The Amazing Race: An Open Letter to the Dallas Kenyan Community
A Native American proverb says with all things and in all things, we are relatives. And don’t you ever feel like that sometimes about people you meet along your path in life.
I have gained a greater appreciation for the individuals each special in their own way that God has brought along my path. I love what Jimmy Carter once said, that our individual fates are linked; our futures intertwined; and if we act in that knowledge and in that spirit together, as the Bible says: “we can move mountains.”
Well, it felt like we had moved a mountain on Saturday, April 30th . Where a community came together to rally behind a cause, a cause that was started by six extraordinary and selfless women. Women I had never met before but who have now earned a special spot in my very grateful heart. Here’s to Lucy McKenzie, Jane Nyaga, Caroline Mbithi-Dey, Pastor Eva Mwaura, Grace Kungu and Rose Njeri. They have taught me that each of us must rededicate ourselves to serving the common good. They have taught me that with teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. And they have also taught me the meaning of caring enough to take action. I call them kindness advocates who upon viewing a newsclip on ABC channel 8 prime time about a Kenyan girl who flew to Dallas in search for a miracle, they knew in their heart of hearts that they could not simply just sit back and do nothing. Therein came a sisterhood reminiscent with what Hellen Keller meant when she said ‘alone we can do so little but together we can do so much’.
In a world where evil abounds and darkness lurks around every turn, good deeds and the people who do them are often overlooked. Or even derided. Well, I choose to name the kindness advocates each by name. Everyone who made April 30th a success. Here’s another salute to Jackie Karanja, Grace Mwangi, Noel McKenzie, Lloyd Nyaga, Pastor Mwaura, Robin ‘Nyakio’ Roberson and Alex Karundu, Chairman of Kenya Diaspora Advisory Council (KDAC). Others are Anthony Jambo Karanja, Mosey and Collins Karuoya for capturing the day’s events so beautifully. To the Directors of Powered to Move, Mike and Sharyn King, a connection so divine that helped to make my 5km race so seamless and smooth. Not forgetting a whole lot of fun too.
And so on that cold Saturday morning that marked just the perfect weather for the walk/run, a community came together to support one of their own. Human beings are really part of the whole, called ‘universe’, a part only limited in time and space. The energy and enthusiasm was palpable in the over 300 strong Dallas Kenyan community as they trickled in bright and early. Verve, oomph, drive and a unified determination underscored by a common nationality thousands of miles away from home. Ceaselessly and tirelessly in a sense widening the circle of compassion to embrace a worthy cause. It illustrated how when all members of a community pull together for a united cause, the power becomes unlimited. What they create is something remarkable. How do I know this? Because if they didn’t come together, nothing would happen.
And the common denominator here was love, God’s love. And are we not instructed to love all God’s creation, the whole of it; to love every ray of God’s light! Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. God’s love is a gift to us; it’s in us, but we need to release it to others through words and actions. Left dormant, it will stagnate like a pool of water with no outlet. I John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
I pray that the Kenyan community in Dallas may hold as one like a clenched fist because with unity comes strength. Support one another, care for one another, uplift one another and improve one another. Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone now is it? So let me thank everyone who came out on that day to support me. The men and women, boys and girls alike.Remember that kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. My prayer is may it return to you a hundred fold.
By Jane Mwangi. Jane is a Kenyan journalist who was left paralyzed after being shot by gangsters in Nairobi in 2015. She is currently in Dallas, Texas receiving physical therapy in hopes of walking again. S