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Securing the Border!

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
February 27, 2021 12:00 pm

Securing the Border!

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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February 27, 2021 12:00 pm

The Lantern Rescue team discusses what they've been up to in West Africa, a few select victim cases, and what they look for in potential volunteers.

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Hey, this is Mike Zwick from If Not For God Podcast, our show. Stories of hopelessness turned into hope. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds.

Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. 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. Well, welcome back to Lantern Rescue. As you can hear, I'm not Robbie. I am Rachel Torres.

I'm actually the producer for Lantern Rescue. So Robbie's been a little bit under the weather this week, so I've been asked to step in. I've got some pretty big shoes to fill, but I'm excited to be on this side of the mic with the team. So yeah, we got a pretty good show for you today.

Just give you some updates, first of all, about what's been going on with the team. So Mark, if you wanted to take that away. Thank you, Rachel. And we're excited to have you on the call too, because you are an essential person to this radio show and what God does through our radio show. So Rachel, the whole team right here, since we got you on the phone with us, we want to thank you for your production efforts, because people don't understand how many horrible blurps and things that you have to take out of shows for us.

Well, thank you. I know we can make your job really hard, but thanks so much. And yeah, we're excited to be back and update folks on things. Last week, episode at least, we were able to share about Africa and God's work there. And we're so excited about it, but we have to hit the ground in a lot of other places. And literally this week, just before this call, TC and I were trying to connect dots in a country where we know there needs to be a border operation. There needs to be training. There needs to be further training for a unit we have in that country.

And we definitely need to take control of a section of that border, along with those officials of that country, because we know that there are girls who are being trafficked across into the nearby region. And it's something that's really been on our radar for almost two years. So I know we're starting to show off. I'll start off with a prayer quest. We need prayer. We're trying to connect the right government officials. And we have them all, but there's so much dysfunction and violence in this area.

It's really hard to pull some things together. So that's what we're up to. Of course, we've got other things going that we're excited about. We just don't want to share, but that's the main thing I wanted to update our listeners on. Great. Yeah. So when you say take control of the border, I know there's probably a lot that goes into that.

What does that kind of exactly entail, or what do you mean by that? Most often in some of these countries, they have a lack of control of their border, or there's such corruption that children or minors are smuggled across. Once a child crosses a border and their passport is taken, there's very small likelihood they're ever going to escape that situation, that trafficking situation.

So borders are essential that governments control them and keep their people accounted for and detained for, and that illegal immigration doesn't happen, and that smuggling doesn't happen, and that human trafficking doesn't breed in those areas. Right. Okay, got it. Awesome. Well, TC, I know you guys kind of wanted to share about a few of the cases you guys have been working on in Africa. Did you have something you wanted to share, a specific case? Yeah, absolutely. Thank you again, Rachel, for your time and effort here.

It's excellent. And I want to follow up on something Mark was saying, and Ren has hit on in the past. For this one country that we're trying to establish a new operation, traffickers are predators, and so they just need to put enough of the dots together to create opportunity or chaos creates opportunity. They might create their own opportunity in this particular case. There is a supply and demand, not to be crass about it, but there's a supply in this particular country, and the border area that Mark is talking about that we would like to go to is an obvious place. In any border between countries, there's opportunity for money for everybody. So those sorts of things are why we want to get there and get this mission or this venture going.

And the same is true. We're all going to talk a little bit about Africa and some of the things going on there. So two weeks ago in preparation for this show, I just did a bit of a synopsis on information that we have received from our counterparts in that country. And so two weeks ago, they had 12, I call them interceptions or interdictions, of kids, 12 kids who were rescued or saved or interdicted. But the average age of those 12 was under 15 years. Okay.

So super young. And then they all need repatriated. And I think we're going to talk about that later. So here's a more specific example of those 12. There was one girl, the youngest in this particular crew, one young girl was six years old.

