What Happens When an Unsponsored Child Needs Emergency Care?

This blog post is about how ministry supporters helped Compassion to step in and offer support for 4-year-old Yoskiel and his family in Indonesia when he was diagnosed with eye cancer at age 3 — just a few months after he joined our program and didn’t yet have a sponsor.

Yoskiel is wearing a light blue shirt with cars, trucks, and trains on it. He has an eye patch. Yoskiel is leaning on the railing of his front porch.

But first, let me begin by giving you a little background on how Compassion works to register new children into our holistic development program. If you don’t already know, or if you’ve ever wondered how children are selected, this section will explain it.

How We Select and Register Children

You probably already know that what makes Compassion distinct from most other antipoverty ministries or nonprofit organizations is the fact that we are church-based. What that means is we partner with local churches in 25 countries to know, love and care for children and to help them develop into responsible, purpose-filled young adults.

The churches we partner with implement the holistic child development program we’ve designed in the way that best fits their children’s and their communities’ specific needs.

We grow by forming new partnerships with new churches that are biblically rooted and that have the greatest need. Once a partnership is formed, a church leader who is trained by Compassion — someone who is part of the community and knows its unique needs — will go out into the community and look to register the children living in the most desperate poverty into the program so they and their family can begin receiving aid.

On average, once a child is registered with Compassion, it takes about eight months for them to be sponsored.

What a Child Receives Before Sponsorship

Eight months (sometimes even longer) is a long time to continue living in desperate poverty. Children can be malnourished to the point of stunted growth or cognitive development problems. Or, as in the case you’ll read about with Yoskiel in a second, they could have urgent medical needs.

We can’t register a child and then tell him or her that he or she will have to wait to be sponsored to begin receiving help. That’s why even unsponsored children receive things like food, school tuition assistance, counseling and spiritual guidance, and hope-filled encouragement from the moment they are registered and even while they wait to be sponsored.

Saving Yoskiel’s Life and Sight

Yoskiel is wearing a light blue shirt with cars, trucks, and trains on it. He has an eye patch and is wearing glasses over it. He is sitting on the floor of his home and is playing with his brother.

Just imagine for a second what that must have been like for Yoskiel’s mom and dad. They are farmers in a tiny village in Indonesia who don’t make enough money to adequately provide for Yoskiel and his brother. As all parents do, they desire more for their children, even if they feel little hope of it ever happening. Then they get the news that Yoskiel, their then-3-year-old, would be registered in a program that would provide him a chance to live better.

What joy they must have felt turned back to the sadness and despair they had been accustomed to when they learned that Yoskiel’s eye infection that wouldn’t go away was actually life-threatening eye cancer.

Yoskiel’s right eye began to swell, and he started losing a lot of weight. One night, his eye swelled so big that it popped out of his eyelid.

His parents, Yakobus and Yuliana, didn’t have the money to take him to the hospital, and they didn’t know what else to do, so they went to their pastor.

Their pastor immediately drove Yoskiel, his parents and a staff member from the Compassion center to a hospital about an hour and a half away. While he helped Yoskiel and his parents with the doctor, the staff member helped them get signed up for the governmental health insurance that Indonesia provides to low-income families that covered the majority of the costs for Yoskiel’s chemotherapy and treatment.

The doctor referred Yoskiel to a hospital that was eight hours away and even connected his parents with a cancer foundation that helped cover some initial costs while they were getting set up for insurance.

Compassion stepped in and covered travel to the hospital, living arrangements for his parents, food, comfort items and constant prayer while Yoskiel received treatment.

“I probably wouldn’t have had any hope that my son would recover if Compassion hadn’t helped us,” Yakobus said.

Yoskiel is wearing a light blue shirt with cars, trucks, and trains on it. He has an eye patch. Yoskiel is standing on the front porch of his home and is looking up at balloons he is playing with. His father is in the background.

Now, even though his right-eye vision is impaired, Yoskiel is cancer free and at home with his family. He is attending his church and Compassion center regularly — and he has a loving sponsor!

If you’d like to ensure that Compassion can step in for more children who need life-saving medical aid even before they have a caring sponsor, please consider giving to the Unsponsored Children’s Fund today!

Share What You Think

Do you think it’s a good thing that children receive support from the moment they are registered with Compassion? Let us know in the comments below.

6 Comments |Add a comment

  1. LAURIE November 29, 2021

    Praise God!! What a beautiful story, and I am so relieved to know that the children waiting for sponsors are still getting the help they need! God Bless Compassion!!!

  2. Joram Tabitya November 11, 2021

    We give God all the glory for all the Sponsors for the great commitment to reach out to the most marginalized children and families.We pray that children reach their ful potential in Him.

  3. Mavis Edwards November 11, 2021

    Thank you for letting us know the children are being cared for as they wait for a sponsor. I have been sponsoring 2 children for about 10 years. It has been a blessing, honor, and joy to be part of their lives and the life of their families. Thank you, Compassion!

    1. Amy November 11, 2021

      Mavis, thank you for your support for 10 years of two amazing children! We love hearing from sponsors and knowing that you are being blessed by the precious children and families you so generously love. God Bless!

  4. Martha Lowrey November 9, 2021

    IWe pray for everyone connected to compassion , my husband and I have to little boys that we sponsor , It has been a privaliage to be one of the many that listen to God when He calls . Beibg a sponsor is life changing all the way around , our children have children ad they have children but that means we have an abundanse of Love .

  5. Bev Bellamy November 9, 2021

    Thanks for this information that children start to receive help when they are registered with Compassion and not have to wait until they are actually sponsored. We have sponsored several children over many years and somehow I didn’t realize this. So glad to hear this and know that every child is treated with compassion and care.

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