The Words of the Hanna Family
In April, Hyun-jin nim visited six countries in South and Central America -- Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Brazil. During this time he met with both political and religious leaders and shared his vision for one family under God at International Leadership Conferences.
I had a hard time sleeping the night after spending my first full day with Hyun-jin nim on his recent Latin American tour and watching him work with both dignitaries and members.
Why? Because of joy. I felt immense, almost uncontainable joy because I had just met and observed the most effective young leader I had ever seen.
From the time I was young girl, I wanted to dedicate my life to help end human suffering and help the poor of this world. In 1975, I was sent as a missionary to Latin America and have now spent most of my thirty-eight years in the Unification Movement in Latin America. Today, Latin America and the whole world are at a turning point. Things will move quickly for the good or for the bad -- there is little time to spare. Fortunately, there is a growing consensus about what needs to be done, but what is lacking is effective leadership.
On the tour, I watched Hyun-jin nim speak for two hours to a woman dignitary, the head of one of Latin America's most effective NGOs for children in extreme poverty. The meeting was going well. Just about anyone is moved by Hyun-jin nim's charm, charisma and unusual intelligence. Then, suddenly, she challenged his concept of the traditional family as an important goal, and I began to worry. This is a typical liberal challenge and not an easy one to counter. Taking time and care in a beautiful dialogue -- something like a dance -- he was able to bring her around not just to agreement but to a firm desire to support us and work with us to revive the traditional family.
I also watched him speak for two hours over breakfast with one of the most gifted leaders I have ever met -- a martial arts master who over thirty-five years has inculcated family values in twenty thousand young people he has trained. Hyun-jin nim would make a comment to him of great depth and value. The master would respond deeply and in his response Hyun-jin nim would take the conversation to another level. This went on and on. This leader has always been alone; until now he had never found another leader he could share deeply with about how to help the world.
On this same tour, I heard about how Hyun-jin nim had a meeting with a very high government official, who at the beginning of the meeting announced, "Values are not needed in government." Over an hour's time, he carefully and skillfully discussed the issue, so that at the end of the meeting this official said sincerely, "I think I have been mistaken. Values are important for governing a nation. Let's work together."
These are not mere public-relations meetings. The most important thing about Hyun-jin nim's work is that he not only inspires people with his vision of one family under God he also inspires them to take ownership of the dream themselves and partner with us in making come true what he calls "the greatest dream of all."
Hyun-jin nim has one of the best educational backgrounds to prepare him to speak to leaders around the world about social and economic problems. He has an Ivy League education with BA in History and International Relations from Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard. Most of Latin America's top leaders have also studied at the best schools in the United States. As a member of the True Family, he has also had many experiences and challenges in his life to prepare him to work successfully with people.
Another amazing thing to me was how Hyun-jin nim was able to relate to Latin Americans with ease. I was watching this closely since, I confess, it took me many years to relate well to Latin Americans. Most people need some time to be able to connect when they step into a new culture. Not Hyun-jin nim. Like his Father, he catches things about people instantly, has a warm and universal heart and a spirit that engages.
Watching Hyun-jin nim relate with the local leadership and members was also a joy. He quickly sensed what they were about and had memorable conversations with them that they will treasure forever.
Just after the tour, I participated in the Americas Summit in Washington D.C. (April 28-May 2), a distinguished gathering of Latin American and Caribbean leaders. We visited the Washington Times and heard from a very impressive young newspaper professional, John Solomon, the new editor, about his plans for the newspaper. We also heard a few important comments from Hyun-jin nim on his determination with regard to the Washington Times. Once again, afterward I felt immense joy because I knew through this extraordinary new leadership at the newspaper, the world would finally have clear, principled information about what is going on and what needs to be done to bring about a good world for all.
Our movement has the highest, most noble goals and the daily example and teachings of our True Parents. What a joy it was to be visited by a leader not only expresses the heart but is the flesh and blood of Father and Mother.
Nancy Hanna is the wife of Regis Hanna, UPF Secretary-general for Central America.