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First a Hurricane—Then an Opportunity of a Lifetime

Shannon Woodland - 700 Club Producer

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped its way through the Gulf Coast. Bayou natives Morris and Ethel were relieved to be safe. But as the owners of a cleaning company, they feared the storm had put them out of business.

Ethel says, “Everybody was gone, the buildings were flooded.”

Morris adds, “I thought possibly that would have been the end of the game.”

Ethel says, “Morris was saying, ‘Let’s move to Dallas.’  That was his, you know, go to – go to plan.”

While Morris wanted to skip town and start over, Ethel felt God wanted them to remain in Louisiana.

Ethel says, “I’m just saying, ‘look, let’s see what the Lord is going to do.  You know, give the Lord a chance to work.”

Throughout their marriage, the couple had been consistent tithers.They had seen God provide for them even in the lean times. And even though they were devastated by Katrina, they kept the faith.

Ethel says, “I said, we have to look forward to what God is going to do.”

Morris says, “He’s still in charge.  He’s still in control. He’s the God that says ‘you do this and don’t worry about it. He goes, ‘Sit back, relax, let Me take care of my business.’  Okay, Lord.”

In the meantime, the Forets, who were CBN partners, saw CBN helping out their devastated area.  With business at a stand-still, Morris and Ethel volunteered as well.

Morris says, “We redid a school and all those kids, they were so astounded. They were in tears. They were so happy for- for that performance. It’s exciting to see. CBN came, and they stayed.”

After Katrina, many of the other cleaning companies in the area had been flooded out.  The Forets ran one of the only ones left standing… and because of that, they started getting more calls for jobs.

Morris says, “He says, ‘Maurice,’ he says, ‘are you looking – do you need – are you looking for more work?’ I said, ‘My friend, I always need more work.’ He said, ‘I’ve got 20 clinics in New Orleans.’  And he says, ‘You can have as many as you want, or you can have them all.’”

Ethel says, “That's how we got back on our feet.”

Fifteen years after Katrina, the Forets are still in Louisiana – and they’re glad they remained.  Their business is running stronger than ever. They say it’s because they trusted God.  And they encourage others to do the same – by giving.

Morris concludes, “Let it go. Give your share. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. You know, He’ll tell you what to give."

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