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Liberator Series 6: TC

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2024 12:00 pm

Liberator Series 6: TC

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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February 24, 2024 12:00 pm

TC shares his heart behind why he fights to liberate those who are most vulnerable. Join us in this episode as we learn how it all began for TC and where the Lord has led him and his work with Lantern. 

 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.


This is Hans Schile from the Finishing Well Podcast.

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Hey guys, thank you so much for joining us today for another part of our Liberator Series. Many of you have stepped alongside of us as we have chatted with our different operators and really just learned the heart behind what they do and what has led them to seeking liberation for those that are just experiencing some of the darkest times of their life right through, whether it be through trafficking or exploitation. And today we have TC with us. You guys are familiar with TC. You've heard his story and actually I think at TC at one point we even had your wife on and so it's been a long history with you and Lantern. Yeah, that's correct.

Yes, thank you. Yep, and I think our listeners have come alongside and prayed over you guys as well, which is such a neat place for them to be able to come in intimately to the group here at Lantern and just be effective in warring with us in prayer. So I want to get started by really giving our listeners an opportunity to hear your heart TC about how you got started and and what led you. How did the Lord lead you into Lantern Rescue? Well, so as you and I were talking a bit beforehand, I do have quite the quite the history.

I guess my my start or my introduction into this really at first kind of got. I don't know the idea of what was going on and maybe to my shame or maybe it wasn't as it wasn't as pronounced back then or not as obvious, but back in 2008, I was at a leadership conference. Lynn and I were actually called the summit and it used to be run by Bill I think Greg runs it now pretty pretty good stuff right so we were there and just doing some leadership work and the way the summit ran was different.

Different organizations or companies would present their leadership model how they tackle stuff etcetera so on this particular one international justice mission IJM presented to the summit both their work and of course their leadership model and how they tackle things, but. You know if if anybody's familiar or not familiar with IJM, they are they're super aggressive. They're they're a great organization. They've been around. I think since 1972 Gary Haugen actually started them and they they do they tackle human trafficking and other things for people in poverty and so they started talking about their work anyways and Lynn and I were a little dumbfounded.

I would say like like like oh my goodness this stuff's going on and I want to do something about it all the time. I had young kids and I was a parole agent for the state and so I knew that I could do those things I had different skill sets that I thought would be applicable and so I so I sent my I sent my resume to IJM. Well, I didn't really realize their culture their culture is like a bunch of really smart people who are attorneys and I'm like OK, well, I'm definitely not an attorney. I'm not sure how smart I am, but so I never got a call. No, I don't mean that in a bad way, but I'm not an attorney.

The rest is to be determined. So I I sent a resume and I really didn't hear from them. I got on their site really regularly and looked at things. I'm like I could do that.

I could do that. And then nothing really nothing really moved for a while. You know, I was still doing my law enforcement gig and loving that and raising the kids, but then it never really left either. And in 2014 somewhere, maybe 2013 but I found out that there was a kind of a I guess we'll call it kind of human trafficking organization in Lake Pennsylvania, which really was not far from me at the time.

I don't live over there anymore, but it was maybe 10 or 12 miles from where I actually lived. And I was talking to my doctor, again, a guy who's committed to, you know, supporting kind of human trafficking efforts. And he goes, I know a guy.

He's another patient of mine, Bruce Ladd of you with Children's Rescue Initiative. So he got us connected. I sat down, met Bruce, and we talked about some things. And at the time he was going to Pakistan to do stuff where in Pakistan, debt bondage is legal. And so he was going there.

He had an in country contact. And so in 2014, I went with him and another guy from Chicago to Pakistan. And I was, you know, like I was beyond new.

I was like super ignorant of things. But I was willing and we went, we raised money. And we probably rescued, I guess you call it rescued or got, I don't know, three or 400 close to that people, families, men, women and children out of debt bondage, we went to brick fields, and actually got them. Pastors in the area, you know, pick out the ones who needed rescued the most by what their local cultural standard was. And so we took vans and security and we rescued a ton of people and they were when they were so happy.

I literally have videos from 2015. We were back of kids doing cartwheels. Like, we, we fed them, we got them rehydrated. One of my favorite pictures was, we had taken water for these folks, because they lived in really, really poor conditions. And they were used to drinking water out of these mud puddles in the clay fields there, where they build bricks and one little girl, I think it was a little girl, I was in the vein beside us. And we had given them this really nice clean water like sweet, you know. And she had no taste for it. She was actually dumping it out and they were drinking water, even in a little 16 ounce bottle. It was great.

