Osteen's 'Hope Tour' Inspires Chicago

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The sell-out crowd of 37,000 didn't come to be entertained Saturday night at Chicago' Cellular One Field.

Instead, they wanted to hear Joel Osteen, the senior pastor of the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and his message of hope.

And almost everyone of them would tell you, he hit it out of the park.

Billed as "America's Night of Hope," the Chicago leg of the annual tour event was filled with positive thoughts from Osteen and his wife Victoria.

"You wouldn't be alive unless God had another victory in store for you. You need to get ready, because jubilee is on the way," Osteen, the leader of the largest church in America, told the audience.

"This world, this economy would like us to believe 'I can't,' that we're hopeless, we're helpless and our hands are tied," Victoria said. "But we're going to celebrate the 'I can.' "

The next stop on the Night of Hope tour is Pittsburg, Penn., on Sept. 9, followed by Albuquerque, N.M. on Oct. 7 and Cincinnati, Ohio on Nov. 4, according to the Joel Osteen Ministries website.

Osteen's ministry with its positive message, has inspired many people across the country.

"He's got such a warm, positive message. It's infectious," said Mike Jasinski, 29, of Ingleside told the Chicago Sun-Times. "You can't help smiling when he starts talking."

"You feel his compassion, his honesty," Evette Cager, 45, of Maywood, who was there with her daughter Jessica told the newspaper. "He doesn't push, 'Give give give.' "

Osteen also announced that Washington, D.C. would be the next location for the annual event scheduled for April of next year.

Tens of thousands from across the nation" are expected to gather at the state-of-the-art Washington Nationals Park on April 28, 2012, the ministry said in a statement Sunday.

Washington, D.C. was selected from among four finalist cities: Atlanta, New York, and Baltimore.

Osteen has held over 100 "Night of Hope" events across the United States since 2004. In 2009, he held the first non-baseball event at the new Yankee Stadium in New York with nearly 45,000 attendees.

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