Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick Live podcast, where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. Your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. The following program contains sensitive content.
Listener discretion is advised. Previously on Lantern Rescue. I remember very well the day when the war started in 2014. I was a second year university student, like I just finished my college exam. I had many dreams and aspirations like a young lady. The whole world was at my feet and that day I went with my friend after the exam and an enemy plan flew into the territory of the city where we was. I was a couple of blocks away from the first rocket fired at the city.
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If you missed the last episode with Anna, with Ukraine, you by all means want to go back and listen to that podcast until you can be caught up on how God comforted her through the original invasion in 2014 so that she could be a comfort for those in the larger invasion that we know came earlier this year in 2022. We're so blessed to have back with us Whitney, with Lantern Rescue. Good to have you Whitney. I'm glad to be here. Glad to be here.
And how exciting is it really to see what God is doing? And I love what, you know, Mark with Lantern Rescue, those who know him, he couldn't be with us today, wish he could, but he would say it time and again that when the world looks for help in a horrible situation, you know, it's not the Red Cross, it's not the United Front, whatever, what it is, it's a church, right? Right. And there are seven churches in the Ukraine that we know, right, because you guys are working with them every day that are being the church in the Ukraine to all these people and providing light like Lantern would do. They are the city on the hill, you know, they're definitely that beacon of hope for so many people.
And we're just honored to have Anya here to be able to represent not just those churches and what they're doing in the ministry there, but to represent the people of Ukraine that are going through what's happening there and to bring to light, you know, the things that we don't see and don't know, you know, we're all given, you know, whatever is handed to us through the media outlets that we use, but this is the heart and truth of what's going on in Ukraine and as a believer what it looks like to be a Christian in Ukraine right now. Yeah. And it puts a face with a story. We see it in the news, but as you had said in the last episode, it's like 9-11, you know, what did that feel like for you that morning?
Exactly. I know we're getting a first hand of what it felt like in 2014, but we're fixing in today's episode to move on through the story. So Anya, we'll pick up where we left off. You got involved in the church and you found sort of a new purpose to life and a new light. And more than that, hope, you could see that in your eyes.
Yeah, right. The hope is the most important that I had at this moment. So I met Jesus Christ for sure because he called me for so many challenges and I was healed. My whole family was changed. How I said already, my brother, he married that girl and my youngest brother, he for sure started to talk and he finished his school.
So everything's good. My mother, she was completely healed from the bleeding and now she's serving in a lot of projects. So my father came back to our family. My grandmother, she already passed away and she's with God. I never saw her again, but anyway, we had a lot of talking together and we have such very sweet moments between grandmother and grandchild. Anyway, it was very hard lonely past years for her, but she was believer and you have to know that she started to, when she was unbeliever, she started to lost her memory. But when she became a believer and she received Jesus Christ to her heart, God totally healed her memory so she could memorize all the Psalms.
So sometimes I just called her and said, Granny, could you just talk me Psalm 90 and she will do that in any moment, any psalm. So it was a miracle. I know that she's with her heaven father now, February of 2022 came and now we know how to respond to the war. So a lot of community of refugees from 2014, now they know how to answer, how to respond to the people who escape in their native towns and who is losing everything. But it didn't make it easier anyway, because now it's massive epic on the whole Ukraine and we have to say that Russia is a terrorist state. So their target is school hospitals, their target is crowded places in civilian cities, not frontline. So now their target is electricity station. So we already have this asking from our government to limit our electricity using because we don't have a lot of power for wintertime.
So it's very tricky how they do that. So they could heat their school and minutes after that, they will show and on their televisions that the soldiers are gathering in this building. So we hit the massive soldier spot, but it wasn't, it was a school where it was a lot of children or somebody was living there. We have a lot of refugees which are living now in schools because we don't have enough space for everybody in our apartments. We don't have so many, like millions of people escape and we have to find the place where they will leave.
So we are like equip our schools for that. And we had a lot of situation like in my city where I'm living now and where we have our lantern rescue work for warehouse where we're helping people. We are like hiding a little bit because we are in the central part of Ukraine.
