Mennonite World Review LogoMennonite World Review

Last updated November 24.

May 17, 2010 issue

EMU runner a model of resolve

By James De Boer Eastern Mennonite University

HARRISONBURG, Va. — When Eastern Mennonite University junior Richy Bikko of Nairobi, Kenya, went to the national meet in his first year running cross country, it was a surprise.

Richy Bikko

Richy Bikko — Photo by Wayne Gehman

To everyone except his first-year head coach, Matt Dougherty, that is.

“In the back of my mind I thought Richy could make it to nationals,” Dougherty said. “It’s hard to explain, but I just had a feeling.”

Although Bikko had inexperience going against him, the native Kenyan had a key ingredient working for him — a strong resolve.

“You think about a lot of things over long runs,” Bikko said. “You think about quitting, and you have to get that out of your mind. If you have a weak resolve, you probably won’t do your best.”

Bikko has a history of strong resolve. In August 1998, when he was in third grade, terrorists detonated a bomb outside of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. Bikko’s father, who worked in a neighboring bank, was killed by the blast. Two weeks after the family buried his father, his aunt died.

The losses left the young Bikko feeling alone. He spent two years trying not to think about the paternal void before finally filling it.

“The reason I went to school was just to not be alone,” he said. “Being with my friends helped me not be alone and not think about it. When I was in fifth grade, two years after the bombing, I gave my life to the Lord to have him be my dad.”

Bikko’s mother also had to deal with her response to the losses, which brought her to EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience program.

She entered the graduate program in 2005, and Bikko and his younger brother joined their mother in Harrisonburg when their visas cleared.

continued on next page »

Comment on the article EMU runner a model of resolve

Please keep comments civil. MWR editors reserve the right to remove any comment. When posting a comment, you agree to the MWR Comments Policy. Name and comment will be posted; commenters are strongly encouraged to give their full name. Email address is for follow-up only and will not be made public.

  • HTML tags are not permitted in comments and will be removed. Markdown syntax may be used for emphasis, blockquotes and links.

MWR Classifieds

Job listings and other offerings

This Week’s Front Page

image of March 17, 2014 front page Download a PDF version of page one of MWR's March 17, 2014 print edition.

© 2012, Mennonite World Review Inc. | All rights reserved.

129 W 6th St Newton KS 67114 | 800-424-0178 | For reprints, write editor (at) mennoworld.org

Made with Django. thanks to dirt circle. icons by famfamfam.

Loading