Sri Lankan Adventure Is Answer To Prayer


Sri Lankan Adventure Is Answer To Prayer
  1. Sri Lankan Adventure Is Answer To Prayer
    thejournal-news.net
    "Jesus is a miracle worker," said Jacqui Anderson of Butler. "He took a little boy from somewhere I knew nothing about and changed my life. I never in a million years thought it would go this…
    Illinois (IL)

"Jesus is a miracle worker," said Jacqui Anderson of Butler. "He took a little boy from somewhere I knew nothing about and changed my life. I never in a million years thought it would go this far."

Her story starts more than 15 years ago, when she was a college student and attended an Avalon concert with some family and friends in Springfield. During the concert, members of the band talked about their support for an organization called World Vision, that helps children all over the world.

Anderson made her way to the foyer, where the World Vision booth was jam packed with people all the way around it. 

"I just happened to pick up a photo of the cutest little boy I'd ever seen," she said. "His mama was holding him, and the relationship just started from there."

Even though she was still in college, Anderson made the commitment to sponsor Supun, who was just three years old at the time, for $21 a month. 

"In the beginning, I just wrote one letter to him to introduce myself, because I was so busy in college," she said. 

"But sometimes I would send a little package with a T-shirt or a teddy bear. Then when I got older, I started to write more. His family has everything I have ever sent them, and I have everything they've sent to me."

She keeps all his letters in a file folder, where she can go through the notes and photos whenever she wants. Supun and his family both write and speak in Sinhala, a native language of Sri Lanka, but the letters are translated through World Vision.

Over the years, Anderson's support helped to pay for schooling, clothing, food, water and other supplies for Supun and his family. And Anderson considers them all part of her family.

"My son calls me mom, and everyone in his family calls me auntie," she said. "It melts my heart because I don't deserve any of it."

Several years ago, Anderson saw an article in the newspaper about Latter Rain Ministries and their new home at Sunshine Park in Litchfield. The photo with the article featured two men from Sri Lanka, and Anderson knew she had to meet them.

After work one night at St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, Anderson attended a revival at Latter Rain Ministries, where she had the chance to meet two missionaries named Asela and Pastor Costa.

"Asela thanked me for investing in the children of his country, and I told him it was my honor," she said. "I showed him a photo of Supun that I keep in my purse all the time. It was the very first photo I ever saw of him, even though Supun is 18 now."

Anderson asked the men if they would look through her letters, and together they went through nearly all the letters from several years of correspondence. She said they told her the letters did prove that Supun and his family had received the money she sent over the years, including extra at times for birthdays and other special occasions.

"This was proof for all the naysayers," Anderson said. "If you ever wanted to sponsor a child, this is a group that truly helps children. As a mother, I can't imagine watching your child die of hunger. I just can't."

She later found out that Supun was the longest sponsored child in his development project.

"I would never stop sponsoring a child," she said. "He's my kid."

Then one day, Anderson got a package in the mail from World Vision. She could hardly wait to open it, thinking it was a progress report with photos and other updates. Instead, it was a goodbye letter from Supun. His project had ended, and Anderson would no longer be able to support him through World Vision.

"I felt my heart break," she said. "In his goodbye letter, he thanked me for all I had done. He told me that he never had a birthday until me, and said he hoped I would always be able to help poor children like him. It made it worth all those years of support."

In her letter back to Supun, she told him that it was not goodbye, and that she would find him and that she loved him.

"And that's where my journey really began," she said.

A phone call to World Vision confirmed she would no longer be able to communicate with Supun or his family through their organization. Privacy laws meant they couldn't share his address with her or provide any other contact information to his family.

"I remember sitting down with Asela, and he told me he would find my son," she said. "So, we started the journey together."

It took three separate trips before Asela was able to locate the village where Supun lived, a remote spot outside Puttalam.

"I have every conversation recorded on my phone when we tried to find him," Anderson said.

Then, in November 2013, Asela was able to locate the village and eventually the home of Supun and his family. He drove more than four hours one way to the village for a 30-minute visit, but that short visit provided all Anderson needed to meet her son.

"I got to talk to him by Skype about a month after his visit, and it was the first time I had contact with Supun in more than three years," she said.

She decided she wanted to continue to help his family meet their needs, and began sponsoring them again, this ti…

  1. Madison County holds ninth annual Project Homeless Connect

    Riverbender.com - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 11:49 riverbender.com
    EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County will hold its ninth annual Project Homeless Connect on Tuesday. The annual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The River of Life Family Church, 3401 Continue R…
  2. Rep. Davis: Trump has tried to unify the country

    Wjbc.com - Illinois
    01.20 / 10:44 wjbc.com
    As Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th United States President on Friday, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) said he wants to see Trump try to unify the…
  3. Camanche students in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration

    Kwqc.com - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 10:30 kwqc.com
    It's a trip that normally takes place in March, but organizers moved it up this year so the students could take in the…
  4. Chamber honors city businesses

    Myjournalcourier.com - Jacksonville
    01.20 / 10:15 myjournalcourier.com
    A truck dealership, nursing home, homeless shelter and a longtime insurance businessman were honored Thursday night at the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting at Hamilton’s. Chamber President Lisa Musch spoke about the organization’s numerous activities in 2016. “The annual meeting is a time to celebrate the past year at the chamber and look…
  5. University of Illinois trustees endorse plan to increase enrollment

    Nwherald.com - (IL)
    01.20 / 07:28 nwherald.com
    CHICAGO – University of Illinois' board of trustees on Thursday endorsed an ambitious plan from the system's president to increase enrollment by nearly 15 percent at its three campuses over the next five y…
  6. Forgotten Favorites Friday Gets Wicked