So it's Putin don't have the big interest on this because we are not on the border and we far away from frontline. But even in our city, we had a very big shelling and we was hidden in the crowd place. And my friend, she's working in pharmacy in the next building, whereas the rocket was fell down. So she told me that stories which we didn't, we didn't see that in the news, nobody shows us the pictures because it will demativate the nation that there are so many victims. But she saw how many victims there were civilians, very like on the field, on the street, you will go through, through the street. You will see dozens of dead children and women, which just walking around because it's their city, they are working there, they are living here.
So it was very, very bad moment for us. But I will not say about that cities which are shut, like totally destroyed, totally, not like 40% of buildings, but 100% of buildings, nobody's living there now. And even now, just our soldiers are finding a lot of dead people in the apartments, like old people who couldn't move because they don't have nobody. We had a lot of volunteers who tried to evacuate, evacuate, yeah, old people alone, old people, but unfortunately, it's not enough of amount of people. So we couldn't help everybody.
So describe for our listeners a little bit of what an average day looks like at the warehouse where you are now. Like we have at the beginning of the war, we had like 600 people every day. Now it's less because like a lot of people who wanted to escape, they already did that. And we already had at the beginning of the war, like big trains, just full of people not sitting, but laying in every shell, they will just like you can't food. So yeah, as many as they could get in a car to get them out of the, yes, they just just was living in the train station, waiting for some train.
And it wasn't, it doesn't matter where this train will go, just go somewhere. And so the people in those cars, maybe we should talk about that a minute. You know, these people were like doctors and lawyer. These were people that were professional, like people that you would find every day and their whole families, right? They're all packed in these cars.
Yes. It's not like needy people that will come to warehouse and say, give me everything you have because I didn't have anything before the war. They have, they had everything before the war. They had good houses. They care about development of their country. They care about development of their lives. They had good families, good careers. So it's smart people, not just like needy people, which always in need and they don't want to work and everything. They had the money, but unfortunately they lost everything.
So when they came to our warehouse, they really, really embarrassed of that moment. And that they should ask of just package of food or winter clothes for their child. So we have 50 volunteers in our warehouse and the half of them are refugees from 2020. No, also we have, yeah, we have 2014 refugees, like the members of our church. But already a lot of people who came just asking of supporting from this war, they already became volunteers because they said, I just, I just don't want to be at home alone. I don't know anybody in this city, so I will be useful here in this place. So we already become a community of healing for that people.
And I can't help it. You know, those who had an opportunity, I hope to listen to the last episode knew the hurt you felt, right? When you showed up at the city and then they didn't even want to let your dad get me in the bed because he was a big man, right? All those memories, you know, when you see that person that's coming in and all distraught and whatever, and they see in your eyes, right, that you understand at a level that God gave you how important it is, that you're glad that the people have had a chance to find a safe place. Right?
Yes. Sometimes people came to our warehouse and they are leaving like two or three families in one apartment. It's like 10 people or even 15 people in two room apartment and they are just sleeping on the floor. So they asking for any mattresses, any pillows, everything is that we could do for them. So we help people with medicine and with food packages and we also give them clothes. And we don't just make that like a warehouse.
We just made it like a place where a person could come and to have this conversation with volunteer which personally cared about every single story. So. Yeah. So again, unfortunately, we've got to go to another break. You know, I just want to thank you. A lot of you listening have already given, right? Or you've already been praying for the Ukraine. And so we want to thank you for your part and what God's already doing over there. And I think when we come back, you're going to hear, you know, some of the miraculous as just miraculous because of those of us who were there, you know, when this first started happening, realized that you guys started this boy house with nothing, right?
Like, and God has provided miraculously and he started these churches with not that many people, but look at the army that now God has raised. And one of those is you listening, right? Your prayers, your support. It means so much.
We'll be right back. Lantern Rescue is a USA based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Lantern 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 nonprofit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking is grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated $150 billion in annual activity. Lantern Rescue is developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery and facilitates holistic aftercare services.
