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Meet the Forbes

Posted by New Life on

As is often the case with grace, Nathan and Rebekah's story moves from strug­gle to joy, with many highs and lows along the way. After helping New Life plant and being members of the core group as college students, the Forbes' set out to serve at Fun­dani­nos Orphan­age in Guatemala. As a young newly mar­ried cou­ple with child-like faith, they desired to serve the Lord Jesus by serv­ing the least of these.

“ We went through some of the great­est highs and deep­est lows of our mar­riage dur­ing our time at Fun­dani­nos,” Nathan says.

Soon after the Forbes arrived in Guatemala, Rebekah her­ni­ated a disc in her back. Sur­rounded by the needs of the orphans she was serv­ing, Rebekah remem­bers this as one of the low­est points in her walk with Christ. “I just remem­ber feel­ing like such a fail­ure. There was such a high need to care for the chil­dren, but the work was so tax­ing on my back. I felt a pres­sure and desire to help but was phys­i­cally unable to. I car­ried a lot of guilt and shame for what I saw as fail­ure, and this was rein­forced, in ways, by our rela­tion­ship with the directors.”

The Forbes often point out that this sea­son of life was espe­cially drain­ing for them because of the lack of com­mu­nity that was avail­able to them. “When you’re doing hard things for the Lord you kind of have this expec­ta­tion that the Lord will be just so near to you, and he will sup­ply you the strength to make it through. I think we dis­cov­ered through our expe­ri­ence at Fun­dani­nos that doing hard things for the Lord does not equal a close rela­tion­ship with the Lord. Com­mu­nity is so vital. After we returned from Guatemala, we truly started to invest in the com­mu­nity at New Life.”

The pas­sion for com­mu­nity the Lord instilled in Nathan and Rebekah through their expe­ri­ence in Guatemala gal­va­nizes their lead­er­ship as life group lead­ers and is evi­dent through their tire­less encour­age­ment of true com­mu­nity. “See­ing lives trans­formed in our life group has been one of the great­est bless­ings over the last few years whether it’s see­ing peo­ple come to know the Lord for the first time or see­ing long-time believ­ers grow and mature,” says Rebekah. “Tak­ing own­er­ship is invalu­able, for pas­toral care, for dis­ci­ple­ship, for every­thing,” says Nathan. “We only have cer­tain spir­i­tual gifts, and there are many tasks that oth­ers can do bet­ter than Rebekah or me. I will say that one per­son that has been invalu­able to our life group is David Hagen. He has been such a behind the scenes blessing.”

In addi­tion to serv­ing the church as life group lead­ers, Nathan worked this past year as an eighth grade bilin­gual sci­ence teacher, owner of a lawn care busi­ness, and was recently voted on staff at New Life as part-time elder and pas­tor. “When it comes to work, the gospel brings pur­pose and mean­ing to what I’m doing. I’m not just work­ing to make money, but to serve Christ.”

Anyone who has been in the Forbes' life group can say honestly that they have been encour­aged by the vul­ner­a­bil­ity and authen­tic­ity of the Forbes as lead­ers. Their will­ing­ness to share their strug­gles is both encour­ag­ing and chal­leng­ing, and allows those under their lead­er­ship to see them as fel­low believ­ers striv­ing along­side of us for the immea­sur­able joy that is ours in Christ Jesus.