This is Rodney from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we explored manhood within Jesus Christ. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Sit back, enjoy it, share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network.
This is the Truth Network. Ren, I know we talked a little bit about the body autonomy piece, so that's really kind of what I want to focus on. You know, we have small kids. We want them to hug everybody and, you know, give Uncle Frank a hug and Aunt Sally a hug, you know, and so what are some of those things that maybe we don't, as parents, necessarily pay attention to sometimes? Yeah, absolutely.
So, you know, it is really common when you go to leave somewhere that, you know, you're leaving the house on the holidays or you first get there and you meet your kids, because I remember having to do this when I was a kid, you know, to go up and give like everyone in the family a hug and a kiss, even if like you didn't want to and it just made you feel uncomfortable. 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. Oh, welcome to just a real exciting episode of Lantern Rescue. Today, we get an update on the Ukraine, as a lot of the team's been there and we got some new folks to talk to as well. So, we'll start off, we got Mark and Sean from Australia and Jack. And so, Mark, give us an update. Hey, thanks, Robbie. And, you know, it's been a long time, I think, since we've, I've been on the show at least, and I'm grateful for all the shows that have been produced with truth.
Thanks so much for all that you do. And, you know, just a quick update, because we've been very busy in Africa, the West Africa region, you know, pray for our teams that are working against the child sacrifice issue, which is just a horrible form of trafficking. We actually have an American team there now. And so, lift them up your prayers. Then, you know, we've been, we got an incredible team in the Caribbean, and we've got a significant case that we hope we'll see close soon.
I think, even since I've been on the show, we've done some really heavy lifting and training in Nepal and India, in the Asia realm concerning child sexual abuse materials. So, all that's good. Today, I've got some incredible guys with me who've been working as, working with Lantern and then also by themselves to do everything we can concerning this conflict in Ukraine, and just providing support and needs, because the needs are so great there. So, Robbie, that's really what we want to talk about today, and just share a little bit about that. So, I'm going to introduce to you, again, Jack. Jack and I were just in Ukraine for about a month, and I'm going to let him share a little bit about himself, and then some of his experience there.
Hey, Robbie, how you doing? Oh, great. I'm so grateful that you guys could be on today.
Well, thanks for having me back. I was on a couple years ago. I helped run a match down in Florida, in support of Lantern, while I was still active duty.
But yeah, since I've retired, I've been following Mark around the world, pretty much. And this did a little bit of work down in Dominican and Haiti with him, and then I got the chance to follow him over to Ukraine. In Ukraine, for our listeners to know, and I think some of those who are obviously are in our family, our donation family, they know, we have a forward operating warehouse and warehouses that we feed 500, 600 people a day. We've been given safe passageway to a lot of people, instruction, material to keep themselves safe. We have a women's shelter. We have an art therapy. We have a women's shelter. We have an art therapy system that's just beautiful. We can talk more about that in the show.
And then we have a supply chain that's really operated by our employees who are chaplains to the Ukraine military. Before we get to that, though, too, I want to introduce Sean. And Sean, we need to do a whole show with Sean one day, because this guy is also kind of like Jack here, has been in the soft community in his country.
But I know he's been fighting him in traffic for a long time. But Sean, you just want to kind of introduce yourself, talk a little bit about yourself. Yeah. G'day, mate.
How are you? Yeah. So I spent 20 years in the Australian military, of which sort of 17 were in the soft community. And then when I left the military, I started working counter-human trafficking throughout Asia, Middle East, India. And then towards the end, just before COVID, was I crossed into Ghana and started spreading the wings into Africa. So that's where I currently live now.
I hope to do a lot more good work in that area because it's a huge problem. Wow. So you guys have just got back, right, last week? Yes, we did.
It was just returned. And, you know, our effort there for all three of us has been really a few, I guess, if you wrapped it up in one nutshell, the reason we go and do what we do is to help people who are displaced and those who are really being oppressed and are fighting for their lives. You know, I don't know about you guys, but I mean, I've been in a lot of countries, I've never seen a group of people like the Ukrainian people, you know, when you say, yeah, galvanized, galvanized. Yeah, they are. They're really meshed together as a nation.
