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Superintendent's Corner: Mr Jeremy Tinsley

Dear VCS Families,

Sometimes in life, we have the experience of feeling both fear and awe at the same time.  The feeling is both uncomfortable and life-giving. Or perhaps the perception of one’s life possibly being at risk heightens the joy of being alive!  

While backpacking in early August in Cape Scott Provincial Park, a remote park on the northern end of Vancouver Island, we encountered a large black bear. The bear was feeding at the end of an expansive, sandy beach near the outflow of a river into the Pacific ocean. Regrettably for us, it was close to a small creek that was our only source of drinking water, which we badly needed after a long day of hiking through thick rainforest.

It was unnerving.  To observe and be watched by the two grizzly bears in their enclosure at the top of Grouse Mountain is one thing - they are separated from you by an electric fence.  To be watched by a large black bear on a remote beach with nothing but 100 meters of sand separating you from the bear produced feelings of wonder and frankly, I was a bit scared! If the bear chose to charge, there was nothing but my single can of bear spray to protect us.  

The bear watched us and we watched it. This was the bear’s territory and it was unlikely to move on.  We needed water.  We had no choice but to cautiously navigate in front of the bear in order to reach the water that sustains life. We continued walking steadily towards the creek. With great relief, we saw that the bear chose to keep feeding on seafood! 

Bear walking on beach with birds around

Later, as I reflected with wonder on what we’d seen and experienced, I asked myself if what I felt might have been a slice of what Moses felt when he encountered God on Mount Horeb or in the burning bush. I thought about Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom...”  Perhaps to fear is also to feel a deep sense of reverence and awe for the majesty of who God is, and the fact that a God so great could care for a person so small and sinful as me. 

As we walk the trails that a new school year brings, we are grateful that at Vancouver Christian School we can explore the majesty of who God is in the lives of our children and teens. God is not compartmentalized into Bible lessons or chapel or prayer time, but who He is and His majesty infuse everything we do - every lesson, every subject area, every interaction with others - this is our hope and prayer.  

The awe I felt seeing that black bear is nothing compared to the majesty of our God.  His power is impossible to understand.  We step forward in hope because we know that this great and powerful God holds all things together (Colossians 1:17).  Life is beautiful, complex, and often messy, but because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we have hope. We serve a risen Saviour and an awesome God whose love is vast and deep.

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year!