Meet Storytellers Marissa Dickey and Jamie Gessner

Marissa Dickey and Jamie Gessner are ABWE Career Missionaries 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. She mentioned that Maricielo had just had her baby a few days before we arrived.

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

[L to R] Marissa Dickey, James Dockery, and Jamie Gessner review the edits on Maricielo’s story. Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [X-E3, XF18-55mm F2.8-4 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 came 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 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, XF18-55mm F2.8-4 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 pieces out.

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

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

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