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'He's fantastic, genuine': Joel Osteen discusses new friendship with Kanye West

by Tola Mbakwe

Pastor Joel Osteen has opened up about his new friendship with Kanye West.

In an interview on US chat show Good Morning America, the megachurch pastor shared how he and the rapper met.

Osteen, who leads Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, said it was an "interesting" situation.

"You know, Kanye's had a turn of events in the last year or so, and I got a text from him, and we just struck up a conversation and a friendship," he said.

"And he was going to be in Houston for an event and I thought, 'Hey, you want to come by the church?' And so it all came together.'"

Last month, West, who's been very vocal about becoming a Christian, held his "Sunday Service" at Lakewood Church and was interviewed by Osteen during the church's Sunday morning service where he shared about his journey to faith in God.

"I'm a believer in people," Osteen said. "I found him to be very genuine and just a fantastic person."

Osteen also shared advice that he gave to West when they first met.

"He asked me for advice because this world is new to him," Osteen said.

He told him to "keep God in first place, and keep listening to his heart".

The pair will team up next year for Osteen's "Night of Hope" in New York. The event, which tours to eleven cities across the United States promises to be "inspirational nights of hope, worship and encouragement".
"I'm excited," Osteen said.

"It's going to be you know, 50,000 people there in the [Yankee] stadium. He's bringing his couple-hundred-member choir."

Osteen also spoke about his new book, The Power of Favor, which he described as "God's empowerment" and "a blessing on your life that takes you where you can't go on your own".

"I believe when you have favour, God brings the right people to you," he added.

"I never dreamed in a million years Kanye West and I would be at Lakewood together, but here we are. So you never know what God could do."

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