We're gearing up for operations right now and you can go to lanternrescue.org to see how you can support them financially. Welcome back to this very, very special episode of Lantern Rescue today. We're sharing Anna's story, but we have Whitney here and Whitney, you know, you're like me. You just want to, you know, jump in there, but you want to hear everything Anna has to say, right? And just kind of, you know, this is the third time I've heard, you know, pieces of the story, but I just still, I kind of, I just sit back and I listen to her talk because it's not just her talking, it is the heart of Christ for his people that speaks through her in these moments. And man, I just really hope I'm sitting here praying as she's speaking that the Holy Spirit just moves on people that are listening because that is the true desire and I could get emotional even talking about it, Robbie, but and just to see her sit here beside of us and know what she has endured and what people are enduring as we are speaking right now, there's a call to action for us as Christians. And right now that call to action is for me to be silent and let her speak, but there are so many other calls in prayer and giving that just need to occur.
So I'm going to let her take back the show because what she has to say is far more important than what I do. Right. And actually this weekend say that if the Holy Spirit had the control he wanted to have, he would see God everywhere. Oh, that's God. There he's God. There he is. There he is. There he is.
And if you don't see that in Anna's eyes where you don't hear it in her voice or in her heart, you know, I don't know what to tell you, but it is emotional. So unless, again, as you're there in that warehouse, can you take us back to those early days when you didn't know when you were going to get the next blanket or the next pillow? How did it happen? How did you guys end up with this warehouse? So when the war started, we from first day, we already was on our phones because we are in jail for many years and we already help a lot of people in need and homeless people. And we had a lot of rehab centers for people in addiction.
So we have a website and we have Facebook page and my number is there and we have church website where my pastor's phones. So everybody called us like we are from that region we want to escape or we came here in Venus and we know that you are here, guys, we need some food because we just came without anything and we have like three months old child or I'm pregnant and I need something medicine. I need some medicine.
I need to go to the hospital who could help me. So we had a lot of like thousands of calls within the sleep at night because we also try to evacuate our women, children from the church and from our community. So we did that by our own trucks and also we tried to buy tickets on the train and to cross the border, prepare all documents and everything.
So it was very frustrating time and also that trains which coming to our train station, it could be like very, very many people. So we came to that train station three time a day and we cooked warm food for them and warm tea and we fed them there and they just lay down on the train station floor because they were so, so tired from this road and everything they were stressed about. So we did it for like months, but maybe in the end of the March we understood that we should do something for people who came and stayed. So we had this guy, he's a good businessman in our city and he's a good friend. So we asked him for some place where we could bring the clothes that we had in our other warehouses because we had a lot of spots for helping people. We didn't have much of food, but like the first time we had the food for, I guess, 100 people and we had already 10,000 of refugees in that day. And we had some of clothes and members of the church just gather everything they had to the warehouses. So that guy, that businessman, they gave us this place for free. So no rent payment, but it's a good place.
It's like where everybody knows where this place is. So we started like that and we worked for like two weeks just on the phones calling different partners for asking the help and everything, but everybody did that. Every volunteer did that. So not many people respond like, yeah, sure, we will help you.
And they send us $100 and it's like nothing. So we was just praying. So from the first day of the war, we had this praying four times at the day for one hour.
So like in the morning, early morning, but in the lunchtime, at the middle daytime, at the evening. And we had these praying groups every day until today. So we know that it's God's fighting. So he needs just a guy, a person who will say, yeah, I want to be your instrument. So after that, I got this text message from some guy, Mark, who sent me, hey, I just asked for somebody who is working in Ukraine because I want to help you. I want to be a part of this job. So we didn't believe some random guy who called us and just saying, I want to give you money. It was suspicious. So I answered him because I want to be a believer also.
I want to believe in God's miracles. So I answered him, but we were, was very, very, how to say it? Capital, yes, and careful, careful with every offer because we already have some callings from foreign people, but it was not foreign.
