As of late, Edmonton Christian Schools have become more focussed on thinking of our school story as one part of God’s bigger story. Each of us–parents, students, staff and supporters– have a role to play in this story. Dr. Wilco VandenBorn knew that, long before we ever started using the language of story in schools’ vision. As a young man, in the 1970s, he, with his wife Audrey, already began to play his role in Christian education in Edmonton. He soon found himself on the Board of Directors of Edmonton Christian Schools. It is difficult to figure out just how many years Wilco served on the board at the Edmonton Society for Christian Education but in total it certainly comes to more than 20 years. Many of those years were in leadership as he did at least 5 terms as chairperson of the board, with the last being as recent as 2010. Those who served with him remember him as a chair of quiet confidence who knew how to listen well and to lead by example. One of his favorite expressions was,” Well, let’s get up to speed on this issue and make a good decision.”
Earlier this year, Dr. VandenBorn’s story on this earth ended too soon, after a battle with cancer. He was only 67 years old when he was called to live out the rest of his story eternally with the God he served. The ESCE board decided it would be fitting to honor his dedicated, exceptional service to the ESCE with a commemorative bench placed at the school now attended by six of his grandchildren.
In a small ceremony attended by the family, some friends and representatives of the Edmonton Society for Christian Education, the bench, which sits in front of Northeast school was dedicated on Oct 2. As we remember Dr. VandenBorn and his dedication to the cause of christian education, we can easily imagine him hearing, “well done good and faithful servant. You played your role in my story well!”
Creator God, help all of us to play the roles you have prepared for us in our lives. Help us to be encouraged by the story of Wilco VandenBorn and the other stories from the “clouds of witnesses” who have faithfully lived your story. May your story of love be told through our lives and through Edmonton Society for Christian Education.