PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Southern New Englanders in Israel are still trying to get home amid the deadly Hamas attacks.
A pastor and his wife from Rhode Island are set to land in Boston early Thursday morning, while a Northeastern University student returned to Massachusetts Tuesday night.
Keren Doherty, a nursing student at Northeastern, has spent the last three months interning at an Israeli hospital and volunteering as a first responder for an ambulance company.
“I honestly still haven’t grasped what’s happening,” she said.
This past week, her family happened to be visiting her in Israel and were all in Tel Aviv when Hamas militants attacked.
“I sort of knew that I was safe because I was close to shelters, but I was just worried about everyone I know who isn’t necessarily safe,” Doherty added.
“What was new was the infiltration by the land and by the sea and that people were taken hostage and people were murdered in their homes,” her mom Lauren said.
While Doherty and her family are thankful to be home, some are struggling to come back to the U.S.
Richard Sfameni and his wife Lisa lead the Victory Church in Providence and have been in Israel since last Monday. They took a group from their church on a tour of the Holy Land.
“There’s kind of a guilty feeling,” Pastor Lisa said.
“We just believe in some small way we’ve been able to make a difference through our prayers and through our presence and our encouragement to other people,” Pastor Richard said.
That’s why they say they feel bittersweet about their return.
“We’re excited to be home, our families have been worried about us, our friends have been worried about us, but we do feel a tug at our heart, it’s hard to leave, it’s hard to leave this behind,” Pastor Lisa said.
Pastor Richard said there is no indication their group’s flight back to Boston has been interrupted at this time.