Articles from the August 1997 Unification News
The Rebirth of a Nation: Nepal
by Ginger Nicholls -Katmandu, Nepal
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "I have a dream." I can see the day when all of the world's children shall be lovingly fed, clothed, and able to receive an education. Together, my husband and I share a dream to realize the rebirth and development of a nation whose ancestors have been waiting patiently for the providence of National Messiah. This quiet endurance characterizes the Nepalese people as they struggle to live among rugged mountain terrain. As the only Hindu Kingdom in the world, Nepal's treasure lies in the magical beauty of the greatest mountain range in the world - the Himalayas.
As our flight descended into Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, in January, l997, I caught clear sight of the mountain range. I became overwhelmed with tears and an embrace of God's love. All my fears and doubts concerning our new destiny as national messiahs to Nepal were melted by an incredible sense of peace and reassurance. It was going to be OK.
I should begin by explaining that I had adapted my lifestyle over the last l0 years to deal with osteoarthritis (affects the spinal joints). This condition I had developed one year after leaving UTS as a Div. graduate (l986). With my husband's help, I maintained various public missions, however, any prolonged sitting or standing resulted in extreme back, shoulder and neck pain.
Therefore, when we heard of the NM providence, we quickly dismissed ourselves as unworthy, unqualified, and physically limited. Besides, after moving 8 times in 6 years, we finally had found a place in the British Church where we felt at peace and had a vision to create a language school.
However, without realizing it, God had been quietly preparing us through various difficulties until the moment when He was ready to call us--quite unexpectedly. Consequently, when Heaven's call came and we were asked by the British Church to join the Aug. l, l996 Chung Pyung 40-day seminar, it was difficult to say no. It must have been my ancestors who caused me to choke with emotion when the fax arrived. I think they realized the dispensational value of the NM mission more than I did.
Still, I had little confidence that I could go to a third world nation and not be more of a burden than a help with my physical limitations. The overnight flight to Korea and 40-day seminar was daunting enough, but Tr. Father was asking national messiahs to dedicate the rest of their life to their mission country (plus two generations!).
Fortunately, there was another sister in my region who was determined to join this new providence who had more serious health problems than I did. Petra and Philip Hill (NM to Slovenia) had volunteered despite here diabetes and related complications. In fact, out of l3 Blessed couples living in our region of SW England, 5 families had agreed to become NM's, and both husband and wife of each couple faithfully attended the first 40-day seminar for western NMs despite leaving children and money problems behind.
As to be expected, I struggled immensely due to the tight schedule and my health situation. Most of the 40 days I had a chest infection and although I was allowed to use a mat on the floor for my back pain, I couldn't participate in prolonged clapping without causing my shoulders to seize up. I kept thinking how crazy I was to have agreed to attend the NM 40-day seminar. In all honesty, I just wanted to go home. When it came time to break the 7-day fast, I had lost so much weight that I looked and felt like someone in a refugee camp.
Before we had left England to attend the 40-day seminar, I had made a pact with God. If my health was restored by attending Chung Pyung, I would go anywhere in the world. My husband and I also entertained hope that our infertility would be solved as we had been trying unsuccessfully for 7 years to conceive. Previous to that, we had waited 7 years to be re-blessed after l982 broken blessings. When it came time to decide whether we should participate in the 'Korean lottery', we took a leap of faith and John chalked his mark on the top line. I'll never forget that moment as we listened in anticipation to receive our mission country... NEPAL! I felt immediate shock at hearing a third world country, but my dear husband had only positive words of encouragement. "Nepal has beautiful mountains . . . It's a peaceful country." I united with my Abel mind and began to feel hopeful about the future.
In the last days of the seminar, I was given a chance to see Dae Mo Nim personally. Even so, I left Korea without any apparent physical change to my back pain, possibly due to a mechanical cause. However, my experience with her gave me confidence that God believed in me, even if I found it hard to believe in myself.
A few days after returning to England, my parents and younger brother arrived for a visit. Our hospitality toward them set the stage for us to ask if we could stay in my parents' home for several months while preparing to go to Nepal. Another national messiah, Dennis Pearson (NM to France), had advertised at Chung Pyung for mall managers to work with his business over the holiday season in Minnesota. John and I were fortunate to work with Dennis for 2 l/2 months in my hometown of Minneapolis. to raise money. Interestingly, we had worked at the same mall 7 years previously raising money to move to England. By the end of the season, Dennis (and partner Scott Pankow) had made sacrifices to their business to help finance at least 6 or 7 national messiah couples.
When we first arrived in Nepal, we soon came to appreciate the difficulties and indemnity paid by those who had come before us. Rainier, a German missionary from l975, had dedicated l7 years trying to establish a foundation in Nepal. Before family problems finally caused him to leave, in l992, he had prepared the first Blessed Nepali member, Ram Prasad Pokharel (l989) to become a student of UTS. Shortly before Ram was to leave Nepal, he was murdered by thieves on a visit to his village. His brother, along with 5 other Nepalese members received the Blessing in l992, and his brother took over national leadership.
The first previously married couple were also blessed in l992. Having two daughters previous to receiving the Blessing, Mrs. Rabindra Baile gave birth to the first blessed child, a son. Sadly to say, the baby died soon after, and Mrs. Baile would not be able to have any more children.
