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Liberator Series: Part 2

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
October 21, 2023 12:00 pm

Liberator Series: Part 2

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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October 21, 2023 12:00 pm

Ren tells two stories of Liberation that have profoundly impacted her life. Listen in as she recaps the hard truths of rescue and the long road to freedom.

 A warning: this program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

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If you or someone you know has experienced exploitation call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) at 1-888-373-7888.


Hey, this is Jim Graham from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we explore a relationship instead of religion every week. 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. 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. Hi, guys, and welcome back to the Lantern Rescue Podcast. You are joining us on another one of our Liberator Series Podcasts, which if you're unfamiliar of what that is, we have launched a Liberator campaign. And we wanted to take a second to bring some of our on-the-ground operators in to share really what liberation or freedom has looked like in the eyes of those that have been rescued by our Lantern team. And so this is just an opportunity to dig a little bit deeper in understanding why that freedom is so important and powerful.

And, you know, just give you guys a look and glimpse into the realities of what occurs in order to to rescue a child or an adult in different situations. So today with me, I'm so excited. I have Wren with us and she's going to be talking through just some of those powerful moments for her and some of the cases and operations that she's worked along the way. Wren, thanks for joining us.

Hey, thanks so much for having me on. Yeah, it's exciting. And this series is, you know, we did the first one with Mark and it was just really powerful because so often we don't get to step back and hear the heart in in the details.

Right. We get to hear the overall picture of operations, but we never get to really hear the heart that's behind the details of it and what it what it is to see just that shift in hope in that person's life. So I'm excited and I don't want to hold you up. I would love to jump into one of the stories you have for us today and and just your heart behind that liberation piece. Yeah, awesome. So the first one that I want to talk about was when.

Well, let me back up just a little bit. So I think every victim is different. Every rescue story is different and looks so different. And a lot of times when we first interact with them, especially if it's like a classic club raid where we're going in and they have no idea we're coming and it's, you know, surprising to them and the traffickers equally right. A lot of times in those type of situations, they're not excited to see us. They don't really know what's going on. Some of them will find us. Some of them are aggressive, run away. So I think some people think that the first time they see us and they know they're being rescued, they it's this beautiful moment. And sometimes it is.

But most often they don't know what's happening and they have no idea that we're doing something. So that leads into my story, which was a couple of years ago, we did a night full of cover. We did several raids and we went into one club and out of one club, we pulled about eight girls out of. And one of the girls that I had, she was super aggressive. She was kicking me, hitting me, all kinds of stuff. She was smooth, cursing me out in a different language. And I had no idea what she was saying, but she looked really mad. So I was asking, you know, our local assets translate and they were like, no, I don't I don't think you want to hear this one.

Oh, OK. So so we transfer her back to the the police station. And during that process, you know, we're still communicating with her and we get back to the police station.

We're back, you know, within half an hour. And now we're in the police station and we are sitting there with them. And they're having a conversation with the her and several other girls.

They're having a conversation with the officers in their native language. So I have no idea what's going on. And she finally looks at me and starts crying.

And I can see that the operators are kind of like looking at me to the local assets. And then she turns and she asks them a question. And I don't know.

I don't speak the language. I don't really know what's going on. She starts crying and then she comes over and she just starts to hug me. And she's, you know, tears of fear that I'm crying now. I don't know. I don't even know why. But I'm crying. She's crying.

I think there is a lot to look. I think there might be a picture of this that Mark might have taken. But yeah, it was that moment. And later I asked, well, can you translate now?

Like now that she's done, you know, yelling at me, could you? And then that's when they that's when they explained that when we first came into the club, the traffickers had told them for months and years for some of them that they have friends that are cops. And they're going to one day their cop friends are going to come in and try to take them.

And you have to show your loyalty by fighting the cops and not going with them. So we went in. That's the impression she was under. She thought that we were the cops. You know, she thought that we were their friends, not true traffickers, friends, and that we were there to to try to trick her and to show her loyalty. She had to fight us. So when she was finally back at a real police station with real, you know, at this point, we've all taken off our masks. We've taken off our gear. We're people again.

We're not just operators. And she had this conversation with them. It finally clicked.

And she finally realized, you know, she's translating back and forth. Do I have to go back? No.

And she asked that question like seven different ways. Like, do I have to go back? Do I have to go back? Am I going to see so-and-so again? Is this what I have to do ever again? They're like, no, like it's over. You never have to go back.

You never have to do any of that. So that was that's one that really stands out to me because it was such within an hour, really. She went from trying to fight me in the streets of Haiti to, you know, hugging on me and crying and really seeing that. And that was a pretty some of them aren't that quick.

So it does take a longer time. But that was a pretty impactful one where within an hour she went from, like, you know, fully understanding and like there's like a weight was lifted off her. This little angry ball of emotions just kind of like soften and wanted, you know, held and talked to. And it was incredible to see. Wow.

