American citizens rescued during church mission trip to Bahamas land at FLL

FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of Americans rescued during a mission in the Bahamas have arrived in South Florida.

Six U.S. citizens arrived at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport via Tropic Ocean Airways, Thursday.

“The roof started lifting off, and we moved into the bathroom, about 10 of us,” said Buddy Mullins, one of those rescued. “To be honest, I prayed for about two solid hours while those walls shook and never so sure that God’s hands were holding that roof and holding those walls. You get a real understanding that God is in control.”

The citizens said they were volunteering with a church group when Hurricane Dorian hit the island.

“We just cried, and we praise the Lord for blessing us and being so amazing as we are all alive,” said Maya Kong, another person rescued. “Just knowing that we’re safe and praying for the people in those islands, and we pray that they get more help.”

Tropic Ocean Airways said they have been working closely with the Bahamian government as well as any organization working to bring in the necessary supplies and medical personnel to the hardest hit areas of the island.

As a part of their multifaceted relief effort, they sent eight sea planes stocked with emergency supplies, doctors and EMTs early Thursday.

The group is performing recon to survey the damage and to determine the best way to get the supplies to the areas that need it as well as to bring people back.

“We’ve flown over all the different islands and everything,” said Michael Capponi, Founder of the Global Empowerment Mission. “I got to speak to a lot of locals firsthand.”

Capponi described some of the devastation he noticed during his time in The Bahamas.

“Treasure Cay right now is basically an evacuation site,” he said. “There’s not one single house that’s got a roof on it. No one’s gonna wanna stay there.”

He also said their missions aren’t over.

“The hospitals need medicine, so we’re gonna bring a Tropic Air flight tomorrow morning,” Capponi added. “I’ve got to go to UM and try to fill up with medicine the whole hospital needs.”

He said there are still plenty of people that need evacuating.

“Everybody needs to get out of there,” he said. “On top of that, there’s U.S. citizens all over the airport. I couldn’t even believe it. They’ve literally been sitting there for days, and they were stranded, so I think the mission now is evacuation. The U.S. government needs to start evacuating a lot more people.”

The citizens cleared customs late Thursday afternoon.

For more information on Tropic Ocean Airway’s Hurricane Dorian relief efforts, click here.

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