All right. She was taken from school. And this girl was actually allowed to be taken by her mother. And the woman that took her at the border was telling our operators there that she was the girl's aunt, that she was taken into a place where she was actually going to help her with her schooling because the girl was struggling. She was going to help her.

And in the end, through great investigative work by the organization in this country, found out that the lady was, or the woman, the trafficker, was not related to the girl at all. And that she was just taking her from school to get her into domestic servitude in another country, six years. And as Marcus said, and I think Ren will double down on, once that girl's in that situation, the chances of her getting out by the time she's 18 or ever are super slim. So the vigilance and the effort that it takes to get a six-year-old out of that kind of situation is critical, is super important. And so this little girl has been rescued.

And where she goes from there will be determined by the authorities. Oh, wow. That's amazing.

You guys got to help her. Man, that's just shocking, taken from school. I think that's just something that's, I don't know, kind of hard for us to imagine here, something like that just happening, like an everyday occurrence. So Ren, did you have anything you wanted to share, either about that case or a different case? Yeah, so another one of the cases from that set of 12 victims that were intercepted last week was another little boy named Henry. He was about 15 years old and he'd been in his village with his biological dad and his dad was like a handyman, you know, someone you'd call to kind of fix whatever's going wrong with his stuff. And he was working kind of apprenticing alongside his dad with plans to someday take over and live in his village and just kind of like keep the family tradition going. And a trafficker was going through the village and saw this kid that had these skills, was able to do these things, and he talked him into taking a job. He's like, oh, you've already got these great skills, I can take you across the border, I can get you more money, you'll have your own money, you can start your own life. And what he was actually going to do is sell him into forced labor, not a job, not, and he's 15 years old also, you know, he's supposed to be in school, he's supposed to be growing.

So the money is tempting, you know, you can send money back to your family, the same song and dance we hear all the time. But he was intercepted and he was prevented from being sold to a labor trafficker. So it's about him and stuff, it happens all the time and once they get across the border and their documents are confiscated, it is so incredibly hard to get them back into the right place to figure out where they actually belong. It's not like America where you have, you know, a social security number or you have all these different organizations and police departments that are able to get you from, you know, you're kidnapped in Arkansas and taken to Colorado, like that's easy.

It's not like that overseas, like it's incredibly difficult, it can take years if it ever happens. So preventing it from even getting to that state is so vital. Oh yeah, I mean, that's horrifying. I mean, just being taken out of your home while you think you're doing something, it's going to be helping your family and then cross the border and that's kind of it, there's no, you know, recourse for you necessarily. And of course, that's where you guys step in, but hopefully to prevent that from happening to begin with.

But yeah, that's horrible. So do any of you guys have any more thoughts on any particular cases or anything you want to share? Generally speaking, on what we've already said, it may be hard for the listener to identify with what Wren and I have talked about, but if you can imagine that being your child, what would you want to have available to you to regain your child or to have the knowledge that you could get your child back? This is something that I think we need to ask ourselves, you know, as an organization and as individuals, we have made ourselves available for this very thing, to rescue the oppressed and quite frankly, to rescue them as early in the trafficking cycle as possible. Because like Wren said, the further down the line it goes, the harder it is to recover those kids. I just, I want to impress upon people that these are real kids with real parents who have the same feelings and hopes and dreams that we all do for our kids and families and family members. And so we truly are trying to make ourselves available to stop this kind of thing from happening to anybody's kids. In this particular case, it's somebody you don't know, but they feel the same.

They have the same family feelings and emotions and things for their kids as we all do. Oh yeah, absolutely. And Wren or Mark, do you have anything to add to that in our last minute or so here? You know, in confirmation of what TC just said, it is so critical that we act in a preventive manner because there are moments where it is too late, the rescue is nearly impossible to occur. And what we're describing here in this part of the show so far has been an operation that we have been so favored in to be able to establish in Africa that with our training, with the funding of good people to lantern, being able to put intelligence team in place and police officers working, these rescues are happening even outside of our presence. So we go and we do the heavy lifting with them and we do the training, we do the extra operations to say, let's expand into this way. And we do scenarios with them and then we do live operations with them. But here, these are rescues from the people that we've trained. And I'm so excited that they're doing that. And maybe after the break, I'd love to tell you about one in particular. Absolutely.

