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Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. We're gonna be talking about what it looked like for the healing to begin in the midst of war still, right? And so that's been a big part of what they've been able to do. And I think God prepared Anya's heart in such a special way because of what she went through. She has been able to relate to every person that walks through the door. But she's had a special place in her heart for some of the children. And maybe that's because you spoke to your heart when you needed it most, right? But I'm gonna let her tell you a little bit about the VBS they're doing there.
We're customary to calling it VBS here in the States, but it's the same kind of principle. It's the opportunity to share the Word of God. We have a wonderful update for you today on Lantern Rescue. We're gonna go south to South America. And TC and Allen have a whole host of folks that are working with some teams to both train folks in how to prevent trafficking as well as, boy, at the end you're gonna hear some really touching stories of actually the work that's done in the recovery program with folks that have been rescued out of trafficking. And so I can tell you there's two big parts to this show, lots of folks to listen to, so buckle your seatbelts. So I'm TC.
Of course, you've had me on the radio show in the past. And we came to Ecuador for the task force to train the unit here that is responsible for human trafficking and abuse against women in this country. They're currently at 40-plus agents. They're understaffed by about 20. And for the last four days, we've trained and will train just under 30 of their agents.
So it's been a good time from my perspective. The team has functioned very well. We've taught them how to handle firearms. Some very basic abilities to enter rooms and to do so safely, maybe to address a subject. And I'm gonna pass the mic here to Allen, and he's kind of led the charge on this. And he can talk about what he thinks of the team and his job here.
Thanks. The training we conducted down here was really basic firearms instruction and some basic building entry and room-clearing techniques. The officers we worked with were not the typical SWAT-type officers.
They were investigative officers who had no real training prior to this, just the basic police training they had, which could have been many years ago for most of them. So with that said, the people that we trained really didn't know what to expect the training to be. They came there some little under-equipped for the situation. We quickly addressed that at the beginning and was able to get them geared up to the level they needed to be to facilitate the training requirements we had for them.
But we started out really slow. The best part of this probably was the introduction that our in-country asset held with them biblically. And that, throughout the training, I think was a very big motivating factor, and they understood the reason why we were here.
We're not here to make tactical warriors, but warriors for God in the pursuit of their jobs. So with that said, that was able to move the training along really well, and that was received really well by them, and that gave them a hunger and desire to learn the techniques and tactics to help them better do their jobs. Allen, what would you say the attitudes and abilities of the team were maybe before and after? Like, you as a trainer, would you say you feel pretty good about the progress they made in the amount of time that they were trained? Oh, absolutely. Again, like I said, most of these guys really didn't know what to expect when they got here, and once they saw what the training was and how it could benefit them in the daily operations they normally conduct and in the special operations, we're hoping that they'll be able to cut it in the future.
The want and desire was 100% there. The skill sets, that's really where we had to do the work, but the want and desire to do it was 100% there with people. So our task in this operation was to get somebody from a level of little to no tactical experience to a level of some proficiency and understanding of why things should be done and how they should be done, and so, yeah, it was absolutely a moving forward moment for this team. Excellent. So one of the things that Allen talked about was some basic firearms work. So Charlie and Camp did some special work. I'm going to have them talk about their part of their special or extra training here for this particular four days.
Nice to be here. So what we used was a laser simulator, and it's particularly useful in places where ammo's scarce or hard to come by, and you can really, you can track your progress. So we can see the shots, we can see the time, we can take a second and look at it and say, hey, what's going on here?
Why are we missing left, down, right, whatever, and make on-spot corrections and then see those adjustments in real time. One of the, you know, we started off with basic fundamentals and some building blocks and then brought them down and tried to see if we could retain those while drawing a firearm and actually putting shots on paper. Hey, Robbie. It's my first time on the show. Thanks for having me. This was actually the first training that I had been to with law enforcement, even though I've been with Lantern off and on for a few years. So it was really great for me to see that, and it was also a refresher for myself, too, because I've been out of law enforcement and any type of job like that for several years. So I got a lot out of it myself, and I enjoyed watching the students progress and learn new skills as well. One of the neat things for me was seeing the excitement. So when they get to go down and you see a little level of confidence being built and there's some excitement and there's a competition, and I really, from my point of view, I think all the officers really, they love the training and they enjoyed being better and trying to be better than the next one. And that's something, you know, having pride in your work is pretty important in what they do, and it's neat to watch. So Camp and Charlie took what Alan presented and just kind of took it to another level. And as Charlie said, they got many, many reps that cost them again.
