Servant Outreach
Changing Lives in Guatemala

Since 2009 teams have been going to remote areas of Guatemala to install stoves and water purifiers in homes.  The teams also provide a concrete pad (~100sf) and whitewashed the walls in the kitchen and provided dewormer for families receiving water purifiers.

Please join our next team!

The details are as follows:

  1. Team dates: October 12-19, October 19-26 and October 26 - November 2, 2019. If we do not fill 3 teams, we'll choose the 2 times that works best for most applicants.
  2. The cost will be $1250-$1350 depending on airfare.
  3. There will be a maximum of 20 participants per team.
  4. These teams will fill fast, please submit applications early, final deadline for application - May 20, 2019.
  5. Final deadline for $600 deposit - May 20, 2019.

If interested, please contact Max Kern 336-643-7297 or hmaxkern@gmail.com.  The required forms are:

Building Team Application and Medical Form

Missioners Covenant and Release

You may donate to the Stoves fund and pay Team fees online:


See some of the firsthand experiences from previous years!


Adopt a Guatemalan Family

The Open Fire Problem

For centuries the indigenous population, the Mayan, have cooked their meals using open flame three-stone fires on the dirt floors of their one room homes. This traditional method of cooking is the cause of rampant medical and environmental problems throughout rural Guatemala. There are high instances of facial and hand burns due to children falling into these open fires while they were playing or learning to walk. The excessive smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death in Guatemalan children under the age of 5, according to the World Health Organization. The deadly gas carbon monoxide is twice the level considered to be dangerous. The inefficient burning of wood for three-stone fires requires the women and children to gather huge amounts of wood daily, contributing to Guatemala's deforestation at a level of 2% per year. The time lost to long treks to get the wood combined with the effect of carrying heavy loads has a detrimental health impact on women and their families.   To read more about the problems associated with the traditional method of cooking, read the article, Families are Exposed to the Dangers of Smoke.

 A Healthy Alternative

The "ONIL" Stove is a method of cooking that is compatible with traditional methods. The fire is contained in a clay-fired firebox in an insulated, durable stove that sits off the floor, thus minimizing the risk of burns to small children. It is vented by a galvanized steel chimney and the stove uses an efficient burning technology that virtually eliminates smoke and deadly carbon monoxide in the home. Using the ONIL stove means longer life expectancy, safer child development, and more time and energy for families. It reduces wood consumption by 70%, resulting in a long-term benefit to the environment and a better quality of life for families. Women who use the ONIL stove gain the equivalent of two days a week in time saved from gathering wood. 


The Water Problem

We often take safe drinking water for granted. Water from rivers, streams, ponds, or rainwater may be the only sources of water for rural villages in Guatemala. The water may be murky, with an unpleasant odor and taste, and it could be a source of disease, since 60% of all diseases are water-borne. Even clear and apparently fresh water may be polluted with microscopic disease-causing pathogens, and children are especially vulnerable.

Water Purifiers

The HELPS Gravity Water Purifier is a practical solution to the need for safe drinking water. It is specifically designed to micro-filter a supply of safe drinking water using a simple two container system. A person simply pours the water into the top container where it goes through a ceramic purification element and into the lower container, providing up to 10 gallons of safe drinking water every 4 hours. It has a ceramic element that does not allow bacteria to grow because it is impregnated with environmentally safe silver and never needs to be sterilized or boiled.

These families will get safe drinking water from water purifiers that eliminate microscopic disease-causing pathogens. Children are especially vulnerable.

What YOU Can Do

Please pray for our team, our mission project and those we serve in Guatemala. Please consider adopting a Guatemalan family. We want to make it personal. Send a picture of your family and we'll bring back a picture of your adopted family with their new stove.

Will you help a family?

We hope you will be led to adopt one or more families. Please share this opportunity with friends, family, Sunday school class, groups you belong to, employer, etc. If you are not able to adopt a family please consider partnering with a friend or two. You may also select one component for a family as outlined below.

$300-Adopt a family (includes stove, concrete, whitewash and purifier)

$130-Provide material for one ONIL stove

$120-Provide materials for the concrete slab and whitewashing the walls

$50-Provide the water purifier

$__ - provide any amount to use for Guatemalan families as needed


Please consider an adoption in memory or honor of someone you love.  Make checks payable to: Oak Ridge UMC and memo "Guatemala stoves"

Mail checks to:

Oak Ridge UMC
2424 Oak Ridge Road
Oak Ridge, NC 27310

Please include your email address and contact information so we can keep you updated.

For more information feel free to contact Max Kern at 336-643-7297 or hmaxkern@gmail.com 

If you would like to know more, check out these websites:

HELPS International

ONIL Products

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Last Published: February 15, 2019 10:30 AM
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