DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — A church group from Baldwin County’s Eastern Shore visiting the Holy Land has to cut their trip short as war breaks out in Israel. Reverend Thack Dyson says 18 people from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Daphne are sheltering in northern Israel after being in Tel Aviv Saturday.

Dyson says they are safe and just waiting to secure flights home. He says they arrived Tuesday with plans to be there for more than a week. The attack by Hamas apparently took the Jewish state by surprise. Dyson said they heard some of the rockets Saturday but no one was in their group hurt. Dyson says he’s visited the Holy Land several times and this is the first time a pilgrimage to these Biblical sites had to be cut short because of conflict.