Yeah, that'll be great. So on that note, yeah. With the traffickers over in other countries, it's not something that else to like put into perspective is it's not like, you know, the movie Taken where it's very clear, you know, a girl being dragged out kicking and screaming. The traffickers are so good and so well versed at convincing these children that they're doing the right thing for their family. If they loved their family, they would do this and they convince them that they're getting this job.

They're going to have this amazing new life. They're going to, you know, change their family's circumstances. So when they're being taken across borders, these kids will...they're conditioned to lie for the trafficker. They think they're doing the right thing. They think they're doing a good thing.

So it is not an obvious thing to see these victims being trafficked. You really have to be involved and be proactive in it and actually be paying attention and not just sitting at the border crossing and letting everyone go past and not questioning anything. So that's really where this team that we trained is really thriving is they are truly dedicated. They come to work every day motivated. You know, they're never taking breaks and work and acting like they don't care or being complacent. Like they really are every day coming in with fresh eyes and truly looking for these victims and it's made a huge difference.

Yeah, that's amazing. Well, we've got a lot to cover. As you just heard, we'll be hearing some more stories on the other side of the break about what the team has been up to in Africa.

Stay tuned. We'll be right back on Lantern Rescue. 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 non-profit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world reaching an estimated 150 billion dollars in annual activity. Lantern Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery and facilitates holistic aftercare services. They're gearing up for operations right now and you can go to lanternrescue.org to see how you can support them financially. Well, welcome back to Lantern Rescue.

We're so glad to have you with us today. We've got the team here and we've been talking about what they've been up to in Africa, some of the rescues they've been able to accomplish there. And so before we went to the break, Mark did mention that there was something that he wanted to share on the other side. So Mark, I know you mentioned that there were two girls that you were able to rescue.

So did you want to share a little bit about that? Yeah, this particular case excited me and that is two girls, 15 and 18, called one Natalie and one Tay. And the suspect trafficker was actually a lady from a nearby country, actually her name was Beatrice, and she was posing that she had available work in restaurants, a network of restaurants. And so this is typical that someone will come from one country to the next to say, I have work, convince family or young children to come and to work for them. But they're promising pay, but what they're going to deliver is no pay and they're going to put them not only into domestic slavery, they're going to put them into sex slavery. And that was the case for these two girls that we rescued and intercepted. The 15-year-old particularly, when she got to the restaurant and began to have to work at first, a pimp would come and take all the money.

Her paycheck each week that she was supposed to receive was going directly to a pimp, and then he was obviously doing other things with her to use her. And so the fortunate and great news is those two girls are rescued. They're being handled by the authorities and reallocated, excuse, reunified with their families. The family's educated about, look, this isn't, these are false promises, don't send your children to these things.

And then the suspect is arrested. And so I think, I know that I read this week that over one and a half million people are trafficked a year across borders. That doesn't count illegal immigration.

I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about straight up a million and a half people are moved across borders in illegal trafficking. And it just, you would think that families would be more caring and concerned, but because of the disparity of the economic opportunities in some countries, if there is an opportunity in a nearby country, families just willingly allow their child to leave thinking that it's going to work and that there's going to be money in a future, but it is a straight up trafficking situation that's going to end not only in domestic slavery, but in sex slavery. So we're sharing with you some of our favorite cases in the last couple of weeks, but the work that's being done is, the volume that's being done is probably while we were there, we were opening, you know, 10, 15 investigations a day and seeing one to two children rescued. We've ramped that up now that we're seeing, instead of about 10 children a week, we're seeing closer to 15 to 20 children a week.

