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Lantern Rescue - The Growing Work

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
September 26, 2020 10:00 am

Lantern Rescue - The Growing Work

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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September 26, 2020 10:00 am

The Lantern Team comes to listeners from out-of-country, giving a brief overview of their mission on Caribbean "Island A" ... training, a third-world traffic jam, rising tensions, the nightclub environment, rescues, building relationships, prayer, and how they saw God moving through it all.

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Previously on Lantern Rescue. And when we found them, they were all on that bed, removed them out. That girl you could tell was reluctant because she was afraid of the owner who had probably placed many threats on her. And then once she got in the vehicle, she began to shake uncontrollably. Ultimately, we actually had to stop our caravan, our movement, get out on the street, lay her out, and handle shock. She was going into shock. I mean, I was ready to put an IV in her. She was at that point.

And that's that psychological factor playing out. Welcome to Lantern Rescue, a ministry program dedicated to bringing light into the darkness of human trafficking. It's time to light the way to freedom. This is Lantern Rescue. We tell the stories, we talk about rescues, and we empower you to do something about it.

William Wilberforce once said, let it not be said I was silent when they needed me. This is Lantern Rescue. Well, this is what we've been waiting for on Lantern Rescue today.

Mark and the team, Ren and TC, Alan, are all in country, actually in an island country that is in the Caribbean. And you guys have seen some phenomenal growth just in what God's doing in this arena for you. So, Mark, can you kind of take us there?

Yes, sir. I would love to share just quick, too, to say that our operation went really well, and I hope that, you know, in coming shows, we're going to talk more about all that occurred in the last weeks, including 22 operations, raids, removal of 24 people, 18 of them are minors. So, we'll be able to get into that in the coming shows. You know, this show, we really wanted to marvel at God's favor, and then also just the hard work that our team has been putting in place and the results of that.

TC and Alan are definitely going to have a lot to say about this. Alan leads our training, and, you know, when you work in several countries, you take what you get, and then you try to improve it, and then you often have to look hard for those improvements, you know. And we are seeing them, and it's just a matter of patience and time. But if I go back to when we first worked in this island, I think we had one relationship.

I personally need one person, and dropping into that country with just that one relationship, you don't know what the results are going to be. But blossoming from that one relationship, now I'm just so amazed, because now we sit with our team and, you know, we're sitting with the heads of this country and the heads of their law enforcement and the heads of their FBI, per se, and the heads of every department, and we have this enormous network that has been built to fight trafficking in that country. And we've been able to do something in two years, particularly in that country, that honestly, I don't know any other organization, government or otherwise, or an NGO or a group of volunteers like us, has been able to accomplish, and truly that's God's favor. I remember the first time that we did an operation there. It was just a small group of us, and we were describing the need and, you know, first finding someone who was willing to share some intelligence with us. Did not have a working task force in that country. Went out that night. They stayed at the car. They didn't know what to do.

By the second raid, they went to the door, but they never left the door. You know, and so that became evident that, okay, before we can do any type of operation, we have to get a task force together. We've got to do a lot of training. And so I'm going to throw the ball to TC or Alan. Describe kind of, maybe Alan, you start and describe where you began to get that bill for us.

Sure. When I was brought into the picture for the training side of it, we went into this particular country and met the individuals that were part of the unit. They brought out their gear and equipment to the training we were hosting, and just by the identification of what they had, you could tell that they didn't have a lot.

So, which is neither here nor there. It's not so much about the gear or the equipment. It's more about the heart and the desire to learn and perform the duties. So, on the onset, you could see they had a heart and desire to learn the different things we were showing them that they know that would make them better professional in their own day-to-day jobs, but now in this newer uniform that was more of a tactical operation side. So, with that said, you know, you can do a lot with people who are wanting and desire to learn. You can't do a whole lot with people who don't have that desire, even though they may have the best equipment and gear in the world, but they don't really have a desire.

It's kind of futile there to work with them, but these individuals have that want and desire and their heart is in the right place. So, the training started from a very, very basic, just learning how to operate and function a firearm. Not that they didn't know how, but they really didn't know the way to do it properly and safely and with a tactical mindset. So, it started from the basics, from operating a firearm, in this case it was a pistol, to actually learning how to walk into a room and be conscious of your surrounding in a tactical way and then continue to progress from there. So, with that said, you know, the training went really well. It was about a three or four day training with them. We covered a lot of material, actually probably overwhelmed them with stuff and that becomes evident when you go back to do refresher training, which we had in the past and we did in this last operation. So, every time we go, we always pick up, try to pick up where we left off and build out further.

