JOPLIN, Mo. — Members of an area church are on their way home as war breaks out between Israel and Hamas.

Thirteen members of Christ’s Community Church in Joplin were part of a group taking a tour of the Holy Land.

They were supposed to return next week, but their trip got cut short when fighting broke out over the weekend.

Nathan Hicks is a member of the church and says there were tense moments not just for the tourists, but for those parishioners worried about their safety.

“And then we found out this morning they uh separated them into a couple different groups and each of them made it out onto flights first thing this morning, so their trip, they were supposed to be coming back next week, but this, they’re cutting the trip short a little bit so they’re making it home safely,” said Nathan Hicks, Member, Christ’s Community Church.

Hicks says church members left Jerusalem and made their way to Jordan and then onto planes headed back towards the U.S.