Natan Lawrence was born into a Torah-observant Christian family at a Bible college his parents were attending some 60 years ago. As a result of his parents example of daily devotionals, he started a daily regimen of studying the Bible and praying at age seven, which he has continued to this day.
Growing up on the family farm and nursery in rural Oregon, he pruned trees and shepherded sheep for 15 years. He became an Eagle Scout at age 17 and graduated high school with academic honors and was the top art student in his school.
Natan studied at three universities (including a year in Switzerland), and trained to be a journalist completing a B.A. in French (and nearly a second B.A. in journalism). He wrote for several newspapers (including the Portland Oregonian), along with doing a stint as television presenter and a radio Bible teacher.
At age 13 Natan started his business of pruning trees and doing yard for some of his neighbors as a source of income. At age 23 after graduating from university, he worked for the family landscaping business. At 25, Natan started a tree and plant care company that he operates to this day, which is the source of his income. He is an OSU Master Gardener, an ISA Certified Arborist, an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified and a State of Oregon licensed commercial pesticide applicator.
At age 30, he was baptized in the Holy Spirit and became a Bible teacher, working as a youth pastor. In his early thirties, he went into the mainstream Christian church for several years where he ministered in several Spirit-filled Sunday churches. During this time, he volunteered as a chapel leader and Bible teacher at Teen Challenge, as a prayer partner on the local TBN television station, as an urban street-preaching missionary, as a preaching evangelist to the local Mexican migrant camps, as a prison chaplain, and later as an ordained evangelist in a major charismatic Protestant denominational church. In his late thirties, Natan left Sunday Christianity and returned to the Torah roots of his earlier life, but this time walking in more love, grace and in the power of the Spirit of Elohim.
At age 30, Natan met Sandi, his life partner, at a local Christian church singles group. YHVH told Natan to marry Sandi, and the next year they were on Mount Hood, Oregon’s tallest mountain. A little more than a year later, the first of their four children was born. They homeschooled their children until high school.
At age 40, Natan and his wife, Sandi, started a Messianic, Hebrew roots of the Christian faith fellowship (Congregation Elim) in Portland, Oregon, which, as an ordained pastor, he led until he retired from that position in the fall of 2016. Nathan and Sandi also pioneered Sukkot NW in Oregon in 2002 and continued that ministry until the fall of 2016 as an annual Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) gathering place.
Along the way, Natan received an ordination and held leadership positions in the Messianic Israel Alliance founded by Angus and Batya Wootten, who were some of his most influential spiritual mentors. Some of his other spiritual mentors were his parents, his paternal grandfather, longtime Portland, Oregon, street preacher, pastor and evangelist Ron Roman, Brother Eddie Servantt to name a few.
Natan remains a biblical researcher and has become a prolific writer. He and Sandi have published many articles pertaining to the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith, which they make available for free on their ministry website (hoshanarabbah.org). His writings include two gospel-centered Torah study guides (an adult guide and youth version entitled “Torah Explorers”), which are used worldwide each week by thousands of families and congregations. He is currently working on a commentary on the whole Bible that is some 2000 pages in length.
Natan speaks French (though he is rusty after decades of lack use) and reads and writes biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek. He regularly advises, and disciples lay-people, as well as congregational and ministry leaders who contact him from around the world. Occasionally, he has traveled and spoken at conferences.
Natan identifies with two biblical prophets who were both outdoorsmen and men of the earth, and who stood for Torah righteousness. The first is John the Baptist who was a voice crying in the wilderness to help prepare the way for Messiah Yeshua’s coming through repentance and obedience to YHVH’s Torah-instructions. The second is Amos the prophet who was also an outdoorsman, shepherd and an arborist, and who YHVH raised up to confront the nation of Israel and its religious leaders, and to challenge them to fear Elohim and to walk in righteousness—activities which are dear to Natan’s heart.
Natan is an artist, an avid gardener, an aesthetic tree and shrub pruner in the Japanese bonsai and niwaki styles, a mountain backpacker, fisherman and swimmer and is a high alpine mountain climber, a downhill skier as well has a high climbing arborist. In his career has an professional tree climber, he has climbed some 20,000 trees, and the highest he has been off the ground is 135 feet. Once, when he was much younger and somewhat foolish, after having summited Mount Hood, Oregon’s tallest mountain—Mt. Hood (11,250 feet), he nearly killed himself skiing off from just below the summit. He has made about 20 ascents of major glaciated mountain peak in the Pacific Northwest. Natan also loves classical music, is a psalmist and while playing the classical guitar, relishes singing love songs to Yeshua.
Natan is still married to his first and only wife, Sandi, and together they have four children. Without Sandi, there would be no Hoshana Rabbah, Elim, Sukkot NW, Torah Study Guides or this blog. Natan remains grateful to YHVH Elohim for his gift of Sandi.
His number one passion is to know and to serve Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) our Redeemer and Master, and to become like him by loving him and keeping his Torah commandments and helping to regather to Yeshua the lost sheep of the house of Israel (i.e. Christians in the Sunday church).
His greatest desire in life next to spending eternity with YHVH-Yeshua his Messiah is to help to be a catalyst for spiritual revival on this earth. That is, to see the light of YHVH’s truth transformationally pierce the darkness of men’s lives causing a mighty river of life from heaven to flow on this earth bringing with it love, joy, peace and the abundant spiritual life through knowing Yeshua the Messiah and loving him by keeping his commandments. His next greatest life ambition is to see as many lukewarm modern-day Laodiceans disciples of Yeshua awake from their spiritual slumber and to fall in love with Yeshua the Messiah and to love and serve him for the rest of their lives.