“The Bear Man is a very inspirational story about the human spirit, a man's incredible will to survive, and the fact that God is always in control. It will leave you thinking about the 'what ifs' and a perspective that life on this earth is precious, but incredibly short.”Gene F. Thompson III, President of InterLinc Mortgage Services
“Everything changed in a second when Jim VanSteenhouse realized he was being stared down by a grizzly bear. Locked in the powerful jaws of the animal, one thought came roaring to the surface, ‘Will I go to Heaven?' Jim survives to tell his powerful story and to inspire others to ask the same question.”Dr. Ed Young, Second Baptist Church, Houston
“God sometimes uses unusual ways to get our attention: I believe that Jim learned from his near-death experience that God was not finished with him. He was reminded that his work was not done.”William D. Peery, The Sovereign Institute, LLC
“After hearing Jim's story, every person should ask themselves two questions: 'If I die, where am I going?' and, 'Is my life on Earth making a difference?”Jake Baker, Riverway
“Through Jim's survival of the bear attack, he shares how God is calling all of us to take a look at how we are living our lives.”Mark Ultis, UBEO
“Knowing Jim personally, I greatly admire his courage and energy. Jim was knocked on his back in a brutal way, but he is back on his feet and is a better man for it. We all get knocked down at some point in life, but not everyone decides to get back up. Jim's story will inspire you to get back on your feet and encourage you to be a difference maker.”Lance Berkman, Retired MLB All-Star
THANKS FOR ONE OF THE BEST GATHERINGS WE HAVE EVER HAD. Jim was great, his message was tremendous and his style left everyone on the edge of their seats. PLEASE tell him how much we enjoyed having him and he can come back anytime. I watched the expressions on people’s faces and no one even moved. You could hear a pin drop it was so quiet. GREAT guy and thanks for sharing him with us.Jack Foster, First United Methodist Downtown
The BEAR Man's presentation at our sportsman dinner was challenging to everyone present. To the unsaved there was a clear presentation of the Gospel and one man excepted Christ. To the Christians his challenge was to put your priorities in order living a life worthy to be called a Christian. The sharing of the life change as a result the Bear attack was genuine and just exceptional.Richard Stone, Michigan Center Bible Church
Thank you so much for making a trip to Michigan and blessing Michigan Center with an incredible bear story but an even more incredible message, one that you have a gift for sharing. It’s funny, I actually grew up reading books that contained bear attack stories, so being a Christ follower and an avid outdoorsman I was so in tuned with your entire speech. I am not sure how often you do these events or what kind of responses you get from some people but please, keep spreading the Good News and telling your tale even when there’s no response. You've planted many seeds. The quote about the devil saying “Oh hell, he’s awake” is something that struck my heart and I have already started acting on those convictions. Praise God for you Jim, I wish you the best in your walk with Christ, your family, your business and your hunting endeavors :) Shoot straight in all that you do.. Jim Harrington, Avid Outdoorsman
Jim, the men and I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and testimony last night. I've received great feedback immediately afterward and today. We had 112 in attendance. That's 20% of our total population...in other words, a fantastic turnout. The TDCJ will definitely benefit from you. If you ever need my recommendation to other Units, please feel comfortable in making that known. God's richest blessings to you and your family.Larry James, TDJC Chaplain
Here comes the Bear man” echoed through the speakers of the prison chapel and the atmosphere was filled with a sense of childlike wonder. The Bear man, with the incredible ability to articulate the content of His amazing story encouraged the Audience to overcome their “bear life experiences” with passion and a great sense of humor. The men all walked away after seeing the mercies of God manifest in The Bear Man’s story feeling valued, motivated, and without a doubt that Jesus saves.
It was truly an incredible night in which the Lord was glorified through the story and through the invitation to follow the Lord in their own lives.
David Trickett, C.H.A.R.M. Founder
Jim's story was absolutely moving, it impacted not only our students, but all of our leaders and volunteers as well. I believe the Gospel is clearly heard and told through his story. Truly a reflection on how the Lord uses our testimonies and lives for his glory. If you have not had the privilege of having Jim come in to your organization to tell his story, then you need to do it. It will not disappoint.Anthony Lane, Ozone Ministries
What a great presentation, we had close to 450 people there and they listened to him with great intent. What a blessing that we could connect with THE BEAR MAN. He's got a message that all should hear.Joe & Nancy Hudson, President U.P. Bear Houndsmen Association
I enjoyed a chapel experience that was more than just a sermon. It was nice to hear a true story that developed someone’s walk with the Lord.Jenna Miller, Mississippi College Student
I loved the speaker in chapel yesterday. The Bear Man did a great job at pulling in our attention and keeping us focused. I enjoyed how he told his testimony and showed us how God can work in our life. It was an eye opener that showed me how fast my life can change.Lane Oxner, Mississippi College Student
The Bear Man at Mississippi College was the best testimonial I have ever heard. I met Jim and told him the speech was great. I did not tell him it put a lump in my throat (several times) and a tear in my eye, but it did indeed. I truly felt that God used me to coordinate The Bear Man speaking at MS College and I am grateful this event was able to happen. It was truly amazing. One of the best aspects is that a dozen or more young people gave their life to Christ. Jim Jenkins (retired)
Well……where would I begin. The Bear Man standing at the prison gate, standing in the rain, so silent, so patient, so NOT moved by any of it. I should have known there was so much more which lay deeply below the rain soaked surface, below the cowboy hat, and behind the piercing eyes. The Nail pierced Savior! That is WHO was deeply rooted there.
The man, Jim, never flinched. And after hearing his hunting stories, we now know why. He was made and re-made for this. This? Testifying of the miracle of life and The One who gives it. It is truly so fragile, and oh so brief. Jim’s story reminds us all of these truths…using a man, a guide, an attack, and a rescue!
How did it make us feel? Our every emotion was stirred. It was exciting, it was captivating, (pun intended for prisoners), it was fearful, it was funny, it was painful, it was celebratory, it was all these things and so much more! We all, the prisoners and the volunteers, found ourselves in Jim’s stories. We could all identify with different parts of his journey. And WE are all survivors! Living in a fallen world, … an exciting yet scary, captivating, funny, and painful world.
I believe many of the ladies in that particular prison, (only God could have known) could identify strangely enough, with his scars. Carole Young is a Medical facility! Their bodies have been cut and sown, and pieced, and some parts are missing. They found hope in hearing his story. His story of a life threatening, life changing attack, yes, yet a rescue and a reason far greater! His Savior met him there! In the midst of it all! He came! He saved! And now, a story to tell, so much greater, for it is not Jim’s story, it is Jesus’ story. THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. THE GOOD NEWS!
The women rallied around him, getting autographs, in awe of his journey.
A survivor’s journey, for truly that’s what we all are.
A man, a woman
A Guide (GOD)
An Attack (the enemy)
And a Rescue. JESUS
Rachel, thanks for the ask. I was able to relive it all over again, and I so needed it today!!!!
A Reminder of our Hope
Of His Life
The Survivor from the grave, with the scars to prove it. C. Kaye Trickett