A viral video on TikTok shows a church in downtown Lahaina as it miraculously survived the devastating Maui wildfires that turned the rest of the town into ashes.
In a clip, the Maria Lanakila Catholic Church can be seen standing proud with its tower structure and stained glass in place even though its surroundings were in fumes.
Members of the church’s community were quick to take to social media to express their gratitude that the building had been saved.
“May She be the beacon of hope… to help the rest of the community,” Jeffrey Chang wrote.
Another Facebook user wrote: “May she be the beacon of hope to the people of Lahaina!!!! Praise the Lord… upon this rock I will build my church!!! come and follow me….”
Lahaina’s 150-year-old bayan tree also survived the blaze.
Speaking to the Pillar, Terrence Watanabe, pastor of St. Anthony’s, said “all of Lahaina Town has been consumed by fire.”
“It’s all gone,” he said. “The church, Maria Lanakila [Our Lady of Victory], is still standing, as is the rectory. The school’s been a little bit affected.”
Speaking about the church’s relief efforts, Watanabe said: “Our bishop just got back from the meeting on the mainland… the diocese – they’re meeting today to decide what they can help with.
“Catholic Charities here in Hawaii is also mobilizing at this point. And I think they’ve already contacted the national office for some help and support.
“Here at St. Anthony [Parish], we’ve started a fund for people to donate to.”
The Mayor of Maui County said that the dead bodies found so far have been discovered in the street.
Rescue workers have not yet started searching inside homes and businesses.
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