Mission to Pedernales

Pedernales is a small border town in the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic.  Haiti shares the border with the DR.  Just across the river on the Haitian side lives a refugee community of Dominicans of Haitian descent.  They were deported from the Dominican Republic to Haiti even though they have never lived there.  These Haitian-Dominicans have nowhere to go so they have set up a refugee camp called K-2 just over the border.  They are basically living on the scraps of life, living from hand to mouth.

The people of Haiti have been cutting trees and making the wood into charcoal for years.  This has left their land deforested and them vulnerable to climate change, flooding, and landslides.  We decided to make an attempt to offer the people of K-2 a chance to have an alternative to cooking with firewood and charcoal, the solar oven.

 

 

 

Solar Oven Partners UMC from South Dakota sent a team of volunteers to accompany us on this mission.  We held the solar oven seminars on the Dominican side of the border in an open field.

Shade   was scarce, heat and humidity were intense.  We attempted to create some shade with tarps with limited success.  But in spite of the conditions we had a crowd close to 100 for each of the two days.  There was plenty of sun to cook the food and at the end of the two days we distributed 70 solar ovens.

The team went on to two other sites and distributed nearly 50 additional ovens.  These are the best results we have ever had for a week of demonstrations.  Solar oven ministry is very demanding on a team but we have recovered and are grateful to God for the opportunity to participate in God’s mission.

 

Many thanks and much appreciation to the solar oven team:  Marj (the new SOPUMC director), Gloria, Ron,  Zona, Chris, Rita, and Pastor Scott along with the Dominican group, Pastor Erasme, Pastor María, Gertrudis, Mario, Ardell, and Gordy.

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