Practical, prayerful, passionate Dakotans first created and now sustain Solar Oven Partners.
Grounded in flexibility for changing needs and times, we work for the economic, physical, spiritual and environmental well-being with the people in places we serve.
Initiated by lay persons and built on trust over a 20-plus-year history, today Solar Oven Partners are:
- Donors whose contributions fund materials and support training
- Hands-on volunteers at fabrication workshops in the Dakotas or through projects in their churches
- Volunteers-in-Mission team members who travel to serve
- In-country partners on mission sites who provide cultural and administrative connections; and
- Advisory Board, Staff, and Communication Team members who ensure accountability and transparency.
Solar Oven Partners is both a mission of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, supported by contributions to Dakotas UMC Advance #637 and an accredited Advance Special #418812 of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief).
In-country administration and outreach partners include:
- Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana (Evangelican Church of the Dominican Church), Dominican Republic
- United Methodist Church, Sierra Leone, West Africa; and
- Navajo Nation, FaithWorks.
Advisory Board Members
Rev. Phil Lint, Board President, Montrose, SD
Marj (Marjorie) Evans-de-Carpio, Director
Ariana Armapatzis, Mitchell, SD
Gene Bethke, Raymond, SD
Gloria Borgman, Spearfish, SD
Adam Burnison, Rapid City, SD
Jay Niedert, Madison, SD
Dave Silbernagel, Zeeland, ND
Emily Warns, Madison, SD
Karen Workman, Bismarck, ND
Marj (Marjorie) Evans-de-Carpio
Marj was named director of Solar Oven Partners in 2017. Fluent in Spanish, she holds a BA in Spanish and Ibero-American Studies and a Masters in Divinity. She previously served as a certified Spanish interpreter for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, assisted immigrants transitioning into Minnesota, and is a trainer with the Kaleidoscope Institute, an ecumenical institute that trains clergy and church members in building knowledge and skills to effectively minister across cultural differences. Marj’s husband, Lalo, hails from the Dominican Republic. Marj started and operated an English-language school when the couple lived there for close to two years.
Central Workshop, Raymond, SD
Pack oven components for shipping; manufacture bread pans
Reflector Workshop, Montrose, DS
Cut insulation; wrap oven components