You’re about to meet our team. Our story is ultimately one of joy, though there have been many tears shed along the way. We labor in a world that is fallen and broken, but we do so with such wonderful news of redemption and restoration! Our hearts desire and prayer to God is that all who still have breath come to love the Lord Jesus! This is the reason we left our homes and families to go to the ends of the earth, and it is the reason for this blog. As you read about team and what we aim to accomplish, our prayer is that you would ultimately see that we are but weak servants who serve a wonderful Savior.
The Dodds came to Papua New Guinea in 2014 with the goal of translating the Bible and establishing a church in a previously unreached language group. For nearly two years, they labored alongside the Lehmans and Canns as we all learned the trade language, conducted surveys, chose a language group, and built two homes. But shortly after moving into the tribe, some health issues sent them back to the states. In God’s providence, just three months before their scheduled return to PNG, Matt Dodd discovered he had stage four lung cancer. The Dodds ministry shifted back to Arizona, but their love for the people in Mawerero has not waned. Matt and Cameron both trained the Mitchells to take over the work in the Ndo language. Matt Dodd went to be with his Savior on July 18, 2017. Cameron continues to serve Finisterre Vision and others through her skills as a writer. Their kids are Susanna, Benaiah, Onesimus, and Mary.
Jeremy and Lorie Lehman serve as logistics coordinators for the Mitchells and Canns. They live in the city of Madang and help with government documents, shipping supplies to the village, and a host of other duties. They have also been a huge encouragement to us via phone calls and even visits to the tribe! Their support enables the missionaries in the village to focus on learning the language, church planting, and Bible translation. Without them our work would slow drastically or cease altogether. We are very thankful for their sacrificial labors on our behalf. They have three kids: Greer, Belle, and Knox.
Hailing from South Africa, the Mitchells are aiming to join the Canns in the village of Mawerero. Ryan has an excellent grasp of the biblical languages and brings years of ministry experience to the team. Elna is a doctor and will bring some much needed medical expertise to our remote post. They have two children: Calista and Sebastian.
Amelia, a single young lady from South Africa, will come with the Mitchells to Mawerero. She will be serving the Mitchells and Canns in a variety of ways (i.e. homeschooling), but will also be learning the language and culture as well. She hopes to minister specifically to the younger, unmarried crowd, which is a particularly difficult group to engage. She is a skilled teacher and has exuberant, joyful energy.
cannsofclay.com (you’re here!)
We’re the Canns. We (Zach and Cassidy) were married in 2011 and moved to Papua New Guinea with our two boys (just 2 and 11-months old at the time) in 2014. We currently live and work in the Finisterre Mountains on the Huon Peninsula in a language known as Ndo (which is their word for “what”). We’ve been living among Ndo-speakers for nearly two years and are nearing the end of culture and language learning. Our hope and prayer is to share the story of God’s Word, from cover to cover, in the near future. Long-term, we have a desire to see a church well-established with the Bible in the Ndo language. We have two precious boys: Jude (b. 2012) and Oliver (b. 2014).
Why did we title our blog “Canns of Clay”? Click here.
THE ROAD TO NDO:
The following video is a summary of what it took to establish our work among the Ndo language group in the Finisterre Mountains.
WHERE DO THEY SPEAK NDO?
Finding Papua New Guinea and the city of Madang using Google is easy. But trying to find where we live is not. Google’s satellites have yet to get a clear picture of where Ndo-speakers live. The following is a map of where the village Mawerero is in relation to the nearest city, Madang. There are about 14 large villages and many smaller hamlets that also speak Ndo surrounding Mawerero. It is estimates that around 2000 people speak a dialect of the Ndo language.