Sometimes that's just not possible. You just got to rebuild what you initially established. So, that's kind of where we're at with this. TC, my first trip to this country was after Mark had come down his first or second time. And so, my first trip was pre Alan's training and post Mark's first trip. So, just to see the growth for me, my first time there, we got together and it was, you know, there were two groups of people who had kind of sort of met.

And so, our first time was just, you know, we're trying to get a few words down of this language so that we can at least say, hi, how are you doing? And from there, we formed up and even our group had a lot to learn. So, my first time there was we did a lot of work. You know, we went out for a couple of nights, we did a lot of raids, we got the kids back, but even the growth in that process, which I'm sure we'll talk about how much Mark and Ren have done to get things in place for the kids to have a smooth process from the time that they're rescued to they get to a place that is, you know, profitable, much more profitable for them has been a huge part of the growth for Lantern Rescue, in my opinion.

Yeah, wow. And Ren, from your point of view, so anyone that's worked in the third world country kind of knows that a lot of people come there saying that they're going to do great things and a lot of organizations try to get involved. But a lot of places leave because as we talked about before, these countries are often violent. There's a lot of disruption. It's chaos and groups will go there with the best of intentions and they'll leave pretty quickly.

And, you know, when you first get there, it's hard to convince them that you're not going to go anywhere and it's hard to make them understand that you're committed to them because so many people have left in the past. So, in the beginning, you're working with them and they don't necessarily see the end goal because no one stuck around long enough to make it to the end goal. And to see the growth in the team and how the American team and the foreign teams work together is just really incredible. They've really bought in, they trust us and the training has just grown exponentially.

It's been amazing to watch. Yeah. And Mark, it's not just the training of that, but there's other organizations that have come into the fight, right?

Yeah. One of the things we do is we begin to connect other, whether it's American NGOs organizations or whether it's local country organizations, we connect those dots and we chase down that network possibility to put them into play with us. And it is empowering to hand that network over to someone who's in command in that country, because now they have, and they're excited. Let me be honest with you, before us, this particular department of this country, essentially their FBI, has jurisdiction to do these type of operations, to work against trafficking, but they were not doing it. And then, any that they stumbled across, they honestly didn't know what to do with the rescue. We have been able to formulate relationships with a three-year school program, with one individual, with an actuary evaluation and determination of what's left, helping in the, and we're still improving this one, the therapy of a family when our child is reunified with the mom and dad. There's a lot of them that we do rescue, are put back with mom and dad.

They just disappeared or they ran away or they got caught up in this or that. So it's exciting to build this together, especially in a place where, honestly, the UN's left, the embassy leaves, so back and forth, because of the infrastructure problems there, and nobody's there to help. So they see us and they're like, and you guys are staying with us thick and thin, and we're excited about you guys. So I'm just glad that God continues to give us favor and that Alan, TC, Bob, Rens, Hart, and others who also come with us as other teammates, that our heart has really shown that we're there to help. We're just there to make the difference in the lives of a child. So how cool when you guys got there this time, right?

You've got all this stuff that God's helped build over a period of time, and so can you kind of take us into what happened when you got there this time? COVID required some backing up, and truly, in any federal country, let's just be honest, you will go three steps forward and two steps back, but you take that step and you go with it again. With COVID, we went down and did some, I guess what I call it, meet and greet, and that was a little over a month ago. And in that, I was amazed because really, truly, everyone that we had worked with got promoted. And that's an indicator of one great relationship, honest people, and the work is being appreciated by the nation itself. And so when you have those who you worked with who were promoted into more upper levels, now you have different layers of relationship. And that goes back to that, where I looked at and I go, man, two years ago, in this particular island, A, in the Caribbean, we had one relationship, we had one friend.

Now, oh my goodness, I'm not quite sure how big it is. So we got down there, obviously, we rebuilt, made sure relationships are good, we're excited to see that people got promoted, excited to see that we have a good name in that nation, our work does, then we begin to get busy again. And that always starts with, as Alice referred to, as what we call refresher training. We won't ever not do that because it's so needed for them and it's also needed for our team. All right, so when we come back, which will be just briefly, from what Mark was telling us, things went south the first day, and then we get to see how God showed up in this in-country episode of Landon Rescue.

Stay tuned, we've got so much more coming up. Landon Rescue is a USA-based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Landon specializes in sending former US special operation law enforcement and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems, such as genocide, terrorism, and human trafficking.

As a non-profit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated $150 billion in annual activity. Landon Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Landon operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery, and facilitates holistic aftercare services. They're gearing up for operations right now, and you can go to to see how you can support them financially.

