Every once in a while you meet a person who leaves an indelible impression. I met a woman like that this past week in Washington, DC, at the American Mothers Convention. She was one of the women named National Mother of Achievement for 2016. I shall never forget this lady: Marta Gabre-Tsadick – her bio, her life, her influence: ENDEARING!
Marta, the daughter of poor parents serving with missionaries, was born in Ethiopia in 1932. She remembers her mother saying at an early age, “We are here to serve people.” Her earliest remembrance of serving others was when she was five years old. She’d help the little blind girl in her neighborhood get back and forth to school each day.
After completing her university education in Colorado, she returned to the Ethiopian government in their Ministry of Foreign Affairs where she held several different posts until 1967. In1968, Marta was appointed to parliament and became the first woman Senator of Ethiopia. After the communist coup took over in Ethiopia in 1975, Marta and her family became the target of persecution and murder and were forced to flee their country in the middle of the night. In fact, I just completed reading her book Sheltered by the King – a riveting story of how God miraculously provided for their escape, somewhat similar to the Von Trapp family from the Sound of Music. Step-by-step, God went before them opening roads that should not be opened, blinding the eyes of the guards that should see, and much more. Later she was granted Visas in the US.
What can God do with a woman like Marta when life does not turn out the way she had planned?
- Runs her nonprofit, Project Mercy, an organization that distributes food and clothing to over 200,000 households and orphans in Ethiopia
- Serves over 11,000 people in state-of-the-art hospital she built
- Provides 24/7 care for 42 children orphaned due to HIV
- Feeds over 200,000 households (averaging seven members in each family)
- Constructed a KG-12th grade school that houses over 1,500 students
- And MORE!
What I witnessed from Marta was this: HUMILITY at its finest. When I asked her how it felt to be in Washington, DC, to receive this award, she replied, “I don’t deserve this kind of honor. I tell the Lord all the time that I will not take this glory as my own but will give it to Him.”
Humility – it’s the mother of giants.