It cost them nothing, and they were able to improve. So another aspect of the training that I totally love about Lantern when we travel is the spiritual side of it. And we talk to these folks about, you know, the importance of the firearms and the tactics, which that is true. But it's also true that, and we understand this very well, that the most important aspect is their relationship with Jesus Christ. And so on this particular trip, the team has readily recognized the extreme value to the team, the competence, and the importance of having Jeff with us. And I'm going to pass the mic to Jeff and have him, so he's new to the show, so I'm going to have him talk about what he does for a living, so to speak, and then talk about his role with the team and what he thinks of you not. Thank you. It's great to be here and appreciate the opportunity to serve together with you guys.
I'm a missionary full time here in Ecuador for the past 13 years. And I bought a motorcycle one day to reach the upper class community where we are, and I got stopped by the National Police three times within a half an hour. And there began our ministry to the National Police. Thankfully, it wasn't for any infractions, but it was just for paper check. And it was just kind of strange that it happened three times in one day.
And I'll be honest, I was a little bit irritated. But in the end, a Holy Spirit, I think, was working in my heart and remembered that First Timothy chapter two says we pray for all of those that are in authority, that we live in peace, just kind of an outline of it, that all men come to the knowledge of the truth and that comes through the scriptures. And I just asked one of them, what can I pray for you for? And he gave a story of a 45 minutes long of some very serious issues that were taking place personally and physically in his family.
And he was bawling like a little child, just absolutely broken. And it really hit me that police officers are not just trained, they're not just disciplined, they're not just well equipped, they're not all covered up. They are real men, real women that have real needs, although they are completing a very difficult job as the hands and feet of Jesus literally on the streets between good and evil, that they needed help in that personal side. And so we just began asking, what can we do to pray for you? And that led into a ministry of high level training through other ministries that help us to do that here with evangelism, discipleship. My part is giving the spiritual part.
All of us give input in that throughout the day, but taking a Bible time twice daily with them. And just as Alan has broken down into simple steps, each of the training elements to remember in a simple manner what we need to do was just some single or two word steps. We've broken down the gospel into eight different steps of understanding who God is, who man is, that sin has broken and brought death. But then the good part is that with Jesus Christ, through the cross, through faith, we can have life. And so those eight elements for us have been taught. It's great for me to see when the police come in, they're a little bit apprehensive as to what this is all going to be.
As Alan said with the training, not sure what to expect, even though they may have the curriculum, they don't know exactly what's going to be taking place. But then to see them begin to break down the walls and to warm up, even with the gospel as we share the word of God, we see them resistant. Many have their own religion and their own thoughts. We don't deal with religion or any specific church, but we deal with the word of God and what it teaches and what it lays out for us.
And so it's been a joy to watch some that may have been apprehensive in the beginning that just begin to dig into the word and to watch the light bulb come on in their eyes. And then the value of the team that comes here for us is not just during the week, but then that gives us more follow up time to be able to go to know them personally, to get to their barracks, to get to their base, to get to their places of work. And that multiplies the ministry for us to a point where we really need to pray to the Lord of the harvest as he sends forth more labors into the harvest as there are police officers, some 52,000 of what we call a least reached people group. In that they have access to the gospel, but they're not going to get it. They're not just going to come by your church and go in on a Sunday because they're on duty.
But God has opened up those walls. They're a least reached people group because they're behind gates and walls. They stick to themselves. They have their own language. They have their own dress. Literally, they have their own food.
