We believe that God has called us to aid Bible Translation by working overseas as teachers. We have been trained as teachers and believe that it is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). There are 265 languages in our province. Twenty-seven have adequate Scriptures. Forty-one languages are being translated by other members of our team. This means personnel (families) are needed for many years. We aid the team by providing educational services to the children of translators (Romans 12:4 - 7). We believe this is the most important and long-lasting job that we can do.
Individually, Mike and Mary come from two different backgrounds. Mike is the son of two Mississippi sharecroppers. Later in his father's career, Mr. Lott turned from sharecropping to ironwork. His last employers specialized in building prisons. This was significant for Mike as they traveled to various locattions within the US and even into Puerto Rico. Because of this travel, Mike attended 16 different schools in his 12 years of public education. He became uniquely experienced in the travel disruptions missionary kids face.
Upon graduation from Wheelersburg High School in Ohio, Mike attended Auburn University, studying Music Education and furthering his proficiency on the saxophone.
Mary's parents are from the mid-west and northeast of the United States. Her father earned a PhD in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. This eventually led him to the School of Engineering at Auburn University, starting the Department of Materials Engineering. This placed Mary near students from Campus Crusade for Christ, some of whom started a high school Bible Study.
While in high school, both Mike and Mary committed their lives to Christ. However, it was on the band practice field in August of their freshman year, they met. They began spending lots of time together, not by personal planning, but by nature of the facts that they were both music majors and both active with Campus Crusade. They married on June 5, 1976, three days before graduating from Auburn.
Mike wanted to serve the Lord with his life while teaching music. He taught in two locales before settling into Stevenson, AL as the band director at Stevenson High School, which later became North Jackson High. Their three children were born during this period. It did not occur to either of them that teachers for missionary kids were needed.
God was working with them even in North Alabama! In January 1991, Mike was attending church when a missionary gave his testimony during the service. The blinders came off his eyes and he realized that he didn't need to give up teaching to help further the Gospel. Together, the Lotts began the process of overseas ministry.
Finally, in 1995, all the circumstances came together. They left for Indonesia in October, stopping in Sentani, Irian Jaya, to orient themselves to the work before moving briefly to Bandung in Java, Indonesia, to attend language school. In August of 1996, Mike began formally teaching at Hillcrest International School as part of the Wycliffe Bible Translation team in place there.
Since that time, at least 25 different language groups have either the New Testament or the entire Scriptures of the Old and New Testament in their language. They are now able to have personal devotions. They are able to use Scripture as a guideline for their lives' actions and for discerning truth from error.
Praise the Lord! His Word is going forth.