And it's just, it's just the better our team gets, the better the work gets. Oh, that's amazing. Oh my gosh. That's wonderful to hear. Shocking numbers there.

1.5 million. Oh my gosh. That's even, I don't know, it's hard to fathom. So that was story of the one girl. I'm so glad to hear that you guys were able to get her out of that situation.

Was there another story, a different girl that you wanted to share about? One thing that's unique about Lantern is that we also, you know, when we're working these trafficking cases, sometimes you also come across an abusive situation that a child's not necessarily being trafficked, but simply being abused by a parent or a loved one. You know, they're being sexually abused or they're being physically abused. And one particular case that we had recently was a girl who we intercepted at the border. I mean, she wasn't being trafficked yet, but she was heading into a, you know, a hell zone for sure. But the situation was that she had been physically and sexually abused inside of her family. And the beatings on her body were, they were exposed and they were obvious to our interception team. And through the interrogation process of the family and the interview with the girl, they, you know, they, we recognize what's actually happening here with this individual.

And that's unique to us. We're not going to go, oh, this isn't a trafficked child. We're not going to help her. No, we're still going to help her. You know, we still want to do something. And that's where even recently we put out a call on social media. Our volunteers that run our social media do a great job. They put that out on social media and said, look, we need X amount of funding, funds to help this girl move into a better situation.

And that was, I think, I think that was raised maybe in an hour. And we're thankful for that. And that girl getting the care that she needs, both the hospital care that she needed to heal her wounds, and then the replacement that she needed as well. Wow.

That is amazing. That's just heartbreaking, you know, being in that situation. You know, your family is the one you would turn to, one you would hope would, you know, be taking care of you. It's where you're supposed to be safe.

And yet that's the place. Yeah, it's really crazy because these victims look at their families and they don't really see any other way out. You know, they see they're in an abusive family situation.

And so trafficking is very likely in situations like that, because I mean, to them, how much worse can it get? So when victims get services like we were able to provide for this girl, and the money we were able to get for her, like, they are so, to say that they're surprised when they find out they're going to get a different life and that they don't have to be exploited to get that is an understatement. Like, it is genuine, like, disbelief. Like, it's incredible to watch these situations when they find out that they're going to a different life and that, you know, they don't have to live like this anymore. It's really beautiful to see. So every time someone donates to something like that, like, you might not always see, you don't always get to be there in that exact moment. But just know that you're changing lives so significantly with what people are able to give. It's really incredible. Oh, wow.

Yeah, that's beautiful. So speaking of, you know, people donating and helping out, a lot of people here on our staff, people we hear from, they're always wondering how they can be involved, how they can help. I know you guys had some things you wanted to share, some things you look for, you know, and volunteers. We're going to kick that off.

I'll let TC roll it. We do have, individually, we have people come to us and say, hey, I want to be on the team. And they've got skill sets, you know, or they want to be part of a rescue operation. And then we've got people on email and people on Instagram and social media reaching out to us and people through the radio show. And, you know, we love their hearts, first of all, okay, we love the volunteer heart, we love the willingness. And so maybe today, we just want to take a few moments to talk about what it is to be on our team a little bit, what are not necessarily requirements, but things that we look for. And I'm going to kick it off with TC there. Sure.

Thanks, Mark. So I get direct calls. I've had a, I've had a guy that's super motivated. He's got a pretty extensive military background. He's always thinking about how to put things together. And I'm always getting calls and suggestions and support type stuff, which is, which we've talked about, it's awesome and it's necessary. One of his suggestions has always been, you know, almost like the idea of, I don't know what a bunch of you guys don't just get together and start this big organization. All of us have been a part of organizations that have maybe thought bigger was going on, but they're not maybe thought bigger was better. And better is better.

