‘Their Joy Is Overwhelming & Their Faith Is So Strong’ — Mina Ebied Talks About Serve to Learn

Mina
Mina takes a selfie with young learners at the 2014 Serve to Learn site in Abnoub.

 

Not sure what Serve to Learn could hold for you? Here’s the deal: Submit your application. Book your flight. Land in Egypt. Play with the world’s funniest, smartest kids. Teach them English. Make life long friendships. Experience God’s love. Come home feeling more purpose for your life. Serve to Learn: Learn to Serve. 

For three weeks this summer, 22 young people took a step towards a better tomorrow for themselves, Egypt, and the world. Here are the thoughts of one of them, Mina Ebied. He was born in Egypt and moved to Canada with his family when he was nine years old. He now works and studies in Alberta and is currently applying to optometry school.

If this interview piques your interest, and you want to read more about how Serve to Learn changes lives, you can learn more through these interviews with Gaby, VeronikaDavidBen, Kirollos, MariamAlex, and Mirelle.

Here’s what Mina had to say about his summer doing Serve to Learn:

After coming home from Egypt, did you see things in a different light than before you left?

Coming home from Egypt helped me put things in perspective. I always knew that there is more than meets the eye in life, and that value isn’t always in material objects. However, spending the summer with people in Egypt, I experienced hospitality like I never have before. I experienced generosity and love like I never have before. We were perfect strangers, and yet they treated us like the closest family. People there may not have much in material objects or money, but they have the love of Christ and it overflows.

Do you feel like you know the Coptic community better now after taking part in Serve to Learn?

We have our Coptic community here, and we think that we are miles away and so separated. However, we all stand on a common ground, and the community can be universal. After all, the church is one here and in Egypt.

When you tell your friends about your summer, what stories do you tell most?

I mostly speak of the children and what a pleasure it was to spend time with them. They were all so wonderful and quite eager to learn or even just play around together. The stories that stand out the most, though, are the ones from our home visits in the evenings. It was a truly enriching experience.

Can you name one thing you would add to Serve to Learn for next year?

I absolutely enjoyed Serve to Learn, and I would go again and tell everyone I know to go as well. However, the only thing I would add is more details in the information package as to what to bring along. I didn’t quite know the need until I got there, and I would just love to help them out to the best of my abilities.

What is the most powerful thing you would say to someone to convince them to sign up for Serve to Learn 2015?

We live in Canada, and we are so busy being “busy” with school, work, and the many responsibilities of the daily life here. We often forget how fortunate we are to have everything we have; we forget to appreciate what we have been blessed with. Going to Egypt opened my eyes to how blessed we truly are. Not only to that, but also to how grateful we should be for everything we have. People there have much, much less than we do, and their joy s overwhelming. Their faith is so strong and their life is truly inspiring. The Bible is more than words, and going to Egypt helped me see how your faith can truly define and support every aspect of your life.

You can apply now for the July 3-25 Serve to Learn trip! If you still have questions, you can learn more by reading the Serve to Learn FAQ, or by writing to us directly at info@copticorphans.org.

Also, you can watch His Holiness encourage young people to serve the children in Egypt in this video made at one of Coptic Orphans’ recent 25th Anniversary Galas. Lastly, you can check out  the “Top 5 Myths Why You Can’t Take Part in Serve to Learn Debunked.” 

PS  Please go to the top of this post and hit the “Like” button, then share the post, tweet it, email it to everyone you know, print it out and pass it out to five of your friends, and finally, stand in the middle of a busy intersection with a megaphone and shout it out!  

About Nermien Riad

Nermien Riad founded Coptic Orphans in 1988 after volunteering for an orphanage in Cairo. When she saw that most of the children had living widowed mothers who simply couldn't afford to feed them, she gathered family and friends to sponsor children in Egypt. Today Coptic Orphans works through a network of 400+ church-based volunteers in Egypt, who visit fatherless families in their homes and make sure they get everything they need to unlock their full potential. That way, they don't have to get married off as child brides, work as 10-year old family breadwinners, or go to live at an institutional orphanage.