Being born with an extremely rare disability isn’t easy to navigate, but for Karunia, a young Indonesian girl, she finds her faith and joy in Jesus, despite the hardship.
Karunia, known as Nia, was born with Apert Syndrome, which is a rare congenital condition that impacts a persons skull bones. Karunia, who was also born without fingers and toes, has faced bullying for years over her unique disability, but she hasn’t let it bring her down.
“There are some who bully Nia,” Chandra, Nia’s father, told Compassion Australia in an interview. “They mock her by saying, ‘Hey, look, it’s Nia, the deformed girl.’”
Angelina, Nia’s mother, shared with Compassion International that from a young age Nia faced bullying from her peers for looking different from them.
“I just cried and wondered why God and entrusted her to me,” she shared openly.
Nia’s parents have worked hard to fill Nia with the love of God, imparting His encouraging and loving words to her every day.
“You are God’s gift,” Chandra tells her. “When they bully you, you can say that you are God’s gift and not a creation of any man.”
Luckily, through a sponorship program, Nia received early intervention care from Compassion International which helped Nia learn to live with her condition. The program covered costs for a special surgery that added fingers to her right hand, as well as medication that was needed.
The surgery has helped Nia as both a student and just as an everyday child.
“We can see how Karunia’s parents have changed from not accepting the fact of their daughter’s condition. They now accept who their baby is with all of their heart,” said a secretary at Nia’s child development center.
Nia’s teacher also sang the praises of Nia, pointing out that she has turned out to be one of the best students in the class.
“I wasn’t sure about her ability in the first semester, but now I’m sure she is one of the good students in the class,” Anges Singel, Nia’s teacher said. “She is focused and quickly understands anytime a teacher gives an instruction to the class.”
The positivity and the love Nia’s parents have shown her taught her how to love herself, and see herself through God’s eyes.
“I am beautiful like my mother,” Karunia said. ”When I was mocked because I don’t have normal fingers, my mom taught me to say back that this is what Jesus gave me.”
Nia’s ability to embrace the joy of the Lord has taught her parents and family members a lot about what it means to be grateful, despite circumstances.
“She is my own flesh and blood, and we have to take care of her for as long as God gives us life, because God has a purpose for her!” Angelina said.
Nia is part of Compassion International’s child sponsorship program. This program helps children in need to receive the medical care they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford or even have access to. You can find out more here!