The Words of the Nicholls Family
Yeon Ah nim, wife of Hyo Jin Moon
It is already 14 years since John and I first committed ourselves to the responsibility of Abel National Messiah for and within Nepal. I think the last testimony we wrote was for year 7 or 8 when we were blessed with our daughter Sophia. Our early years were ones of adventure, challenge, and many tears, to help establish a spiritual and physical foundation for the Unification Movement. in the only Hindu Kingdom in the world, a nation where True Fathers' theme of "Absolute Sexual Ethics" carries a powerful message alongside the almost subliminal worship of a man and woman's sexual organ (Shiva linga), images that can be seen at many neighborhood temples as well as prominent temples around and outside the capital of Kathmandu.
Little did we know that our mission would parallel the uprising of a Maoist counter-revolution that challenged the failed attempts of other political parties to establish a Democratic government, contributed to the deaths of 15,000 people and would eventually call for and realize the abolishment of the 500 year old Monarchy. Nor did we realize that one young college student who attended the first seven day workshop we presided over during our first year in Nepal -- and who we chose to invest personal time in with encouragement, love and guidance for six years as he developed his life of faith before becoming national leader -- would suddenly become elected to Nepal's new Constituent Assembly as a member of government in May of 2008.
It was one month after we returned to Nepal on April 1, 2008 that the newly registered Nepal Family Party won the last seat of the new government, a true miracle in this age of Cheon Il Guk. We had spent the previous 3½ years in England to find some stability with our 1-year old daughter, raise money, and receive medical attention leading to John's stomach operation in December, 2007. Four months later, we were packing our bags once again, this time, more reluctantly, yet with the determination to follow God's call and do our very best to 'fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith' as St. Paul encourages us.
Returning to Nepal at 50 and 52 years old took some adjustment internally and externally but we persevered with God's help and some financial support from the Nepal Church which our conscience allowed due to John having established the MFT in Nepal and our continuous personal investment (including financial) for 10 years. Within the first 40 days, John was choking from asthma during the hottest and dustiest month breathing in Kathmandu's pollution and didn't think he would survive it. My spinal arthritis wouldn't allow me to sleep on the coconut fiber mattresses we were used to. Then I found a lump in my breast (for the third time) but decided I would pray it away and it finally disappeared after 6 months.
We invested in a new sprung mattress and John's asthma suddenly improved. However, a few months later I developed a minor ear infection that was misdiagnosed by an unqualified doctor, leading to the need for an operation to drain the infection from my inner ear, an experience that I would never like to repeat and that has had after effects. (However, don't let that put you off visiting Nepal! Several groups and individual 2nd generation from USA have visited Nepal to participate in service / pure love education activities. Nepal Unification Movement has several orphanages as well as a school that can accommodate anyone interested in a service activity combined with trekking opportunity that we can be contacted about.)
We had promised God to stay at least 5 months on a tourist visa and at the end of August (2008) had a showdown with the spirit world. As I'm sure many missionaries have experienced, we felt unappreciated, unwanted, unsettled and questioned whether we were becoming a burden to the Nepal Church. John was trying for a business visa and due to the new Maoist government, it looked hopeless. The CARP center where we had been staying was closing down and although we were offered financial support to find our own flat, we hadn't received final confirmation and needed to give three months rent in advance the following day.
I prayed with tears for God and spirit world to show us that we should continue to fight the spiritual battle to stay in Nepal; otherwise we would return to England. I asked that John be given a one year business visa (and not only three months) and for Headquarters to confirm that we could pick up our rent money the following morning. Shortly after my prayer, John called to say that he was suddenly given a one year business visa. At the same time, the land line phone rang. It was from Headquarters confirming our request for rent payment. Although one hurdle had been overcome, there were many more to follow.
As we continue to be the only elder blessed family in Nepal to fulfill a parental role and continuously invest in the development of life of faith for young members, especially in Blessing preparation and second generation as well as Blessed family education, we find it difficult to separate from the needs of our Nepalese members, no matter how many times we decide that enough is enough and it is time to return to Mother England. It's a struggle we face daily and discussed with our continental director who, naturally leaves the decision in our hands, and recently had our financial support cut in half due to difficult economic situation and yet we cannot seem to find God's encouragement to let go. Our love for God and True Parents have kept us from giving up, but the insecurity of our home life and future with a young child is quite a stressful challenge, despite the best part of Nepal -- sunny days! We are returning to England to try to raise money in order to return to Nepal at least until the end of 2012, that is, if our health and financial situation permits.
With sacrifice comes blessing -- our highlight at the end of last year was a visit to Nepal from Hyo Jin Nim's wife, Yeon Ah Nim, together with a group of Korean ladies including WFWP International President Moon. We hadn't expected to meet Yeon Ah Nim personally, but her group suddenly turned up at our Headquarters when our family happened to be there, together with other Nepalese leaders and staff. After a brief formal welcome in the meeting room, she was outside shaking hands with everyone. John and I slowly moved in to shake her hand when she turned toward me and almost leaped at me with a great bear hug. Wow! What a burst of God's love! She's a beautiful woman -- spiritually and physically and it will be my unforgettable experience if we're not able to continue in Nepal.
We also shared with her our love for Hyo Jin Nim and experience with him. Likewise, for John, there was an experience which he will not forget -- besides having a video recording of it! After many years without practice, he was asked to perform at a function organized by Nepal WFWP at a fancy hotel and sitting right in front of him was Yeon Ah Nim, together with President Moon and daughter of the former Korean President Park. John used the backup music from Eric Clapton's 'Tears in Heaven' and after several days of practice, sang it beautifully, moving everyone's heart for an encore. Even our daughter Sophia got her picture taken with two other blessed children and the students from Tongil Mudo, together with Yeon Ah Nim. It was truly a gift from God.
We plan to return to England beginning of April and are looking for a place to stay, temporarily, reasonable rent offered (preferably London). We would be grateful for any ideas or suggestions, please let us know.
God bless you all and all of your efforts in the UK , John and Ginger Nicholls