In his podcast "Learn Faster," neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman made the following statement: “If you’re young, what should you do? Learn as much as you can about as many things as you possibly can. Have some sense of what excites you and try and get really good at that thing.”

Twenty-year-old Nathan Furbert is definitely learning as much as he can about as many things as he can. Besides taking business classes at Bermuda College, he is a vibrant band member of the North Street Citadel Salvation Army church in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Music and Sports

Love of music and dedication to the church runs strong in the Furbert family—his father plays the drums and his mother plays the trombone in the band. Nathan can play several instruments.

Nathan plays a brass instrument
Nathan playing in the church band

“I was playing the baritone, and then switched to the euphonium after my bandmaster asked me to,” Nathan says. “It’s a bit more challenging, but I enjoy it. I’ve been in the senior band since I was 14. Before that, I played trumpet in the junior band for six years.”

He attended school at Bermuda’s Whitney Institute and Berkeley Institute, before attending boarding school in Maryland at The Calverton School. Nathan was an active participant in both the music and sports programs at each of these schools. Nathan now plays soccer for Bermuda in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) league. Concacaf is one of FIFA’s six continental confederations, servicing 41 member associations from Canada in the north to French Guiana in the south.

“I like playing in different countries,” Nathan says. “I love all the players on our team, and we’re making our way along. The older guys look out for us younger players, trying to teach us whatever they can. I have also been coaching soccer to eight to 11-year-olds, and it’s rewarding to see their progress.”

Lifelong Connections

It’s been a balancing act trying to find time for all his activities, but Nathan feels it’s worth the effort.“It helps that my bandmaster understands soccer comes first for me right now, so he still lets me play in the band even if I might have to show up a little later,” he grins. His bandmaster, Sheldon Fox, comments that Nathan has always had a keen interest in music. 

“He’s eager to learn as much as he can about the music craft and continuously seeks opportunities to hone those skills,” Sheldon says.When Nathan learned about an opportunity to attend a Salvation Army regional youth conference in the Western Jamaica Division, he jumped at the chance to combine his passion for music with his desire for service as a young Salvationist.

“While in Jamaica, we visited the School for the Blind,” recalls Sheldon. “It was great to see the joy and excitement of the 40-plus students as we served them ice cream at after-school activities.”

Nathan kicks a soccer ball
Nathan showing off his skills. “It helps that my bandmaster understands soccer comes first for me right now, so he still lets me play in the band even if I might have to show up a little later”

During a Sunday service in Jamaica, Nathan witnessed the enthusiastic expressions of worship and interacted with the many young people in attendance.

“I believe that the connections he made over that weekend can develop into lifelong friendships around the Salvation Army world,” says Sheldon.

“A Different Lens”

Captain Kendacy Barnes was another of Nathan’s supporters at North Street Citadel. Now a Salvation Army pastor in the United States, she believes the secret to keeping young people involved in churches today is to emphasize the greatest commandment: Love the Lord with all our hearts and love each other as ourselves.

“If this command can remain foundational in the lives of our youth,” she says, “then even within the shifting cultures of the world or in personal pursuits, our young people can navigate this ‘me-first’ generation with a ‘God-first’ attitude. We can glory in the truth that God’s power to transform lives and make impactful changes in communities remains the same throughout all generations.”

Nathan enjoys playing with the Salvation Army band, especially when they visit local neighbourhoods on Christmas Eve to share Christmas music and cheer.

"We played in the evening throughout different neighbourhoods, then ended up at the radio station at 3 a.m.,” he recalls. “The euphonium is kind of heavy to carry around, but it was worthwhile to bring Christmas joy to others.”

Nathan and his father stand in front of a cross with the words, To be like Jesus
Nathan and his father, Albert, inside The Salvation Army's North Street Citadel in Bermuda

He knows whatever time contribution he can make to the church is time well spent.

“This year has opened my eyes a lot, seeing how the church is actually run,” Nathan comments. “It definitely changes your outlook seeing those in need being helped. So much effort and organization goes into the feeding programs The Salvation Army offers! A lot of work goes on behind the scenes. My dad is the maintenance supervisor for the premises and there was one point when they were trying to hire a cleaner for the building. I helped my parents clean every Friday until they found someone.”

Nathan is proud to be a part of what The Salvation Army is doing in Hamilton.

“I am at the point in my life where I’m seeing things through a different lens,” he says. “I’m learning to understand the importance of the little things. When I look at my schedule and my life, I know it’s the least I can do to give a few hours a week to outreach. I know I have been privileged to be included in this church community I’ve known my whole life.”

Photos: Kiersten Bulloch

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