Welcome back to Landon Rescue. Today's episode, we are in country, an island country in the Caribbean we're calling Island A. And wow, the first night sounds like there was just a whole lot going on.

And TC, can you kind of take us in there? Yeah, as Mark has said, it's three steps forward, sometimes two steps back. On this particular night, it looked like four steps back to be in this particular country and to make your life work. There's a bit of, you know, survival mode.

I'm sure you're trying to make money, but you're also trying to make sure that your family's safe and things like that. And this particular night, before we had arrived for the briefing, Mark Allen and I had spent quite a bit of time planning the route, looking at the targets. And so that for the mission brief, things would go smoothly. We wanted one of the vital team members for the indigenous folks to actually handle the briefing. So we were going over things once we got there.

Things looked really good. We had spent a ton of time getting this ready. And then during the brief or kind of post-brief, one of the main leaders for the crew, for the home team there, started looking for reasons that it wasn't going to work. And all of us sensed that something was not good, like this was not good, because one of the things that we offer is the expertise of years of military, government work, things like that.

That's one of the things that we bring. And so to be questioned, we were a little discouraged. And by the time we left to go do the work, the whole convoy was dragging its feet. And there's a huge amount of frustration building on our side of the team. And then really, by the time we got to where we were going to work, we had driven down the middle of town. And it really started to get to a point where there was friction building. I'm going to kind of hand this off to Mark and Al at this point to talk about that friction.

Al, you go ahead. So like TC said, the briefing we prepared for them to give was changed dramatically during that. And then the operational plan itself changed as we moved through the area. So keep in mind, this area is probably the most violent, hostile area in this country.

One of the individuals in this country is a gang leader, and he's notorious. And I think the leader of the home team there knew that. And he was trying to, I wouldn't say sabotage the mission in the sense that to get us hurt, but to keep people from getting hurt by exposing us. The people knew we were there, and they weren't doing what they shouldn't have been doing. So we wouldn't be able to catch them in the act, basically. To add to that, when we got to the barracks or police station in this hostile area, the judge that was supposed to meet us did not meet us.

We called two additional judges, and they refused to answer the phone. So we knew at that point that things were amiss. So there became some discussion, heated discussion amongst our team, their team, and some other members. And we decided to pull the plug and head back out of that area, which we did safely.

And nobody got injured or was compromised in any way. But on the way out, this is where God stepped in. One of our members of our team had some contacts in country and was able to make a call to a judge in a different district.

And that judge was more than willing to come out and help us in a different area of the town. So we went from a briefing and a whole packet to kind of flying by the suit of our pants in a different district. But we didn't have a briefing on.

We didn't have intelligence on. We just kind of went in there and went to the clubs that were known to the judge. And it actually turned out to be pretty successful.

There were several clubs that we were able to facilitate. We actually ended up. Yeah. And this is how God works, like Alan is just saying. I mean, you know, at those moments where we know this is a bus, I mean, I am praying. I know TC, Alan, everybody's praying because ultimately God has to figure this out for us.

And he remarkably did. We ended up with a new judge and we upgraded 14 different clubs all that evening and all that through the night because I'm, you see, it was nine clubs, 14 victims, nine minors. Correct? Correct. That is correct. Yeah.

So Alan is exactly right. I mean, in those moments we have to stop and pray and, you know, consider what does the Lord want us to do and what is he making available? Because if he's closing this door, it's just not, it was not safe for us to continue.

We knew it was a bust. So, you know, God opened the door with another judge and here's what he did. We ended up raiding nine locations through the night and removed 14 victims, including nine minors. And, you know, those were, those were individuals that God wanted. You know, we had our plan in one area and God had his plan in another.

I think he, as he says in Nehemiah, he makes his way out of a whirlwind. You know, he definitely, we had a whirlwind of problems as Alan described in that moment. And so God had his way and we kept safe and we were able to do those operations and remove those victims. So in the case of the victims, Mark, how were they victims? I mean, they were in the nightclubs, but what was actually, you know, as you saw what was going on with these girls, what was actually going on?

So a key operation within countries is really one of the operations we do in this country. It's continually raid establishments where a minor is maybe there willingly or unwillingly. And a lot of minors in this country, because it's illegal for them to be there, but a lot of them will go, they'll enter into that environment and they're really entering into it unexpectedly because they don't realize they think they're coming in for a party, a friend, you know, invited them. They're 14 years old, 15, and they come in and what happens that puts them on a direct path to possession controlled by that club owner and manager.

And eventually they will be required to work. So there are nightclubs, there are sex clubs and it's very, it can happen a lot that a girl can be in a nightclub and then a manager say, hey, you know, once you go to this club and then they get, you know, like we talked about that psychological bondage in another episode. So I can say a little bit of something about the kind of picture for the listeners. So these clubs, most of our listeners are probably picturing something in America where they've gone with their friends and gotten a couple of drinks and dance.

