Annual NAM Convention 2015 - Cleveland Ohio

The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light attended this year’s National Apostolate of Maronites (NAM) Convention in Cleveland, Ohio from July 1st to July 5th, 2015.
We were blessed with the opportunity to meet and mingle with over 1,000 of our Maronite parishioners who attended the Convention from all over the US, listen to  spiritual discussions, and participate in enriching events.
 There were a number of highlights on the first official day of the Convention. We were able to listen to Dr. Charles Elachi, who currently works for NASA in the Jet Propulsion Team, about the current initiatives underway with space exploration. A beautiful insight for me was the connection that Dr. Elachi made between faith and science. Often many people believe faith and science to be at odds with each other. Dr. Elachi commented that by admiring the vastness of our cosmos he recognizes the hand of our awesome creator God. 

 Also on the first day, we had the great privilege of attending the evangelical concert of Lebanon’s great Christian singer, Joumana Mdawar, who reduced many in the audience to tears by her strong faith, radiant joy and sweet angelic voice.

Throughout the several days of the Convention, we also had the opportunity to attend and participate in events with our Maronite Young Adults (MYA), including Theology on Tap (ToT), and the MYA lunch with Bishops Gregory Mansour and Elias Zaidan, and other clergy. 

Another highlight on the second day of the Convention was listening to inspirational Maronite speaker, Rachel Muha. Rachel is a native Maronite of Ohio who was sharing the emotional and heart-wrenching story of how her son was brutally murdered at the young age of 19, and how God gave her the grace to forgive her son’s two murderers. Rachel discovered in the trial of her son’s murderers that these two men both had severe substance abuse problems for quite some time and came from impoverished families which showed them no love. This spurred Rachel on to found a not-for-profit establishment now known as the “Run the Race” Club in Ohio. The “Run the Race” Club is open to all underprivileged children that come from difficult family situations and broken homes, and are given the opportunity to have some fun and, most importantly, are shown a lot of much needed love. God bless her endeavors!

At the Closing Banquet of the NAM Convention, we were able to congratulate the winner of this year’s Golden Massabki Award, Therese Abi Habib, a parishioner of Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York, and listen to famous Lebanese singer, Tony Kiwan.

May God bless the efforts and work of all those involved in this year’s Convention. It was a great success. We look forward to seeing you all next year in San Francisco, God willing!