You couldn't see through it even in a show. That's what she preferred. Anyways, we got to take them back in 2015. The same thing happened and we rescued over 500.

I mean, that's conservative. We had one van load. And I call it the Scooby Doo. Van. But it was it was a 15 passenger van. When we got out to the safe house.

51 people got out of my word. That's like a clown car. It was exactly.

That's exactly what I said. I'm sitting there counting on like it looks like they're feeding people in the backside and they're coming back up. It was crazy. I mean, so the cool thing was with the cool thing was is that we didn't just rescue them and they went back.

Because that's a big deal, right? We, we had enough money to get them out to get them as much as possible with families. And if we could rescue orphans and put them with families who were willing to take them. We got them supported in a new village, a new house, and we had enough money to get them set up in a new business. So they did not have to repeat the cycle. And so that was my first. That was my first go. Through those, through those first couple years, I love that you actually, you sought out a way to make a difference. You know, I think sometimes we get so just stuck where we're at and the idea of like waiting for someone to reach out to you and say, Hey, you want to help here. But, but when the Lord calls us into something, clearly he had called you. He was working on you and Len's heart. But he also provided that way. Right. And you sought you sought to find a way to make an impact in this fight. And I think that's a really important part of it. And I think that is a powerful statement. You know, I think it's super important to because it's not Sometimes you think because you're passionate about something.

It should always be fun or should always be simple or should always be obvious and you when you start your impact should be enormous. It's kind of it's kind of the way we talk now, even young folks, you know, you know, go Oh, you're okay. Yeah. You know, and, and so then sometimes you have to if you have to roll up your sleeves, and maybe it's not fun for a week or a month. Like, well, maybe this isn't my thing. Maybe God doesn't want me to do this. It's really not the reality, especially in this field, maybe. I agree with that.

I think this is definitely not for the faint of heart. And then that is, you know, just because he calls us to it doesn't mean it's going to be easy. And sometimes we get stuck in that idea that, you know, we're called to this mission.

So it's got to be easy. And that's not the case. But but you fight through it and man the outcome and the the level of just what you get to experience on the other side of of this is so powerful. Yes.

And I, and that's well said, and I, and that is, I think there's a subtle shift there. But that is the reward, right? If you or me or anybody, you in general, if anybody pursues something just so that they themselves are satisfied, then you're going to be disappointed.

Eventually, you're going to, you won't have the staying power, I don't think to stick with it. And we talk like that a lot, and maybe especially as Americans, but if we, generally speaking, we can, if we can truly love others as we love ourselves, that we can truly as the Bible says, you know, seek out those, and we're in it for them. Then I think the staying power is significantly higher and the reward is to see what you said earlier, is to see them, like I said, like, you know, kids doing cartwheels, or they're eating till they're full, or, you know, that kind of stuff to see true true happiness, that will give you staying power. Yes, that that redemption, right? You see that, that just that the way that the Lord works, right? When you see that revival in someone's soul, I mean, that is that's liberation, right? That's what we're talking about here, you know, is, is that when they experience that freedom, you know, of knowing a better way, not just freedom from what they were in, but of knowing there is more, you know, it's just a powerful place to be able to usher someone into and even play a little part in.

Right, the Lord is so faithful in that. So yeah, they actually are. Yes, they're actually, they're actually starting to recognize or feel like they're being treated like maybe they should have always been treated or something, maybe something they never even got a chance to experience before.

They're now experiencing it personally for real and it's, it's amazing. Yeah, that is awesome. Well, we're heading into a break. So when we come back, though, I would love for you to share, you know, what was the next step then into Lantern and and what does that look like since then for you and your heart for the fight and, you know, just kind of sharing what what you're doing now with Lantern and, and how you're still seeing that impact and how you look forward to seeing it going forward.

So I know our listeners are in for a treat for the second half of this. Meanwhile, listeners, while you are in for our break, if you would like to check out our Instagram or Facebook page for recent updates, make sure you're signing up and subscribing to our newsletter that comes out monthly. There's a lot of great information that you can really you can dive into being a part of Lantern.

There's a lot of opportunities there. So and then also visiting our website at You can find us on all major platforms. So we look forward to connecting with you guys in that way.

We'll head on to a break and we'll be back shortly. 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 has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world reaching an estimated $150 billion 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. All right, guys, welcome back to the second half of our podcast today. We have TC joining us and TC has just been sharing really his heart for getting started in the rescue of those trafficked and exploited individuals. And I love if you missed out on the first half of this, you got to go back because there's just so many little Jesus nuggets is what we'll call them through there where it's like, you know, when the Lord calls you into something there is it's not always easy, right? But you make he makes a way and you step into it and through the hard times and the easy times.

