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Justin & Tammy Hettinga

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Justin & Tammy Hettinga's Blog


Ministry and ATEK Update - March 2018


Dear friends,

It’s a busy travel season for Justin. In January he was in Mexico to attend executive committee meetings for the SIL* Mexico Branch, and we were both in Peru for the SIL Peru annual retreat. In February, Justin was in Dallas to meet with members of his team. Last week he was in Tbilisi, Georgia (Central Asia/Eastern Europe), and is currently in Germany, for various SIL International leadership meetings.

Tbilisi, Georgia

He’ll be home for one day, and then we both head to Mexico (March 12-20) for SIL Americas Area planning meetings with the Americas Area leaders. After the meetings, Justin and I have the privilege of attending a New Testament dedication to celebrate the arrival of the New Testament in one of the 276 languages of Mexico.

We would appreciate prayer for:

  • Safety in our travels
  • Wisdom and discernment
  • Sensitivity to God’s leading

Our son, Jesse, will be arriving home on Tuesday, March 6, after traveling SE Asia for almost five months. We’re looking forward to seeing him and hearing more about his adventures!


Update on ATEK

ATEK is a Quechua organization in Peru that we helped form and partnered with during our ten years (2000-2010) in Peru. Since we left Peru, it fills us with joy to hear what God is continuing to do through ATEK. Here are some highlights, challenges, and prayer requests (excerpts taken from Prayer Alive, a prayer newsletter of Wycliffe’s Prayer Ministries).

The acronym ATEK means “shining the light of the gospel to the Quechua speaking world,” and ATEK does just that. Some 100,000 Bibles have been distributed, but there are 1.5 million Cusco Quechua speakers and only six ATEK staff! ATEK also promotes the use of translated Scriptures (the entire Bible was dedicated in 1988 and revised in 2005). Through various workshops, the Cusco Quechua people are not only being taught to read and write, but also how to understand the Bible. As they learn, they are transitioning from students to teachers, pastors and leaders. Literacy and the knowledge of God’s Word are multiplying.


“We don’t want our sisters to just remain only church attenders when they could be active participants in the church,” explains one training workshop participant. “We have been awakened by the challenge and encouragement that ATEK gave us: first, helping us to be healed of our wounds, and then learning to ask for forgiveness and to forgive those who have offended us. So we want our sisters to also have a personal encounter with God and in that way, to answer the calling that they too have, which is to go and preach the gospel to every creature, as God’s Word says.”

Christians leaders are equipped
Marcelo Luis Mamani is a Quechua brother in Christ. He tells us that, before coming to know Christ, he abandoned his wife and children by spending everything on alcohol.

One day, Marcelo’s friend invited him to church. At the end of the service, Marcelo wanted to leave quickly but, as he was exiting the church, the pastor greeted him. At that moment, a bottle of alcohol fell out of Marcelo’s pocket. He was totally embarrassed. But to Marcelo’s surprise, neither the pastor nor the other Christian brothers judged or criticized him. Instead, they showed love. This struck Marcelo’s heart. He felt like Jesus was in that place. At this moment his life was changed.

Little by little, he got involved in the church activities. The Spirit of God gradually convinced him of the errors of his life.

Later, church leaders sent Marcelo to participate in ATEK’s leadership training. During these two weeks, Marcelo began to understand the importance of the family and his role as a father.

A short time later he took part in the first marriage workshop, where he really understood God’s purpose for his life and for his family. He recognized that he had been a bad father and husband. As a result, his children had moved far away and didn’t want to see him anymore.

After returning from the workshop, Marcelo decided to go look for his children and to ask their forgiveness for hurting them and abandoning them. Marcelo wasn’t afraid, but rather filled with love. He was committed to reconcile with his family. Miraculously, his children believed that he was truly repentant and chose to renew a relationship with their father. Since that day, their family life began again. Marcelo, his children and grandchildren are getting to know this wonderful God who healed their relationships.

Marcelo is convinced that there is nothing impossible with God. For this reason he is serving in his church and teaching married couples. He believes that God loves the family.

Illiteracy, discrimination, poverty and under-resourced churches leave hundreds of thousands of Quechua speakers without the knowledge of God’s love and His amazing purpose for their lives. Cusco Quechua speakers lack access to the Bible in their heart language, and many desire to learn to read and write. Though the Cusco Quechua Bible was completed in 1988 and revised in 2005, only six per cent of the population currently make use of the Scriptures.

Although ATEK receives some funding from donations through Wycliffe Canada, the project suffered after a major partner needed to cut back its funding. Fredi Quintanilla, director of ATEK and a Quechua speaker himself, says, “These are the times I don’t like. But I know they are the best times to experience God in a deeper way.”

Prayer for the Ministry of ATEK
Bible translation and related ministries are God’s work. Pray that the staff serving in this work will hear God, rely on His strength and reflect His heart of love for the people they serve.

Pray for the people serving at ATEK and pray for unity, health and God’s protection on all of the project workers (Ephesians 6:12).


Thanks for the part that you played in ATEK’s ministry, and now in Bible translation and language development in all of the Americas. We can do what we do because you are faithful to do what you do. Because of your partnership, lives are being transformed by the Word of God in their heart language. Thanks for your prayers, financial and emotional support.

Justin & Tammy Hettinga

*SIL, Wycliffe's closest partner, serves language communities worldwide, building their capacity for sustainable language development by means of research, translation, training and material development.


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