Mama Maggie — and Christianity — are good for the world | 5/17/2019 | Staff
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As Christians in an age of skepticism, we often talk about making the case that Christianity is true. But more often than not, the question of our culture today is whether Christianity is good? Does it make the world a better or worse place?

That’s the question we’ll be wrestling with this weekend, from a variety of angles. Our annual Wilberforce Weekend conference taking place across the river from Washington, D.C. starts today. Helping us think through the goodness of Christianity for the world is an amazing lineup of speakers, including John Lennox, Star Parker, Rick Warren, Kelvin Cochran, Jeremiah Johnston and more. For a schedule and to sign up for the free livestream, come to

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Still, the definitive answer will come tomorrow night. This year’s Wilberforce Award ceremony will honor a Coptic Christian woman known around the world as “Mama Maggie.”

Thirty years ago, Maggie Gobran was a well-to do Egyptian woman who loved traveling from Cairo to Europe with her husband for parties and shopping. That all changed when she and some friends from church visited one of Cairo’s garbage slums. Some 60,000 people live there, most of them Christians, and they gather and sort garbage in appalling conditions for a few coins a day—barely enough to live on.

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As she spoke with the parents and hugged the children, Maggie’s life was transformed. Ellen Vaughn writes in her biography of Mama Maggie that Maggie fell in love with the privilege of being a part of their lives. So she began visiting the slums every day, and eventually founded a ministry called Stephen’s Children, named for the first Christian martyr. Three decades later, Stephen’s Children now helps 33,000 children through home visits, camps, vocational training, schools, and medical care. Just this fact alone is staggering: Mama Maggie has started over 100 schools.

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