International Staff: Meet Maggui

Maggui is the absolute expression of a servant's heart. She is devoted in every sense.  Her motto: ‘service of excellence for a God of excellence’ has inspired many around her, to say the least.  A wife, mother of three and friend of the entire village, ’Sister Maggui’, has been a true pioneer of the Mexicali Super Kitchen. In fact, she was a part of the team when the kitchen project was just an idea. “I remember them coming to me a few years ago, telling me about this big kitchen that was to be brought, not built, here to my community. They said it was like a big suitcase, where all the parts were inside and once you opened it, they would all just fall into place. I thought, ‘these Americans, they think up weird things’, but I was intrigued and said to myself, ‘well I’ll just wait and see’. The super kitchen blew away my expectations. I was grateful they had included me in such a project.”

Maggui's expression of gratitude goes beyond working at the super kitchen. She has a story behind her, a very heartwarming reason why she was the one chosen to become head cook of the Mexicali Kitchen. Nine years before the kitchen was built, Maggui started serving as a cook at the Azusa Pacific University (APU) outreach camps that took place in her city. Her sister Yolanda was a key person for the ministry, a trusted local. Yolanda loved to host and asked her sister Maggui to join her in preparing food for all the volunteers that came to every camp. Three years passed, and the sisters loved serving together.

Then one day at one of the Mexicali Kids Camps, Yolanda passed away suddenly. This tragedy shook everyone involved in the ministry. In the middle of the camp, Maggui was asked to step into Yolanda’s leadership role in regards to the kitchen operations. Enduring much pain, but committed to honor her dear sister’s memory, she stepped up the the task and her life forever changed. “Many say it is just kitchen work and ask how I am serving God in a kitchen, but when my sister passed away and I was asked to carry on her work, I felt what she felt, why she loved it so much. Nourishing people, bringing genuine delight with plate of food, sharing complete experiences from table to table, and doing it with love. I know that I could never fill her shoes, but I serve with her smile in my heart.”

Mexicali Super Kitchen staff with Maggui (pictured in blue)

Mexicali Super Kitchen staff with Maggui (pictured in blue)

Thus, Maggui became a new key member of the APU-Mexico Outreach ministry. In time, APU developed a partnership with Outside the Bowl and Maggui was already an "insider," and made the natural transition by becoming a staff member in the OTB Super Kitchen.  “I count myself privileged to have been among the group that placed the first stone and pushed the first shovel into the ground where the kitchen was built, blessing it and all that would rise from it.” The Mexicali Super Kitchen is built right where Yolanda used to live. “My very own children crawled and played on these grounds. My sister and I would sit on the front porch and just watch the horizon. Now knowing that is this space is being used for God’s purposes is in itself a blessing; more then I could've ever imagined.”

Maggui is the first one at the kitchen each day. She is well known in the community and has formed a legacy as a diligent and faithful worker in all matters. 

“I have been so blessed by God. Having the opportunity to freely serve him and working in a place that is a vessel for God’s blessing to flow, is beyond what I ever thought my life would be. I love sharing about Outside the Bowl and I am aware that this may not have been my job. Without knowing, years before, God stated training me with kitchen skills and a heart of service, preparing me for my sister’s departure and setting the way for my role in the super kitchen.”

We are honored to have Maggui as part of the Outside the Bowl team.

Written by Vianney A.E.