“I never in a million years thought I would end up in Houston,” my mom, Evelyn Johnson, said with an incredulous grin. “God works in mysterious ways.” I had been trying to get my mother to move to Houston from New Orleans for years, but she, like many native New Orleanians, wasn’t budging. As a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient, I knew she could get outstanding medical care here, and I could help her care for my uncle, a quadriplegic. But she was determined not to move, that is, until Hurricane Katrina.

Gretna, Lo. Adjacent to Algiers Few people would consider losing everything they own in a hurricane a blessing. In fact, many would argue that it’s a curse along the lines of what Job had to endure. But Mom holds on to her faith in God, saying she believes He’s at work behind the scenes. “The word of God says all things work together for good,” she says. “Not just some things, all things.” As an active member of New Home Baptist Church in New Orleans, Evelyn Johnson has never shied away from sharing her faith, and in the aftermath of Katrina, she believes her testimony is even greater. “I could see God in this from the very beginning. God is in control of everything. Nothing happens by surprise. It may be a surprise to us, but not to Him,” she says, “Everything is a part of God’s plan; even Katrina. Will have their own housing. Find some housing near me. He’s still in the hospital. Got helicopter to Baton Rouge to pick them up and take them to Baton Rouge.