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Joel Osteen weeps for 7-year-old shot at Lakewood Church

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(CP) Nearly a month after he was overcome with tears as he announced to his congregation that they had paid off a $100 million loan, Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen was overcome with tears again as he prayed for 7-year-old Samuel Moreno-Carranza, who was shot in his head at the megachurch last Sunday when his mother instigated an armed attack on the church and engaged two off-duty police officers in gunfire.

The boy’s mother, Genesse Ivonne Moreno, a mentally troubled 36-year-old woman who had previously worshipped at the church, was fatally shot during the armed confrontation with the church’s security team, preventing what many believe could have been a mass shooting. He is reportedly barely clinging on to life at Texas Children’s Hospital and has very little brain activity.

“Lord … we lift up that little 7-year-old boy, Samuel, that was injured here, Lord, and [through] no fault of his own,” Osteen prayed.

“Lord, we know you can do what looks impossible. Even though medical reports don’t look good, Lord, I know he’s in your hands. Lord, I thank you that his destiny for his life will come to pass, and Lord, that your mercy is upon his life. We just pray your healing and wholeness. And Lord, I pray for all the family of the deceased and the troubled woman, Lord,” Osteen said before he became overwhelmed with tears and covered his face with his hands.

“Lord, I know she was troubled in her mind, but I know her family’s hurting. Lord, we know you’re in control. So I just pray for comfort for that family and just comfort for all those that are here. Lord, these are not tears of sadness but tears of your goodness and overwhelming,” he added.

“Just Your grace and Your mercy protecting us all. Lord, we know what it could have been. But here we are, and Lord, like already declared, I think that Lakewood is strong and that You bless us with awesome people. And we’re moving from glory to glory, from victory to victory. In Jesus name, Amen.”

In an earlier announcement about the services at Lakewood Church on Sunday, Osteen said they were designed to help the church community heal from the tragedy.

“I’m a crybaby, y’all. I can’t help it. But again, it’s not tears of sadness or fear. It’s just wow, look at the goodness of our God. He brought us through. So we thought we’d just take this service, it’s good to remember what God has done and thank Him for what He did.”

In a recounting of the shooting at Lakewood Church, Houston Police Department’s Commander of Homicide Christopher Hassig said at a press conference that Moreno pulled up to the west side of the church building in a white vehicle at 1:53 p.m. on Feb. 11 with her son in tow.

Moreno then “confronts a security guard who lets her in along the west side of the building” at 1:55 p.m. Moreno “immediately starts firing” after entering a hallway of the church.

The off-duty officers, who were working approved security jobs for the church, engaged Moreno in a gunfight. Moreno and the child are then brought down. Hassig said the child was shot once in the head but did not say who shot the child.

“Multiple rounds are fired by her, at which point Officer Moreno of the Houston Police Department, working an approved extra job at the location as well as TABC agent Herrera, returned fire and the exchange is all there on the west side of the building,” Hassig said.

“In the hallway, multiple shots are exchanged by all three. She eventually falls to the ground. The 7-year-old child falls to the ground as well from gunfire — one gunshot wound to the head.”

Moreno was pronounced dead by Houston Fire Department personnel at 2:07 p.m. Hassig said, her son remains hospitalized in “critical condition.”

Two weapons were recovered from the scene, including a .22 caliber rifle, which was not used in the shooting, and an AR-15 with a “Palestine” sticker, which Moreno fired at the officers.

Police have since revealed a complete list of items taken from Moreno’s home in Conro, Texas, as evidence. The list includes nearly two dozen rounds of ammunition, two bullet-proof vests and a mask with “Free Gaza Trump” on it.

Osteen revealed that he was at the church when the shooting took place and while he couldn’t share all the details, he saw the hand of God moving in the situation in many ways.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner also requested prayer for Moreno’s son and family and said video of the shooting will be released to the public in a few days.

“In a few days, we’re going to release the videotape. And I’m going to tell you, you’re going to be proud of it. You’re not going to be able to understand everything because it’s just a snippet of what happened, but when God puts men and women in place to protect people, that’s what happened last Sunday,” Finner said.

Houston Mayor John Whitmore was so moved by the service he said he was leaving the event a changed man.

“Let me close by saying thank you for allowing me to be in this service. I feel the Holy Spirit as I stand before you. I know what the Holy Spirit feels like. And I feel it, show it. I will leave here a better father, a better Christian, and a better mayor than when I got here,” he said.

As he celebrated his church escaping a mass shooting incident, Osteen also took the opportunity to offer a new prayer over the sanctuary.

“I just thought it’d be a good time to rededicate this building to God. I know we did it back in 2005 when we moved down, but let’s just rededicate it,” he said as his congregants joined hands with his guests.

“Lord, we know you gave us this building. It was a basketball arena but Lord, you turned it over to us. I know Lord, we’re standing on holy ground right now. This is not just an ordinary building. This is the place that you gave us to bring hope to the world and healing to our community. Help us to walk in your way,” Osteen said. “We commit it back to you. We thank You for Your protection. We thank You for watching after us.”

© The Christian Post





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