It was Russian people like who just wanted to know where our spot is so they could put it on their map and we'll be in the target. So we had to be suspicious, but we had this one common guy who gave my number to Mark. So I asked him and he said, Oh yeah, he's a great, and you could trust him and everything. So we started work together and now we have like seven employers and our staff and huge work, which is just supported by lantern rescue.
So we for sure have to say that we are one team like separated by the ocean by, you know, speak for Mark since he's not here. I wish he could be, um, that has on his end, right, he doesn't have an unlimited financial resources, but he said, I'm going to, I'm going to find a way to get this done. He just stepped out in faith. He said, I'm going to find a way to get this done for three months. You can count on me for three months.
And then not unlike you, right? We said that without knowing that we had the financial support, like, we said three months and we don't know what this is going to look like, but well, you know, so your step out in faith was our step out in faith as well. Because we're at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention a day or two a week after I remember Mark being on his phone and going into all these different, you know, trying to find this, that and the other, but to see what God has done, um, through lantern and through you guys, right? It's more than your, my mind can even, it can gather on how God has supplied that, but it's not enough. Yeah. Unfortunately, there's still all these people in your town that are coming every day. There's, there's, there's a lot of rebuilding has to be done. I mean, who knows what it's going to take to rebuild these lives, but you guys are a light on the hill right now, right? Yeah.
And people in the country have a reputation of, we know where we can get you some help. Mm-hmm. Yes. So like at the beginning of the war, we had 600s of people. Now we have like every day, 200s, 300s of IDPs like displaced people.
All right. Well, how does the IDP is? Internally displaced persons, so they are not refugees because they're not fleeing or coming from another, another country per se, but they are displaced within their own country. Um, so it would be like us picking up and moving to, you know, another state, right? Same kind of idea. Mm-hmm. And not knowing anyone, you know?
So many people had already fleed at this point that as they're coming into these new places to stay, they're coming in without knowing anyone, without having any resources of where to go and who is trustworthy and who is not, and really how long they'll be able to stay in that place. Right. And another critical thing you all have done, right, is helping a register from what I understand, you've got a way that you've kept track of all the people that are moving all around, right?
Mm-hmm. So now we, we have registered, like, 3,000 or 300,000 of these kind of people in our Vignettes region, and they all came to some warehouses except us. We have, um, another warehouses in our city, but they already, a lot of them closed because volunteerist teams, they're just too exhausted after six months of working, so, and also the resources, they have a lack of resources and everything. We didn't have that problem because we are the church, and our people could be volunteerists forever, and also our God is providing us with resources, but except of the working with IDPs, with refugees, we also have our therapy for children, and we have these Sunday schools for, like, family events for children and their parents, and we're also visiting destroyed villages in different parts of Ukraine to bring the water, to bring the generators, to bring some food for people who just stuck in that villages because they were occupied, but now they're free, or because they are on the border and the troop of tanks are going through that villages and destroyed everything, and also we are helping soldiers, we are going to the front line, um, my pastor, he is chaplain, and he's going there, so, and our soldiers honestly, they are, like, naked, they don't have anything, any equipment, so, except these, we also have a lot of destroyings in our country, in the economy, so we have a lot of spheres where we could be used, useful. Uh-huh, and I understand all your pastors, right, you didn't have any pastors that fled the country in your church, right, they stayed there, and those pastors are out in the field right now, right? Yes, they never left our country, and also all the women from our church who is working now in the warehouse, they had this possibility to left, but they didn't, they just didn't escape because they understand that they have to be here, they have to be in the, this pain and to be this comfort from God in this situation, because God, He will heal and He will restore everything, but He will ask us where we was at that moment. Yes, the hands and feet, you know, they are the hands and feet of what, what is being done there, and ensuring that the gospel moves forward and that people are taken care of, because when people ask where is Jesus in those moments, I think they can look into the eyes of the people that you work with and are volunteering with and see the answer to that. Pray ahead to protection over these people, because what they are doing is in fathomable, what they deal with on a daily basis, and that restoration and rejuvenation, and we hope that her time here is a time of restoration for herself. This is The Truth Network.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-08 19:10:15 / 2022-11-08 19:16:10 / 6