Justice & the Inner Life Podcast: Mama Maggie Gobran

In this episode, Jedd Medefind sits down with Maggie Gobran – known to thousands of children in Cairo as “Mama Maggie” – who shares her soft-spoken message of radical love and her call to serve “the least of these.”

In this episode, you’ll discover

  • Mama Maggie’s reflections on what it takes to sustain a life of service to God in a world where children hunger for love, acceptance, and value.
  • Choices and habits that help you to keep your heart close to God’s amidst difficult journeys.

Key Quotes

“We are not the ones who get to choose when to die, but we are choosing either to be people with the mission, with meaning, with depth, or just let your life go without meaning.” – Mama Maggie

“This is the miracle, the real miracle, that if we listen from inside, he will do the change. I didn’t do anything on my own. I didn’t sacrifice anything. I just feel he took me step by step.” – Mama Maggie

“I cannot say how important it is for me…When you listen to God, you need to take time away and say, “I’m serious. I really love you. I want you to pour your love in me. Otherwise, I don’t know how to love.” – Mama Maggie

“You think, ‘What am I losing leaving my technology away for a day’ At the beginning, it won’t be easy. You won’t have the full of joy, but when you keep doing it, it’s like heaven is opening.” – Mama Maggie

Meet Our Guest


Founder of Stephen’s Children

Some call her the benevolent “Mother of Cairo.” Others have dubbed her “St. Maggie,” and she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize many times. But to thousands of children and their parents living in the fetid garbage slums of Egypt’s largest city, Maggie Gobran is simply known as “Mama Maggie.” It is a moniker that is well-suited to her mission: This is all I want to be. A mother to them all.

Maggie’s story of devotion, obedience and love is the hallmark of the Stephen’s Children ministry. As the youngest daughter of an upper-middle-class family in Cairo’s Coptic Orthodox Christian community, Maggie grew up shielded from the realities of central Cairo’s squalid slums.

As an adult, Maggie became a successful professional, first on the management team of a marketing firm and later as a university professor of computer science. As she and her husband were raising their own two children, Maggie’s vision of “motherhood” began to grow as she dreamt of reaching out to children in need.

Maggie first experienced Cairo’s garbage slums through an annual Easter outreach aimed at distributing food and clothing to families. Maggie was gripped by the despair she saw, and haunted by the children’s hunger for love, acceptance, and value in society.

Her heart pierced by God’s Spirit, Maggie’s vision for Stephen’s Children began with a prayer for other committed Egyptian Christians to join her in meeting both short-term and long-term needs of the impoverished families in Cairo’s slums. Mama Maggie’s humble spirit and loving heart allowed her to build close bonds with children and discover ways to meet their underlying needs. Her sacrificial leadership has now guided Stephen’s Children for almost 25 years and helped reach over 30,000 families with Christ’s love and compassion.