Andrew and Janet Wildsmith
Home Church: Baypark, Kingston, ON
Andy was raised in Kingston, Ontario. God used Sunday School and Christian Service Brigade at Bay Park Baptist to bring Andy to faith in Jesus Christ when he was 12.
Janet came from a United Church background but attended the church youth group at Bay Park. The teaching of the Scriptures began to answer questions that had lingered in her heart. As a result she asked Christ into her life.
Andy's call to Africa came through a film presented at a Bay Park Baptist mission conference after he finished university. The film, depicting the critical need for church leaders, was the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, "There's a need you could help meet". While finishing his training at Winnipeg Theological Seminary, Andy learned of International Ministries' involvement at Samuel Bill Theological College in Nigeria from Colin Butcher, his pastor in Winnipeg.
For Andy and Janet, marriage and missions are closely linked. Andy went to Nigeria for a year returning to marry Janet in July 1984. The call and purpose of God in their lives is paramount. They served at SBTC until 1997.
In May 1997 the Wildsmiths returned to Canada on medical leave. While there, Andy completed a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. In 1991 he had started doing most of the work while also teaching at SBTC. When their sons started school in Canada, it soon became clear that home schooling at SBTC was no longer practical for their growing sons.
God directed the family to Kenya as Fellowship International missionaries seconded to Africa Inland Mission. Their first new home in Kenya was at Kijabe, where Rift Valley Academy served the boys' educational needs and their parents taught at Moffat Bible College. During their years at Moffat (January 1999 to March 2011) Andy taught mainly Bible and Theology courses, helping to train men and women for ministry in Africa Inland Churches and other Kenyan denominations. He was also involved in college administration in different ways (Dean of Men, Registrar, Library Committee Chair, Acting Vice Principal for Academics, Bookshop Manager) and ministry in local churches as a guest preacher, pastor and assistant pastor.
After teaching English as a second language at Moffat for a number of years, Janet directed Moffat's AIDS Education Department where students learn how to teach AIDS education and behaviour change in local schools and churches. Janet also served in various administrative and church-related capacities through Moffat. Both Andy and Janet also mentored Moffat students, both individually and in small groups.
In March 2011 Andy and Janet transferred to Africa Inland Church’s highest level ministry training centre, Scott Theological College in Machakos, Kenya. There they continue the same types of ministries, preparing men and women to serve God as pastors, Christian education workers, missionaries, chaplains and in AIDS Education. Andy and Janet will also be involved in Scott’s well developed field education and mentoring programs.
The Wildsmiths have two adult sons—David and James. David is married to Erin (August 2009) and they live in New Hamburg, Ontario. James is working in Kingston, Ontario and taking an on-line degree in political science at Athabasca University.