Travel Agent Tale : Alice Petry is an experienced travel agent used to making plans for things that don’t go as planned. She got a call last Saturday about a story she had never seen before.
“I always try to anticipate the unexpected,” Petry stated, “but the reality was far from anything I could have prepared for.”
Petry recently planned a 12-day trip to the Middle East for 40 people from the San Antonio area. He is the owner of Petry Travel.
When Hamas struck Israel on the sixth day they were there, a day meant for exploring and having fun, things changed quickly. At first, Petry was most worried about the safety and well-being of her travellers. But when Israel declared war, her worries changed.
“When Saturday was over, we knew we had to do something,” Petry said in a determined voice.
The next day, Petry quickly organized for the group to take a bus from the area around Jerusalem to Amman, the city of Jordan.
Petry booked several planes for her group’s return from this vital transit point, a whole of complicated details. It took a lot of work to do the job; some team members could go from Amman to the US without stopping in Turkey or Egypt, while others had to.
“We had to piece it together like a puzzle,” Petry said as he thought about how creative they had to be.
All 40 people in Petry’s group had safely returned to the United States by Wednesday afternoon, which made her feel better. It was a trip they would probably never forget.
An identical journey was being made by 19 people from Concordia San Antonio, a Lutheran church on the North Side of the city.
Someone on the trip, Senior Pastor Bill Tucker, reported that the group got to Jordan safely. Their flights were both coming up soon.
In a video message on Wednesday morning, he said, “This morning, we were able to cross the border.” We were able to book flights for as early as tomorrow, and we’ll keep working to ensure that everyone leaves our group safely every day.
Even though no one in Concordia San Antonio was hurt, they sent their thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the recent unrest in the Middle East.
In a moving statement sent to Concordia, San Antonio asked people to pray for all those hurt by the attacks and for peace to return quickly to this troubled area.