Island Family

by Mike Wilkins

About the Author

Mike Wilkins was born in Kingston, Ontario, but did most of his growing up beside the St. Lawrence River in the pretty little city of Brockville. Mike met his future wife, Debbie, when they were both 18 years old. They were married four years later, almost immediately after graduating from Queen’s University.

Seven years after that, Mike and Deb (with their two pre-schoolers) moved to London, Ontario, where Mike pastored West London Alliance Church for more than 30 years.

Along with being “the pastor’s wife,” Deb was a stay-at-home mom for their three children, Jessica, Ben and Joanna, and, for seven years, also their homeschool teacher. Once child-raising was over, Deb began to work for Compassion Canada, where (at the time of this writing) she still works happily, “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.”

All grown up, Jess is a high school English teacher in Toronto, Ben is a musician, living in Los Angeles, and Jo is a nurse, living in London with her husband, Andre Vanderlaan. 

Mike became “a guy with cancer” in 2013. But while he was a healthy adult, his hobbies—in addition to child-raising­—were long-distance running, canoe-tripping, reading (and re-reading) old books, and writing church plays and musicals.

He has recently written a book about his adventures as a terminal cancer patient, and about the strength he has found through his faith in Jesus Christ to endure—at peace and with joy. Learn more at

Mike & Deb