That is an incredible one. And to consider the level of manipulation that occurred, you know, by the traffickers to say and to hedge their bets, right. To say that law enforcement was their friend, A, and they were coming in to test their loyalty. It's like it's like being beaten into a game. You know, it's it's that idea of that testing their loyalty.

They'd have to rebuttal or, you know, fight back against the people that would actually be coming to save them. That is just. Oh, yeah.

It was incredible. Like they're there. The way they think out how to maintain control of these victims isn't it's insane. Like they really do think of it all. And there are a lot of cases there.

They can be several steps ahead of law enforcement. So it's you know, we're playing the catch up game. Like we're really trying to get ahead of it. And they will play those mind games with them over the long term, man.

And I bet that, you know, obviously the yelling and all the things that were not translated, you know, they came from that. They came from that survival mindset. Right. And then to be to know that, you know, that that's she didn't have to do that anymore. Right.

Like that survival mindset could be put away for a moment and she could actually get to be a vulnerable child again. You know, it was amazing. It was amazing.

Yeah. And, you know, I've been able to stay in contact with her and keep up with her along her recovery. And it's just been really, really amazing to see that and to see that immediate. We don't always get to see we don't always get to see the liberation portion.

Sometimes it happens way longer. We lead her into their recovery. But to be there in that moment and see it, it was really, really profound.

I'm going to capitalize on what you just said there, because I think there's something even deeper to that, that sometimes are the people that hear our stories don't understand. You know, there's the physical rescue, but that's only the beginning of rescue for that individual. Right. And so we can take years upon years of therapy and, you know, just people pouring into them and loving them to undo what occurred in a very short time of their life. You know, and and you're right.

I agree. There's, you know, there are so many stories that are out there that we we only get to be a part of that initial rescue and then lining up the right people to come into play for the rest of the rescue and restoration piece of it. So how awesome is it that God allowed you that glimpse into liberation in the moment? That's amazing.

Wow, that's incredible. And I know you have stories upon stories that may not always look like that. And, you know, I know we were chatting a little bit before this and you had mentioned another story. You had wanted to share just that what that liberation piece looked like. Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, we've talked about her a lot.

One of our survivors from Columbia that has the hair salon. So that is like a longer term liberation. Right. So when that extraction happened in the D.R. last year, there was, you know, over 80 victims pulled out in one day.

Really. So interacting with them in the safe house was overwhelming for everyone. You know, there's a ton of people, there's a ton of stuff going on. And while we were able to interact with her in the Dominican Republic and be able to stay in contact with her through the victim care specialist, it wasn't until we went to Columbia last year to visit her hair salon for the grand opening and see her like just I can still picture it walking across the street. She came out of the salon to greet us. And she realistically she ran across the street without looking.

And in that moment, I was like, oh, my God, this is like the busy streets of Columbia. And I'm like, yeah, she was fine. She runs across the street sees us and, you know, being able to see her now so far into her liberation process and able to see. Well, I wasn't there for that moment when it that happened for her like I was for the first girl I talked about her liberation that happened more so when she got back to Columbia. And she realized, like, I can do this. I I'm going to recover.

I'm not going to let what happened to me to find my life. And this is what I'm going to do. And she set out a business plan and she, you know, had her son and she was reunited with her family and she's on this path. And then to get to go and see this salon that she has created and the staff that she has hired and her plans.

And, you know, she's an esthetician school and she wants to expand and all this incredible stuff. And to see, like, how far she's thriving, she's not even to survive at this point, she's thriving. And, you know, she feels so empowered and she's speaking to law enforcement and she's speaking to politicians in her local area, talking to them about any trafficking happens here.

I was trafficked from your town and this is what you can do to help us. And just that empowerment and that freedom that she feels that this is, you know, while this happened to me, this doesn't define me. And I'm going to share my story so that I can help someone else. And that story is always going to be one of my, you know, favorites. It's been incredible to watch her grow and thrive in her hometown and to take back her life.

You know, she didn't she was able to go back to her town and not feel ashamed of what happened to her, but take her power back and be there thriving. And that's that is incredible to me. That is an incredible testimony to to truly what that freedom looks like to the fullest, you know, to the fullest extent.

Guys, hold on just a bit as we head to a quick break. Please head on over to our Web page. If you're interested to learn more about the Liberator campaign itself, you can get to it at backslash Liberator.

Great details there. And if you're looking for ways to get involved in our in our ministry and our work, you can look at the Get Involved tab. There's really a great, great opportunities there for you to just come alongside of us in this mission.