Japanese missionary sisters arrived in l994 and without knowing any English or Nepali, they struggled to not only lay a foundation for WFWP, but they decided to help the few young Nepalese members build the church foundation. A new Nepali member, Dr. Kishor Rajbandari, arrived in l995 with his wife and two children (having joined in Germany). He soon became national leader, but after the Blessing in l995, family problems caused him to step down, and a Japanese sister courageously took on the task of national leader.
Fundraising had not been firmly established in Nepal as a means of financial support and there were no church businesses to rely on. Only CARP had been registered, but since l994, Japanese sisters were providing all of the financial support of the church. Nepalese members began to rely on financial aid from Japan. Without substantial leadership to raise members, unfortunately, in l996, the five l992 Blessed members all left Nepal to live with their wives in Japan and Malaysia. Furthermore, out of 24 new blessings of single members in l995, by the time we arrived in Jan. l997, l9 were broken blessings (most of them were Nepalese brothers rejected by Philipino sisters).
It had been very difficult for most of them to go against their Hindu tradition and accept a match from True Parents (rather than marry within their own caste, selected by their own parents). Some were made outcasts or severely persecuted by their family, especially after the marriage broke down. Therefore, our first priority, after arriving in Nepal was to re-educate and counsel Blessed members, which in this case, our own experience of broken Blessing proved helpful.
Both our Japanese and Korean NM had arrived in Nepal at the end of l996 to help with the FFUWP campaign, but they had to return to their countries soon after we arrived. Despite having very limited experience as a leader, my husband soon took over national leadership responsibility. It always takes time to gain the trust of members, especially when there are old resentments and misunderstandings to clear up. We experienced this first hand.
The Nepalese membership consisted mainly of young brothers who affiliated themselves with CARP--whether they were a student or not. CARP had been registered as a non-government organization. with eleven Nepalese board members following legal procedures. However, legal procedure and heavenly restoration are two different things, causing the members to have a more 'horizontal' understanding of U.C. membership rather than a 'vertical' understanding regarding the Cain/Abel relationship. In fact, most Blessed members did not understand the meaning of a foundation of substance.
When my husband felt things were getting out of hand with regard to members taking too much subjective control of CARP property, he voiced his concern to our Nepali church leader, who in turn locked the CARP office without informing members of the situation. The result of this action led to a group of Nepalese members taking over the Nepalese church leader's house and demanding that my husband and I leave the country--or they would destroy the property.
Fortunately, with the help of our Japanese sisters, who felt responsible for mistakes they had made in the past, the Nepalese members finally cooled down. My husband made a public apology, but maintained his position that our community is not simply run as a democracy, but with a serious set of restoration principles.
Our five month stay in Nepal allowed us to have such a wide range of leadership experiences that it would be impossible to describe them all. However, the overriding factor was that due to the NM providence (based on True Parents' victorious foundation), we seemed to be able to make progress much more quickly than during previous years.
One of our major prayer concerns was how to secure a longer visa and create financial stability. God soon answered our prayers when a l995 Blessed couple gave us an opportunity to co-found an extension of their established primary-secondary school, Holy Vision. Mr. Godural, a Nepali Hindu, wanted to establish a "model" Unification school that would not only help us to solve visa and financial problems, but would seek to raise up future leaders of Nepal. Next January, I will begin teaching English part-time as well as become Vice Principle of the school. My husband will help as school counselor, but will focus more on leading the FFWPU. We managed to bless the two other Nepalese co-founders of the school--one of whom will be the Principal.
With time running out on our visas, and no clear information regarding pre-Blessing ceremonies, I quickly contacted the Philippine continental HQ of SE Asia and received inspiration to get started. On June l, we held a determination meeting at the top of Nagarkot Mountain, challenging our young Nepalese members to "save their country". Many volunteered to go out on teams with a Japanese sister to hometowns and remote villages. Before leaving Nepal on June 25, about 200 couples had received the Blessing, including many professionals and l4 SaiBaba couples we had personally witnessed to. All 200 couples participated in a formal Blessing ceremony including indemnity ceremony. Now, our small group of members were on fire!
When we left Nepal, we felt as though we were leaving our family behind. We left our heart in Katmandu, and we're anxious to return. Nepal may be a poor, undeveloped country with cows roaming the streets and the smell of garbage in the air. But we don't encounter problems such as homosexuality, divorce, and crime as we do in the West, and the future is bright with hydroelectric potential from the mountains.
We're still hoping to conceive, although at the age of 40, my health does not make me the best candidate, especially during the occasional bouts with dysentery. An offering of a Blessed child would bring a grateful joy and comfort to our hearts and make our life in Nepal complete. If this doesn't happen, there are many orphaned children waiting for loving parents.
The NM mission is not just another burden to carry. After many tearful, enduring years, it is a precious gift from God and True Parents', both for us and Nepal. I've heard there are 40 more positions waiting to be filled as Cain National Messiahs. Whoever you may be, we welcome our Cain NM with open arms. Nepal is waiting for you.
Our school in Nepal is urgently looking for short or long term British or American teachers of English who have at least a BA or BS (in any subject) with a salary provided. Contact John and Ginger Nicholls Cleeve House Seend, Melksham Wilts. SNl2 6PG England Tel/Fax: 44-l380-828-549
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