10 Beautiful Stories of Healing and Hope
Sometimes it happens in an instant, miraculously. Sometimes it happens so slowly that, as with the Earth’s turning or the seasons’ shifting, we don’t recognise the change until the dawn breaks or winter thaws into spring. Whatever His means, God is the one who restores, the One who saves. The One who brings healing and hope. It’s our privilege to be His hands and feet.
15 Jun, 2017
1. Karunia, Indonesia
Karunia has a rare disease which makes her look different but she knows she's beautiful as she is. Apert syndrome means her bones fused together too soon in the womb. Hurtfully, she's endured stares and local villagers avoiding her, but Compassion staff in Indonesia were determined to help. They built up her confidence and provided access to much needed medical care. This year, she'll have surgery on her hand to create fingers and give her more mobility. The support has made a huge difference. "I am beautiful just like my mother," Karunia beams.
2. Adzo, Ghana
Adzo was born with a congenital deformity in her bowel which caused her to constantly pass urine and faeces. Doctors told her parents she needed urgent surgery but her family was struggling to survive and simply couldn’t afford the operation. Living in poverty made it even tougher for her family to manage her condition. She was simply hidden at home, away from prying eyes.
When her family heard about Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program, they gave Adzo heavy pads to wear to avoid soiling herself and took her to be registered. Staff immediately noticed how unwell the young girl looked. She was admitted to hospital for five weeks before having life-changing surgery. Today, she’s attending school for the first time. Her classmates are four years younger than her, but Adzo’s grandma couldn’t be prouder. “If only they knew what Adzo has gone through, they would appreciate her,” she says.
3. Joseph, Ghana
When he was just seven months old, Joseph’s head began growing faster than his body. Alarmed, his parents took him to the local spiritualist doctor for help. They told them Joseph was the child of a river god.
“The spiritualist said we should go and leave him by the river at midnight and do some rituals, and that Joseph would turn into a snake and go back into the river—his home,” said Adfua, Joseph’s mum.
Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. Compassion registered Joseph into the Child Sponsorship Program. He finally received a diagnosed of hydrocephalus: water on the brain. With the support of Compassion’s health specialist, he saw a neurosurgeon and successfully underwent surgery. Just days later, brave Joseph was out of hospital with the hope of living a normal life. Today, he can walk on his own and loves playing with his friends.
“This was the child I was advised to go and abandon by a river bank. Now, just look at this good-looking boy. All I can say is thank you,” said Adfua.
4. Christine, the Philippines
"When she was still a baby, the seizures would happen every three months. They were getting worse. She was not breathing. It’s scary to watch. Her face gets darker, even her nails get dark. Quarterly, that was our scenario. We are just so thankful that she has been introduced to Compassion. It is a big help to her. Her check-ups and medication have all been reimbursed. Through it all, she just keeps smiling, making jokes. When she sees the nurse, she says, “When I get grown, prepare yourself. I’ll become a doctor and I’ll be injecting you!”
-- Christine’s uncle
5. Gracia, Togo
"We were sleeping, and all of a sudden, Gracia got up and fainted. So I called the Compassion project director right away. She said we needed to take Gracia to the hospital immediately. By the time we got there, the project director was already there. They took care of everything — the medicine, everything. She stayed till two in the morning, and came back to check on her the next day. I never thought anyone would do that for us."
-- Dermane Mariame, Gracia’s aunt and caregiver
6. John Michael, the Philippines
When five-year-old John Michael’s coughing fits turned into tuberculosis, his mother was terrified. “She didn’t know where to find money (for treatment) because they’re very poor,” says his grandma. The doctor gave him a prescription for medicine but without the means to afford it, the small slip of paper was an empty symbol of the healing they couldn’t access.
Thankfully, the family received support through Compassion’s Medical fund and the little boy received much-needed treatment. His family firmly believe his sponsorship will help him to live free from poverty. “Even though he’s a baby — he’s one out of many siblings that he has — he will be the one who finishes his studies and helps them,” she says.
7. Daniela, Honduras
"Today doctors declare Daniela a miracle," says her aunt Marisela. "God loves her very much." This courageous 10-year-old has overcome multiple health problems, including cancer and pneumonia, but has come through it all with a smile on her face. Your support meant that even though Daniela lives in poverty, she still received the medical care she needed. Today, healthy and healed, Daniela dreams of being a doctor so she can heal others.
8. Lance, the Philippines
Lance is eight years old. But malnutrition has stunted his growth so he looks more like a four-year-old. For months, he was too weak to stand. Thankfully, Lance was registered into our Child Sponsorship Program, where he receives food, medication and support. Today he's still small but he's finally healthy and has a big heart. “When I grow up," says Lance, "I want to be a doctor so I can help my family.”
9. Grace, Uganda
"My motto is that disability is not inability," says Grace. "With God, all things are possible." Grace was born without legs and with only one fully developed arm. Her parents loved her fiercely yet extended family members threatened to kill Grace, insisting she couldn't have been born into their lineage. They had to flee from Rwanda to Uganda. With no land and no home, they struggled to survive. Local leader Betty stepped in to help. She registered Grace into Compassion's program. When Grace fell sick, her hospital fees were covered. Importantly, staff encouraged Grace to make a difference in the world. "God has plans for me and the reason God created me like this is to make a beautiful story," she says. She has two big dreams: to start a TV show to encourage people to believe in themselves, and to meet Compassion Ambassador Nick Vuijic. "We both love God. Neither of us isolates ourselves. We both encourage people," she says.
10. Benissan, Togo
"Before I had surgery, my eyes hurt. Everything was blurry. I couldn’t see the board at school. It was scary. But the first time I put on my glasses, it all went away. Now I can see just fine. One day, I’d like a red pair. Red’s my favourite colour!"
Your tax-deductible donation to the Medical fund helps children with urgent medical needs to access the treatment they require. Emergency medical care, access to a specialist, or simply medicine, can help stop a child’s suffering. Help children now.
Introduction by Richard Miller; Words by Zoe Noakes