Unification News for July 2001
Testimony and Request for Help in Nepal
by John and Ginger Nicholls
Dear brothers and sisters,
As some of you know, John and I have been going to our mission country of Nepal each year for 5 years, staying for 4-10 months each time due to restrictions and the high cost of visas. This time it was the most difficult for us to leave Nepal after staying 6 months from December 2000 until May 2001 because Nepal and the community there has really become our home. As it turned out, we left on May 31, one day before the Nepalese Royal Family tragedy. (Almost the entire family was murdered.) We were deeply shocked and saddened by the tragedy and felt that somehow, the good spirit world had tried to protect the Royal Family as long as we were present in the country. It seemed that once we were gone, Satan could launch his full attack, knowing that it would devastate the heart of the Nepalese people.
When we left England in December 2000 to help with the IIFWP conference in Nepal, we gave up our job with the same company for the second year in a row. It was not an easy decision. In fact, being in our mid-40's, homeless, unable to settle in Nepal, with little money and many health problems, it seems absolutely crazy to twice give up a job that provided us with rent-free accommodation, no bills, plus a salary, when there was no guarantee that we would be given another job when we return. If we stayed at that job for just a few years, we could probably save enough money to put a down payment on an apartment, or invest in a business in Nepal or India.
So last November when we were called to come to Nepal after just working for 3 months, we had decided that we had better stay a bit longer at the job to keep on the good side of our boss for future prospects. The day we made our final decision, however, we sat down to enjoy a movie in the evening and to our surprise, a religious movie came on the screen -- yes, even in Britain! Not only was it a religious movie, but one of our favorites that we had taken a copy of to show our Nepalese members a few years before. It's called "The Song of Bernadette" about the life of St. Bernadette to whom the healing waters of Lourdes in France were revealed by Mother Mary. Besides being ridiculed and inquisitioned about her visions, even on her death bed, she received the message that despite the fact that she was chosen to reveal the healing waters, she herself would never receive healing from tumors on her legs and that she would not be able to experience joyful fulfillment in this life, but only in the life to come.
Seeing this movie again reminded us of the difficult and sacrificial path of the saints and called us to continue in our life of faith by letting go of the physical and emotional security that our hearts and bodies often ache for. It was very painful to tell our employers about our decision to leave on December 3, just prior to the busy Christmas season, when they had been so gracious to take us back after leaving the job the first time. We had to tell ourselves that the early Christians had to face the lions, while we only had to face our employer.
The result of this decision was that we were able to support the hard work of our young Nepalese members to realize a victorious IIFWP conference which "put Nepal on the map." Nepal became recognized by our CD as one of the 9 major nations in Asia. The conference was especially successful because during the 2 hour inauguration ceremony attended by 1000 people, it brought together for the first time in Nepal's struggling 10-year democracy, leaders of all the major political parties under the banner of world peace, including two former prime ministers, with prayers being given by Hindu, Buddhist, and Moslem leaders. The only one missing was the King of Nepal, who showed a positive response, but his birthday celebrations were the same week of the conference. Unfortunately, the Queen and Crown Prince also declined, which may have been the condition that could have protected the Royal Family from the tragic outcome 6 months later. The King did allow, however, one of his chief advisors to attend our conference in Washington DC in January, who returned to give a positive report as well as public testimony at an IIFWP event later organized in Nepal.
During our last month of May, we worked very hard with Nepalese members to meet and testify to 33 VIPs representing politics, religion, academics, media, and NGO's who had attended our international conferences. We asked them to agree to be on an advisory board for the Unification Movement of Nepal as preparation to receive IEF lectures. Since the Royal Family tragedy, several Nepalese members are out full force to give Father's speech in 50 cities with up to 500 people in attendance. It is a good time to feed the Nepalese people with the ideal of TP to give hope where theirs had been crushed.
Therefore, we are not deterred by the tragic event, nor by Maoist activists in the country, nor by the recommendations of the British and American embassies to steer clear of Nepal. Instead, we have felt pressure from within to return to Nepal as soon as possible. Our physical mind, however, continues to struggle with the need for security and financial stability. When it seemed that our former employer had a new vacancy for a good job, two weeks after we arrived in England, we started making plans to commit ourselves for 2-3 years to save money for the long-term thinking this was God's blessing. However, one week later, when we were told that the former employees changed their mind about leaving their job, we decided that we would return to Nepal if another job had not surfaced within a few months. (Ironically, our job had been managing a hotel for refugees and the homeless.) Because we have to get new passports, it gives us the opportunity to return to Nepal in this year and remain another 5 months into 2002.
We are grateful for the Blessed families who have let us stay with them or helped in some way, both in England and last year during our visit to America where Ginger was able to see True Father for the first time in 10 years. In this way, we feel that God is trying to succeed to build the foundation in Nepal not only through our combined efforts within Nepal, but through the support of members in Britain and in America. In fact, the mission itself is becoming much more than we first anticipated. To take on the nation of Nepal as NM was more than enough for our small faith, heart, and physical limitations. We often compared Nepal to India and concluded that had we been responsible for India, we would probably have given up long ago. However, as our foundation in Nepal grew from 1 center to 10 centers, and from 1 full time member to 70 full time members, we began to sense God's suffering heart concerning the greater need of the 1 billion people in India.
