In the "60 Minutes" piece, Chandra describes the way in which she provides care to those who are disfigured by tumors, injuries and other physical problems that cause them to be shunned in their communities. "You don't see the tumor. You just see the person's eyes. Or, if they have one eye because the other one is a tumor, you find their eye and you find a way to connect with them."
Life on a floating community of medical staff, cooks, carpenters, children, teachers, pastors and librarians has its challenges. They do not receive a salary. In fact, they pay for the experience of working with Mercy Ships. But the benefits are intangible, and priceless. "We are hundreds of people thousands of miles from home," explains Chandra, "and we are all here so that the hands of a surgeon can quietly sew together the broken pieces of a child's life."
When "60 Minutes" caught up with Africa Mercy, the crew was scheduled to spend five months in Togo, West Africa. When it was time for the ship to leave port, 281 tumors had been removed, 34 cleft palates had been restored and 794 blind patients had regained sight. "At the end of the day, all my nursing skill and medical knowledge I might have pale in comparison to the way God is able to work, both through me and despite me," said Chandra. "I left Messiah with a strong set of skills and an unshakable knowledge that, when medicine isn't enough, God is."