    Khitschicago.cbslocal.com - Illinois (IL)
    Wilson Pickett was born in Prattville, Alabama in 1941.  As a boy, he sang  in church choirs and gospel groups.   He moved to Detroit while in his teens, then sang with the Falcons from [&…
  7. PBL girls basketball loses 50-39 to Iroquois West in SVC Tournament semifinals

    Paxtonrecord.net - Illinois
    01.20 / 06:27 paxtonrecord.net
    WATSEKA — There were few similarities between Paxton-Buckley-Loda’s first meeting against Iroquois West and Thursday’s Sangamon Valley Conference Tournament semifinal game against the same Raiders. read more…
  8. City Club of Chicago: Liberal Arts Colleges & Universities – A Hidden Resource for Chicago and Illinois

    Wgnradio.com - Chicago
    01.20 / 06:25 wgnradio.com
    January 19, 2016 Liberal Arts Colleges & Universities: A Hidden Resource for Chicago and Illinois – Donna Carroll and David Parkyn Donna Carroll Donna M. Carroll is beginning her 23rd year as President of Dominican University, a comprehensive Catholic university of 3,500 students, located 10 miles west of Chicago. She is the first lay president of the institution, which was founded in 1901 by the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. In 1997, she led the academic community through a…
  9. Illinois Sheriffs’ Association Offering Scholarships

    Wlds.com - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 06:13 wlds.com
    The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association is offering scholarships to students wishing to pursue higher education in Illinois. The ISA has offered scholarships to outstanding students since 1979. Each county in Illinois Read…
  10. LeRoy takes thriller in battle between Perry, Griffith

    Rantoulpress.com - Illinois
    01.20 / 05:25 rantoulpress.com
    FISHER — Thursday night provided a battle for the ages between Nick Perry and Zach Griffith. read m…
  11. Learning Goal Committee focuses on critical thinking

    Dailyeasternnews.com - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 05:22 dailyeasternnews.com
    The Learning Goal Committee convened to discuss their academic revision proposal. Learning Goal Committee member Karla Sanders said that the committee’s main purpose at this time is to find a way to implement the undergraduate learning goals in general education in a systematic way. The proposed 12-page document outlines how this can be achieved, Sanders […
  12. Committee discusses program elimination

    Dailyeasternnews.com - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 05:22 dailyeasternnews.com
    According to the EIU-UPI Unit A contract, the Academic Program Elimination/Reorganization Review Committee needs to receive information by Friday about each program being considered for elimination or reorganization, if it would involve the layoff of an employee. The purpose of the committee is to provide recommendations to Provost Blair Lord regarding these academic programs and…
  13. March to unite women, fight for rights

    Dailyeasternnews.com - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 05:20 dailyeasternnews.com
      Women from across the nation will come together to send a message to President-elect Donald Trump and his administration during the Women’s March on Washington Saturday. The Champaign County Young Democrats will echo the same message 11 a.m. Saturday during its own march from West Side Park on 400 W. University Ave to the […
  14. Video shows Park Forest officers resuscitating overdose victim

    Abc7chicago.com - Chicago
    01.20 / 04:40 abc7chicago.com
    Police officers in south suburban Park Forest were caught on camera as they came to the rescue of an opioid overdose victim, part of a growing crisis that continues to claim…
  15. 'Theatre Week' bonanza features 120 Chicago-area productions

    Pantagraph.com - Illinois
    01.20 / 04:36 pantagraph.com
    CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Theatre Week 2017 is just weeks away and tickets are on s…
  16. 25 Illinois sites added to the national historic register

    Pantagraph.com - Illinois
    01.20 / 04:36 pantagraph.com
    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency added 25 significant properties to the National Register of Historic Places in 2…
  17. Mild temperatures and some light rain five more days

    Wgntv.com - Illinois
    01.20 / 04:36 wgntv.com
    Mild temperatures (for mid-January) are forecast to continue in the Chicago area for five more days. Daytime readings in the 40s will be the rule, but on Saturday a push of unseasonably mild air will arrive. This should send afternoon temperatures into the middle 50s, but 60 degree-readings will occur about 75 miles south of the city. Cloudiness will also be the rule. Periods of light rain and drizzle may occur at any time in the five-day period, but are…
  18. Callie On The Job: Stand-up comedy

    Wsiltv.com - Illinois (IL)
    01.20 / 04:35 wsiltv.com
    CARTERVILLE -- The Carbondale Comedians are a group of comedians who got their start in Carbondale. Some of those comedians are still here locally, and others have taken their acts to places like Chicago and St.…
  19. Illinois contingent in Washington to celebrate Trump’s presidency

    Cltv.com - Chicago
    01.20 / 03:39 cltv.com
    WASHINGTON — On Inauguration Eve, across Washington, there was reason to party for Republicans. The Illinois State Society Heartland Ball, a bipartisan tradition, had Democrats joining in. Illinois businessmen Mark Burt and Jason Fowler traveled to Washington because they’re excited about a Donald Trump presidency. “Hopefully our country will come together and our economics will improve and we’ll put more people to work,” Burt said. But noticeably absent were key members o…
  20. Road to Recovery: A local mom sharing a message of hope after battling an opioid addiction

    Wandtv.com - Illinois
    01.20 / 03:22 wandtv.com
    The heroin epidemic is happening all across the nation, including right here in Central Illinois, affecting people of every socioeconomic status. That's the message a Champaign County woman is trying to spread while sharing her story of…