Once, many years ago, there was a beautiful child named Amelia Pamittan, born to a family in the very poorest barrio, Lanna, of all the town of Enrile, Cagayan up in Northern Luzon of the Philippines. She grew up to be a lovely young lady, and one day, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. The only trouble was that she was the only one in her family who knew Him, and she desperately wanted to bring the rest of her family to the Lord. In fact, she wasn’t happy just to win her own family, but she had a great burden on her heart to win as many of her fellow Itawes countrymen to Christ as possible. How could she help in bringing this about? She got an idea and put it to work, “I’ll pray that God Himself will bring someone to bring His Word to my people!”
It was about that time in the city of Los Angeles, California, that Chuck and I were going through quite a quandary of what we were going to do with our lives. After spending 20 years in the ministry, Chuck decided to get a doctor’s degree in the field of linguistics, thinking he could teach linguistics in a Bible college in the States. But when he finally graduated after spending nine years getting his doctorate, his application for teaching was turned down by everyone.
Then the idea came from somewhere, “Why don’t you go to the Philippines to translate the Word of God for one of the groups there? Instead of teaching someone else to do it, why not go and do it yourself?” Little did we know that at that very time, the young lady named Amelia Pamittan in barrio Lanna of Enrile, Cagayan, had started praying for someone to come to translate the Word of God for her people. Apparently, there was real power in her prayers.
We didn’t even get acquainted with Amelia Pamittan Julian until we had been in the Itawes region for several years, but it turned out that when we did get acquainted, we discovered that when she became a Christian, she had started to pray that she could have the Word of God in her own language.
When she told us about it, we asked her when she became a Christian and when she began praying that prayer. The date she told us was almost exactly the same date that we had made the decision to go into Bible translation and to go to the Philippines to do this. Her faith was such that she never gave up on her prayer. She married a godly man, had a family, and when she finally found out that we had come over to the Philippines to do a Bible translation for the Itawes people, she praised God over and over again because she knew that this was a direct answer to her prayer. We believe that it was the prayers of Amelia Pamittan Julian that made this idea get to us. She was surely a woman of faith. Her prayers were answered and God is still working in the lives of her people, even through the later printing of 1,500 more revised Bibles.