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Joel Osteen to open megachurch to evacuees
31 Agosto 2017, 01:05 | Gervasio Siguenza
Harvey threatens to make natural disaster history
"Where's Joel Osteen? His church in Houston holds 16,800, and he has plenty of money". Osteensaid the doors to his church were never closed, but in fact experienced flooding of its own during the tropical storm.
"We have floodgates right behind me to the right".
On Saturday, Osteen faced heated criticism for failing to open the church's doors to Houston evacuees who were displaced by the severe flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Hurricane Harvey dumped a record-breaking 48 inches of rain on Houston, according to CNN. In addition, thousands of donations have poured in and volunteers have been working diligently to help those in need.
A previous message read, "Lakewood's doors are open to anyone needing shelter". Osteen leads Lakewood Church in Houston, one of the largest congregations in the country - so big, its home used to be an National Basketball Association arena.
By Monday night, Twitter user Charles Clymer claimed victory over the issue. As soon as the highways aren't flooded please know Lakewood Church will do all they can alleviate the pain and suffering of as many people as possible. "If they would've asked us to be a shelter early on, we would've prepared for it all". Once they filled up, people started coming here.
Meanwhile, 6,000 evacuees found shelter in the George R. Brown convention center, six miles away from the church and 1,000 past its stated capacity.
"We'll be here five years from now helping these people, so we feel good about who we are and what we're doing", he said. We want to help make sure you are safe. Asked what he had learned from the criticism, Osteen added, "We would probably do some things differently, obviously".
City officials say more than 17,000 are now residing in shelters, and as many as 30,000 are expected to seek a new place to stay.
"I think sometimes social media can be very powerful and it can create this false narrative", Osteen said, perhaps referring to various tweets and Facebookposts Monday showing that the entrance to the church was easily accessible.
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She sent her two oldest girls, a third-grader and a first-grader, up first with a small suitcase of clothes. The organization said it doesn't worry about the size of the structure. "This isn't going to happen fast".