Emmanuel was born with a cleft lip and a cleft palate. Marleny, Emmanuel’s mother told him, “Everything is going to be okay. We are going to do everything we can, even the impossible, so that you can feel better.”

But there were obstacles. When Emmanuel was born, both of his parents lived in extreme poverty and were unemployed.

Jose plays guitar inside his home

Emmanuel “explains” the situation, saying, “When God was creating and painting me, someone called Him. God turned to see who it was, and He involuntarily moved His brush, and that is why I was born like that.”

Marleny knew Emmanuel needed corrective treatment, and that treatment involved four surgeries. The Vasquez family started praying for God’s provision to pay for Emmanuel’s surgeries. The first surgery happened when Emmanuel was only 2 months old. Then the second occurred when he was 2 years old.

Emmanuel’s third surgery consisted of bone grafting to repair his hard palate. This surgery was going to repair the opening in Emmanuel’s palate so that his nose and mouth were not connected anymore. But the family didn’t have money to pay for it.

Marleny adds, “I was desperate. I cried. I did not know how I was going to get that much money. I am amazed how God orchestrates everything in His right time.”

The Vasquez family learned that Compassion International had a medical fund for kids like Emmanuel. Once Emmanuel was enrolled, he was eligible this fund, and through Compassion he was able to have his third surgery just one month after he was enrolled in their sponsorship program.

“I was crying right before he went into the operating room, and he hugged me and reminded me that the Lord was taking care of him and that everything was going to be alright.”


“I was never scared during this surgery,” says Emmanuel with a big smile, “I learned that the Lord is always with me. I knew for sure that nothing bad was going to happen because He was with me.”

Today Emmanuel is smiling like never before. He is also counting the days until he can start running and playing.

“I want to be an architect when I grow up so I can build houses for people who do not have a home, and I know I have to go to the university and study very hard to accomplish this.”

Emmanuel is now undergoing orthodontic work and will have one more surgery once he turns 14. His last surgery is to correct his nose.

“I know that Emmanuel was created with a big purpose. One day when he grows up He will tell the world about everything the Lord has done in his life.” ~Marleny

What an amazing cleft palate story and results!

Do you have a love for children in need? Learn more about how Compassion International helps kids like Emmanuel.