Meet Storytellers Marissa Dickey and Jamie Gessner

Both Marissa Dickey and Jamie Gessner are ABWE Career Missionaries serving in Colombia, South America.

When Jeff Raymond and I went on our scouting trip to Lima in October we talked with Evelyn Stone the founder of the prenatal center and ABWE missionary where she mentioned that Maricielo had just had her baby just a couple days before we arrived.

We knew right away that this was a powerful story. In Peru abortions are illegal. However, 80% of all women have had an abortion according to Evelyn Stone the director of the prenatal center.

[L to R] Marissa Dickey, James Dockery and Jamie Gessner go over the edits on Maricielo’s story. Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [X-E3, XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 12800, ƒ/5, 1/38, Focal Length = 35]

The purpose of telling Maricielo’s story was to show how many women end up coming to the prenatal center for counseling and help.

Listen to Maricielo and her family tell their story.

Both Marissa and Jamie are fluent in Spanish and English. This made it much easier for them to do the story because they didn’t need translators. Can you imagine everything someone says has to be translated and then everything you say is translated. That takes a lot longer to just have a normal conversation.

[L to R]James Dockery telling stories, with Marissa, Jamie and Jeff Raymond during the Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [X-E3, XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 4000, ƒ/7.1, 1/100, Focal Length = 27]

Marissa and Jamie asked every instructor for input on the story. Then they sat together and tried to take all that input and craft a stronger story. The hardest part for them was cutting parts out.

They realized that while some of the great quotes were powerful they were often repetitive.

When you would hear them talking on the last day of editing they were trying there best to keep you the audience engaged and hoping through telling of Maricielo’s story that you would consider getting involved with the prenatal center.

If you want to learn how to do storytelling like Marissa and Jamie did here consider joining us this June in Romania with Storytellers Abroad.

Meet Storyteller Stephanie Simmons

[photo above is of the seminary night classes that share the space with a school]

Jorge Quintana is a seminary student that storyteller Stephanie Simmons was given to tell his story.

See the story she captured here.

Stephanie has lots of positive energy. She is always smiling.

Stephanie Simmons. Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/400, Focal Length = 35]

What I admired the most about Stephanie was her focus. She wanted to learn.

[X-E3, XF55-200mm ƒ/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 5000, ƒ/7.1, 1/100, Focal Length = 300]

When I talked to her about her story before she did the interview I could tell she had listened to the subjects. I could tell she cared for them and being sure she would stay true to the story.

[X-E3, XF18-55mm ƒ/2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 6400, ƒ/7.1, 1/100, Focal Length = 36]

Now I love to watch people and just observe them. I noticed Stephanie would be on the edges of the group participating but also listening.

[NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 12800, ƒ/4, 1/200, Focal Length = 24]

When the instructors were meeting each night to see who might need more help the next day on their stories, we all talked about how Stephanie welcomed ideas and was so eager to learn.

If you want to learn how to tell a missions story like Stephanie join us this June in Romania with Storytellers Abroad.