A Lesson on Human Dignity

Every story has a genesis. Every good story starts with an impactful and attention-grabbing narrative. For Non-Fiction Coffee our beginning would never have reached any amount of inspiration or creativity without one man.

A man who had long been doing the work in the field that would prepare the storylines to unfold and open doors for us to become part of real change. This man would probably rather remain unknown, he has lived most of his life supporting and engaging in third world outreach in one way or another, but never as the center of attention. The reality is he isn’t the center of attention, and as he would put it, neither is the coffee that we produce. (In fact, he doesn’t even like coffee, what an irony.)

The nucleus of our passions and the driver of our efforts to expand is simple: the people But these people would still be nameless faces to us without one man: Melvin Airhart. Through the last decade of work in Honduras, Melvin has experienced some of the most amazing stories on the ground. He has gained the trust and respect of the locals, and through his hard and humble work, he has found a way to take one of the most popular natural resources in the world and turn it into something that brings reliable and sustainable work to an entire population of people.

Sitting with Melvin to hear the stories of the people is an experience in itself, filled with wonder and excitement with each passing minute. If you were to take a seat at the table and listen, Melvin would tell you though that through his time in Honduras he learned this truth:

“Human dignity is the greatest natural resource, and it must be preserved at all cost.”

This vision has been what he has served from, and it embodies the passion that has led to the development of opportunities for the Hondurans. This vision fuels the question that Melvin often asks the people he serves alongside “What is in your heart to do for your own people? Let's make that happen!"

If you were to ask Melvin about the progress he has witnessed even in the last year, tears will most likely quickly come to his eyes and a smile will light up his face—simultaneously. He would tell you about Alonzo, a farmer who’s loan was paid off this fall, and how he was overwhelmed with gratitude hearing the news. Then in detail share with you about a single mother and her four daughters who raised their first stand-out coffee cherry crop this year and the life change that has occurred from the additional income. Melvin would end by telling you about Esther and the teachers in rural villages who are pouring into children and changing a generation through education.

The stories would be so wild and expressive that they would seem straight out of the movies. And the truth is as each story unfolds you would see another glimpse of the excitement and hope that one man holds for a region of the world possessing so much potential and only needing people to believe in their dreams.

Here at Non-Fiction Coffee, we are just getting started in telling the stories that have occurred in the last year of our time with Melvin and his team. We are just beginning to see the invaluable impact of dignifying humans, once long forgotten, and giving them opportunities they deserve to serve, equip, and better their own local villages and communities. And with each story we tell, with each life that is changed, with every victory we share—we will go back to one man and his dream of reaching people in other countries, giving them the chance to make the life they dream of—right in their local communities.

This dream isn’t the American Dream—it is a Human Dream.

It is a dream that has led to the utilization of one natural resource (coffee) to protect and defend the ultimate natural resource: human dignity.

We believe this is the beginning of what we are going to do in third-world countries and we are humbled and proud to call Melvin, not just a partner, but a friend. We are confident that he is now your friend too—because you are a part of this story alongside us.

 

A Lesson In Human Dignity