I always tell my kids that bigger is not better, better is better. So one thing that Mark and Ren have been adamant about is the family atmosphere. And the, you know, the kind of people that come through, they need a skill set for sure. It could be an investigative type skill set where it's more, maybe more of a police background, or it could be more of a skill set that facilitates either security or communications or intelligence for the missions that we're doing. So there is, there is opportunity. But part of the problem is if you have 5,000 people that want in of 5,000, 3,000 high skills and of the 3,000, you know, then lantern has to figure out who of those people fit, are dreaded, are in it for the right reasons.

I mean, Mark just had this conversation the other day with the guys, he said, yeah, I have a lot of people's skill sets, but there's more glory in this. Why, why do you want to do this? Ren's talked about this, what's your motivation? So those are some of the things that we start looking at to have somebody come in the door to help. Got it. Awesome.

Ren or Mark, anything else? Yeah, so we definitely, um, TC is completely right. It is what we really stress is the, the family atmosphere and a lot of the operations, you know, we've been together as a team for a couple of years now. And through the operations, if you don't have that family bond and that true connection with people, and you're not there for the right reasons, like these things can go bad in other countries really, really quickly.

And so that is, that's definitely, you know, personality is a lot of what we're looking for in this. And, and like you mentioned, your why. So I get it. And people tell me all the time, they're like, I just want to go, you know, do X, Y, and Z are the traffickers.

I don't know what's appropriate to say on the radio, but you can kind of imagine some of the messages we've gotten and even people in my personal life that say they want to do certain things to traffickers. And, and I get that. And I'm not going to say that the team never said that as well behind closed doors. However, you cannot enter into this world with that being your intent because it skews the mission. And then you're not focused on what's best for the child.

You're focused on your anger and your hate. And that when you go into those situations, even when we're in the clubs and we're on the streets, when we're doing these raids, you have to be coming from a place of love and not hate because the kids can sense it immediately. And they're scared to begin with.

They've already been trafficked. Now there's all these white guys knocking down the door in full, you know, kit, full flak jacket. We've got guns, you know, a lot's going on. There's yelling.

There's all kinds of stuff. And on top of that, you're throwing their trafficker around and you're screaming and you're trying to exact your pound of flesh. Like it's, it's going to make it worse for them. You're going to traumatize them worse and you're going to not be paying attention to what's the most important thing in the room, which is the child, not your desire for justice. So that is huge.

People need to come at this from the right perspective and really understand that it's not about you wanting to punish the trafficker as it is about saving the child. Yeah, that makes so much sense. We've got about 30 seconds here. Mark, is there anything else you want to share on that note? I love what TC and Wren both just said. And I know if Alan's with us today, he'd say a hearty amen to that too.

And that is the description of what they just gave. And that's what we're trying to achieve as a team. That's what we're trying to maintain and keep.

We do hope to expand and we do hope to grow in our operational teams and units. And just know that we are family. And I tell you, it takes a while to come into the family.

I've got five daughters and I see them date somebody and I know what it's like to take in a stranger, you know, for a little bit. And so we are that family and we are growing this year because of the funding and the goodness of our donors and the care of people who care about what we're doing. So we are excited. So thank you, Rachel, for your time today.

I appreciate it. We are. I'm praying for Robbie and everybody. And I know that he'll be back with us next week.

Yeah, he will be. Thank you guys so much. It's been an absolute blessing to be with you guys today. Thank you so much for being with us today on Lantern Rescue. As you heard, there's a lot to pray for, everything going on in Africa, the team, the teams, their training, and then they might be able to find some people this year that are a good fit, have the right motivation and have the right skill set to do the job. Maybe that's one of you listening right now.

Who knows? And if God has put it on your heart to give to this ministry, then please visit lanternrescue.org and give whatever you can. As Ren said, every little bit helps. It makes a difference. It can make a huge difference in the life of one of these children. More to come next week on Lantern Rescue.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-20 13:43:43 / 2023-12-20 13:55:00 / 11

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