HOUSTON (KTRK) --Just a few minutes before an attempted coup forced Istanbul's airport to shut down, a full flight took off for Houston.
"The thought of what if she didn't come home and she was in that airport, what would I be feeling," said Cara Sliva as she fought back tears. "But I didn't have to worry about that because the Lord got our entire group."
Cara Sliva's daughter, Catherine, was part of a group of about 50, including students and chaperones, from Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy. The group was coming back from a missions trip in Jordan and had a layover in Istanbul.
"It was kind of scary finding out that all the coup stuff happened almost 45 minutes or an hour after we left," Catherine Sliva told us moments after she reunited with her parents.
We ran into Ajmal and Asma Rahim in the parking garage at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. They were scheduled to fly out of Houston to Istanbul Friday night.
"We don't know what's going to happen. We don't know if they're going to shift us to another flight or if they're going to give us a refund, or if they're going to reschedule us for another day or put us on another airline," Ajmal Rahim said.
According to Turkish Airlines, everything is moving smoothly again in and out of the Istanbul airport. But the Rahims don't know what the city will look like whenever they get there.
Kadir Yildirim with the Baker Institute says this coup attempt was a long time coming.
"Pretty much 50 percent of the country is not happy with the way things are going and polarization is immense," Yildirim said.
Yildirim says a successful coup would be bad for Turkish democracy. A government victory would likely lead to Turkey's president tightening his grip on control.
"The outcome will not be good regardless of which direction it goes," he said.
"Missing the bombing in Istanbul by about a week and then missing that is really cool seeing how God protected us with those prayers," added Catherine Sliva.
Turkey's president says the "traitors" who led the attempted coup will pay "a heavy price."