With great sadness we want to share with you that, after a long battle with cancer, Andy Atkins, alumnus of Emmanuel International passed away on June 18, 2020 with family by his side.
"Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of the Lord." As we go about our day, Andy is with Jesus, the Lord he served willingly and faithfully for so many years.
Andy grew up in Ethiopia, the son of SIM missionaries. The continent of Africa was planted deep in his heart in those early years. Andy knew birds by their call, and if you ever had the delight of going on safari with Andy, the big competition was who could spot an animal before he did; this almost never happened! When you were with Andy, it was his heart that you saw, his kind gentle heart. When you talked with Andy, you knew you were heard, because he listened well, he listened with his heart.
Andy and Judy met on an EI team in Haiti. After they were married, they worked in Haiti together for some years. After Haiti, they moved to Tanzania where Andy was EI's first In-country Representative, a new phase in EI's history. In the late 80's, Andy and Judy returned to Canada with their sons Caleb and Josiah to take over from Mark Middleton as International Director. Their daughter Angelica was born in Canada a couple of years later. Andy held this position until he resigned from EI in 2010. Mark Middleton shares " Andy is a great example of a true Christian leader. The Spirit’s influence through him was unmistakable and that influence will go on forever. He never pulled people to himself. He always pushed towards God".
After leaving EI, Andy and Judy began serving with Navigators, following Andy's dream of helping pastors find ways of reaching communities with Jesus' love through word and action. He trained pastors across Africa and other parts of the world in Discipling for Development. Judy says, "that he is loved by tribes, tongues and nations"; this is literal.
Judy is very grateful for the love and care she is receiving from so many around the world, and the comfort of prayer.
Thank you, Andy, for a life lived faithfully in the pursuit of Jesus and His kingdom.
Psalm 16:11. "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
On behalf of the EIC staff, we wish the family and friends our deepest condolences.