Monday, November 5, 2012

Meet Warnakula

Jimmy and I had only been dating for about two months when Emily Wigal - a teenager in our church - served as a spokesperson for World Vision children's ministries during one Sunday morning service.  She showed a video and talked about the living conditions of those children being served by World Vision.

Right then, both Jimmy and I just felt the overwhelming urge to adopt/sponsor one of the children she mentioned that day.  We didn't really know which child would "fit" us, but we just knew we couldn't leave the service without taking one, in hopes to give he or she a more stable life.

Immediately, we we both drawn to Warnakula. 
There was something really sweet about his smile and we both realized he was the youngest one available for sponsorship that day.

Growing up, my parents sponsored several children through Compassion Ministries and Tyler [my brother] and I would enjoy looking through the updates that Compassion would send us.
It wasn't until I actually got to meet one of our sponsor children in Ecuador, that I realized the importance of helping those in need.

At 16 years of age, my mom and I went on a 14-day mission trip together to Quito, Ecuador with Brio Magazine.  Brio is a Christian girls magazine that I used to receive as a teenager and my mom noticed the mission trip they were planning and wanted the both of us to be involved.  During the planning process, we were notified that if we sponsored a child through Compassion Ministries, we would have the opportunity to spend the day with she or he in Quito.

I remember mom and I going shopping for clothing [from the States] to give her when we were able to, finally, meet face-to-face.  Of course, I wanted her to be in everything bling and mom said she wasn't sure she would be interested in that style, so we opted for tame attire :)

Our little girl was about eight years old and had the most beautiful skin, hair and eyes.  When they brought her to meet us, she wasn't afraid of us at all even through the language barrier with her speaking fluent Spanish and the both of us knowing very little Spanish, was very evident.
It didn't matter.
She took my hand right away and we started with the next activity planned.

I remember taking her to McDonald's, and if you know my mom, she can cry at a drop of a hat.  She started to tear up during our lunch and I asked her why she was upset and she replied, "Tal, this may be the first time this little girl has ever been out of her village, let alone McDonald's.  You just don't realize how blessed we are."
She was right.  I didn't.

I truly don't think the realization of how blessed we truly were hit Jimmy, or myself, until we were almost married.  We knew we wanted to get married to one another very quickly in our relationship and  were so happy to have found each other, that we wanted to try to do everything right and together.

The sponsorship of Warnakula was our first "joint" decision and it has kept us strong in our faith, strong as a couple, and always realizing what a blessed life we lead.

As you can see from the photo of the material we received on Warnakula, he lives in Sri Lanka and the school system is very different from here in the United States.  After completing the 5th grade, Sri Lankan students sit for an exam that will grant them an educational stipend if they score high enough.  At year 11/11th grade, they sit again for another series of government exams and then are either admitted to a university, vocational school, or employed by a company or government department depending on the score they receive.

This was the first progress report we received on our child, Warnakula.
He was 4 years old when we adopted him and 5 years old at this time.

My favorite game is:  Cricket
My hobby is:  Playing
My favorite color is:  Yellow
My favorite food is:  Cake
My ambition is to be a:  Doctor
I receive health benefits of:  Primary Medical Clinic
I am in:  Grade 01
My favorite subject is:  National Language
I am good at:  Singing
Now I can:  Sing Songs

This was his most recent progress report and I had to take a picture of it so you could see the handwriting and the content.

So unique!

[Good luck on reading :)]

This is a yarn bracelet that Warnakula made us.
Right now I have it right now on my keychain as a constant reminder of how blessed I am, what a blessed life I live, and how God has blessed me so that I am able to bless others.

Having this constant [viewable] reminder is so helpful for me to keep things in perspective!

Our beautiful little boy!

The below photo is a painting that Warnakula made to send to us along with his progress report.
It looks like fish [to me] and a lady in our church once said to me, "Talia, God gave me a word for you.  It was as clear as can be and I want you to know that God says there will always be more fish in the sea."

At that time [when she relayed the word to me], I had been battling with a situation in my former Mary Kay position and it seemed so fitting for that time and so truthful.
Then it gave me a very different kind of security than it does now.

After looking over this drawing again, the same word came to mind and I realized what it was really meant to tell me.  "Talia, there will always be more fish in the sea that need help....that need guidance....that need to feel My love through your actions and spirit."

God has given me a calling and I have accepted the large challenge.

Warnakula is only the start of the "fish in the sea" that I hope to canvas with God's love.  That I hope to speak truth and comfort to.  He is my pioneer child, but I know - with God's leading - that there will be many to follow as long as I follow His will and His plan, designed specifically for me!

If you have been touched by this story and would like to adopt your own child through World Vision, please go to this link - - and click on their link "Sponsor A Child."  I guarantee, your life and your perspective will be changed by just a simple $35.00 a month sponsorship, which gives another a full-life because of your generosity!

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