And I don't know about you guys. I mean, I think one of the beliefs they have is they are fighting not just for themselves, but for us, like for the protection of the world. You know, for the protection of the world. You know, when you said that's true? 100%. Yeah. So, you know, like, Jack, just talk about the young first group we trained, sniper group. So the, I mean, we're training up a 17 year old girl. And in addition to her, it was the commander's wife.
Yeah. So they were the sniper team for this small unit. And I mean, those guys have been doing some some pretty gnarly stuff behind enemy lines, pretty much no support other than like each other's faith and camaraderie.
Like, I will say that all of the units that I've trained throughout my entire careers, these dudes have the biggest heart. And like, that's, that's what actually took us over to Ukraine. Because the Ukraine situation kicked off. We're like, ah, it's not part of our war. Like, we'll just keep doing what we're doing. But then we met a girl named Anya, and we listened to her.
She's been an IDP since 2014. And, like, it's incredible the faith that they that they have, you know, I had no understanding that you guys, you know, I knew about the warehouse, but I had no and I know our listeners don't either. That actually, you know, part of what you're doing is training people in the actual fight. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, and that's part of the expertise.
I think, maybe, Sean, you want to talk about that a little bit on you want to talk about that a little bit on your side experience? Yeah, so my, my experience was that mine was back in June, in sort of eastern, eastern Ukraine on the front down there. The guys on the front line just really have been thrown in the deep end. So at some points, you're bringing these guys just off directly off the front line, back a few hundred meters, and you're trying to teach them very basic military skills on how to zero their weapon on how to apply tourniquet correctly. Yet the day before these guys are engaging Russian advances with weapons that aren't zeroed.
Yeah, it's, yeah, it's really quite shocking. And then one of the units we were training with, like, they didn't even know how to basically move through a forest in, like, any kind of a military formation. And so we actually did that pretty much right up on the front line. Yeah, we did it with artillery landing.
Yes. And we're moving through the forest with them. Yeah, that was a simulation.
Yeah, that definitely made it very realistic. So but at the same time, like, even though they're under equipped and under trained, like, not every single one of them has no problem going to the front line and be like, Hey, I'll do my part. I'll go. I'll go fight.
I got no problem with that. Yeah, the biggest hearts. They're first for knowledge, you know, just swallow up that. Yeah. You train people all around the world in the military and half the class isn't listening. The other half don't really want to be there. Right. Yet these guys are just sponges.
It's everything you say. They're just sucking it in so they can stay alive on the and the civilians. You've got an environment where, you know, everybody there is ready to fight. You know, everybody, even the ones who are back off the, you know, the front or trying to operate through the cities and still have their jobs. They're all on call. Every city's got a, you know, almost a defense network of people, volunteers ready to do all that they can do, which is absolutely incredible.
I mean, we hope and pray America would be so patriotic, right? You know, these people are amazing. And part of that, what I think people need to know is, I mean, is the faith factor. So like, yeah, we trained up front and, you know, Jack and I, but we did that with our employees who are operating as chaplains also. And so, you know, we're training, we're, we're, we're campfire cooking with these guys to encourage them. You know, we're, we're up there with them, cold, wet, everything else, snowing, and we're trying to, at the end of it, like we're giving them something that's the most important thing is we're like, look, the most important thing is your faith and hope in God, you know?
And for what I can say, honestly, what I would say, there is a very large, discreet revival, like people who are, are completely embracing the fact that they need God and God's on their side. Like they see that as that because they're getting such a clear picture of an enemy. That's so horrendous. They're looking at that enemy and they're like, that's not God. So, you know, that's, that's literally Satan, you know, who comes into our, our villages and is doing all they're doing. And so, you know, we are fighting for God. And so even their patches, you know, all the units patches, we do a lot of that patch trading, like all their patches are like angel wings and angels fighting and defending and, and yeah, all that crusaders, all that.
Yeah. And so, um, you know, these people, I mean, they need it. And, uh, the, the preachers and pastors that have stayed in Ukraine and they're overwhelmed, their churches are overwhelmed.
