Keeping Dreams alive in the Diaspora! It’s Not Easy
People leave their motherland with a blank idea of what to expect once they arrive to the host country. The silence in the heart as one seats on a seat number of a plane reflects the utter mute of the mind as past experiences and life begin to fade away. It is the most nerve wrecking silence in the life of an immigrant. Leaving a familiar environment with family, dreams and aspirations to whatever is muting!
I remember arriving at Trinity College and settling in a dorm suite with four total strangers. The only thoughts were of the past life as a radio pastor and nothing on what the future in Deerfield, Illinois held for me. Then the roommates decided that I needed a guide into the Americas by inviting me to join them to what they called Taco Bell. I woke up and they drove to this ‘restaurant’ and stood behind the counter. Each of them ordered whatever and I was left standing there staring at the menu display on the wall. They noticed by blankness and one of them came over to help. “What do you want to eat.”? He enquired. “ I don’t know. What is all this stuff?” I enquired innocently. “You have never seen a taco?” He asked me. I thought to myself, “From where, Kijabe?”
He ordered some stuff and asked me to pay. I was a Kenyan and if you ask me to go for dinner, you pay. But that was not the case. This was a new territory with a strange culture! They invited me for dinner and each paid for self and expected me to do the same. I did not have any cash with me. This experience told me not to expect my cultural heritage to have meaning in this new ‘home’. I was scared that abandoning my cultural heritage would result in the evaporation of my dreams and aspiration that brought me from ‘Kinangop’ to a suburb of Chicago. They paid for my taco and I never took an offer for dinner from an American without checking my pockets. I had to keep my cultural heritage within a new culture and life.
It is not easy therefore to keep dreams alive especially when they are based on a ‘Kinangop’ cultural reference. That is the reason why it is always inspiring to behold an immigrant who has not lost their youth full dreams and divine callings in a strange culture that seeks to erode all un-American dreams!
Listening to Miriam Musau preach on The Next Thing radio show via www.pinnacleofpraiseshow.com is inspiring. Miriam was part of the crew at Bibilia Husema Studios in Kijabe back in the 80s. She hosted programs like Sunday Music and Singing I Go which broadcast on Kenya Broadcasting co-corporation (KBC). She dreamed of continuing Christian Broadcasting in her life, but Diaspora called and she got into the chase for the American dream.
Miriam and her family moved to United States in 2001 and the next 10 years she was a soccer mom. After her last child could drive, She became one of the founders of Ladies Breakfast Fellowship International (www.ladiesbreakfastfellowship.com). The purpose was to Fellowship, Connect and Empower women who are 18 years and above from all nations!
During her second year US anniversary, Miriam connected with Rev. Beatrice Ndura of Pinnacle of Praise. Rev. Beatrice launched a 24hour online radio and invited Miriam to start her own weekly radio show. In the fall of 2016 ‘The Next Thing’ Radio Show went on air. The radio show is there to encourage those who maybe in situations of despair and hopelessness, which makes a person feel like there is nothing they can do to change their position. The Next Thing message is, don’t just remain in one position, do the next thing and if not able to do it yourself ask for assistance. God calls us all to Go. This means to always seek Him to know where and how to serve Him for His glory in “The Next Thing.”
Miriam is a certified minister with the Assemblies of God and is currently serving with Christ is The Answer Ministries (CITAM USA) Rockville Maryland. Having worked with Miriam in Kijabe, Kenya Christian Broadcasting, she always wanted to proclaim Christ through radio. To hear her on the radio years latter is inspiring. Keeping that dream and calling is possible only when one holds tight the hand of Christ through the years, through storms and cultural darkness.
The Next Thing Radio Show airs on Mondays 9pm Eastern and on Wednesdays 1pm Eastern. You can listen by calling 641-552-5381 or via www.pinnacleofpraiseshow.com
Miriam can be reached on: [email protected]
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)
CEO BBN TV Kenya (EMG)
Diaspora Messenger Senior Columnist