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Shaking the Trees! - Part 2

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
November 21, 2020 1:00 am

Shaking the Trees! - Part 2

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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November 21, 2020 1:00 am

Ren introduces listeners to her friend Shauna, a Project Manager at Exelon, who now takes small actions to combat human trafficking after learning about modern-day slavery through Lantern's work. Ren, Alan, and his wife Tammy, also share some ideas for how listeners can get involved through everyday means.

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But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. In that dream, you showed the little girls in cages, screaming for someone to help. I woke up that morning, I was in a cold sweat and I was asking God, what does this mean?

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William Wilberforce once said, let it not be said I was silent when they needed me. This is Lantern Rescue. So I know if you're a regular listener to Lantern Rescue, you're like me, man, what can I do? There's so much going on, Wren.

I mean, you know, our hearts are touched by this. And you really have a friend, Shauna, that's with us today that kind of took what God was putting on her heart and put feet to it, right? Yeah, you know, my friends have been incredible through this whole process of me starting Lantern and getting everything going. They've really just dove in headfirst with me and done what they can with the resources that they've been provided.

And they've, they've really done amazing things. Wow. So Shauna, you knew Wren before, but you know, God gave you this opportunity to get involved. Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

I'm very honored and humbled to be here. So I just, you know, wanted to share how I kind of got involved with Lantern and with Wren. So I know on one of the last podcasts, you were talking about shaking trees, right?

Right, right. Shaking trees. Well, Wren definitely shook my tree and woke me up hard, just to so much I hadn't realized before. So as you mentioned back on that podcast, it's really difficult to just sit around and do nothing after you've realized how widespread the issue of human trafficking for sex and for labor is. So Wren and I have been amazing friends since high school.

But you know, I really didn't know much about all of the incredible work she does with Lantern until a couple of years ago. So a few years ago, I had made a social media post after a Juneteenth tour that I went on through my company. And it was really around how I would like to think if I were living in that time around the 1800s, I would have had the courage and the bravery to fight slavery. You know, maybe I could have been a Quaker up here in Pennsylvania who helped those in need, fighting for freedom on the Underground Railroad back then, you know, providing victims of slavery with food and clothing and safety on their journey to freedom. So naturally, five seconds after I posted that, Wren messaged me and said, hey, you know, slavery still does exist.

It's just more modernized and there are ways to help if you want to know more. So that really was the moment that lit such a huge fire in my soul. So I started digging, chatting with Wren more about what type of work that she did and doing some research on my own. So obviously, sex trafficking is one of the most difficult things to stomach, right?

Like I had just visited Wren a couple months ago, and that was the first real chance we had to dig in completely, really just sit down and discuss the ins and outs of Lantern. And she was explaining how they found children. And I mean like 18 months old children who were sold into slavery by their mothers.

And I think you probably had this on a previous podcast as well. Thankfully, they caught those responsible and rescued that victim. But when you hear about something like that, something that vulgar and horrific, I don't even think your mind knows where to go or how to comprehend that. So that's another thing that just kind of lit a fire for me.

How does someone have those sexual thoughts about a child that young, and let alone act on them? And that's the work that Wren and Mark and the team are doing every day to stop these actions, rescue the victims. And I'm just so incredibly proud of the work that they do.

And how can you not get involved, even if it's on a small scale, when you realize that? It kind of shocked me like how naive I was on the subject of slave labor too. I remember discussing that with Wren, and I know we all know to some extent there's sex trafficking out there.

You know, maybe it's a movie-esque version in our minds, but through conversations with Wren, or if you do any research on your own, you'll realize it's not your usual typical kidnapping. It's really someone you know. But either way, like I knew sex trafficking was occurring in our society, but admittedly, I had no idea there was such a huge slave labor industry out there, to the extent that it exists in our society today. For example, I am a huge, huge chocoholic, like super addicted to chocolate.

I love it. I know this about you too. But I had no idea that almost all of the chocolate I was consuming could be traced back to slave labor with growing and harvesting the cocoa beans. So huge companies like Hershey and Mars.

It was crazy to me. So I started making small changes in my own life is the first way that anybody can get involved. So I started switching to fair trade chocolate, which honestly, for the listeners out there, it tastes better anyway.

Tony's Chocolone bars is one that I love now, not a sponsor or anything. I actually tried my first chocolate bar with Wren when I was visiting her, and it's my favorite chocolate now, and they take pride in being slave free. So just making the small fair trade decisions in your own life can help out a lot. And then also, embarrassingly, I never realized the significance of slave labor in America through mass incarceration. So until I started doing my own research, I never really realized that after the Emancipation Proclamation in the slaves were declared free, we deliberately, and I mean deliberately, everyone knew what they were doing and why they were doing it, started this effort of mass incarceration, specifically as an effort to rebuild our economy through labor provided by prisoners. Basically, we ended slavery, but then we locked up the slaves and took their freedom just in a new way, a modernized way.

