NAME: Irvin “EJ” Forbes
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
Hello, my name is Irvin E.J. Forbes. I am 24 years old. I was born and raised in Frederick, MD, and I still live in Frederick, MD. I have a beautiful wife, Elizabeth, a daughter, Tirzah and we are expecting another beautiful girl soon. I have worked with at-risk youth going on 6 years as a profession through mentorship, counseling, and now the educational school system. My desire is to lead and influence youth through justice. I enjoy beating teenage boys in basketball, spending time playing board games with my family, and shopping at Food Lion (because I’m always buying groceries). I love and enjoy riding roller coasters at amusement parks, but my wife hates them.
IF YOU COULD BE A CARTOON CHARACTER FOR JUST ONE WEEK, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU BE? WHY?
Jerry the mouse from the show “Tom and Jerry”. I enjoy the adventure and energy of Jerry.
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT: TO SMELL NICE OR LOOK FRESH?
To smell nice because I give lots of hugs. Looking nice comes naturally, thanks to my mom and wife.
WE HAVE ALL BEEN RESISTANT TO CHANGE AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER. WHAT IS ONE THING THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED TO LET GO OF SO THAT YOU COULD MATURE IN YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST?
My passions are to inspire and encourage others. I’ve fallen into the trap of making decisions and efforts for others rather than empowering them to trust God and His leadership for themselves. I discovered that I am uniquely created and to walk out my salvation and not others’. I lead others but I am not in control of them. This helped me to accept me, believe in me, and know that I am important. It’s sometimes easy to encourage the other person, but several minutes later speak discouraging words to yourself. Knowing and being confident in my value and worth enables me to believe the same for and with others.
PROVERBS 31 SPEAKS OF THE QUALITIES OF A VIRTUOUS WIFE. YOU HAVE AN AMAZING WIFE! HOW HAS SHE BROUGHT THE BEST OUT OF YOU?
I value the consistency, love, and patience of my wife. My wife has taught me the importance of friendship and the skill of listening. She is very competitive in board games, but that’s an easy fix: I JUST LET HER WIN AND SAY, “I WAS JUST TIRED”. Though we face challenges, my wife consistently encourages the champion within me.
EMPATHY IS RECOGNIZING THE EMOTIONS OF ANOTHER AND THEN RELATING TO THEIR PERSPECTIVE AND REALITY. WHY IS EMPATHY IMPORTANT TO YOU AND HOW HAVE YOU DEVELOPED IT?
Showing empathy is always a pure and priceless opportunity to model selflessness. Empathy has been developed over the years by first seeing others show it towards me which led to do the same for others. In the field of working with at-risk youth and broken families I cultivated a value system to care, respect, and to believe in people who don’t believe in themselves. I once lived in difficult circumstances when it came to poverty and being fatherless, but that didn’t stop me from overcoming. I had specific men in my life who showed empathy towards me and now that’s my passion towards others.
YOU HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE WITH MENTORING. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE AN ACTIVE LISTENER AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT WHEN YOU ARE MENTORING SOMEONE?
The skill of listening comes natural to me but that’s not the case for everyone. Active listening took time for me to learn because it is easy to say, “I’m listening”, when really I have a worship song stuck in my head and I’m having visions about eating vanilla ice cream. The mentee desires for someone to actively listen because it makes them feel safe, comfortable, and trusted. When we listen, we show that we acknowledge and value the person communicating.
YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG DAUGHTER AND A CHILD ON THE WAY. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF SINCE BECOMING A FATHER? ADDITIONALLY, HOW HAS BECOMING A FATHER IN THE NATURAL CAUSED YOU TO SEE YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IN A NEW LIGHT?
Fathering has been amazing! One of my goals in life was to be a generous, loving, and adventurous daddy to my children. I am grateful for my daughter and daughter to come. My journey with Father God has shown me how to be faithful, consistent, and brave in the process. I now see that the voice of a father truly impacts a child. As God’s child I’ve learned that He speaks to me, delights in me, and rejoices over me. I’ve learned that Father God provides in so many different ways other than finances. He provides hope, justice, and His amazing love and I have access to these qualities at all times.
IF YOU WERE SPEAKING TO A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
I would tell the audience a true statement to bring laughter: During my wedding vows at my wedding ceremony my dad told me, “get ready for beatings from your wife on Tuesdays! If it’s a blessed marriage then you’ll get them everyday”. I literally agreed to the vow.
IF YOU COULD WRITE A SONG THAT THE CHURCH AROUND THE WORLD WOULD SING, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT THE CHURCH TO BE SINGING? WHY?
We will arise to shine. Believe to see. Glorify the One. The One we seek.
We have the privilege and honor to shine the light of Jesus in the earth, but that is birthed in the secret place with the most beautiful, brilliant, and loving Father: God.
IF YOU HAD TO EAT AT ONE FAST FOOD RESTAURANT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE? WHY?
Subway (Eat Fresh)! This was my 2nd Job and I enjoy sub sandwiches.