(KRON) — A missionary group from Antioch is home Sunday night after being stuck in Niger for a week. A military coup took over the government, which shut down the borders.
KRON4 spoke with the lead pastors about everything it took to get them back. Cornerstone Christian Center and School lead pastors Steve and Maria Miner said they are thankful to be back home.
Steve and Maria are relieved to be back in America after getting stuck in Niger while a coup took over the government there — grounding flights.
“You know we never saw any violence,” Steve said. “It was being out of control, not doing what you want to do, so you felt trapped.”
The miners went to West Africa to host a camp for kids with a missionary group of 11 from Cornerstone Christian Center and School in Antioch. When they went to fly home, the borders shut down.
“The uncertainty that really got to you because you didn’t know when the borders were going to open,” Maria said. “We would be getting news daily — if not hourly.”
As the missionary group anxiously waited to find out when they could go home, they used their time to continue to help the people in niger.
“Decided since we are here, what else can we do? So we started repairing the school for them. Sanding desks, painting them. All kind of maintenance stuff to get them ready for the school year,” she said.
Meanwhile, the church reached out to Congressman John Garamendi who represents Antioch and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office in an effort to get the group home.
One week later, the couple got an email from the government saying they could go home.
It was not an easy trek, but the miners say they feel grateful for all the work that went into getting them home.
Now they want everyone to turn their focus to Niger. A deadline was issued by a group of African countries for the military coup to reinstate the country’s democratically-elected president.
But as the deadline expired, the military coup closed the airspace again on Sunday.
“Just got news today that it even escalated a little more. They continue to keep the airspace closed. Continue to pray for the people in Niger. It’s the poorest country in the world. The things we take for granted they don’t have. As simple as water, food, clean anything,” Steve said.