"I'm proud to be an American" Crossville missionary stuck in Peru returned home on rescue mission

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Crossville missionary Bruce Rainwater is happy to be home after he was stranded in Peru for two weeks.

The Peruvian government shutdown travel because of the coronavirus outbreak, leaving people scrambling for possible ways to leave the country. He now joins the thousands of Americans brought home on reparation flights from The United States military.

Rainwater says even after feeling hopeless, the journey has strengthened his faith. He left on a mission trip with a team of nurses to treat the bodies and souls of people in Peru. They tried to find a way home, but flights were blocked.

Friends and family contacted legislators and the military. After two weeks of waiting, they started to feel helpless until they heard help was coming their way.

"It went straight to The White House and a little old prop plane from the military," said Rainwater.

They flew to Lima, then Cuzco, Washington D.C., Houston, and finally to Nashville.

"I'm proud to be an American. We’re honored that our country would come and get us like that... Our guys came in an airplane took us to Lima and then flew us home," said Rainwater.

On the car ride home from the airport, he couldn't stop thinking of all of the work they had done to help people.

"I was just hoping that this wouldn't make us forget why we came there in the first place," said Rainwater.

He says through all the times of doubt, he’s kept his faith. He wrote down all of the amazing stories of the people he got to meet and hopes to share it with his church.

"In hindsight, you know when you're in the fire you don't see everything that's going on around you, but you look in the rear-view mirror and you see His mighty hand of protection and provision," said Rainwater.

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