Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 23, 2010

One Who Cares

   Prem Dan Home for the Destitute | Kolkata, India | 22 January 2010

   I love the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). It’s a simple story with a universal message that has profound implications. In the story, an unfortunate traveler fell among thieves who robbed him, beat him, and left him for dead by the side of the road. Two religious leaders saw the man but neither stopped to render aid. However, when a Samaritan traveler saw the injured man, he felt compassion for him and made provision for his care. This is a story that is repeated everyday all over the world. This past week, the story of the Good Samaritan was repeated here in Kolkata. Here is what happened.

   This morning, one of the men at Prem Dan suffered a seizure, fell, and busted his head open. Although I did not have any gloves, I applied pressure to his wound with my bare hand. That’s when I discovered that half of the man’s head was covered with a spongy and black melanoma. Very gross! When the man regained consciousness, I assisted him to the clinic where I was conscripted to assist Joan, a nurse from New Zealand, in dressing his wounds. Joan did a great job of repairing the damage and bandaging the man’s head.

   While in the clinic, I saw the guy from the Good Samaritan story – the one who was hurt and ignored by others. He was crying out in pain as another helper cleaned his wound. Joan told me that his poor fellow had arrived at Prem Dan a couple of days ago. He had suffered some terrible accident that mutilated his right hand. The man spent two days outside of a local hospital holding his injured hand while crying out for help. The sad thing is that no one bothered to help him. Finally, someone walked by, saw the man, felt compassion for him, and drove him to Prem Dan where Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity ushered him into their clinic. Joan had the unpleasant task of amputating four fingers and the palm of his hand, leaving only his thumb.

   Among other things, the story of the Good Samaritan teaches us that one person who cares can make a difference. I am grateful for the one who helped the injured man. Like the Good Samaritan, this man felt compassion and followed-up with intentional action to help someone in need. And, I am thankful for the Missionaries of Charity who did not turn the man away. Instead, they welcomed him, tended his wounds, and have given him lodging. The man will be at Prem Dan for a long time while he recovers. And, although he may one day leave, he will not likely forget the man who cared for him and brought him to Prem Dan.

   Mother Teresa said, “It is very possible that you will find human beings, surely very near you, needing affection and love. Do not deny them these. Show them, above all, that you sincerely recognize that they are human beings, that they are important to you.” That’s the message of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Let’s not overlook those in need as we go about our daily business. Instead, let’s allow God to interrupt our day for the sake of helping someone in need. Heed the message and follow the example of the Good Samaritan by going and doing likewise. And, always remember that one person who cares can make a difference.


  1. Praying for the team today.

  2. Thank God for Good Samaritans and I pray that man will soon know their are no borders when it comes to suffering of any human being. I find myself a little upset today with some friends of mine complaining about watching the Haiti footage and all I could think is what if you had to live it.

  3. O Lord strengthen those who serve at Mother Teresa’s home so they can be your hands and feet. Let us never regret one would die without comfort or love if we have anything to offer.
    Tonya LaTorre

  4. Worked in Prem Dan 26 years ago. Visiting friends, short time but could not find actual address here on web, in case I could have a quick peep before leaving for Delhi. Much has changed but nothng has changed regarding the effect on us all, judging by your comments. Thanks.

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