Maged lives in Gebel el-Teir village in Samalut, El Minya, where he was born and grew up. Due to his special needs, it was always difficult for him to support himself, let alone find steady employment.

It seemed that his luck had finally changed this year when the Shepherd and Mother of Light built a shoe factory right in his village with the intention of employing those with special needs and disabilities. Naturally, Maged was one of the first to apply and be hired.

Despite the gratitude he felt in finding a job at the shoe workshop, something was wrong. As much as he tried, Maged just couldn’t keep up with the other workers and was often fumbling with the shoes, unable to manipulate them properly. Many times, it was hard not to feel frustrated and Maged would go home after work feeling defeated.

After some time, one of the SML servants, Andrew, noticed that Maged was struggling with making the shoes. He sat down with Maged to find out what was going on. After carefully listening to him, Andrew explained that it was completely normal that he was having trouble with the shoes. We all have different gifts, and what might be one person’s strength is another person’s weakness. He also explained to him that we don’t always solve our problems on the first try. So what the shoe workshop wasn’t the answer for Maged? There were plenty of other solutions for him to try.

That same day, Andrew took Maged to the St. Mary’s Church in Gebel el-Teir, where SML had established a crafts workshop for those with special needs. There, Maged discovered that he was quite good at making candles that he could sell.

Maged has been making and selling candles ever since at the church. Not only is he happy to have found a way to support himself, he is proud to be doing something that he is good at.

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