With Nepal in the position of the younger brother of the Hindu world, we began educating Nepalese members to feel responsible to help India and as a way of elevating their consciousness beyond their own nationalism. Whenever we saw poor Indian people in Nepal, they were always much thinner than Nepalese. In fact, we've learned that the greatest percentage of malnourished people in the world live in India, yet the middle class of India is larger than the entire middle class of Europe. Therefore, we began to see the vast 'continent' of India as a place where Nepalese members could expand their MFT training and in so doing, invest their naturally warm hearts to melt those of the Indian people. This would hopefully contribute to the economic needs of our Nepalese movement, as well as assist in the development of a membership foundation for India.
Despite the efforts of many UC missionaries and NM's to India, it has been very difficult to establish a strong core membership foundation, although the VIP foundation is quite good. We also acknowledge the incredible efforts of David and Patricia Earle in England to establish an orphanage school in Hyderabad, with help from RYS. Unfortunately, none of the NM's for India, however, are able to work in India, and at present, there are only two native center members in the Delhi HQ, besides an established foundation of home members in Kerala with some pioneering in Madras.
As difficult as it may be, when we determine to go ahead with inspiration and heartfelt concern for others, God will work with us. Soon after we returned to Nepal this year, we learned that our CD Mrs. Kim had asked permission from TF to allow David and Amala McLackland, NM in Bahrain, to return to India where they had been missionaries for 7 years prior to the NM Providence. She also asked them to work together with Nepal. John and David, both Englishmen, had made a strong base of friendship 5 years ago back in my hometown in Minnesota while working together in a mall for the Christmas season. We knew that we were destined to visit India sometime, but now that Amala was back in Delhi, with David and their three children joining her in April, we felt motivated by friendship alone to visit Delhi, with the hope of sharing our vision of how Nepalese members could contribute to the Providence of India.
God continued to link the two nations together when Sabitri, our spiritual granddaughter from Nepal was matched last January to a Christian brother from Kerala in India. Until now, this match has been the first successful Blessing between Nepal and India, and Sabitri became the first sister to fulfill a 40 day MFT condition in Delhi with temperatures rising to 45 degrees C. (119 degrees F.) Despite the heat which gave her fainting spells, she was determined to show her husband that in the Providence for Restoration, Hindu women must challenge the cultural constraints of being confined to housework duties and help to elevate the social consciousness of others.
We had decided to go to Delhi ahead of the Nepalese members who agreed to join the first 40 day MFT in Delhi, together with two India members. That gave us a chance to share our vision together with the McLacklands. Another Blessed family, Umberto and Marilyn Angelucci, NM for Afghanistan, had been living in Delhi for the last 5 years devoting themselves to a WFWP school for Afghan refugees and at times supporting the Delhi HQ. It was such a blessing to meet together in Delhi as 3 NM couples, sharing God's concern for India and finding new strength through our unity to consider the momentous task of building a foundation for the restoration of India.
One courageous and sacrificial Nepalese brother, Deepak Ghimire, arrived on the scene several days later completely exhausted with his spiritual son and one other brother, the first 3 Nepalese to join the 40 day MFT (leading to 120 days) and be an example for the India brothers. After a 12 hour bus ride to the border of India, they had to endure another 12 hour train ride to Delhi standing up for lack of seats, despite getting stomach sickness on the way. However, their ordeal was only beginning. First, they helped to move furniture from the old HQ to the new HQ. We stayed for several more days at the Delhi HQ, helping them to adjust to the new situation where they would be receiving ongoing internal education from Amala, in her position as assistant to CD and leader of the India region. For John and me, the heat became unbearable, as electricity cuts stopped the fans. We tried to keep cool by taking showers, but then the drains blocked up. Still, we had to be positive and joyful to encourage our Nepalese members, who were just beginning a new course of indemnity. We love our Nepalese members as our own children and for the first time, could feel True Father's deep heart of concern and the tears he shed when he had to send members on the path of indemnity and suffering.
Since April 10, the Nepal/Indo MFT has continued in Delhi with hope to branch out to establish an MFT center in Madras later in the year. I say hope, because although new Nepalese members are going to Delhi each month and no one has given up, it has been very difficult to break through. The MFT is just barely covering their expenses and language is a problem. If it is possible, John and I will try to stay for some periods of time in India to support and give guidance to a branch MFT center when it is established outside of Delhi. India is so big, and there are so few of us elder members, that we have to spread ourselves as best as we can to help God and TP to restore the nation of India. We have offered our childless situation as an indemnity condition for the liberation of 22 million Nepalese and 1 billion people of India. But we need help to assist in the financial needs of God's work.
If anyone would be interested to help by buying our Nepalese/Tibetan silver jewelry for fundraising or wholesale/retail purposes, John has an extensive catalog plus samples. He also has catalogs of other Nepalese handicrafts. One of our older members, Steve Clark, has been selling some of our Nepalese jewelry at small town market stalls like Bury St. Edmonds in Norfolk for 4 years. We are also trying to reduce our tourist visa cost of $50 each per month to $10 each per month by trying to get a journalist visa. We would need to be acknowledged as a correspondent for a magazine or newspaper (paid or unpaid) and obtain a press pass. (Unfortunately Washington Times is unable to do this) If anyone has any suggestions or contacts, we would be most grateful. Just as important, we need your prayers of support for strength to keep going, and for the 1.22 billion people of Nepal and India. Thank you, and may God guide all of you and your families at this exciting time in God's Providence.
John and Ginger Nicholls, 86 Tamworth Lane Mitcham, Surrey CR4 1DA UK. Tel: +44-208-648-4661. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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