Karunia “Nia” is from Indonesia. This little girl has been bullied for years because of how she looks. But now, she finally finds her happiness through Jesus Christ. To help others, she wants to spread this newfound joy and peace to her community.
Nia was born without fingers and toes. She had a rare congenital condition called the “Apert Syndrome.” This condition makes her look so much different from other people. Other kids use it to make fun of her.
Her father, Chandra, is aware of how others would try to mock her. He said, “There are some who bully Nia. They mock her by saying, ‘Hey, look, it’s Nia, the deformed girl.’” Chandra is a farmer and his daughter is now finding hope in what he said. He shared that he would always remind her that she is God’s gift. He would also tell her, “When they bully you, you can say that you are God’s gift and not a creation of any man.”
Her parents were more than grateful to God when He gave them Nia. However, they didn’t know how to take care of her with this condition. Her mom, Angelina, shared that she would just cry and wonder why God had entrusted this to them.
Apert Syndrome has no cure. This is a genetic disorder that is characterized by skeletal abnormalities. One of the key features of the Apert Syndrome is the premature closure of bones of the skull. This prevents the skull from growing which is why it would affect the shape of the head and the face. Many who have Apert Syndrome also suffer from vision problems. They would usually have a sunken appearance especially in the middle of their faces. Other than that, Apert Syndrome also results in the underdeveloped upper jaw that causes dental problems.
Her condition would cause her severe pain, high fever, and sometimes she would have difficulty breathing. Other than that, she also had to deal with the judging eyes and fearful stares from other people in her community.
This is when her parents decided to register her into a program called, “Compassion International.” This helped not only for her to receive regular medical checkups, but also to save funds for her surgery so that she can have fingers on her right hand.
Angelina shared that she started to feel strong for her daughter. She would tell her husband that she loved Nia even more. She believes that this is because of the strength that God gave her.
Since then, Nia already started the Child Sponsorship Program that was offered by Compassion International. Here, she will learn. In fact, she is also teaching others about the importance of self-acceptance and how to be strong and fight against bullying.
Nia said, “I am beautiful like my mother. When my friends mocked me because I don’t have normal fingers, my mom taught me to say back to them that this is what Jesus gave me.”
No matter who we are or how different we are from other people, we should always remember that someone above the heavens is just watching over us. We are never alone through all our struggles and pain. Thankfully, Nia found the joy and peace that only God can give her.