Saturday, August 13, 2011
Mamma Maggie Groban
The single most moving moment at this year's Willow Creek Leadership Summit was the presentation by Mama Maggie Gobran. This humble woman once led a comfortable life in Cairo. A Coptic Christian from a prominent Egyptian family, she taught computer science and lectured at Cairo University. But following a conviction from God, she started a ministry to serve the poor in her city - Stephen's Children. A Nobel Peace Prize nominee this year, Mama Maggie has spent 20 years serving the poorest of the poor.
The truth us that any of us could have been born poor. We don’t choose where to be born. But we do choose either to be sinners or saints…to be nobody or be heroes.
If you want to be a hero, do what God wants you to do.
In my younger years my family was quite affluent. I liked to be elegant in my fashion. But I have found that to be truly elegant comes from the inside, to love- to love until it hurts.
When I came here today I thought I’m the least because I’ve been forgiven of so much and given so little. But I chose to serve the poorest of the poor - the forgotten children of Cairo. These children are hungry for food and hungry for love. Whenever I touch a poor child, I’m touching Jesus. When I listen to a poor child, I’m listening to God’s heart beating for all humanity.
Among the poor God is hidden. There is mystery among the poor. I serve in a country where it is not always possible to build a church - but with God's love we build a church in the heart of every child we reach.
We are also called to have a pure heart and to love the Almighty. This is learned in silence.
I practice a discipline of silence - one day each week, three additional days each month, and one week each year.
In silence - first silence your body to listen to words.
Silence your tongue to listen to your thoughts.
Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beating
Silence your heart to listen to your spirit
Silence your spirit to listen to His spirit.
In silence you leave the many to be with the One.
Whenever I visit a country, I always kiss the ground and ask that God may bless this land and its people.
(Awestruck silence as she slowly knelt and kissed the floor.)
It was truly amazing - Mamma Maggie's presence spoke louder than her words.