Dr. Jo, right, with a patient in Tacadang.
“So how are you today?” asks a smiling Dr. Jo Cordero as he ministers to patients during the July mission climb to the village of Tacadang in the mountains of Kibungan. It is the third mission climb for Jo as a member of C4C. He is no stranger to medical missions because he has taken part in many of them in his medical career. But during a personal conversation with Jo before the mission climb to Tacadang he shared with me how the Lord has changed his heart regarding what true healing is all about.
Jo graduated from his medical course in 2009. He started climbing mountains when he was 14. He came to a relationship with Christ in 2002. We first met when he applied to go to our mission climb last March to the village of Dalipey. He confessed that in the last few years his relationship with the Lord has taken a back seat to his busy career, and that he is looking to find a deeper purpose in his life.
I told Jo that he was an answer to our prayers because the people of Kibungan are in great need of medical assistance. Only one doctor has ever gone with us to Kibungan — back in May 2009 — and there have been no volunteer doctors since.
Jo told me that during Destination: Dalipey in March, he thought that this would just be another medical mission. He would diagnose a patient and then prescribe medicine and then move on to the next. It was all done as quickly as possible to meet the needs of the more than 70 patients who came that day.
After Dalipey, I wondered if Jo would join us again for a mission climb. To my pleasant surprise Jo signed up to join the survey climb to the villages of Bekes and Culiang in May. It was during this climb that he told me that he felt there was something wrong in the way he was treating his patients. The Lord impressed upon him to spend more time talking to his patients, to make his consultations a more personal experience. The Lord wanted him to understand the true cause of their sickness.
After coming back from the survey climb God had a very special revelation for Jo. He kept seeing the verse: “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you’” (Luke 10:9). He later found out that this is the verse used to define the medical profession.
The Lord spoke to Jo through this verse and he realized that doctors had a greater responsibility than just physically healing patients. Healing is more than what can be seen in a person’s physical body, because true healing starts from within the soul. Even if we heal the body, if a person’s soul is sick, then he is not truly healed. Only God’s word can heal the soul.
Unless a person receives Jesus in his life, he will always be sick, because only Jesus can heal us completely from the inside out. Jo also realized that he can’t give what he does not have; he can’t offer spiritual healing unless he himself was healed by Jesus. Jo decided to recommit his life to Christ and allowed the True Healer to heal many wounds in his life.
It was a different Dr. Jo Cordero who treated patients in Tacadang. He greeted them with joy and hope and spent as much time as they needed. He would end every consultation with these words: “I can only give you medicine, but I am not the True Healer. Put your hope in Jesus because only He can truly heal you.”
Jo would share as much as he could about Jesus, because he knew that the medicines would run out, and he won’t be there when they get sick again. But Jesus will be.
The Lord once said in Mark 2:17, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” But who is truly sick and needs healing? Is it the person with a cold or cancer? True sickness is not caused by a virus or poor health. True sickness is the lack of hope in our lives. True sickness is the sin that destroys our lives and is the cause of our grief and discouragement.
Our spirits have been wounded by sin through the years; it is the reason we cannot find joy in this life. There is only one Healer of the soul, one Expert who has the cure to our distress, one whose sacrifice can heal us all, He is the Healer, and His name is Jesus.