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OPINION: Valtiroty Shiloh’s Tabernacle valuable part of community

By Otinel Iancu

Guest columnist

This is in reply to an editorial published by The Daily Republic on June 20 titled, “City right to buy Jitters property,” which incorrectly stated that “all that’s happened to the building — renamed Valtiroty Shiloh’s Tabernacle — is that it’s been used to sell religious-themed T-shirts.” Before this statement was made, it would have been nice if the writer checked out its correctness, to see if that is really all that is happening in this building. What makes this statement even more odd is that in the late part of the same month, two ladies from The Daily Republic walked in the store, asked a question, and when offered to come in and see what is going on there, they refused and walked out.

Twice in the past two years, the editorial board of The Daily Republic voiced its opinion regarding the wisdom of having a religious-themed store across from the Corn Palace, articles that have upset some of the local God-fearing people — after all, this is an area with a rich Christian presence. Anything said against such a themed project would affect all those here who actually struggle to preserve their Christian identity. I am curious if the writer of this article published anything against the Corn Palace, which this year had as one of its outside pictures the cross? The religious-themed store may not fit in, for now, according to the editorial board, but neither did the doll museum with items from all over the world, with no connection to anything local.

Contrary to what the editorial said, the sale of religious-themed T-shirts represents only a small fraction, about 5 to 10 percent, of what we offer here. The children of the town this past summer, and those passing through, by hundreds, enjoyed the jungle playground. The parents usually have a hard time taking them out. The replica of the Old Testament tabernacle and the Bible land scenes, museum-like, awed those who walked through — and the project is still developing and improving.

We also offer a variety of gifts and other products. One can find here all kinds of household items — kitchen, tools, office supplies, books, toys, vanity items, clothing, shoes, etc. We also guarantee the lowest price in town for all identical items that we offer.

A unique contribution to the town is that we are here for anyone who is in need of somebody to pour their hearts out to. People who recently have lost some of their loved ones to sickness or traffic accidents, those who are going through the ugly phases of divorce, lonely souls, etc. have been assisted and comforted from this place. This place is the contact for and the base of a lot of other people-oriented activities (services), such as hospital visitation, shut-in phone calls, assistance to homeless and disheartened people and even helping handicapped persons.

I would like to suggest that rather than putting down efforts with humble beginnings, we should all join in encouraging and supporting each other for the betterment of our community and for the good of those less favored by life.

Valtiroty Shiloh’s Tabernacle is not an intruder into our community, but rather a reminder of what we should be. What attracted us to this area in South Dakota was the kindness of its people, and as such, I believe that this project fits right in with the beautiful nature of the character of all of us around. Please come and see us, and join us. We wish you all early blessed holidays.

-Otinel Iancu is the owner of Valtiroty Shiloh’s Tabernacle, located in the former Enchanted World Doll Museum building in Mitchell.