The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many of the activities planned by our church in Tinian, an island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and just south of Saipan. Community outreach, such as health expos and beach clean-ups, are among those services that were cancelled. Our health expo, that was scheduled for May 2020, was postponed indefinitely. The beach that the church had adopted has not been cleaned for more than two months. In spite of these unexpected hindrances during the pandemic, church members sought ways to still extend services to the community. It is apparent to our brothers and sisters in Tinian that we must still move forward with the mission of our church: Love God, love others, and serve the world. Church members believe that community services are vital tools in opening the hearts and minds of the community members to a greater understanding of Christ’s love. As Zig Ziglar said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” We prayed that we could still serve the community while trying to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
So we decided that we could make face masks to be given to the people who needed them. With limited clothing material on island, we were able to make about 15 face masks, which we distributed to the community. However, the masks that we made were only improvised since the clothing material we used was not intended for making face masks. It is impossible to purchase suitable material here in Tinian because there is no store that sells them. However, God works in mysterious ways. When the Health Ministries Department of Guam-Micronesia Mission asked us how they could be of help, we indicated that we needed suitable clothing material to be used in making face masks. They gladly sent us those needed materials. When we finally received the clothing materials through the mail, we were able to make more than 70 washable and durable face masks. These masks were distributed for free to the community members. They are grateful that the Seventh-day Adventist church cares for them and their health.
The Tinian Seventh-day Adventist Church is blessed that we could be used as God’s instruments in helping others. We are glad that even in a major crisis, God has given us opportunities to help others. Even after Super Typhoon Yutu devastated Tinian two years ago, we were also able to help others through the assistance from Adventist Community Services. Successful activities such as those gave us the satisfaction and confidence that we can manifest God’s love to others. Tinian SDA members are planning, if materials are available, to make face masks for every student in Tinian Elementary School. We calculate that there are around 200 students in this school. The Board of Education tentatively plans to open the 2020-2021 school year by September or October. We believe that we still have ample time before the start of school year to provide this layer of protection for their students.
Please pray that we can find needed clothing materials for this project and please pray for our ministry here in Tinian so that we can find more ways to serve the community. The Bible says in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” With gladness in our hearts we say, “We are happy in the service of the King.”