They eat in the barracks together. But God has really opened up those doors and ministries like you and your gentlemen have come, have really opened up the doors for us to continue that ministry that I could not do on my own. We'll be right back with much more Landon Rescue's update from Ecuador today in South America. And again, we're going to hear some touching, touching stories of what goes on in the recovery process coming up at the end.
So stay tuned. Lantern Rescue is a USA based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Lantern specializes in sending former U.S. 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 has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated 150 billion dollars in annual activity. Lantern Rescue has 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.
They'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 update from Ecuador today on Landon Rescue. And I think you're going to be so, so glad that you tuned in to hear what they are going to share today. So far, you've met everybody on the team who has been training these four days with you not here. But last and certainly not least is our resident ninja.
We were just talking about this at supper tonight. His abilities with the camera and video has been phenomenal. And he helps tell the story.
So I'm going to let Nate tell, introduce himself and tell about his, his life's work and what he's done with the team here this week. Yes. Hey, I'm Mr. Ninja. You can address me by that.
No, please. My name is Nathan. I do own a production company back home. And that allows me to free up a little bit of time and come on these trips. This is my fourth trip. Everyone I've really enjoyed because we have the camaraderie amongst us guys.
Me being kind of a young father of two, it's hard to get with a bunch of other guys and just have that camaraderie, especially as Christian brothers on that fellowship. So that's something that I really look forward to for every trip. They call me the ninja because I am kind of in and out during training, trying to not be in the way.
I'm trying to get the shot and not impede what's going on. So that's why I am the ninja. And I really enjoy it.
And it's been great. So why did you, you initially were doing photography for real estate and things like that. What, what got you into doing what you're doing right now with the team and this type of work? Well, I've always, I've always wanted to make a difference. And by that, I mean, do what God is calling me to do. And I saw God calling me to do, to be in business for myself, to free up my time, to do, to help others.
And that's kind of how I looked at it. We initially got connected through me and TC got connected through a mutual friend. And so when I was starting my production company, our mutual friends saw, saw the connection there. And, you know, hey, TC might need some video guy. So he connected us. I said that that's an open door right there. That's God saying, this is work you should be doing.
So I tell everyone I got into business for myself to free up my time so I can go and do stuff like this. And so I think that is a typical for the team. There's not a person who's not sacrificed something to come and do this work. And, but at the same time, none of the team moans about their sacrifice.
Nobody even actually mentions their sacrifice of being away from their family and things like that. Everybody here believes in the work and God's work of righteousness and justice on behalf of other people. And so I just have totally appreciated the attitudes, the skill levels, and as Nathan said, the camaraderie amongst the team. So one of the things we did that was slightly different than just working tactical was to go into the mountains in this country and actually meet a man who started another ministry that is kind of on the other end of the trafficking spectrum. I'm going to pass the mic to Alan and I think each guy can just take a little bit and talk about what they thought of the ministry in the mountains. So, last night, we were able to go, I believe it was last night, right? Last night we were able to go up to this facility. It's a pretty secure facility for very good reasons but as an operator and a trainer, we only get to see the very harsh side. We're dealing with that victim that is being victimized at the moment or has been victimized and we're bringing them out of that situation. So, as the operator is seeing that, it's pretty tough on you but the ministry that is going on up there, you actually get to see the reward. These were girls that had been abused in various ways but they're now safe from that. They've been rescued out of that environment and put in an area that is secure not only physically but emotionally and spiritually that you can see these girls' life come back into them. And maybe they never even had that life before that but this new life that they were able to gain through this ministry up there was just rewarding in itself. As an operator, it kind of made it worth all the sacrifice that we do to see that end result. I'm sure there's a lot more in there I could speak about and I don't want to take away from the other guys' thoughts so I'm going to go ahead and let some of the other guys speak about that and how it impacted them.
Here we go. I just want to stop and first and foremost say pray for this ministry because it's amazing to see what's going on up there. As we toured it and talked to the founder and he shared his heart for it and kind of his story, what I saw going through there, the word that was spoken to me was restoration. And you see it spiritually, mentally and physically there and they are caring for the needs of these girls in a different way.
