BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – At the Bastrop home of Rochelle Mitchell there’s a lot more family these days.
Her pregnant daughter, son-in-law and 12-year-old grandson lost their home to fire.
‘Like I tell her all the time, you’re not homeless because you do have me, and as long as you have me you’ll never be homeless,’ said Mitchell.
Tanitra Merino has pictures of what’s left of her property in Tahitian Village.
‘Sometimes when you see stuff burned down you can see the structure and stuff. I mean there is nothing there,’ said Merino.
Besides family, there’s also a lot of faith in the Mitchell house.
‘Just keep believing. We’ll be OK,’ said Mitchell.
For generations the family has attended Macedonia First Baptist Chruch in Bastrop.
Although their pastor, Reverend C.A. Williams, lost his own home in the fire, he’s remained a leader to his congregation.
‘That didn’t stop him from calling, asking what everybody needed what he can do,’ said Mitchell.
Bastrop County churches are playing a very important role in the fire recovery. They are places where donations are being dropped off for victims, they are places where people found shelter immediately after the fire started, and they are places where people are finding both the hope and the strength to move forward.
‘Sometimes God can test you. A lot of people don’t realize that, but one thing about it — he’s not going to put more on you than you can bear. Whatever he takes you through, he’s going to bring you through,’ said Mitchell.
Throughout Bastrop there are symbols of people holding onto their faith, like homemade ‘pray’ signs outside a Bastrop Fire Station.
‘God is an amazing God. He’s not going to leave you. He’s not going to forsake you. He’s going to be there with you, you know, so the worst thing you can do is lose faith,’ said Mitchell.
For Merino, you don’t need a home to feel at home when you have faith and family.
‘Even though I did lose my house, I’m still in a good place,’ said Merino.