Thanks so much. 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 one hundred and fifty 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 to see how you can support them financially. Hey, guys, thanks for jumping back into our Liberator series part two. We are here with Wren just chatting through what freedom has looked like in the eyes of those that have been rescued by our team. You know, we we initially started with a story of a young girl in Haiti.

And then now we're actually talking about Rosa's story, which you have heard pieces of before. But we really want to just elaborate on where we have seen freedom and liberation truly come into play in the lives of these these, you know, survivors. So I would love Wren if you would share a little bit about our victim care coordinator in that in that operation specifically and how really God placed her in the right place at the right time in Rosa's life to really begin that that walk into the spiritual rescue.

Absolutely. So we have in the Dominican Republic, we have a victim coordinator who is phenomenal. And she really provides anything that the victims need. She'll travel anywhere to see them. She's so committed and she has her own personal story. Maybe we'll have her on the podcast someday to share that.

She does only speak Spanish, but I'm sure we could get an interpreter to help with that. But so with her story, like I said, after that operation, we had a house full of women from all different backgrounds, from different countries, different parts of the same country, different groups, all kinds of stuff. So it was it was a lot while they were all survivors of trafficking, all of their stories were a little bit different. So, you know, they're all in this house and it's back into their own struggles. You know, they're trying to understand what happened to them through their trafficking situation. And then on top of that, they're trying to live with 80 plus other women. So that's challenging for anyone.

Yes. So through that, Rosa met our victim coordinator down in the Dominican Republic. And just to be completely candid, when Rosa was in her trafficking situation, she believed that God had abandoned her. She was actually I wouldn't say atheist, but she had definitely she felt betrayed and she felt abandoned. And she didn't understand why. You know, it's similar questions that we get from a lot of survivors and a lot of you know, we hear a lot of their thoughts on this stuff. You know, why me? Why do you happen to me?

Who's going to make me? And that's kind of where she was at when she got reviewed and was in the safe house. So like I said, there was a lot of women from a lot of different backgrounds and a lot of different countries, and they didn't all get along all the time. So they went to a trafficking situation.

Crazy. So they went from a trafficking situation to then into this home that was obviously significantly better. They're in the initial stages of recovery, but they're facing other challenges. So during that time, Rosa and our victim coordinator meet. And like I said earlier, survivors are not always lovey feely right after rescue. Sometimes they're still even if they know trafficking was bad, they're angry, they're upset and rightfully so. So I think in those moments, the injustice sets in of what has actually occurred to them that just creates an interesting dynamic in the moments of rescue, you know, and to feel like God has left you, you know?

Yeah. And you know, they're they're alone in this, but they feel alone. You're never actually alone, but they feel so alone in their trafficking situations. And then afterwards, even though they're in a house full of women that have gone through the same thing, like it still feels very isolating.

Right. So when they're in these homes and victims in their initial stages after recovery and sometimes even longer in recovery, they can be they can lash out. And I won't say that Rosa was particularly combative because she was, but she certainly wasn't always receptive in the beginning. But our victim care specialist, just she never quit. Like she just never like you could like the true definition of if they, you know, hit you on one cheek, turn the other. Like she's a true definition of it.

She's like and she had like unlimited cheeks. Like she did not care. She would not quit. She would not raise her voice.

She would not give in. She would not give up on these girls. And after, you know, time and time of this, the girls watching her and other survivors from the same operation have similar stories. The girls just watching our victim care specialist just continue to try, continue to care and not to give up and not to abandon them and to show them unconditional love for the first time. And then, you know, obviously part of our recovery process is, you know, preaching the gospel to them so that that started to be implemented at the right times with our victim care specialist. And it really showed Rosa that there is this other way for you.

God has not abandoned you. And, you know, the way Rosa says it is that, you know, God sent our victim care specialist to her and that was her angel. She calls her her angel. That was her angel. Yeah.

It kills me. That was her angel that was sent to her to show her the way back to the Lord. And, you know, she has really embraced that since then. And, you know, and she's not wavered in that. And she's very passionate about her faith now. And she really attributes that a lot to our victim care specialist in that unconditional love and that not quitting and that, you know, just being there and being present and sitting in the silence and sitting in the, you know, the noise. And when you feel alone and you feel enraged and when you feel calm, you know, she just didn't waver. And that, you know, it's really a testament to her.

It is. It's a testament to her. And then it's a testament to how God comes alongside of us in an incredible way, you know. And in the moments that we feel so lost and abandoned, you know, it's that reminder that, hey, he is there. And he got to send our victim care specialist to that place for Rosa, you know, to the depths of the darkness for her where she felt alone.

And he's so good to provide a way, which is incredible. And I'd love for you to share with our audience just a little bit about the verse in Genesis that you shared with me this morning. You know, we were talking about we have an opportunity coming up to be able to minister in a small way to some soon to be rescued individuals. And so we were as a group talking about ways that we could continue to minister. And I asked everyone to kind of come up with or share with us a Bible quote or reference or, you know, just something inspirational that can be shared with those women and children that we will be rescuing. And yours was so powerful because I know that story so well, you know, and I think it is such an incredible parallel to what so often these victims experience.

