Before the race started, they must have said, “whatever happens we don’t leave each other,” and some of them might have taken it literally. Could the runners still be praying for a second Ineos challenge? I wonder if they will settle on a lady to headline the race. I have also seen a blind man run a marathon with his right hand tied to the left of his guide. And another with a shirt written, “follow me for cocktails.”
The most puzzling athlete you will ever see, however, is the who one who pays the registration fee, wakes up at dawn to get to the track on time, then during the race, he cheats. He cuts corners. “For us Kenyans, it’s ingrained in us,” says Rev. Jackline Makena. If the World Council of Churches 11th Assembly was a class, Jacky, like the other stewards, would be the class monitor who writes down the names of noisemakers. Most monitors in Kenya had typical names like Jacky.
But Jacky doesn’t care much about races. Kenyans can cheat all they want. The people she cares about are the delegates and participants attending the assembly. Together with the other stewards, she talks, eats, drinks, and focuses her entire energy in making sure they don’t cut wrong corners or miss plenary and home group sessions by failing to locate the right rooms, or even taking the wrong tram – something I thought was incredibly amazing. How did the stewards, within the short time, master the entire Karlsruhe tram network? Even Jacky with her down-to-earth height!
But all the stewards look the same when you think about it. They’re all youthful and almost the same height. They’re all energetic and a mirror of solutions. They all have very white teeth. They all wear those beautiful steward T-shirts with different colors every day. I wonder what the color selection represented. Do various denominations have representative colors? Or did they reflect the various continents represented at the assembly? No? Was it about beauty and nature or simply random selection? I could list all the stewards by name, but I served as a young communicator. Another time someone will tell our story. It’s exactly a month since I travelled to the assembly. This time last month, I was ready for take-off. I look back and with all the memories created, I miss the stewards.
Any matter. Jackline Makena’s job—apart from being a steward at the assembly—is to call people to worship. A youthful reverend. So, when you see a steward at the next assembly, just shout, “Jacky, is this the right tram to the assembly place?” and she will smile. WCC stewards always smile.