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CLE volunteers home after Brussels attack

Posted at 10:19 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 23:47:36-04

It was tears of joy and plenty hugs at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, after volunteers Aaron Phillips and Paula Shaw finally made their way back to northeast Ohio.

Shaw and Phillips were at the airport in Brussels when two terrorist bombs exploded killing at 30 people.

Both were at the scene to witness the evacuation of the airport, with Phillips recording parts of the evacuation with his smartphone.

Phillips and Shaw were on their way back to Cleveland after volunteering at a hospital and school in Ganta, Liberia through a program set up by the Nehemiah Mission of Cleveland, and the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Phillips told newsnet5.com the 36 hour ordeal only strengthened his faith in God and all that is good.

"An announcement went on that wasn't very clear that just said, 'evacuate, evacuate,'" explained Phillips.

"Windows blown out, doors just falling out, debris everywhere. It really brought in the gravity of the situation."

Shaw said she was overwhelmed by how generous the people of Brussels were just moments after the terrorist attack.

A nurse from Brussels spent her entire day making sure she and Phillips had transportation and a place to stay.

"A total stranger, she saw the 10 of us standing on the street trying to get a cab," said Shaw.  "You couldn't get a cab, so she said 'I will take you where you want to go.'"

Both Phillips and Shaw explained they're not sure if they will ever see their luggage. but said the attack won't deter them from volunteering overseas in the near future.

"I learned so much about the way that God moves, said Phillips.  "I'm thankful, what I learned from them is I'm just thankful just to wake up and have breath in my body, to work yet another day."