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Tallahassee church group stranded in Peru comes home

Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 17:35:53-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee church says their religion kept them safe while stranded in Peru.

All Nations Church flew to Peru last week to help repair a local church and homes, but the coronavirus outbreak sidetracked their plans.

After a lot of uncertainty, the group is finally coming home.

Yvonne Dow and her husband, Pastor Steve Dow, have been very busy this past week working on a beautification project in Peru.

"We came to work and we wanted to work," said Dow. "We didn't come for a vacation."

Then coronavirus outbreak started spreading across South America, calling for more precautions.

"We were sealing the walls, painting the walls, going to clean it up and have it as ready as we can for the pastor to move into," Dow said.

The Peruvian government called for a state of emergency, canceling all transportation.

"It's been crazy," said Dow. "Especially when you're responsible for children, it takes it to a whole new level because you have to be extremely more cash and then we probably would be just on our own we have to make sure that we're making the right decisions to keep all those that are with us safe."

When things got worse, the group says they kept themselves busy.

Florida State University medical student Daniel Lopez says, looking back, he has mixed emotions.

"A couple days in we got the notification from the Peruvian president about 15-day quarantine," said Lopez. "We were still able to leave, and we still did construction until the next day, when they said we cannot leave the compound."

Lopez says next year he starts his residency in Miami for emergency medicine.

"We came here for a mission," said Lopez. "We're leaving and we're excited, but also, you know, I wouldn't say sadness, but we don't feel like we finished our job here."

He sees this trip as a sign of the journey to come.

"I know there's a huge need for a doctors, especially at this point in time with this virus and all," Lopez said. "So it's not a coincidence."

Lopez says being able to leave Peru and go home is a blessing, especially after they wrote to lawmakers asking for help.