Compassion in Cordoncillos



Thursday, January 27th 2022


Today was a day where compassion was front and center. The community of Cordoncillos has approximately 340 inhabitants. It has no source of potable water and is located about 1 mile from a large garbage dumping area. Needless to say, the team saw a wide variety of health issues that could stem directly from living in an unhealthy environment.


Compassion was shared with each family seen. For some, that was the only thing that could be done to care for them.

Dr. Joe referred three separate children to the FOB Extended Care Program. One 4-year-old had already been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Her mother had access to the insulin she needed but couldn’t get her to the specialist on a regular basis. She also had no way to check her child’s sugar. The child would squint when in bright light or in the sun. This may have been caused by uncontrolled sugar levels. She was referred for educational support and assistance with getting resources needed to better care for her child.

Dr. Joe also saw a child who has already benefitted from being in the Extended Care Program. Andréa has had open heart surgery to repair a multi-faceted cardiac defect. She also has Down Syndrome. Since her surgery she no longer requires medications and is an active, sassy little girl.


Dr. Bob has shown compassion each day by removing any barriers between him and his patients. His supplies and medications are always on a table behind him, so that he can be next to his patients as they share their stories.

There were several stories of parents who displayed the compassion they had for their children. One in particular was concerned because his middle child was not learning things as quickly or as well as his siblings. Dr. Joe put on his cheerleader hat and spent time really encouraging the parents to find the strengths their child did have and build on those. This would allow the child to become the best person he could be.


Our new Electronic Medical Records program allowed us to track down a patient who had left their medications behind in the clinic. We could do this by finding the patients photo and then his contact information. The community leader was able to call the patient and have him return to get his medicines.


Smita shared a passage from the Book of Joy during our time of devotions. It is a discussion between the Dali Llama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the topic of joy. They shared that one of the pillars of joy is compassion. We are all born to share compassion, but it is also one of the most difficult things to practice. We hope that compassion truly what was seen today.


Our evening ended with a prayer for compassion. The first two sentences are the following:

Spirit of Life, I give thanks for the opportunities to love

that present themselves in the turmoil of life.

When the light catches the tears in another's eyes,

where hands are held and there are moments without

words, let us be present then, and alive to the possibility

of changing.


~Patti Wagner