Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 18 Sep 2019 12am







    Tuesday, September 17, 2019-6:56:19P.M.






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Around the Islands | Rebuilding Tinian’s San Jose Church

THIS week’s episode of Around the Islands features the fundraising efforts of the Friends of San Jose Church after SJC was destroyed by Super Typhoon Yutu.

Teruko King: It’s really the people that make the church, not the actual structure. But in order to bring people together, you know, sometimes you need a place. And this is the place.  

Kimberlyn King-Hinds: It didn't matter who you are, and actually didn't really matter what religion you come from or whatever religious beliefs you have, people just kind of gravitated towards having community events at the church.

Teruko King (walking through SJC): Now, the crucifix that used to hang up here, it's now laying over here. It never fell, though. But we removed it for safety purposes. All the pews were turned over, the ceiling was down on the floor, it was just a big pile of rubbish in here.

The typhoon-damaged San Jose Church.The typhoon-damaged San Jose Church.

Richard Lazaro(pointing to the crucifix): It took like eight of us to carry this. It’s pretty heavy.

Teruko King:This is our goal right now, to rebuild the church to the way it used to look. And with that, it’s going to cost us about $1.7 million.

Kimberlyn King-Hinds: obviously, rebuilding the church is not going to happen overnight. So we decided to split it up in two phases, the first phase being the social hall, and then the second phase being the church. So the social hall is estimated anywhere from $150,000-$300,000. That’s a broad estimate, in large part because, you know, the cost of commodities goes up and down and that’s just the nature of living on an island where you have to import everything. And then we have the issue of labor so that’s  challenge.

Teruko King (walking toward social hall): This is our first goal; to get this back to where it used to be, so we can use it as a temporary place of worship and also a place to house our pastor.

Kimberlyn King-Hinds: I saw Jerry Tan one day at the airport and I said, “Jerry, you are a very generous person. I have the cause just for you.”

Jerry Tan:We have — I think — altogether raised over $135,000. If I recall correctly, $100,000 from the [Tan Siu] Foundation itself. And then we sold the shirts; $15,000 was our target and we did it.

Kimberlyn King-Hinds: Not only did he give us $100,000. He had a birthday party and he said, “In lieu of gifts, please give a donation to the church.” So that’s part of it. His daughter also donated $10,000 to the church.

Jerry Tan:We want the people of Tinian to not give up hope, but to continue to remain strong and knowing that a lot of people continue to care for Tinian and the effort will not stop until Tinian has fully recovered.

Richard Lazaro: Our people are still together, you know, as one community. And we’re still looking forward to that one goal of rebuilding our church.

Make sure to check out the full episode on Marianas Variety’s YouTube channel!