Lakewood Church, led by televangelist Joel Osteen, has provided shelter to over 100 people who were forcefully displaced from their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday, was a Category 4 storm with winds as high as 150 miles per hour. At least two people died as a result of the storm, and over a million people in New Orleans and other regions were left without power.
Matt Osteen, Joel Osteen’s nephew, told The Christian Post that Lakewood Church, which is located in Houston, Texas, was available to those from Louisiana in need of refuge and shelter.
“When the magnitude of the storm began to increase on Friday, we wanted to give people a place to go who were fleeing from Louisiana and New Orleans,” Osteen said. “And we allowed people to know that we were available to take refuge and shelter.”
“The Lakewood Church’s shelter is designed to be a short-term shelter,” he continued. “But we plan to house and feed people impacted by Ida for a while. Our church also hopes to continue to partner with neighboring churches to aid in various response efforts.”
The church building, which was previously used as a basketball stadium under the name Compaq Center, has a seating capacity of 16,800 people. The property as a whole has hundreds of rooms that have been used to shelter people during natural disasters.
The Lakewood church relief team has served over 500 meals to those impacted by Ida and has not forced anyone away because of a lack of space. Additionally, the megachurch distributed supplies and water to more than 1,000 Louisianans who stopped by for aid.
“The Church has a responsibility to step up and help by being the hands and feet of Jesus,” Osteen explained. “The Church has a biblical call to step up. We are privileged and blessed to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and some people just want to see a demonstration of love in these tough times.”
As Christian Headlines previously reported, Ida, which later downgraded to a tropical storm, also caused historic flooding in New York when the tail end of the storm hit the northeastern United States on Wednesday night. At least nine people were killed in the flooding.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Brandon Bell/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.