And the kicker for me was, it still exists today. And I realized companies like Victoria's Secret or JCPenney, who I have clothing from, use prison labor. So my clothes are also now being made from victims of slavery. So that's another thing anyone can change. Look at where you're buying your products and make those simple changes in your own life.

It's just so much more prevalent than I ever could have imagined. And then regarding my own involvement with Lantern, I don't have combat training or anything like Ren or Mark or any of the other team members. So to her point, I don't go participate in raids or anything like that. My participation is more philanthropic and from home or like back office planning support. So I typically get involved, kind of to the point that I've been discussing now in education with others, like educating others around the efforts of Lantern, supporting donations, and I am a project manager by trade. So planning is a huge skill set that I have. So if they ever need planning support with an event that's over here, I'm happy to help with that. I know one of the things we had discussed with Ren and Mark was planning a walk for the Underground Railroad.

It's kind of inspired by Harriet Tubman. And we do a philanthropic walk from where she escaped from in Maryland over to Philadelphia. And I'm near Philadelphia and I've done work with some of the governmental agencies in Maryland in my previous role, so I'm able to use that network to make some connections to host a walk like that. And I just take every opportunity I can to talk about the organization and how truly amazing Ren is.

She's used to me bragging about her. But I work at a pretty large company and we just got through our employee giving campaign, where we raise money for local charities in the community. So I got Lantern as one of the registered nonprofits there. And that just gave me the opportunity to like in work meetings, talk about the efforts and educate folks on human trafficking. And then anytime, this sounds really simple, but like anytime I'm with friends or family, I just wear my Lantern gear.

So I have a Lantern hoodie. And again, it sounds simple, but it really gets the conversation going and the education continuing. So the efforts are small, but I think they can make a large impact, especially if more individuals made little small life changes. So that's kind of how I'm involved. Wow. And from what I understand, you were instrumental as well with a matching situation with Exxon.

Can you tell us kind of how that happened? Oh, yeah. Yeah. So that is my company. Well, not my company, I wish. I worked for Exelon. So Exelon is an organization. It's an energy organization. So they operate nuclear power plants.

We have 14 across the East Coast and the Midwest. And then they also operate a ton of utilities. So I am a project manager with them, and that's kind of what I was referring to through our employee giving campaign. So just in Philadelphia, just in the Philadelphia region, we raised five hundred thousand dollars through our employee giving campaign.

That wasn't naturally it wasn't all for Lantern. It was for various nonprofits. But that is the organization like that employee giving campaign as part of our company. I got Lantern registered with that company so we now can donate like the employees of Exelon can donate funds to Lantern and then Exelon will match those profits as well. And then we got them registered as a nonprofit, too, which is very exciting. Yeah, because lots and lots of people, you know, their companies do similar things where they'll match what the employees give to a 501c3. And so, you know, that's just a huge opportunity. But I got to admit, I'm sitting here just like dumbfounded that I didn't know chocolate was based on slave labor or, you know, JCPenney clothes.

I mean, those are insights that, Wren, I guess you shared that information with her first. Yeah, I talk about, you know, we mainly talk about sex trafficking because that's what most people think of when they think of human trafficking. But there is a huge, huge portion of human trafficking that is labor trafficking and slave labor.

And it's similar to what we've talked about in previous episodes with the brickyards and stuff like that. There is a lot of slave labor in industries like chocolate, coffee, sugar, cotton. There's still a ton of actual what you would think of when you think of the slave trade here in America.

It's very similar these days. And then there's a sweatshop overseas where they're doing the clothing, the fast fashion stuff that everyone's so into and some technology, stuff like that. Yeah. So tell us again, Shawna, about the chocolate that's slave free, so to speak, however that works.

Oh, yeah. It's their chocolate bar is Tony's Chocolone. And like even on their wrappers, if you open the wrappers, they have like facts about slave labor. Wow.

I mean, that's just kind of like how they do not like they stand against that and fight against it. So and it seriously it tastes delicious. It's like my new favorite chocolate. That's just wonderful. You know, all those things you can kind of see is as things get a hold of your heart.

You know, you you're given inspiration to to go to do things about it. Well, I hate we're out of time for this segment, but Shawna, what a what a wonderful thing you're doing. And we're so grateful you came on and shared about it. Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Thank you. You have a great Thanksgiving because I guess we're right up against that, right? Yes.

