Two families, the Dodds and the Canns, started the work of Matt 28:18-20 in the unreached village of Mawaroro at the beginning of 2016.
The Dodd family
At the beginning of 2017, Matt Dodd (the husband and father) was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer while on their furlough in the States. He passed away on July 18th, 2017… He has been such a “pleasing fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15) before, and while he was sick with cancer. You can listen to him speak at Grace Bible Church right after he got diagnosed with cancer. As Matt pointed out in his video ‘cancer is not out biggest problem, sin is.’ Matt desired for his friends in Maweroro to be saved from their sin.
As for the Maweroro village, what happens to them? What about their biggest problem? Even after the Cann family lost their partners and were alone in the village for more than 2 years, they continued in their faithful service to the Maweroro people. He also prepared and made a way for me and the Mitchell family, so that we have been able to “fill the gap” in the team, and work alongside the Canns.
The Canns: Their blog http://www.cannsofclay.com/
I have delighted in reading their blog eversince I heard about the need in the Finisterre Mountains in May 2016. At first, I was planning on visiting them in January, 2017. However, the Lord guided and redirected my plans, so that I ended up moving into Maweroro, working alongside them. From left to right – Cassidy, Jude, Zach and Oliver. The Cann family is from Phoenix, Arizona.
The Lehmans: Their blog http://jeremyandlorie.com
The Lehman family is our Logistic team who lives outside the village, in Madang city. They have served us already so much in helping us with our VISAS and other things needed for PNG. They are the ones who organize our helicopter supply runs for us, and do MANY needed and unseen services to make this mission possible! They will be our Logistic Coordinators until the beginning of 2020. We are praying for new Logistic Coordinators to take over from then on. From left to right – Jeremy, Knox, Belle, Greer and Lorie.
The Mitchells: Their blog https://mitchellsmilesaway.com/
The Mitchell family is from Grace Fellowship, Pretoria (my fellow South Africans.) Ryan studied at the Master Seminary in California, finishing his degree in May 2014. He has been involved in various ministries ever since then – including being the fellow pastor at Grace Fellowship up until March, 2017. Elna has been a part time doctor while they lived here in South-Africa – and I certainly won’t complain about being in the village with a doctor! Sebastian and Calista are two (undeniably) adventurous children with a great love for the outdoors and for bugs!
I got to meet the Mitchell family in August, 2016, after my pastor informed me that they have the same interest in missionary work in PNG. After meeting one another and getting to know one another better, we spoke about the possibility of working together in a village. In the Lord’s providence, it turned out that we too are living and working alongside one another in Maweroro.
The Lord graciously saved me in the year 2012. He replaced my self-righteous, Pharisee-like heart with a heart desperately clinging to the Lord Jesus Christ, as Gal 2:16 struck my heart “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” My parents and I started attending Midrand Christen Gemeente (my home church) by the end of 2012, and it has been a true blessing to be a part of this body of believers.
I graduated from high-school in the middle of the year 2016 and decided to move directly into preparing for full time missions work. In June, 2017, I flew out to Phoenix, Arizona, to do missionary training with Finisterre Vision for 6 months.
On the 16th of September, 2018, I moved to PNG. I first stayed in Madang town for 3 months to learn the trade language, Tok Pisin, and moved into the Maweroro village on the 7th of December, 2018. I’ve been in the village ever since, learning the culture and the nDo language.
You can learn more about how the Lord graciously and earnestly directed my ambition towards missionary work here. I desire to see the great commission (Matt 28:18-20) obeyed in its fulness. Towards that end, my team and I labor in Maweroro. You can learn more about our ministry in the Maweroro village here