I went from hunter to prey

My Journey

Watch my story

Want to hear the Bear Man testimony live at your church or another gathering?

Back in September 2015, I had a near-death experience that changed my life completely, as I was attacked by a grizzly bear in the deep wilderness of Canada. Some could say I’m very lucky for being alive. But for me, that was the ultimate sign of how God’s pre-determined plan is infinitely clearer than any effort or resolution we may have.

While I’m still looking for an answer as to why I was allowed to carry on in this life, I decided to share my story with as many people as possible. I believe that if someone out there can feel inspired to reevaluate their life’s priorities through knowing of my close call with death, then it all would be worth it.

I became a grizzly attack survivor for a reason. Not by accident.

People of faith know that God promises a safe landing. However, He does not promise a calm passage. Allow me, the “Bear Man,” to share this life-changing experience with you, and hopefully my scars can spark some thoughts of gratitude and appreciation for life, while you go through your own journey.

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About Jim

As the Founder & CEO of InterLinc Mortgage Services, Jim VanSteenhouse is focused on leading the company’s strategic business initiatives in order to help families reach the American dream of homeownership.

Together with his wife, Elizabeth, they created the InterLinc Family Foundation, VanSteenhouse Family Foundation, The Bear Man Ministry, and Rough Waters Ministry. These foundations lead and support ministry organizations around the world, education scholarships, and provide underprivileged and challenged youth, adolescents and young adults with a sense of hope and belonging while helping them to realize their God-given potential.

Jim graduated from Michigan State University in 1989 and is the proud father to Dawson, Brianna, and Hayden. Raised on a rotation-crop farm in rural Michigan, Jim spent his childhood outdoors. Hunting started as a pastime, but quickly became a passion. Jim has archery hunted throughout North America, Africa, Canada, and New Zealand.

In 2015, Jim departed to the Northwest Territories of Canada for what was to be a memorable archery Moose hunt. That trip did not turn out the way Jim envisioned, but God changed his life in ways he could never have anticipated.


The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

Mark Twain