I mean, you do. We'll be right back. Lantern Rescue is a USA based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Lantern specializes in sending former 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 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 lanternrescue.org to see how you can support them financially. Welcome back to the Lantern Rescue. Today's show is, you know, we've been talking about people getting their tree shook, and I have to say that we've received several donations here at the Truth Network from people that listened to the last week's show, but there's lots of ways, obviously, that if God's tugging on your heart, we can respond.

And so, Ren, you wanted to share some of that. Yeah, you know, we get emails from people all the time wanting to get involved, and we love that everyone's so passionate and that they really want to put their effort towards helping us and helping end this issue. And we wanted to give a couple ideas on how to get involved, but the main thing is just start where you're at with the resources that you have and do an inventory of what skills and resources you have in your life.

So thinking of ways that you can get involved that are unique to you, that are really going to be something that can be implemented in your daily life and in your community. Even as simple as, you know, Shauna mentioned lanternware, right, and starting the conversation just by, you know, going on the website and getting some of the clothing to talk about, right? Yeah, yeah, definitely you can just go on and get a t-shirt, a hoodie, some bracelets, a decal for your car, you know, we've got a couple options on the site.

It's definitely not a fashion site, you know, there's just a couple options on there, we'll expand in the future, but that opens the door to conversations and really helps break the ice sometimes. Oh yeah, that's great. Also today we have Alan with us, and Alan, you know, recently God gave him a wonderful idea to get involved with a church, and so Alan, share with us what happened there. What happened is through acquaintances I had in the Marine Corps, a friend of mine, we were in the Marine Corps together and we served our whole tour together.

We stayed connected after the Marine Corps, and he had just recently passed away, which reconnected me with his parents and stuff through the funeral and all that. And his mom, who is in her mid-70s or 80s, she was inquiring about what I did outside of retirement, since I retired, and I kind of explained to her what was going on with lantern and that. And well, she headed the missions ministry for her church, and she asked then if I would come and present an overview of the trafficking as it looks today in the world. So we actually just did that about a week ago, myself and Ren went to the church and gave an overview of lantern and the operations of lantern and that. And that in itself then sparked a lot of interest from the people of that church, and so a lot of questions and answers came out of there and people wanting to assist in combating, you know, the sex trafficking or trafficking in general. So it was just a unique opportunity God presented to reach out to a bunch more people, make them aware, and then in that case pique some interest to those involved.

Yeah, it's absolutely beautiful. And if people want to request, you know, somebody to come to their church and that kind of thing, Ren or Alan, would you have them go to your website there, atlantanrescue.org? Yeah, if they're local, if they're near us, we're definitely open to doing that.

All the operators right now live on the East Coast, so we're open to doing that if it's feasible. But another way that they can do a presentation is we have the resources and we're able to coach them doing a presentation on their own at their school, their church, their group, whatever it is. We have a really nice educational slideshow that we can provide to them and kind of coach them through it. So they can even give those presentations on their own if we're not available to come.

Yeah, because I see two huge benefits. One is just the educational process for more people to understand it as more people to pray against it, more people to talk about it and make more of us aware of even the chocolate that you can get. But, you know, also then obviously connecting people's hearts, you know, because kind of where their treasure is, that's where their heart is as well, and so they'd be able to pray and be able to give as they're capable. So, you know, that's just really, you know, it's got to be amazing from you guys to see where God has taken it from where, you know, your original vision was.

You know, it is, and I would say this, God has a unique way of leading you down paths or leading people down paths. And, you know, people being made aware of what we do through Lantern, that incites them or initiates their want and desire to help. And, you know, my specialty is the tactical side, the operations side, in-country venue, so my knowledge is in that area. So people from my field that come to me, you know, they're usually operators or former operators or of that nature, and I know where to put them or what they have to offer. I know where that goes, but there's a lot of times when people come to me, and I don't know them from, you know, anybody, and they want to know how they can help. Well, it's difficult for us to know where somebody can help if we don't know their talents that God has given them or equipped them with over the years. So I ask when people do come, well, I'm not sure how you can help.

Tell me how you can help us. And that kind of incites them to think about what it is they have to give. You know, it's not always money, you know.

In the case of my friend's mother, it was just her affiliation with the church and the missions that she led. So that was a doorway that God put us through to reach other people. So, you know, it's like a seven-year-old lady, but anybody can help.

