The power of stories to change lives

Blog post by FH blogger Darrell Vesterfelt

We just finished Day Two with Food for the Hungry in Guatemala. Today, we were able to spend time in the homes of a few families who have been impacted by the work FH is doing in their community.

Photo by Jessica Taylor

We visited the president of the community and his wife (Domingo and Maria), and heard their stories about life and their partnership with FH. As I listened to them talk about meeting, getting married, having kids, and struggling to make ends meet, all I could think was about how similar their struggles are to mine, despite the huge gap in practical circumstances.

And I love how stories do this — connect us to people who are different from us and help us realize how we’re not that different after all.

As the day went on, we became really comfortable with them.

At one point in the conversation Maria shared that their house (which had dirt floors and had one room) wasn’t as big as they had hoped at this point in their life. They were still paying off school loans after all.

It reminded me of our small studio apartment in Minneapolis, and the similar conversations Ally and I have had in the past few months.

We asked them more questions about their culture, like arranged marriages, which were commonplace in their community until the most recent generation. We shared wedding photos with them, and they showed theirs to us. Then they asked us about birth control (“How have you been married for a year and half without having babies?”) and we shared really openly.

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Darrell Vesterfelt is an FH blogger who is the founder of the Prodigal Press. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Ally. He loves helping people discover the power of their story. Darrell is the original #unblogger.

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