Hear from Our Friends in Papua New Guinea, Zach & Cassidy Cann

Papua New Guinea has a special place in my heart.  From a coffee perspective, I dialed in our primary roasting profiles using a PNG coffee about 10 years ago.  But coffee is not the purpose of this blog or my primary connection to this country. 

Many years ago Grace Bible Church (where I am currently one of the pastors), sent Zach and Cassidy Cann as members of a missionary team to the Finisterre mountains of PNG. Their goal was to bring a written language to one of the many unreached language groups in that mountain region. Yes, many of the tribes in the mountain of PNG do not have a written language. They would then begin the work of Bible translation to that language group and use that to bring the gospel to the tribe. Obviously, this was a long process and it has been completed in many ways, but the work is not close to complete. 

I’ve been able to support their work as part of our church, but now I can do it in a whole new way; through coffee. Two of my greatest passions have come together for one goal, which makes me really excited. I’m always excited to share new coffee, especially when it exceeds my expectations, and now that it’s coffee from Papua New Guinea, it comes with a little extra. At Sagebrush, you’ve heard me say that I love to showcase the hard work of producers. The producers of Papua New Guinea are farmers with small farms who survive by selling their coffee to mills. Most often, they never taste the coffee they produce. As a Sagebrush customer, you’ll taste their coffee before they do. It’s a privilege to finally have the chance to showcase their hard work and support the Cann family as they work to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to a tribe in Papua New Guinea.  I’ve decided to donate all of the profits from this coffee’s sales to support the missionary sending organization (Finisterre Vision) that supports the Cann’s. 

In support of their work, we decided to do a Q & A with them while they’re finishing up their furlough. I learned quite a bit about the coffee farming in their village that was actually quite interesting. A quick note, Cassidy has been a home coffee roaster for as long as I've known her which dates back to 2008. Get to know Zach and Cassidy Cann as they share a little about what they’re doing in Papua New Guinea, why they’re doing it, and how the organization Finisterre Vision makes their vision a reality.   

Tell us about your work in Papua New Guinea.   

With that desire, we trained and were sent to live in a remote village in Papua New Guinea. We are working among the Do/dō/ language group and our ultimate goal is to plant a self-sustaining and self-propagating church among them. We moved into the village in 2016 and spent almost five years learning the Do language and culture so that our message would be understood clearly. Once we were able to communicate well in the Do language, we began Bible translation and also presented the gospel in a series of 53 Bible lessons spanning Genesis to Revelation.   

What are you hoping to accomplish among the Do people?   

We are working among the Do language group and our ultimate goal is to plant a self-sustaining and self-propagating church among them.   

With the end goal in mind, where are you in the process of completing that goal?   

We are now just on the other side of this teaching and the work ahead is establishing the young church. Through formal and informal relationships and meetings, we will be discipling the new believers and appointing men to teach God’s Word. At the same time, we will be continuing Bible translation so that we can give the Do church as many books of the Bible in their own language as possible.   

Why did you want to go?   

God gave both of us a desire to see God glorified among people who have never heard.   

What is the work of Finisterre Vision?   

Finisterre Vision is our sending organization. They desire to partner with churches to send missionaries to do work like ours. They work with church elders who can train qualified men, along with their families, to be ready to do church planting in a tribal context.    

How does their work impact you?   

Once we were biblically equipped by our sending church, Finisterre trained us in missions work: house building, orientation into a village context, teaching literacy, learning an unwritten language, etc... Besides training us in missions, they also provide all the logistics support we need. They handle our finances, coordinate our government paperwork (visas, work permits), do our banking in Papua New Guinea, and it is through them that new missionaries have been added to our team. This is just scratching the surface. While our church provides the Biblical shepherding care for our family, Finisterre is the practical means by which we are able to stay on the field in PNG.   

Can you tell us about your connection to coffee since you live in a tribe and roast coffee yourselves? 

The people among whom we work are indigenous coffee farmers. Their main source of income is selling their coffee beans, and we have been involved in a minor way in helping these farmers get their beans to town to sell it. We also purchase some, roast it, drink it, and teach them to roast it as well. Until we moved in, no one in our village had ever tasted their own coffee! Now, when important visitors arrive, they consider it a point of great pride to give them a cup of authentic coffee from their own gardens.   

I’m sure you can tell how excited we are to share coffee from Papua New Guinea. This goes beyond coffee and the coffee industry in a specific region. It’s about a passion for sharing the love of Jesus with unreached people and helping those that are literally taking the good news to them. When you buy our coffee from Papua New Guinea, a percentage of your purchase will go to Finisterre Vision so they can continue to bring the gospel to the unreached people of Papua New Guinea. If you haven’t read our Papua New Guinea origin blog, click here to get to know how this region is unlike others.  

If you’d like to follow the Zach and Cassidy’s work among the Do people, click here to read their blog and subscribe to receive updates.  

Finisterre Vision is an organization committed to reaching people in the Finisterre mountains of Papua New Guinea. They support the work of Zach and Cassidy Cann and have an even bigger vision for that specific mountain region. Click here to know more of their vision and what they’re doing that goes even beyond the Do people. Make sure to subscribe to receive updates.   

 

The Cann Family in PNG

Hand peeling coffee cherries in PNG

Hand Sorting coffee cherries in PNG

Zach Cann teaching through the Bible in the newly written language