Columbus men return from Bible trip to Israel, escape violent attacks

Columbus men return from Bible trip to Israel, escape violent attacks

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Americans from the Chattahoochee Valley are back in the U.S. after several days in Israel.

The beginning of their trip was filled with learning about the landmarks from the Bible, then the protests and violent attacks started.

With the unrest in Israel increasing, Andrew Chalmers and Jason Villiaros stayed away from most of the violence. The Columbus men were part of a biblical tour with other churches from Georgia and around the nation.

"Along the way our heart was to be able to impact those people that we met," Villiaros said.

Making stops at the Western Wall and the Syrian border; Jerusalem became their last stop where they say violent attacks started happening everyday.

"When the attacks would happen two blocks that suddenly everything will stop and police will be driving over to help people and to deal with the attacks," Chalmers said.

The group was never in danger as they kept up with the current events of the day with a tour guide.

"We took the time to seek the Lord and pray for the nation while we were there and ask for his protection," Villiaros said.

During their time in the foreign country, Chalmers says they were able to have an positive affect on the people they met. He describes them as tense and on edge.

"We would just go and meet with people and talk with them and say, 'Hey were are from American, we're Christians and we support you and love.' And as we were telling them that, they started crying. They were overwhelmed with fear but it really meant so much for them to hear that," Chalmers said.

After returning back to the U.S., they say the situation in Israel does not change their decision for a return visit in the future.

The group planned the trip to the Holy Land six months ago before the recent attacks started. They believe the country is handling the situation the best they can and will continue to pray and support Israel from the U.S.

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