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By Don Tietz
Don Tietz is the National Director of MOVE (Men of Vision Evangelize). Don attends Turning Point Open Bible Church in Spokane, Washington.
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In mid-February Men of Vision Evangelize (MOVE) took a team of 31 men to Trinidad to participate in a joint venture with Open Bible Standard Churches of Trinidad and Tobago (OBSCTT) to construct a church building for the outreach church in Mendez. The building of the church was a huge success both from a construction standpoint as well as relationally with the people of Trinidad. It was a great pleasure serving with OBSCTT to complete this project to further the ministry in the Mendez area.

Young men lined up to receive their own fatherly hug.

Young men lined up to receive their own fatherly hug.

MOVE is not just a “construction crew.” A large part of our purpose is not only to construct buildings but also to build up men and encourage them to utilize the gifts God has given them to influence and reach others. MOVE’s trip to Trinidad offered many such opportunities but one stands out.

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One of the men on our team, Steve Burish, is deeply involved in Gideon International and devotes a great deal of time to prison ministries. He was hoping to have an opportunity to share in a prison in Trinidad. Dave Crawford, another man on our team, had spent some time in prison, which actually led to his salvation. He has a huge heart for sharing his testimony with others to reach them for Jesus.
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Through a local church member our MOVE team was able to contact Cassio Anthony, a member of Siparia Open Bible Church who works with the Youth Training Center (YTC) in Trinidad. YTC is a part of the Trinidad and Tobago Prisons Service. It serves young offenders between the ages of 16 and 18 who were sent there by the courts for a period of three to four years for training instead of imprisonment. On the MOVE team’s last day in Trinidad, Cassio was able to set up a visit for Steve and Dave to minister to the young men at YTC. What follows is an excerpt from a Facebook post by Cassio relating to this time:

Last Wednesday the Siparia Open Bible Church, along with two members of the MOVE team from the USA, came to YTC for a time of ministry…. They did an excellent job; the young men were truly blessed. After the service the team was greeting the young men as they went back to their dorms when one of the MOVE members (Dave) opened his arms to give a hug to one of the young men.

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When the young man resisted the hug, Dave told him, “I’m sorry son, I was just going to give you a fatherly hug.” The young man looked at Dave and then opened his arms to receive the hug. Immediately the other young men who saw what had happened formed a line, asking if they too could receive a fatherly hug.

This blew my mind. I never knew a fatherly hug would mean so much to those young men …. It made me realize that I too need to hug my son more often. I never received a fatherly hug from my earthly father, but I thank God that I can hug my boy – the power of a fatherly hug!

The Siparia Open Bible Church’s senior pastor, Rev. Mark David, has given his blessings to make these visits a regular event at the prisons.

About The Author

Don Tietz

Don is the National Director of Men of Vision Evangelize.