This is awesome. I mean, they're just doing everything they can't do, you know? Well, so, so the people, uh, like the Ukrainian army didn't really have a chaplain core right up until recently. Right.
And it's pretty weak. And so that's, that's one thing that I was blessed enough to be part of and like help build that up and be like just simple things like, Hey, you can't just go into a room, bring everybody together and just start preaching about the gospel. Right. I was like, so that's why we started doing the campfire cooking because I've learned that if you, if you build a fire in the middle of nowhere, people are going to naturally huddle around it.
It doesn't matter if it's hot out, cold out, whatever. People are just naturally drawn to the light and which kind of ties in perfectly to like the whole lantern thing. Like literally you, if you bring some light, people will just show up to it. And then that's once everybody starts to relax and then you just get them talking about normal day stuff. Yep.
And then it, it worked every time. You know, that was one of the big reasons you went over there was to encourage that team of pastors that you were working with in the, in the, uh, in the warehouses. So, wow, you can see there's just a whole lot going on in the Ukraine right now with Landon Rescue.
And so we've got so much more to share with you on what's, what the updates are there. We're going to be right back with a whole lot more from Landon Rescue. 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 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 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 LandonRescue.org to see how you can support them financially. Well, welcome back to Landon Rescue.
Today's amazing episode. We have, of course, Mark and Jack and Sean here, Sean from Australia, which is a really nice voice to join into the team today coming back from Ukraine. But I know, Mark, one of the reasons you were constantly being asked by these pastors in these churches to come help encourage them, right? Yeah. I mean, what we established, we established through a network of seven churches that has some incredible leadership that were willing to stay and be involved, not only stay in Ukraine, but stay in Ukraine and be involved at the front and to just put themselves in harm's way and do all that you're doing. And so, like Jack said, you kind of push off like, man, do I really want to get in one more war?
Do I really want to see it one more time? And usually the answer is like, no, but these guys had so much going on and were trying so hard. I could see in a Zoom call one time, they called in and I could just see in their eyes just war. And war, once you experience war, it will deplete you of every emotion that you think you can continue to have.
And unless you fill your life with something meaningful, like faith and God and family, you would just wake up like empty all the time because I don't know, it just aps you. And I could see it in their eyes, like I could see in the eyes of the people. And so really God began to just say, hey, you need to go. And then God really put the right characters in my life and players and Jack's definitely one of those guys. And I know Sean is too, but in this particular time, Jack was definitely the right person. We didn't need a big unit.
We needed a small, we need to be able to move and move quickly and do all that we wanted to do. So we got over and really we went over to bless them and give them hope. I'm just gonna be honest with you. They like gave us more hope and more blessing than we gave them. Is that how it was for you, Sean?
Yeah, no, definitely the same. I'll definitely say I'm a stronger Christian just from going on this trip. Mark's like, hey, you want to go to Ukraine?
I'm like, yeah, I'll go fight some Russians. Yeah, I didn't know that I'd literally get another spiritual awakening just from going over there and being around so many big-hearted people. Yeah, we're like, it's incredible. We're in day two.
We're at a, before we head out to, we're kind of, you know, we're further up, but we're still like an hour from the front, but we're at day two in a, in a retreat center with all these leaders and Christian people. And this is when, this is one of the weeks where since July, you know, Ukraine took the most missiles that it's taken. I mean, it's just a, just an onslaught, you know, you can hear it, you can hear the response, everything. And these people just are singing.
They just light candles. They just keep saying, they just like, they just step up their worship even more. I mean, and they are just so inspiring and happy to be Ukrainians and that they're just not afraid.
And I mean, you know, I look over at Jack here, he's like crying, you know, I'm literally doing the same thing because it's, it's just, it's just amazing. And like we want to say too, these are a large majority of like 15 to 25 year olds, a whole lot of young people, girls and boys, like a whole lot of young people when they could leave, they could leave the country. They could go, they could get a visa. They could just go to Poland.
They could do all kinds of things and they're not. And they're all staying right there. And every one of them is an IDP. They all have stories.
