Family aboard "Christmas Terror Flight" leaned on prayer and faith

(Wisconsin, USA)—Charlie and Scotti Keepman, with 24-year-old daughter Richelle, had just traveled to Ethiopia, Africa, where they'd adopted two orphans and were bringing them back to their home in Wisconsin on Christmas day.

Sitting toward the back of NW Flight 253, the Keepmans had no idea of the drama about to unfold rows ahead of them when terror suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, attempted a suicide bombing in his seat.

"We heard a pop and then smelled the fumes," recalled Charlie about the moment Abdulmatallab tried to ignite his explosives. "It smelled like burning wire actually. And I thought that's what it was."

But when flight attendants came running back for the fire extinguishers, Keepman noticed the horror in their eyes and knew something more was happening on their plane.

Trying to remain calm, the Keepmans joined hands with their daughter and newly-adopted children and began to bring the matter before the Lord in prayer, and to sing Jesus Loves Me.

Abdulmatallab's explosive device failed to do more than start a fire, and thanks to one quick-thinking passenger who jumped over seats, apprehending him and preventing him from doing any further damage, a possibly fatal situation was avoided.

The Nigerian Abdulmatallab (23) was later charged with trying to blow up NW Airlines Flight 253.

 Charlie Keepman (l)  withYtbarek, 8;  Richelle KeepmanwithArsema, 6;  and Scotti Keepmanwith grandson Harrison Keepmanat their home in Oconomowoc, Wis.   (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Tom Lynn)

Charlie Keepman (l)  withYtbarek, 8;  Richelle KeepmanwithArsema, 6;  and Scotti Keepmanwith grandson Harrison Keepmanat their home in Oconomowoc, Wis.   (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Tom Lynn)