And for the most part, you have an okay idea of what we're talking about. These clubs are very dark, they're very speedy under bellies, and that's just the top of the club. So you're in the top of the club, you're drinking, you're having a good time, people are dancing very suggestively. But if you go downstairs or sometimes just into another hallway, there's a bunch of bedrooms and those rooms aren't there for people to leave their coats. These rooms are there to abuse the victims and to pay for sex and to rape minors. So the club owners advertise that they have young girls, they're available for sex. So they're getting their friends and their other patrons to get these to trick these girls into coming in there like, oh, this bartender will serve you even though you're underage.

So come and have a good time. And that's, that's how they get them in the door and then once they're there, they're able to exploit them. Wow. That's what, that's just unthinkable, isn't it? So, but God had other plans, right? That right?

Yeah, actually, if I could step in there then, here's how God thinks beyond the way we think. So that dangerous area, that was a bust the first night and then we went to the other area. Well, the following night, the next day, we actually went back to that area and stuck to the game plan we initially gave. And we actually wound up rating, I think it was four or five clubs. But the key here is we didn't get any children until I believe it was the last club. There was one girl that the team had already made entry into this club. And obviously, this area had been notified that we were in the area looking for this.

So that's why we weren't finding anybody initially. But the team had made entry into this, I believe it was the last club. And we had another team out in the street. And that's where we, and that team sold a pimp, bring a girl into the club behind us after we'd already been in there. So we had cleared this whole club, and we're on the way out.

And when you're in that mode, you're kind of just looking, I need to get out of here and move on. I happened to look to my left, and I saw the girl that was brought in right behind us. And we were able to extract her out and get her out of that club and take her back to the barracks where she could be evaluated and stuff. But in saying all that, our street team, which Mark was leading that night, he had saw this all transpire with the team going in, and then the girl being drug in there by her pimp after we had entered.

He's like, oh my, I hope they get that girl. And sure enough, that was the one that God wanted us to get that night. That was the one victim that God wanted us to pull out for all those efforts we put in.

And really, that made it worth it for all of us, is to realize that God had a specific person that he wanted us to rescue that night. Wow. So did you have a chance to interview her somewhat, TC? I actually don't really do much of the interviewing. Part of what's been established is a guy that's a go-between, a direct go-between between us, the government officials that we work with, and where the kids are going to be going.

So, definitely talked to her, so to speak, but not an interview per se, Rami. But it's beautiful that God has opened that door as well, which is kind of a nice segue into, you know, how do you, you know, TC? This is what I watched happen that I think is significant and hugely important for what we're trying to do for what God is doing. It would be very easy in this instance for our side of the team to be right, so to speak, and we believe we were right, and to take that rightness, so to speak, and march on out the door, to create a schism between both sides of the team that would be irreconcilable. But what I watched was, through the prayers that Marcus talked about, I watched a few Americans, so to speak, humble themselves to not burn this relationship to the ground, and to, as Paul said in Corinthians, we were given the ministry of reconciliation. And I watched from the first night till the third night, I watched the beginning of that reconciled relationship work until, really I'm sure we'll talk about in the future, some unbelievably great work on the third night because people humbled themselves, they put the kids in the mission, and actually that country's folks before our own pride and agenda, and I watched it heal up as we went. I think that's just huge.

Yeah, absolutely. Mark? Yeah, I'm so thrilled with the way the operations ended up working out, and it is a lesson for all of us to realize that what we plan and what we make is offered up to God, and then He makes the decision of what it will be and what it won't be, and that takes in perspective our fears, the local's fears, our inhibitions, our restrictions, things like, hey, and we didn't mention on this show, but we got stuck in a flood, in an enormous traffic jam that lasts seven, eight hours, the potential of us just sitting there through the entire operating night, and all of those things come into play, and we have to overcome them with Him, and I'm so thankful that we were able to. Wow, so you can tell they're in country, and it's time for us to be praying for the whole team, Mark, TC, Allen. Wren is kind of standing behind tactically to help direct things, and obviously if you're like me and you're listening, you're really excited to hear what God's going to bring. How many more weeks are you guys going to be in that area, or maybe we can't talk about that?

No, but we'd love to do a couple more shows and get a little more detail on some of the raid operations and just share God's goodness about those things. Wonderful, wonderful. Well, thank you guys. Thank you, listeners, for taking part in this adventure, and it continues. God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-27 03:29:42 / 2024-02-27 03:40:28 / 11

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