But how God is incredible and even in the midst of chaos. Absolutely. Yeah. So I actually just grabbed my Bible out. So I'll read it.

Exactly. So the passage that I always reference and that is definitely my favorite is Genesis 5020. So that reads, You planned evil against me.

God planned it for good to bring about the present result, the survival of many people. And I think, you know, when I went on to visit Rosa in Columbia, we presented her with a plaque and on that plaque is that quote. And it's also I have a tattoo with it as well.

It's something that I really carry with me and I really it means a lot to me personally. So and the way that I see that, especially in Rosa's story, is, you know, the traffickers, these evil people out there that are trying to, whether it's consciously or unconsciously, they are spreading evil. And they are using the trafficking victims and using other people in their world for, you know, the perpetuation of evil in the world and helping roses to understand that while these people did horrible things to you, you can do you can make a difference with what's happened. You don't have to be a victim of that forever.

You can take it and it can empower you. And that's really what she's done. And she's she's just such an incredible lady. So she is focused on hiring trafficking survivors in her salon, as well as when men come in, she does try to talk to them about when it's when it's appropriate. She tries to talk to them about, you know, their role in this and whether they're soliciting trafficking victims or not.

Usually not. But just explaining to them, like, hey, you know, prostitution is actually this. You know, while you might think it's voluntary and the girls are acting this way, I just want you to know that it's that's not the case. Like they're being forced to act like they want to be there with you. They're being forced to be out there.

They're not there voluntarily. So taking that evil, what someone meant for evil and Bonnie just showed up with a squeaky toy. So if anyone has a squeaky toy, I guess I love the raw raw cases of podcasts. We're broadcasting.

So I'm trying to hide from her in other rooms and she keeps finding me. So what the traffickers meant for evil and this thing that they were trying to use to further themselves and their goals and their evil, you know, ways. You can take that. You make it good. You can take what has happened to you and you can use it as a method to reach more people and to save more lives and to empower other women to share their stories and to save other people and just really create this network. And this beautiful ministry and story about how you didn't let that define you, that you thrived despite what they did. And administering right back to people that could easily be perpetrators.

Do you know what I mean? Like that, that amazes me that she has the capacity and ability to be able to do that, because that's not an easy task. You know, we've talked even on here about what it looks like to pray for the guys on the other end of this that are doing wrong.

Right. That that shift in their heart would come about. And so for her to have these conversations so openly and so boldly and truly so, you know, just laying it all out is incredible to me that she's come to that place and that God has brought her to that place where he gets to redeem her story in a way that will change the lives of hopefully her entire country at some point.

You know, but it changes the lives of individuals every day that come into her shop. Absolutely. And, you know, I said earlier, she's talking to police and she's talking to politicians and she's taking that story and just magnifying it and allowing other people to hear it and to understand her pain and the pain that's caused others and to expand that impact is just it's incredible to watch. That is so awesome. I love it.

I love it. And I'm so thankful that you're willing to share those pieces of her story, because, you know, we've talked about the operation as a whole and we talked a little bit about Rosa. But to share that liberator piece, you know, that is that's what our heart is cultivated for. And I can I think I can speak for everyone we work with that that desire is ingrained in us to see people set free.

And it looks very different in every case and every situation. And to what degree of freedom we talk about, you know, that spiritual and physical. It's all of it. We want to see all of it for these people. You know, absolutely. And so what a powerful, just a powerful story to share. And thanks for sharing your heart. And I know that you have that same desire just deeply ingrained in you. And the fact that you've let your living it out is just a testimony to how incredible God is to put us in play in those ways. Thank you.

Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you guys so much for joining us today on this podcast. And again, this is if you're just kind of tuning into the inside of this or the last tail bit of it, I hope that you will go back, listen to all of it and then, you know, follow along with our Liberator series. We've had Mark and now Ren and and we're going to have all of our directors of operations come on at some point because we want to share really those that heart behind who we are as Lantern Rescue. And that desire to see freedom brought to the depths of darkness for every individual that we're able to get to.

And and so much of that is made possible by by those that are listening that pray alongside of us and give financially to the mission. And your support and dedication to this mission is what allows that freedom to push forward into the darkest places of the world. So we thank you and appreciate you to learn more about our Liberator series and Liberator campaign. You can head over to backslash liberator and check on some ways that you can get involved. There's a lot of information, great videos and everything out on our social media. So join in with us on this fight for freedom. Thank you so much, guys. Have a great day.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-21 14:39:39 / 2023-10-21 14:50:51 / 11

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