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These pages will contain vignettes of our life here in Sentani. Most will be about the work here. Sometimes the writings will be just notes about our daily routines. Other observations may be more spiritual in nature. Expect a potpourri of subjects.

For those of us in the South, we have our favorite sports teams. Outsiders will be thinking of a professional team, but we know it is our college team that has our allegiance. Outsiders have also said to me, "It's just a game." But those of us in the footballSouth know better. I'll give you two examples.

Back in 1972, both Mike and I were at the Iron Bowl. The "bad guys" were killing us and I was dreading that long ride back from Legion Field on the band bus. Sometime toward the end  of the third quarter, a Mr. Goodwin was speaking to Dr. Harry Philpott, who was the President of Auburn University, "If you [Auburn] beat us [the other team], I will build your band a new rehearsal building." The Goodwin Band Hall opened in the Fall of 1974. It was not "just a game" to those of us in the band.

Mike and I have friends from many different universities. On our Nov. 6 (Papua is half a day ahead of the US), we were listening to the AU football game. It wound down to about 42 seconds left in the game and Auburn was suddenly ahead.

At this point, my brother called me from Auburn and told me that my sister-in-law was in the hospital and needed me. I did not know how I would do it, but I assured him that I would return across the world as soon as possible.

I hung up the phone and asked God how it could happen. We had just barely enough to cover our monthly expenses. Should I step out in faith? Truthfully, in the past I have done that and found out I was misreading my wishes for God's will. I sometimes have difficulty with that and it is a hard lesson.  How would God work? I was not sure. I let Mike know of the situation and we both prayed.

Meanwhile, the game was in a time-out.

Just then, a dear friend who is an alumnus of that opposing team texted me and asked, "How much should I give you if we beat you?"  Two thoughts ran through my head; the 1972 Iron Bowl and new Band Room AND James 4:2, "You have not because you ask not."  Therefore, I wrote, "$3000."

I showed what I wrote to Mike and he and I both thought I had a bit of chutzpah!

Our friend who had already made clear he teasing and wasn't betting on the game, when he learned why I asked for such a large gift, graciously agreed to immediately send the funds for my travel. BTW, it was more than $3000.airplane

The college football game lost by Auburn on Nov. 6 was more than just a football game, a mere entertainment. It was the means God moved in the heart of one of our ministry partners to learn of my urgent need to travel to the US. Our friend was joking about the game -- after all, if you're ahead with only 42 seconds left, you are fairly certain of a win. But to God, it was a tool.

Unfortunately for us, Connie succumbed to her cancer the night of Nov. 7, while I was on the plane over the Atlantic. I was able to join my family in mourning the loss of this beloved sister and mother. My pain and sorrow would have been intensified if I had not been able to be with them.

Una Bible John 4

On August 24, 2022, the Una Bible was dedicated and distributed to the Una people in Langda, Papua. By praying and financially partnering with us, YOU ENABLED THIS WORK TO BE DONE! Well done!

Some details about the Una people and this translation work:
6000 people make up the Una people.
About 50% of them are both literate and bilingual.
The work began in 1989 with a team of four people.
After the New Testament was dedicated, the original four translators were joined by four more, bringing the team to eight.
The two Dutch translators, although on the team, were acting primarily as consultants.
The bulk of the Old Testament was translated by Una speakers having been trained in translation techniques.
Over 100 Una people were involved in testing and reviewing of the Una Bible.


Testimony of One of the Una Attendees

String Bag

String Bags are used to carry their possessions. Important possessions are carried in their own string bag.

Mike and Mary first arrived in Papua in the autumn of 1995. While the project began in 1989, the first five years were spent in analyzing and cataloguing the language. It is a very complex language with 3 dialects and over 250 verb forms. Finally, in 1994, one year prior to the Lotts' arrival the actual translation work began. Their oldest son, Kars, was the same age as the Lotts' oldest son and the two became good friends.

The community in Papua celebrated this Bible completion on Sept. 4. At that time the translators pointed out how the work would have gone much slower or even abandoned in frustration if it had not been for the team of support workers, teachers, pilots, and others who helped them with the work load. Mike and Mary taught all three of their children. All three of their children are actively involved in serving God's Kingdom, two in the States and one back here in Papua as a jungle pilot.

Together, with this great body of witnesses, we are seeing God's Word going forth in this world.


I, Mary, am currently on a personal retreat at the Ligonier Conference, Fool's For Christ, at Briarwood in Birmingham, AL. Last night was a great talk by Harry Reeder on the Foolishness of the Gospel and then God's Free Grace presented by Burke Parsons.  My take away so far is to be more bold in my witnessing. To often, I feel intimated. Pray God's boldness will be more real in my life.

Hunter Goff is the musician leading us into and after our messages. He just blessed me with a beautiful rendition of "I Vow To Thee, My Country." It is a personal favorite melody.

February 23, 2015
By: Hannah WeiandBibles in Translation

It’s a blessing to have many versions of the Bible in our language, but many people want to know which version we use to translate the Bible. We’re happy to tell you!

Actually, we don’t translate from an English translation, because that would be like making a copy of a copy! In order to achieve clear and accurate translations, we train our translators to look to the original biblical Hebrew and Greek texts. They also have to carefully study the language they are translating into in order to understand how it works and how people who speak that language think and communicate.

A good translator does far more than simply exchange Hebrew and Greek words for words in the new language. Their job is to understand the original meaning and discover the best way to communicate that in the new language so people can clearly understand what the Bible is saying, just as if their mother was talking to them.


To clarify further, when developing a new Bible translation the source text used can vary from country to country or people group to people group. The local people who are translating Scripture into their language for the very first time have to start somewhere, and will often refer to the Bible in the national language or language of wider communication that they can understand.

In some cases, mother tongue translators are able to work directly from the Greek and Hebrew themselves. But even if they can’t, our consultants and facilitators are able to work from those texts to ensure the accuracy of the translation. In any case, the goal of every translation product is for the end result to be clear, natural and accurate to the original text.

People celebrate receiving God's Word

The following are excerpts from the One Story website. We hope this provides a more complete overview of what that is [the bold emphasis is ours]:

The majority of the world’s unreached people groups are made up of oral preference learners, who often have no written language of their own. In order to reach them, OneStory works with mother-tongue speakers to develop and record worldview-sensitive, chronological Bible “story sets” for each specific group — typically 25 to 50 stories in a three to four year period.

Mother-tongue speakers spread the stories to others. These story sets can be the first step toward a traditional written translation or non-print media like the JESUS film or The HOPE video.

Mother-tongue speakers spread the stories to others. These story sets can be the first step toward a traditional written translation or non-print media like the JESUS film or The HOPE video.