Monica Forbes was born to an unwed high school girl, who soon married “Dale.” When she was 2 1/2 years old, her mom left Monica and her baby brother with Dale. He was a single dad for 12 years, but made sure the two children had a Christian home, went with him to church and attended Christian schools.
By age 16 Monica hated all the rules in her home so she got married and was soon into a partying lifestyle with her husband. A few years later a baby girl resulted in stresses on marriage, more wild living and a string of divorces. She had an on-again-off-again Christian experience. During a crisis she would cry out for God’s help, and when the crisis was over she would tell God “I can handle it on my own now.” Through her reckless lifestyle she got sick, which led to pain pills which led to an addiction to pain pills which led to using alcohol with pain pills and finally led to writing bad checks.
She says “God put me in jail. I lost everything- my house, my car, my husband, my daughters.” After serving ten months she got out and within one week was back into her addictions again. She went to jail a second time. In the cell she sat crying and talking with God. “Why did you do this to me?” She heard a distinct answer in her mind. “You did it to yourself, but I still love you and I have a purpose for your life. I want you to go preach about me.” Like Jonah, Monica wanted to run away. She said “Lord, when I get out I’ll preach and maybe even start a prison ministry. Again she heard a distinct answer. “There’s no better time to start a prison ministry than right now before you get out of prison!”
She decided to attend a Bible study in the Pocatello, ID prison where she was sent. A little lady, Bernice Caston, led the study. “Which church is this?” Monica asked. “We’re not here about church; we’re here about Jesus!” was Bernice’s reply with a smile. Monica went weekly and grew mightily. In time she was transferred back to Boise one year ago, and is now a resident at the Community Work Center, where she can receive permission to leave for work or other special occasions. She attends a Tuesday evening Bible study led by Melba and other members of Boise area Seventh-day Adventist churches. On Sabbaths she leads her own Bible study group.
Monica was baptized by Pastor Mike Armayor, and united with the Seventh-day Adventist Church during the “God So Loved” meetings in Metro Boise October 20, 2007. Dale and one of her daughters were in the audience. She is continuing to carry out the prison ministry God gave her! Pray that Monica will be an effective soul winner as she grows in her walk with Jesus.