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Andy Atkins

Andy Atkins


International Mentor, Africa

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After 31+ years in Christian relief and community development work, my wife Judy and I joined Navigators Canada in 2010.  I currently minister within Navs' Discipling for Development (DforD) department.  We have a heart for the poor.  Our passion is for impoverished individuals, families, and communities become all God intends them to be.

Discipling for Development is a Whole-life Disicpleship process which focuses on: 

  1. Coming to faith in Jesus Christ
  2. Redeeming broken relationships - with God, self, others, the creation
  3. Utilizing God-given resources
  4. Empowering community members to reach their God-intended potential - spiritual, physical, economic, social & emotional

Discipling for Development began primarily within Navigators African countries.  I am an International Mentor, responsible for overseeing the DforD leadership teams in West and East/Southern Africa.  DforD is also expanding into SE Asia, Bulgaria, & a few spots in N. America.  As an International Mentor, I'm also involved in curriculum prep and delivery as DforD trains, mentors, and coaches local leaders in beginning and implementing the Whole-life discipleship process.  Lives are being transformed: for now, for generations, for eternity.      

Hi! I'm a 'cultural nomad'. Born in Asmara, Eritrea in 1956, I grew up in Ethiopia. My parents were SIM missionaries: my formative years were boarding school, periodic returns to N. America, and cross-cultural life.

At 18, I headed to university in California, a perfect match for the stereotype 'rebel'. I told God to take His Christianity and count me out. He didn’t pay any attention. God’s grace and the Navigators campus ministry got through to me. Andy ‘the prodigal’ became Andy ‘the convert’.

Two years later – after working out lots of negatives, getting a degree, and getting a job – it was off to the Urbana Student Missions Conference. A one-year commitment to check out Emmanuel International in Haiti turned into 30+ years in that organization. It also brought Judy into my life: we enjoy the blessings of 3 adult children.
The EI road led us from development ministry in Haiti to office work in the USA to a relief program in Ghana to a Country Director role in Tanzania to cross-cultural training for outgoing staff in Canada to overseeing the mission as International Director.

A few years ago, God brought us into Navigators Canada. Our ministry assignment is with "Discipling for Development": training, coaching, and mentoring African church and community leaders. Our DforD vision is 'Transforming Communities through Whole-life Discipleship'.   

Returning to the Navigators completes a circle: this is the very same ministry which impacted me as a collegiate! We’d love to have you join us on this journey. In ministry, we’ve traveled many miles: air-space, super-highways, dusty bush-roads, muddy foot-paths, hacking our own trail. We've come to believe that "leadership development" is the most important endeavour in breaking the cycle of poverty worldwide. Done properly, the impact is both immediate and generational, not to mention eternal.