Below is an e-mail I sent on 9-26-05 to friends and family outside of Beaumont to inform them of our status after Rita.
Greetings friends. I'm e-mailing to let you know that Jeanna, Karis, and I are all safe and sound. We escaped to the fortress of Huntsville (props to the Thompson's/Maier's for their hospitality) and are now staying with Jeanna's family in Magnolia.
I was able to get into Beaumont yesterday and check things out. They are not allowing anyone to get in right now but I've got connections in High places. It looks like a war zone. It looks like someone dropped a bomb on the city. Nearly every tree, sign, and telephone pole was uprooted by Rita's fury. We are among the blessed. All the trees in our yard missed our house and only a few limbs fell on our roof. Our fence did not fare so well, it will need to be replaced. The big issue for us right now is that they are saying power may not be back on for over a month because of the extensive damage to power lines.
Rita was powerful. However, she was not nearly as powerful as the God who could have said: "STOP" and the winds would have obeyed and fell to the earth. In His sovereignty, God chose this hurricane to hit my area. I know this: There is a reason. Pray with me that I will find my purpose in the purpose of God. Pray that I will be among those spreading His glory with His gospel on my lips and a chain-saw in my hand.