He's just faithful to, to really show you what restoration looks like. And, you know, TC, I know we're gonna chat a little bit about about where it went from there. So I'm gonna let you take it from there and share with our listeners kind of what brought your heart to lantern and how you've continued to move forward in that.

Cool. So, so I started out with CRI like we talked about, but then, and, and I, I did good work with them and they do great work, but there were some, there's some things in there that I started to maybe think maybe there was another way to go. I traveled with a combination of CRI and some people, some people who weren't with CRI to Haiti, and we did some, some good work down there totally different rating some clubs and helping down there and training some folks.

And so, um, Mason, new friendships, relationships, contacts, and kind of shifted from CRI, uh, went into policy or I, and still some of the same contacts that ended up bringing me to lantern, um, form some new friendships. And so after Haiti and Nepal, um, started working and traveling with the lantern crew, different people. And we were, I think we went back to Haiti a couple of times. Um, I traveled to the Dominican and did some, some undercover work there in the Dominican, helping out, um, our country asset down there.

Um, and just a totally different look. So no more debt bondage, but actual, uh, human sex trafficking counter human sex trafficking work where we were making contacts again in the government, trying to work as, um, high, um, high, uh, in the government as possible, but also working with, you know, the, the, the line doggies, so to speak, the guys that are boots on the ground during the work, working with them, training, making those contacts, um, getting intelligence for them to make arrests from. And one of the, one of the probably most impactful pieces that I was a part of, we had traveled there. Several of us went, um, and we're ended up being a part of an actual raid where we traveled from Santa Domingo to a place probably an hour west. Um, and we went and we helped them, um, make an arrest, a fate of the arrest, but we helped them oversee on this whole, this whole process of arresting a mom who had been trafficking her two young daughters via the internet. A neighbor was helping her do it and it, and it traveled from there.

It was connected to Italy and to the U S. So we have this huge, literally it's international and these two little girls. And so we actually helped the arrest process. We helped the, um, after care or social care, um, process and helped oversee that. Um, we were helping with, you know, the neighborhood curiosity, making sure that that didn't go crazy.

And so we were actually part of a fairly sophisticated operation to get these two young girls out of harm's way, make arrests, um, oversee a little bit of their, their interview process. And so that was a whole different kind of thing. The lantern was doing and that, and that's actually been a little bit ago.

That was, that was really a cool work to see lanterns, step in to see the different abilities within lanterns, you know, team to come to bear. And so that was, that was very interesting and it was very important. Clearly. Um, and I, you know, honestly, I don't know, um, what happened to those girls after that other than the social services had them and they were in a better place. Right.

Yeah. Had to have been versus where they had come from. Can I ask you, you know, you went from the debt bondage side of trafficking into the sex side of trafficking, right? What is, was that a, I mean, were you exposed to that at all during the debt bondage piece?

Or was that a new eye opening, um, piece of this as well, piece of the puzzle? Cause they're, they're very different, but sometimes there is that overlap, you know, so that's a great question. There's, there's definitely overlap. So in almost any labor trafficking, which debt bondage is the subset of that in my opinion, um, and any of that, there is these, there is the idea that the trafficker, whichever kind of trafficking we're talking about is exercising power over a weaker human.

There is always that element. And of course money is involved whether in the debt bondage, of course, the kiln owners are making money into sex trafficking. The traffickers are making money, but there are, there's also the control piece and somehow in a very high percentage, I would say that somehow sexual exploitation becomes a part of that as well.

So I know, I know for a fact that in the debt bondage piece, you know, a lot of the girls that would be house slaves, um, so to speak, were also being, you know, sexually exploited. Yeah. It's just one more way for them to be able to make money. You know, it's a commodity that has multiple uses to the bad guys, right?

They don't even consider it a person. Absolutely. That's correct. And that's the hard part for sure. Well, tell us a little bit about, so since you've been at Lantern, I know you've, you've also shifted into, because we've heard you talk a little bit about, um, West Africa as well and, and some of the work there. So what is, A, what has kept your heart focused in this, this world?

Because this is not an easy line of work to work in and it can be overwhelming at times and it can, it's not one of those things you get to walk away from when you get home, you know, at the end of the day. So, um, what's sustained you? We'll start there. What has sustained you through it? And then tell us a little bit about the work that's going on now. My, my sustainer, my driver, um, has always been, and I just had my Devo yesterday or the day before, just re reminded like God, God is a God of justice. And I know sometimes it's hard. You look at the world and like, what in the world is going on?

