Tim Barnett is a pastor from Toronto. He traveled to the Lone Star State to preach in Beaumont, and he just rented a car to go there. After several teaching days in Praise Church, he needs to go back to Canada but tropical storm Imelda hit Houston with a devastating flood.
The pastor missed his family so much after being away from his spouse and three young daughters. Tim was keen to go back home, and luckily, Ken Wilgers, a member of the Praise Church wanted to try his best to bring him home.
Tim has spoken to Faithwire, and he said he’s prepared to drive back home on Thursday, but Ken called and told Tim to leave his automobile at the hotel because he’ll come and get him. Ken drives a huge truck that has a lift kit.
Initially, Tim thought Ken might be overreacting, but he agreed to leave the rental car to wait for Ken. It’s the right decision by the pastor because there’s no chance that automobiles can survive the road to the airport.
The pastor said the fields have transformed into lakes, and he recalled that the roads contained three or four feet of mobile water. The travel time towards the airport is three hours, and it is deceptive because the road is flooded, and the water obstructs bumps and holes.
Thank you Jesus, we made it. I am now safely at the airport. That was the most intense 3-hour drive I have EVER…
The 36-year-old pastor said, “Ken wanted to get me home.” However, the water deepened and got murkier as they travel further away from Beaumont. Tim said, “You could tell it was moving water. That was concerning as well because moving water can also pick a truck up and put it somewhere else.”
Tim said, Ken was “cool as a cucumber”, and he is mentally exhausted. The pastor is so fragile because of his desperation to go home to his family, yet nature is a hindrance.
They eventually arrived at the airport, and the staff was so surprised to see them because they thought it’s an impossible feat, and there are no more flights that day. The pastor needed to wait for 36 hours before he got boarded on a plane heading to Toronto.
Tim expressed, “I’ve never in my whole life experienced that kind of situation for that long time. We were praying the whole way, hoping we can get us through this. That feeling of being completely at the mercy of the elements, and praying to God is a humbling experience”.
Back home, Tim always thinks of the people in Texas who have lost their home or a beloved one. The preacher expressed, “I don’t know how I would react. I think I’ve been more blessed just following these families and how they’re responding to the tragedy. Because I wonder myself, how would I react? And I hope it’s how some of these families are reacting.”
People in desperation become resilient, and they remember God. Tim hopes there’s no need for such flooding to happen before we realize we need Jesus.