They're all have fleed. They've all lost their homes, just incredible stories. And so that kind of kicked the whole operation off for us and put us in a place of just really a spiritual place to, to be receptive to what God would do with us. And, you know, moving from there, we began to meet one by one, the pastors that worked for us, the team that works for us, just story after story, incredible story of both their past.
And here's one thing we would say. So the reason these guys are so incredible is they spent time in rough upbringing. They spent time in Soviet prison. I mean, some of them, I mean, they were not believers. They were a mafia and they were a drug gun mafia. And so through their story and their life story, when they came to Christ, they literally threw all their guns in a river.
Like they said, cause one accepts Christ. And then he led the rest of that, literally the rest of the mafia to Jesus. And then they all decide that they're going to live a life a different way. So they go to a river and they say guns and killing our idol, because this is what they did in the past. So they throw all their stuff in the river and they're like, we're just going to be, we're just going to tell people about Jesus. So then they start on a path of that and they they're solid, they're excellent theology.
They've had great training that was provided from a ministry in the States, which we're thankful for. But then this invasion happens. And I know that they all circle back around and said, okay, wait a minute.
We threw all our guns down. Are we, should we pick them back up? You know? And so they prayerfully went into this and they decided they needed to obviously. And so they have reluctantly done that and brought themselves back together. But you know, uh, you know, mafia means my family. And to be honest with you, they are definitely a family and we're part of that family.
Lantern is, and they're part of the lantern family. And we're just blessed to have people like that, that got put in front of us that we can, we can work with, you know? And then just talk about God's calling because what a better group of individuals basically start up their own chaplain core and stuff like that. Like the true sinners that before they came to Christ, like they, they know how to use guns. They know how to be a true leader. And so now God's just repurposing them and be like, Hey, you guys already know how to do the hard stuff.
Now we just need you to go spread the word. They're later people, you know, they're definitely later people. And, uh, uh, there is another beautiful saying, you know, they have so much hope about the future that, you know, we're not just settling into, uh, taking care of, you know, war. We're, we're looking into the future and that's like, you know, an IDP center that can, uh, that we can house, uh, different ministries that foster hope and therapy and how we do this. And I mean, when the rest of the world, it was being destroyed around them, this group of people's trying to build something, building a foundation with money, they saved for 16 years, 16 years.
That's right. And now they're securing it. They're on a rotation of three guys, freezing to death for no, you know, no payment. And they're out there guarding, you know, the foundation and the property, you know, and, uh, they're, they're serious about it being built and seeing it, seeing it done. So, uh, we will be going back over, uh, you know, lantern and, um, we've got a lot of, a lot of heavy lifting to do. So, uh, that's what we're, we're headed into. We got about, um, five more minutes that we got to fill and, uh, you know, I was wondering, it may be inappropriate or whatever, but can you, you know, we don't have any real information on what's going on, but I know every listener is probably like me wondering, you know, how we do and are we getting, are we, do you feel like we're making progress in this war? Do you feel like, you know, is there, I mean, yeah, it's a tough one, but I think we are doing a lot, especially landing that and doing a lot of what needs to be done and what can be done, but ultimately it's going to be the Ukrainians and that solidarity that they have and that willingness to, they're never giving up, they're never surrendering. Um, so that mentality has already seen them go back on the counter offensive, take back a lot of, a lot of land that was taken by Russia.
And, you know, I think that that spirit of the Ukrainian people is just going to win the day in the end. Yeah, it is. It's a, it's an incredible, um, incredible environment to see it.
It's also heartbreaking. You know, we saw one of our employees drafted while we were there, you know, to be drafted to the frontline of this war is who it's an, it's an intense environment, especially when, uh, uh, training is limited gear is, is not what we're, you know, used to as Americans, you know, uh, they have that overcome the weather, the cold and, you know, and here, one of our employees who's literally been a part of our logistics since day one, you know, it's a young man who overcame a drug pass, loves the Lord and he's walking and he's, he's leaving his mom and his sister, you know, his 12 year old sister. So, uh, we prayed over him at our time, but, um, you know, nobody doubts it. Like they are all willing and ready and, you know, and they go forward and like Sean said, it's their spirit, their face, you know, that's, what's going to win it. We as Americans just have got to just keep praying for them, do all we can. Don't dismiss it because you think a whole bunch of aid money and different things. Listen, that's between governments and governments are corrupt.
