Group of Floridians stuck in Israel as war rages: 'It's unnerving knowing that missiles are headed toward you'

At least 11 Americans have already been killed in Israel, and thousands more U.S. citizens are still in the country.

Among them is a group of Floridians, led by a pastor who used to live in Sanford. 

This is Pastor Alan Brumback’s 10th time in Israel, but it's the first time he’s heard air raid sirens and had to hunker down in a missile shelter.

"This one is totally different than anything I've ever experienced," said Pastor Brumback. "They don't kind of teach you this in seminary."

Among those in Pastor Burmback’s group are the parents of Detroit Lions and Florida Gator linebacker Alex Anzalone.

He told the Detroit News that his parents were all he was thinking about during Sunday’s game, and then tweeted to the President, "Please get my parents home."

Pastor Brumback says it’s been hard to know what to expect.

"A lot of people come on a trip like this as a spiritual pilgrimage and as an opportunity to grow their faith," he said. "We are getting a crash course in growing our faith."

Right now, Pastor Brumback feels the group is in the safest part of the state they could be, explaining neither side is likely to bomb the holy land of Jerusalem. 

"But it's still unnerving knowing that, you know, missiles are headed toward you," the pastor added.

Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes in Rafah, Gaza on October 08, 2023. (Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


Pastor Brumback said he’s spoken with Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, as well as two Congressional representatives who represent his area.

They’re trying to fly the group out as soon as possible, but so far, they still aren’t set to leave until later this week.

"There are going to be innocent people on both sides who are going to lose their life in these coming weeks. We need to stand for life and we need to pray for peace in this land," said Pastor Brumback.