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Missionary Spotlight: Get to Know Louise Ni

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Louise Ni is a caretaker. “I have always taken care of everyone else and put myself last,” said Louise. “When I first visited OHI, the classes on self-care were very eye-opening to me. I thought a 3-month stay as a missionary would give me the opportunity to learn more about myself. I am so grateful for all that I have learned and all the different people I have met as a missionary here at OHI.”

Louise has worked in the high-powered world of advertising and marketing for many years. “I was always tired, with never enough energy to get me through the day with my busy schedule,” said Louise. “My doctor wanted to put me on medication for high cholesterol, but I wanted to find a way to lower it naturally. My friend suggested that the OHI diet might be able to help with that, so I decided to give it a try. I admit that the first few days of my first stay I felt weak during the juice cleanse, but that completely turned around and I was bursting with energy by Friday. It was so wonderful to feel vibrant again! I also realized I like the taste of raw vegetables. Coming from an Asian background where most food is cooked, I seldom eat raw vegetables. After three days of juicing, with my palate cleansed I could taste each vegetable. The raw vegetables have so much flavor I don’t need any dressing to enjoy a big plate of greens. OHI taught me how to have fun creating yummy raw food and desserts, and I am now inspired to create as many raw dishes as possible.

That first two-week stay was so motivating that I wanted to return to continue my wellness journey. Overall, I’ve been a guest at OHI eight times. The program is all about body, mind, and spirit, but when I would come as a guest, I found it difficult to work on all three aspects at once. That’s why I decided to apply to the missionary program. I wanted to focus all my efforts on each aspect of myself one at a time. It has really given me a whole new outlook on how my body heals, how my thoughts impact my wellness, and how food connects with my spirituality.”

The one aspect of the program that Louise first found challenging was opening up and being vulnerable in front of others. “I am usually somewhat reserved,” said Louise. “The first time I came as a guest, I found it difficult to open up. But I was so encouraged by the other guests and facilitators that by the fourth day I felt comfortable enough to share my thoughts, feelings, and goals with everyone. They were all so kind and encouraging! OHI is such a safe place where no one judges you and people just want to help you be the best person you can be. I love the Friday Testimonials where I hear so many inspiring stories from the guests. And the Release Ceremony on Wednesday is always very powerful, too. As a guest, I was so grateful for the kindness and support of others when opening up to them. Now, as a missionary, I can put my caretaker hat back on and help each of them open up. Week after week, I get to meet so many wonderful people, and that is truly a gift. I thought being a missionary meant I would be able to help guests make the most of the OHI program, but the truth is that I learn a great deal from the guests as well. Forming strong friendships with people in such a short amount of time was a wonderful surprise to me. When guests ask me what made me want to be an OHI missionary, I tell them that I feel a sense of serenity as soon as I enter the gate. The nutritious live food provides me with so much energy. The classes inspire me with so much new knowledge. The facilitators comfort me in ways that I never knew I needed. And I am now friends with guests from so many different parts of the world. OHI is a positive, encouraging environment that I have never found anywhere else. It is my honor to introduce new guests to this wonderful hideaway and all the knowledge to be found here.”

After all the time Louise has spent at OHI as both a guest and a missionary, she had one piece of advice for those considering a stay here. “Allow OHI to reeducate you every time you visit,” said Louise. “Don’t get overwhelmed at the idea of incorporating a raw plant-based diet at home. Incorporate when you can, and then come back to OHI for more knowledge. It will always be here to welcome you home.”

Our entire OHI for Life Body-Mind-Spirit Program – including our classes, diet, and community fellowship – supports all dimensions of wellness. Remember, wellness is a life-long pursuit.  Strive for balance, control what you can (diet, exercise, stress), and surround yourself with supportive care for the rest of it.  May the changes you make to your wellness habits change your life for the better! 

Thinking about applying for OHI’s Missionary Program? Call us (800) 588-0809.