By Jeremy Tinsley, Principal
Duncan Christian School
During my 11+ years serving as a leader at Duncan Christian School, the Lord has opened my eyes to needs that I didn’t realize exist in Canada. We have students at Duncan Christian School on Vancouver Island who regularly deal with an inability to access safe drinking water in their homes. Other students, who live on reserve land, live in homes that are regularly cut off by floods from any road access. A number of indigenous DCS students serve as the primary caregivers of their siblings due to challenges in their family. Yet others have never had an opportunity to leave the Cowichan Valley, let alone get on an airplane. Some students are the first family member in generations to earn a high school diploma, leading the way for their younger siblings to do the same!
Despite these complex issues, almost the entire grade 12 class, by God’s grace, is able to participate in the annual September Grade 12 Mexico Missions trip in San Quintin. Students who may not yet know the love of Jesus personally, who may also endure very difficult living situations, have an opportunity to serve others in San Quintin and experience God’s love there, for themselves. Students who know Jesus well have a beautiful opportunity to grow in their faith and relationship with Christ. This is a gift that the people of San Quintin and the OLOC staff give to DCS students.
You’ve probably heard the old adage, It’s better to give than to receive. The Grade 12 Mexico Missions Team lived this in a very real and powerful way during our September 2019 trip.
Even after helping to lead this trip for 5 years, I still don’t fully anticipate the impact the trip has on me, our team leaders, and our entire group of students.
Our grade twelve students stepped up in big ways, opening their hearts to God’s leading and responding to His call to serve others selflessly, with love and compassion. Students worked through hot and humid conditions to construct a basic 3 room home for a family who had recently lost their father to complications from diabetes. Students found joy in serving at the house build, at the elementary school, and even at the garbage dump where they distributed food and clean water.
I was struck at how every student found ways to serve and contribute, from playing with the family’s neighbourhood children, to pounding nails, cutting 2x4s with the chop saw, painting, working with students in a local kindergarten, to helping out around the base, all students served willingly and with servant-hearts.
God is good. A trip like this impacts Mexican and Canadian lives forever. We are very grateful to have had this opportunity to serve, to share God’s love with others and to share the generosity of our own school community with others. Equally important, our own students were ministered to by the staff we served with at Los Olivos, the Mexican family we built for, and the congregation of the church where we worshipped together in San Quintin.
If you support this ministry through prayer, sharing your talents, or sharing your resources – thank you! I pray that many more DCS students have the opportunity to participate in a future Mexico Missions trip with OLOC.
Our challenge to the grade 12 Mexico team and all DCS students and families is to continue to seek God and His call to stand and serve within our local community and school, in both small and big ways! Every act of kindness and love has a powerful impact on our school culture, our local community, and our world.
God is good, all the time.