It doesn't matter your age. It's just where your talents are will direct where you can be used at. Does that make sense? No, it absolutely makes sense. And, you know, clearly as you guys talk about all the time, you know, as you feel God pulling on your heart, you know, God, you tell me, you know, because clearly that lady got the idea from God to have you at her church. Or, you know, I love Shauna's story about where she works and she said, hey, we've got a co-op thing going on, you know, with what the employees give. And that's just simply, you know, it's clearly inspired, right?

Absolutely. I mean, other things are like, you know, we have individuals that are really tech savvy, like with drone technology and stuff, which at face value to me, it doesn't really mean a whole lot. But when you think about it, the drone technology guy, he could, you know, facilitate filming or overviewing a target site that we're looking to do an operation at with a drone, which is something I can't operate or manipulate, but that individual could. So even though, you know, individuals have these unique talents, understanding how those talents then would fit into the overall mission or operation of Landon, that's really key. And God opens those doors. I mean, we just have to be receptive to that.

And those individuals that want to volunteer or give, you know, they look at their talents and skills that they can give and see where they can apply to our mission or our operations. Yeah. And I really think it's so beautiful that God has allowed both men and women to engage in this, right, Wren?

Yeah. You know, anyone from any background can really, really get involved. And I do have a couple quick ideas that I thought about before we hopped on today. And there's, you know, there's thousands of ways to get involved. This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but I do have a couple ideas for people that maybe this will spark something with them. So maybe for someone that's like a yoga instructor or a martial arts instructor, you could do a donation based class and have people come. If they want to donate, great.

If they don't, that's fine, too. But at the end, you talk about human trafficking a little bit, sit everyone down. Maybe you're a waitress at a local restaurant and you can ask the owner if he would be willing to put the National Human Trafficking Hotline phone number just at the bottom of the menu with just saying, you know, this is a National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Doesn't even have to say anything about Lantern, just spreading the word that that's out there. If you work at a bank, same thing, maybe putting up a poster on the bulletin board of if you feel unsafe or if you see something, say something, here's the number. Same with posters in bathroom stalls at like a bar, maybe a bar or restaurant with the human trafficking hotline number on it, a couple of facts about human trafficking. You know, there's so many ways that you can get involved that are small.

Everyone thinks that if they get involved with human trafficking, it has to be this thing that takes over their whole life and they have to be working full time with us and going overseas. And there's really so many ways to get involved that are just easy daily practices that help spread awareness and you never know the connections you'll make through that. Oh yeah, it's absolutely amazing. And I understand Tammy may be available too to share a little bit. Hi, Robbie.

Hi, I just wanted to mention something, at least from the spouse and the support end of Lantern Rescue. It's that, you know, there's things that you can do just in your everyday life. Wearing a shirt or a sweatshirt, Wilberforce quote is on the back and people were literally even with Allen's size, they're not afraid of them. They come up and ask them, hey, what's that quote from or what's that about? So it's simple as wearing a t-shirt or a sweatshirt or even speaking at work or to friends and family about what's going on. And just remembering that you can do things even above and beyond the prayer.

Just finding what is your, what's your ballywook, what's your specialty, what are you good at in your everyday life. Some people are really good at talking to others and that can be an open door for them to use. Other people have a lot of networking and connections in their work or in their everyday life and that's areas that they can ask for things to be posted or just by being around other people and sharing with them. So that's just something for people to remember if they know that there's not something that they can do as far as going on raids. There is something that they can do and it would make a huge impact. And the more we know about it and the more people are familiar with it, the better off the world's going to be.

Yeah, absolutely. And as a radio person, so many of you have Facebook accounts or Twitter accounts or even TikTok, whatever you may have. You know, share the link to the podcast, right? Or share the link to the Truth Network.

You know, people can stream it live. However you do that kind of thing, one of those posts, if you've got 150 friends, you know, there's 150 or whatever you may, those connections like, man, I listen to the really, really cool podcast of how God's working in human trafficking. You know, listen to the land and rescue and, you know, who knows that, you know, that might be something that some young girl gets a hold of and finds the number. Who knows that, you know, how God uses that as you're obedient to what, you know, God puts on your heart. Of course, we would always ask and covet your prayers for these teams that are out there, you know, literally risking their lives for their victims and for their victims' salvation and growth, you know, because it's always a difficult transition back into, you know, society, however that looks.

And of course, if God puts it on your heart to give financially, certainly that would help get this on more radio stations and that would help in giving them the resources to make these trips. So, Wren, Alan, thank you, guys. This is absolutely wonderful. Yeah, thank you so much, Robbie. Thank you, Robbie. Yeah, God bless. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-26 02:07:20 / 2024-01-26 02:18:25 / 11

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