Large Church Group That Was in Israel When War Broke Out Arrives Back in US: ‘God Took Care of Us’

Dozens of American Christians are home safe Wednesday morning after they were caught in Israel during Saturday’s unprecedented and deadly terror attacks. Members of Hamas killed at least 1,200 Israelis in a multi-pronged attack that saw men, women and children indiscriminately massacred along the country’s border with the Gaza Strip. Twenty-two Americans had been confirmed dead as of Wednesday while more are missing, Yahoo News reported. But 48 members of Kingsport, Tennessee’s Sunnyside Baptist Church touched down safely in Atlanta on Tuesday before they made their way north and back home by bus. They arrived Wednesday morning at around 2 a.m.. According to WJHL-TV, the church’s congregation was in Israel visiting sacred holy sites when the attacks began. The Kingsport Times-News reported that they were out on a tour Saturday and heard explosions throughout the morning and afternoon. The Americans found refuge in a hotel and eventually found a flight back to the U.S. Sunnyside Associate Pastor David Luster said he was relieved to see that everyone had made it back home. “It’s hard to express how you feel,” Luster told WJHL after he had received news the bus was en route to Tennessee. “There’s so many emotions that go through us, when we see this, when we hear this, when we get all the phone calls, and the things that we don’t know. It’s the unknown. Now we know, as much as we can.” Luster added, “They’re on their way home. They’re nearly home. So those fears that we had have been dissolved, and I am so thankful for that.” Tammy Rogers was in Israel with the group and thanked everyone for their prayers. Rogers, who is the church’s director of children’s services, also said that when she and others boarded the bus in Atlanta, she could see people were feeling relieved. She said: “There [have] been lots of smiles and looks of relief on everyone’s faces. We are all so appreciative of the prayers of our families, church, community, and all over the states. “It’s been a comfort knowing we’ve had so many interceding on our behalf for our safety and travels. I’m not going to lie, it’s been very scary at times and going into a safe area from air strikes is something I pray we never have to do again. But God is in control, and He holds our tomorrows.” A man named Jeff Dill, who has been a member of the church for many years, credited God for the group’s safe return and said there was a “peace” that people felt in spite of being in an active war zone. “God took care of us,” Dill stated. “We prayed about it. There was just a peace that came over me about things, and I think the whole group it did.” The Times-News reported church members who were in Israel over the weekend ranged from teens to senior citizens.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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