiscuity with different men and even stripping at local clubs. “Inwardly, I was dealing with all of these issues – low self-esteem, lack of self-love, acting out – because of what happened to me,” she said.
Her downward spiral ended at age 25 after a friend recommended she read “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise L. Hay. Through that book, Edwards learned that she was empowered to make choices about her life.
“From that day forward, I really started searching for who I was and started getting into the Word [of God]. I really believe and tell people that pain will introduce you to the power of God. I was going through so much pain and everything else that I was running to wasn’t doing anything for me and was bringing me more pain,” Edwards said.
“So, when I received Christ and told Him how I felt about being raped, how I allowed these situations to overtake me, how I had resentment against my mother and all of the other issues. I felt like at that moment God spoke to me. He told me everything was okay and also that I had to have a forgiving heart. That’s also when He called me to ministry.”
As part of her healing, Edwards now freely shares her testimony – an episode she once considered embarrassing, she now believes it is liberating.
“For so long I used to be ashamed of everything that had happened to me. Now, I’m not ashamed anymore. Every time I talk about it, I get liberated because I believe when I tell my story, I’m liberating somebody else, freeing them from their shackles,” she declared.
“For me, F.A.C.E. is what made me who I am now. I am fearless, I am artistic, I have charisma, I am elegant. I just want young girls and young boys to see that no matter what your past is, no matter what you go through, we can always overcome and triumph. I just believe that everything that happened to me was overcome by faith.”
As for the future, Edwards hope to have F.A.C.E. housed in a permanent building within the new five years. Her vision is to offer free programs in various disciplines including art, dance, ACT and PSAT classes, and counseling.
“With God at the forefront of my life, nothing can stop me,” insisted Edwards. “I want to give kids a sense of liberation where they can go out and achieve something. I want children to see a brighter future for themselves.”
To keep encouraged, Edwards relies on an uplifting quote by William Shakespeare: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them,” and her favorite scripture, Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you…. give you hope and a future.”
To volunteer or donate to F.A.C.E., email [email protected] or call (818) 272-7382.