Who We Are
Why Solar Ovens
Our Partners and Friends
God has provided extraordinary leadership for the Solar Oven Partners ministry in the Dominican Republic. We give thanks for Rev. Erasme Fígaro’s dedication, wisdom, kindness, firmness (there are times that is necessary) and ethics. We could not have found a better partner!
The director of Solar Oven Partners in the Dominican Republic, Rev. Erasme Fígaro, is separated from his family several times a year to direct our teams. Here, he has just returned to his home in Santo Domingo and is pictured in his church with his family, from front to back: daughter, Briana, son Esdras, wife Laura, Erasme father-in-law César and mother-in-law—and our cooking instructor who also travels with our teams—Gertrudis.
Gertrudis Garcia (front), our cooking instructor in the Dominican Republic, knows the Dominican foods and culture, plus she imparts a wonderful spirit of joy and peace as she teaches.
José Rafael Peguero shares his incredible wealth of knowledge about the Dominican Republic with each of our teams. We return not only having seen that life is different in the DR, but with some sense of what the forces are that have created the differences we see.
Teams are often greeted by the bishop of the Dominican Evangelical Church, Rev. Miguel Angel Cancú with SOP director Marj Evans-de-Carpio interpreting. This helps teams understand the wider ministry of the denomination to which our ministry contributes.
Our driver in the Dominican Republic, Mario D’Oleo chooses to participate alongside all of the volunteers, assembling ovens. He also make loaves and fish out of the space available to pack the ovens, groceries and equipment. Plus, he is an excellent, safe driver. That’s why we call him “Super Mario!”
Volunteers in Mission connect with people in many ways, based on the uniqueness of who they are. Here, VIM Jane Keller, a sign language interpreter, converses with a deaf grocery store employee.
Volunteer in Mission Zona Hairgrove, a Spanish minor at Black Hills State University, laughs with the young volunteers from our host church in Monte Cristi, the Dominican Republic.
Not everything is cooking and oven assembly during a solar oven seminar. Volunteer in Mission Chris Davis, who went to high school in the Dominican Republic, reads a Spanish children’s story to little friends.
Youth volunteers from the Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic host church and college-aged volunteers in mission give the children at the seminar the attention that says to them, “you are valued.”
Volunteer in mission Deb Holland joins children in crafts in the evening hours after the day’s seminar.
Volunteer in mission Marlys Larsen gets her hair done by children at the seminar.
Solar Oven Partners founder Rick Jost with Sierra Leone’s Bishop John Yambasu, who invited us to partner with his annual conference. It is a tragic loss to the entire denomination and the nation of Sierra Leone as well as to Solar Oven Partners that Bishop Yambasu died in a car accident in August of 2020.
Our partners Smart Senesie (left) and Andrew Mohmoh (right) joined the team for our first lunch after arrival in Sierra Leone.
We spend a lot of time with and learn a lot from our drivers, Abdul (left) and Jonathan (right).
The district superintendent, Miriami Bockami, (center in tan shirt) hosted our distribution in Makeni, Sierra Leone.
Our team got to talk with the owner of the Freetown guesthouse where we stayed for many nights.
Volunteer in mission Paul Hilgedick, a carpenter by trade, spent a day at a carpenter’s shop in Bo, Sierra Leone, to make a storage box for solar oven assembly equipment.
Solar Oven Partners director, Marj Evans-de-Carpio with then-director Glen Allen of our partner organization in Arizona, FaithWorks.
Amy and Tony Casali, directors of FaithWorks, an ecumenical mission organization in Flagstaff, AZ and our partners in reaching the Navajo nation.
Lola Bahe is an important elder in her Navajo community in Leupp, AZ and the FaithWorks partner. When the bread came out of the solar oven, seminar participants brought it for her to see.
Cleo Whiteface, a member of the Rosebud Lakota Reservation in South Dakota and a Volunteer in Mission, formed a fast attachment with her new Navajo “grandmas” who gifted her with a Navajo coming of age apron.
Advent 2021–Lend your aid!
Join us on our voyage across the dakotas!
Grandma, Granddaughters Serve Together
Extending Solar Oven Impact
Our Mission and Core Values