Articles From the July 1995 Unification News
My Chance to Help as True Parents visit Ecuador
by Nancy Makowski-NYC
In June, 1995 I heard that Father was going to visit Ecuador as part of his South American tour. Since I was born in Ecuador and spent my first 16 years of life there, my heart jumped with joy, but at the same time with pain because there was no way for me to go and participate in such a historical event. We do not have enough funds to do it as a family; thus, with an aching heart, I went to the prayer room and offered the situation to Heavenly Father. I had to put my feelings on the altar and forget about it in order to concentrate on my mission.
Next day, somehow, I bumped on to my spiritual father (Robert Sattinger) who offered me a cup of coffee. He told me that he had been inspired to help me. By helping me go to Ecuador, he was helping South America as a whole and therefore decided to donate the round trip ticket . This is the third time heaven shows me that if we are willing, yearning for something like going to work in another country, God can work and move mountains. I felt God's love and trust very close through this experience. Two days later, I was on a plane thinking, crying, praying for Ecuador. It had been 23 years since I left my hometown; although I tried to go back several times, before the church and after joining, somehow, it never happened. I yearned and ached to go back. But then I heard Father say that when God calls someone, he has to leave behind family, country, culture, etc. I resolved in my heart to go Jacob's course and prepared to go back to my country after being in the USA 21 years. This was a dream come true.
As the plane was landing tears ran down my cheeks; such an emotional moment, I never thought the love for one's country could be so strong. I had asked the church members from Ecuador to pick me up at the airport so that it would be Father's holy ground that I go to pray first. That's the way it happened.
The church leader told me I could go visit my family for one day before everything started, there would be no time later. I called my aunt at 11:30pm and she and my 90 year old grandmother came to pick me up. What an emotional meeting! It just happened to be one of my uncle's 63th birthday that day, so the whole family got together. I was given the floor to give my testimony since my leaving Ecuador when I was 16 years old. Of course, most of that time was church testimony including the matching and blessing. They were very curious because my parents had told them horror stories about me being in the church. I seemed too happy, full of life and excitement, married to an American, with four kids, having traveled around the world with the church, seemed to contradict the negativity they received. To narrate 23 years of life took a long time, but they listened patiently and that lead to the point of coming to Ecuador at this time. I told them that I was part of the committee which organized this special meeting with the president of Ecuador and Father and the banquet in the best hotel. I gave them invitations to the banquet and left with a sense of victory.
Coming back to the church center was another fresh and beautiful experience; all the members were younger than me spiritually and physically. They were very curious about our church in the USA and True Parents; most of them had never seen True Parents and were very eager to have an experience with them.
I was very impressed with the church leader who made so many conditions of fasting, prayer and study of Divine Principle that it attracted good spirit world and people to watch video tapes. There were only two TV's and VCR's and they were being used all the time. Eight new members, bright university students, moved into the center while I was there. One of them had just graduated from the Catholic University and was making phone calls to invite the professors to the banquet. He stayed overnight to finish his list and that's the way he ended up staying full time at the center. All the professors he invited attended the banquet. I could see the great need of a lot more equipment like more TV's, VCR's, Spanish videos, Spanish literature in general; they also need older brothers and sisters who are willing to help raise these brand new members.
But still these young members have enough faith to go out witnessing and fundraising by themselves.
The day before Father's arrival, I was really praying to be able to help at the hotel. 18 years ago, I had a dream in which I was serving Father directly in my country, but I had to keep it quiet. True Parents were supposed to arrive on June 21st, at 11:00am. And at 10:00 am I got a call from the leader's wife to come help at the hotel. There were a lot of hotel policies and security that needed to be discussed. I was very happy to follow such direction. True Parents were escorted by the police motorcade everywhere. The hotel management was so tight that they would not allow us to have our own security for Father or members in the lobby. However, the members were so eager to see True Parents that they came to see them on the street. Some sisters were able to come up and saluted True Parents in their suite. Mother liked Ecuador very much and asked what was the meaning of Oro Verde which was the name of the hotel. Antonio answered that it was because of the green bananas that were exported to the world and also because many Americans came to that hotel and brought "green gold", the green dollars. Everyone had Korean lunch prepared by the Japanese sisters. After that, Mother had asked if I could go shopping. She really liked the things that I bought and was inspired by how beautiful and cheap things were in Ecuador.
The president of Ecuador had been receiving a lot of pressure from many people. Upon our request, Noticias del Mundo sent a fax to the president asking to receive Rev. Moon because he might invest in education and perhaps in business if he likes Ecuador. The president's wife also persuaded him to meet Father. She attended the banquet and talked with Mother during the meal. Eventually, the president, Sixto Duran Ballen agreed to have a private meeting with Father at 4:00pm and the 20 minutes meeting was extended to 40. According to Antonio Betancourt, it was a very good meeting. Right after that and in the Presidential Palace, we had a press conference which most of the media attended.
To my great surprise, all the members of my family whom I invited were one hour early to the banquet and were already reading Father's speech. We had trouble with the hotel management being late for everything, but at the end, everything came out all right.
Alejandro had told me that Father wanted to finish early because he wanted to talk to the members. At this point I went to the hotel security management to beg them to allow us to have such meeting. I assured the manager that there would only be 15 people for a period of 40 minutes. When we gathered up at the suite there was a total of 65 pairs of shoes in the hall. Father spoke to the members for 3 hours because this was the seventh country that he was visiting and that was very meaningful for heaven and earth unity. Father asked how many members saw him for the first time and all of them raised their hand. Father smiled and gave a powerful, loving speech. He said the Ecuador had beautiful women! Father seemed to be happy and was beating brothers and sisters on the head right and left.
Several people from the hotel management , including the security manager who by this time was very upset towards me, heard Father's speech. Next day I really apologized to him, but he said that he liked Father's talk and was not a problem. I gave him the church's address so that he would follow up the Divine Principle tapes and perhaps to attend the blessing. After having breakfast, Father decided to visit the middle of the world, the "Equatorial line" 0 latitude. They had a wonderful time trying to take pictures which would fit the monument and True Parents at the same time. They also visited the museum and had a long prayer right in the middle of the line. While they visited the Equatorial line, I went to the airport to process passports, customs, connect to the pilots, etc.
I met Mr. Frank Carrington the chief pilot who said that it was an honor to have Rev. Moon on board and that they were being very careful because they understood how important True Parents were to us. We heard reports later from the leader saying that True Parents liked Ecuador very much and that they will come back to visit the Galapagos Islands some day.
I spent three full days with my grandmother, aunts and uncles and discussed Father's vision toward Ecuador in detail. I do not know to what extent they believe they are the True Parents but I asked them to read the speech several times and to go to the center to watch video tapes. They went out of their way to make me feel at home. They took me to all the places where I grew up and dedicated one whole day to sing songs to my husband whom they are eager to meet some day. The hardest part was to say good by again, but I honestly think this is just the beginning of an on going relationship between North and South America. I can see Father's vision for North Americans to play a key role in the spiritual and physical development of South America.
I want to thank all brothers and sisters who donated to the South American providence because that is what is covering the hotel expenses for Father to speak. Mother herself is carrying that money to help pay the hotel bill. There is no way the South American members can do it on their own in such a short period of time. Also I would like to invite all of you to come visit South America so that you can share Father's vision and hope to build the ideal nation. Even though I was born there, it wasn't until I actually visited them that I understood and felt Father's vision for South America.
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