District: Southern Prairie
Submitted by: Paul Baker
For twelve years, Haiti Solar Oven Partners, a United Methodist Advance Special project based in Brookings, SD, has empowered families in Haiti to use solar energy for cooking and pasteurizing clean water. The most recent Volunteers in Mission trip included four people from the Minnesota Conference.
Following a very successful solar oven survey team that questioned some 167 past oven recipients at the town of Fond des Negres during the week of March 4, a second team arrived March 11 at Flamand to prepare to train two hundred new solar oven users.
On Sunday afternoon, the team learned how to put ovens together and produced a total of fifteen for the day. Two hundred ovens were completed by Friday. Solar cooking seminars ran through mid-day Saturday.
Volunteers from all walks of life pitched in to help. The volunteers did an impressive job of partnering with Haitians to manufacture solar ovens with specialized hand tools that travel in suitcases to many unique crossroads in Haiti.
Minnesota Conference members who participated in this VIM trip include Pastor Bob Neff and Bonnie Neff of Grace UMC in Hendricks, MN, and Pastor Paul and Debbie Baker of Bethlehem UMC in Hutchinson, MN.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church