Press Releases

ROME, ITALY – August 2, 2023 – Early Wednesday morning, a successful, multi-faceted operation was conducted to safely relocate a group of twelve students and chaperones from Harmony Hill Baptist Church to Rome, Italy. The operation was skillfully coordinated by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Niamey.

"I am grateful for the diligent staff and officials from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy in Niamey, and the U.S. Embassy in Rome who coordinated this successful operation," said Congressman Pete Sessions. "They worked around the clock to ensure the safety and well-being of our young Texans. Their families back home can now rest easy. We appreciate the patience and strength of the students and chaperones, and the prayers of their families and the entire Lufkin community throughout the ongoing situation."

The students were in Niamey, Niger on a mission trip when the military seized control of the nation from President Mohamed Bazoum. The group sheltered in place but remained in close contact with the U.S. Embassy in Niamey and their families in Lufkin. Congressman Sessions and his staff closely monitored the situation in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, Senator John Cornyn (TX), Senator Ted Cruz (TX), Lufkin Mayor Mark Hicks, and Harmony Hill Baptist Church in Lufkin.
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