Okay. All of them, you know, and who knows where and what and how, all that, I tell you, who's real. It's the people that we, we were alongside of. It's the people that were, you know, helping and, uh, the people are real, right?
You know, we were getting prayer requests while you guys were out there that apparently there were people that were, um, in an area that had been overrun and they were living under their houses and there was a man with gangrene in his leg and, and you guys were getting them supplies in the dark because they were literally behind the lines. Could you talk to that a little? Yeah.
Yeah. He had broke his hip. Incredible man. He'd lost his wife. Uh, he'd lost everything into this war and, and, uh, the portion of his house that was still standing, he was in it.
He was not able to move out of that area because he had broke his hip at a cutoff blood flow to his, his feet. And, uh, you know, I was sitting there looking at, you know, black, you know, the black rot and knowing that this guy would die soon. And, um, you know, there were people like that, that were some of the older folks who were just doing incredible work and sabotage. They're living in blown up houses and basements to the ones who just could not be moved or, and we couldn't move them because of the danger of, of, you know, the movements from artillery and missiles. But you know how much, how it's difficult when you hand somebody a flashlight and they say, they'll save it to die by and they'll burn their candles. So we give out candles for them to have light at night, but then they're saving a flashlight because they want to die in the dark. And, uh, people die in the dark in war zones, Robbie, you know, especially older people and especially a lot of people in the cold and war zones in Ukraine, they will die completely and utterly, uh, alone unless they know Christ. And they're going to die by hopefully a flashlight that we hand them.
So, you know, a simple flashlight means a lot, you know? So the one village that we went to, there was only about 10 people left in the village because everyone else either fled or I mean, they died. And then, so the ones that were there, those were the guys that were living in their basements, putting sugar in the Russian tanks and doing the sabotage and everything. And then Mark and I roll up and just, they instantly just start crying. And we're like, what are you guys crying for? We're like, they're like, no, no, no. Like it means so much that we actually see like physical support from America.
Not just, Oh, Hey, we heard it on the news that one government paid another government. Like, no, like we were out there handing out candles, just giving people hugs. And like, hopefully that was just enough faith to just keep them going until, until their conditions get a little bit better. Yep.
That's right. The thing that just strikes me and I'm sure strikes all of you listening is how we can be praying, right? For these, these are real people in unbelievable life and death struggles, but in the middle of that life and death struggle is love and love conquers war, however you go about it. And so our prayers that that love of Christ would come through for those people in the dark, those people dying in the dark, that they would see the love of Christ. And again, that we would all continue to support Land and Rescue and the efforts of all the people that are bringing love to the Ukraine. And so again, we're so grateful for this team, so grateful for what you're doing.
And Mark, is there any prayer requests you might share or Sean or Jack, you know, as, as a result of, you know, what you, what you know, as a real prayer need right now? I think you just pray they don't give up. You know, I know they don't want to, but it gets hard, man, you know, and you don't work at the same level you worked at a month ago when you begin to get exhausted and, you know, there's no power and your cell phone's not working and you're cold and just just starting to feel hopeless, right? We just got to pray they keep that hope.
And it gets cold and dark and that just eats away at your soul, all right? So we're just going to pray for them. Pray for them. One thing as we shut out the show, we do have a $50,000 gift, Robbie, and it's a matching gift up to 50 grand before the end of the year. If, if anybody God's leading them to give, you know, we, we would love that support. We'd love to double that, that 50 to a hundred and, and, you know, help out all that we can. So please, uh, have people, uh, just pray, pray for the Ukraine and pray about what you can give into the year. Right. And the best way to do that would be to go to landandrescue.org and right there, there's a donate button and give as the Lord leads you because you can see that God's doing a real, a real work here and what an opportunity to help that money go twice of what, what you're able to give.
That's right. Thanks brother. Thank you guys. Amazing, amazing work. So grateful for what God's doing through Land and Rescue. This is the Truth Network.
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