One family in Texas found an icon of hope on Sunday among the devastation and debris Hurricane Harvey left in its wake.
Like many families in the area, the Rojas family of Robstown, Texas, a suburb of Corpus Christi, decided to play it safe, board up their homes, which all sat next door to each other, and evacuate before the category four hurricane hit land. It wasn't until after the storm hit their town that they learned their homes had suffered even more damage than previously expected: an electrical fire that broke out was quickly spread by the high winds from the storm, and their three properties, including the three-story Victorian style home they spent most of their time in, had completely burned to the ground.
According to KRIS-TV, the Rojas family said while they were devastated at the news, they were grateful to be alive.
"The first thing I thought is we would have died in here if we would have stayed. We left, so we're alive and I just wish this wouldn't have happened," said Natali Rojas, one of the occupants of the home.
Her father, Jesus, had a similar outlook on the situation. "I believe that throughout my life I've suffered a lot, we were migrants. We worked all of our lives in fields and trying to show our families how to stay strong, how to believe in God and keep everybody together as a family," he said.
And as they surveyed the total devastation of their property and their belongings, they received what they believe was a sign of hope from God. After digging through the rubble, the only thing the family said they could find in tact was a statue of the Virgin Mary, which was standing strong in the midst of the chaos and debris as if it had been placed there on purpose.
"Some may blame God and some may blame the hurricane but the only thing standing were, holy things, as you can see this statue is the only thing that survived, I dug in there for things and all I found is a Virgin Mary," Natali told KRIS. "Appreciate what you have, listen to the warnings, hug your children and thank God for today and yesterday, and pray for a better tomorrow."
Donations for Hurricane Harvey victims can be made through several different charitable organizations, including Mercury One, which was formed in 2011 by TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck. Donations can also be made to the Red Cross by visiting their website, or by texting HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.