You actually feel like, like we're going backwards. Like we're not winning or God doesn't know, you know, God's able to, you know, unable to control things, which is, there's nothing further from the truth. And God does have all of us here on this planet at this time for a reason. And I know that he's a God of justice. He talks about it over and over and over. He tells us people to be a part of that.

He doesn't even want any religion, religious acts from his people if they're not promoting justice on behalf of those who can't do it for themselves. So that is my, that is absolutely has, has been my driver. It always will be. Um, and maybe even subconsciously always has been.

Um, and so in West Africa, it's the same. Um, I love to build teams and I love to train. I think I'm, I'm a bit gifted there. I certainly am passionate about it. And so in every place I end up going, um, I end up trying to train people if at all possible who want to do the work in West Africa. I know at least three people who are passionate about their country and, and there are people not being trafficked or exploited. So I try to fan that into flame or enable them to do that at a higher level. And so, you know, whether it's funding or whether it's training, I've made many trips to Benin in particular to do training, to look at things and see if there's something we can make better or help them do better. Just last week, we, you know, we had to put money into a vehicle because it's actually impossible to do some of the border work there without a vehicle and they did that car died. I'm not sure.

From neglect or old age or whatever. But we have that thing back on the road. And so, you know, sometimes it's as simple as that. And as significant as that as well. Yeah, those little things, they play a big part. And I've had the honor of stepping alongside you in, you know, in West Africa and watching you work and minister. And I love that those two things always coincide for you, the ministry and working. That is something that I've watched your heart be prompted towards and that other people see that, you know, they may not understand if they don't know God, they may not understand the goodness that you approach them with. But I've seen it so evident in the way that you speak and build teams there. And, and I say that for you, but that's also the case for, you know, other operators as well. It's, it's always there's always a more to the mission, you know, and I think that that is something that lantern has done well as well. So let me, let me ask you a quick question before we're out of time.

I'm going to flip the script. So you were actually on that trip, like you said, what was your, what were your thoughts about how the team function and its impact on the folks there in Benin? I, you know, I have a heart for one of, especially for one of our, our team members down there. You know, it, for me, it was that reminder that the Lord goes before us, right. And he put people in play that needed to be a part of that situation.

And that, that rescue opportunity. And so to see that happen was incredible to know that he had gone ahead and given us favor over some of the crazy situations, you know, and I mean, it's working in the market, right? The market alone was, we walked into that and you just, you had to have the favor of the Lord to, to work through all those pieces. Because when you go into another country, it, it never looks like you think it's going to look, it's not well, it's never going to be perfectly organized.

Like you would be able to manage here in the States. There's always a language barrier. There's always these barriers that come up, but our God is so faithful to step beyond those barriers, you know, and I think that's what I got to see. That's really what I got to experience there is the Lord going before us. And because you are obedient to, to his will and his desire. And so were the members, team members that we were working with, they were obedient and submitted to him.

It worked. And it changed lives, you know, and, and, and it gave people, you could see the sense of hope, especially with, you know, some of the individuals in government we worked with, you could see a sense of hope in them that, hey, we're not doing this alone. You know, and I think that that's a powerful play for them, because I think so often, you know, we, we talk about not being like that white savior mentality where we come in and save the day, but instead we step alongside people. And I think that is, that's what encourages them and motivates them to continue fighting to know that they're not alone.

So, you said it better myself with that spot on it does. It does offer hope and hope gives people energy to continue to fight the faith. Well, I don't know, it's just, it's all from the heart because that really was an incredible opportunity and, and beyond thankful for it. And I will say because I know some of our listeners had received a prayer text.

I think last week about one of our team members, they're going into having some health issues and going into surgery. And I do want to update them and give them an incredible praise report that that individual is out of surgery and did really well and was able to testify to how incredible God was throughout that time in the hospital. So I just want to thank our prayer warriors for stepping alongside of us and praying alongside of us. That's excellent. Yeah. Well, thank you TC so much for taking time to share with our listeners and I hope that they just, this is a better insight to the heart of the people we have on the ground working every day to ensure people are brought out of hard situations. That's great.

Absolutely. My pleasure. Thanks.

All right. Thanks TC. And thanks to all our listeners. Again, if you are not connected into our prayer text or newsletter, you can head over to our website at and you can get connected into all of those pieces. Thanks so much for listening. Have a great day guys.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-24 14:32:50 / 2024-02-24 14:44:24 / 12

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