A lot of angles have been thought about. This whole compound was built for them, for their security, for their restoration and to see them cared for and loved on is a pretty special thing. So I might steal somebody's thunder here but we actually got to sit down with them and that was one of the coolest things for me was to sit down and share with them and them laugh at our terrible Spanish for the most part. And them speak to us in English and get to share an innocent people just being people interaction moment and kind of the joy that was in the room and that was brought to my heart through that because you see a horrible situation being restored. It was uplifting for me seeing all that and I was truly impressed with the whole ministry up there. Yeah, I don't know that I can really describe what I saw.
It was truly amazing what they have done in just a short amount of time that they have been there, what all they have accomplished and put together to get these girls' lives back together. Like Alan said, we rarely get to see that end of the fight and that's what it is. Human trafficking is what we're doing. It's a fight. And the only way we fail in this is to choose not to fight.
It's amazing to see what this team has done and what that ministry does just taking that step of faith to start something and to see the results of it. It's like David going up against Goliath. David was bigger, stronger, battle tested. David was a boy. But as soon as David decided to step up and Goliath entered his atmosphere, it all changed.
It's just amazing to see what can be changed and what can be done when people get in the right mindset to get in this fight. Ecuador is a country that is number one in the world for teen pregnancies between the ages of 10 and 14 years of age. It's number three for those that are 15 to 19 years of age. So we have great need because many of that comes not just from a morality but from abuse and from trafficking. And so the special need for Boris is what he does in his ministry. He was a street kid himself on the street from age of 11 and so he understands that side of it. But he also joined up with a family who were missionaries here in Ecuador that expressed the love sometimes when he didn't deserve it but unconditional love. And so he saw that other side of it of what the power of the gospel can do in a changed life. And what we saw at the mission that he runs is lives that are changed by the gospel.
Those who have been shut up and put down have learned how to open back up and to be able to share, to be able to communicate, to learn, to be able to grow, to experience love that many of them probably have never experienced in their life and don't even understand what that word and concept may be. But as some of the other gentlemen have mentioned, just the joy of watching their faces and watching them light up and the joy of sharing their name, just sharing something that they like, the laughs, the giggles, and the camaraderie that they have amongst themselves part of that restoration process. Yeah, one thing that stood out to me was seeing all the donations and how we talked about, yeah, we just had a huge sum of money come in so we could finish this new house. You know, we're the global church.
The church is Christians globally. So just to see and hear, to hear how everyone is giving towards this mission, they believe in what they're doing there, the work that they're doing there, and just to see the fruit of that. You know, he showed us all the construction being done.
He showed us all the golden berries that they're growing and all the horses and stuff. It was just really cool to see that everyone around the world is pitching in for this. So I'm going to double down, Robbie, to finish. Nathan's exactly right. You know, we, as we represent an organization here to do the work, and it's even that organization, it's cool to see everybody's giftedness and their passion for this, whether they're in the office or overseas.
But I have to have the supporters understand that what they're doing is affecting kids at almost 11,000 feet in Ecuador. So there's a very direct line. It's amazing, and it absolutely matters. So I thank you. I thank the team, but I just thank you that it is everybody's effort.
There's no part that doesn't matter. And we saw 16 lives who absolutely are being redeemed. Well, as we wrap up this episode, I'm sure, like me, God's touched your heart with what's going on, and both these men and women that are training to prevent this horrible trafficking that goes on in Ecuador. And we're so grateful to God and our prayers that He's provided this opportunity for Land and Rescue to go down there and train and work with these wonderful men and women. So our prayers are for the support and that God would continue to protect these wonderful people, that He would also provide the resources that they need for better law enforcement down there. And then, oh my goodness, for those that are up there in that recovery program, I know that the Lord is providing comfort as only He can, that He's providing those resources. And we just thank you for your prayers and your financial support, right, that God would continue to come after those poor folks that really can't watch out for themselves, that are caught up in this horrible trafficking. Again, I thank you so much for listening today and for joining us in the support. And as always, we would mention, you know, by all means, tell other folks about this podcast, you know, share it with people so that they too can find out what God is doing against trafficking. Thanks for listening.
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