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She's the One I Prayed For

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
October 23, 2021 12:00 pm

She's the One I Prayed For

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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October 23, 2021 12:00 pm

Haley, a sex trafficking survivor, courageously shares her story of abuse, which lasted the majority of her childhood, and gives an account of her providential friendship with Lantern volunteer Casey, which has helped her to cultivate a budding relationship with Jesus Christ. Haley is joined by Casey, Mark, and Ren.

A warning for listeners: this episode contains sensitive content, including accounts of sexual abuse and suicide. Discretion is advised.

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This is Chris Hughes with the Christian Perspective Podcast with Chris Hughes, where we encourage our listeners to engage the culture with Jesus Christ. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds, so enjoy it, share it.

But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. an American Christian on a motorcycle, not even supposed to be in that country, pass underneath you and begin a prayer chain for you. Even if I had had to climb the whole thing to the top and carry her down, that would have been a miracle for sure.

But I think the greater miracle is we prayed and God restrained the oppression and I believe a demonic forces on her so that she was released from that and she came down. 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. Darrell Bock Oh, I think this is sort of a divine appointment that you got to hear Lantern Rescue today as I think, you know, what God is doing.

Sometimes we get in on it and we get a chance to see it and I'm just beyond honored to be with the folks that are with us here in the studio today with Lantern Rescue. But we got Wren on the phone. And so Wren, can you kind of set the table for us?

Wren Niehaus Yeah, absolutely. So we have some special guests in the studio today. We have Casey, who has been one of our amazing volunteers. She's been with us nearly since the beginning. She really is influential in our social media page.

She helps a lot with that, with reaching out to donors, to other volunteers. She's truly incredible. And somewhat recently, she got connected with the other guests in the studio today, Haley, who you'll hear from in a minute. And their interaction and their relationship is really incredible. And I think it's going to be an amazing story for the listeners here today.

Darrell Bock So Casey, introduce Haley for us. Haley Howard Okay, I'll start by telling you a little bit about how we got connected. I was a part of a blog called Village of Light, which I think I've shared with you guys before. And through that, my partner Gabrielle was a part of an anti-human trafficking page on Facebook. And from there, we found Haley and we found her post and she'll be sharing with you in a little bit.

And Gabrielle and Haley talked for a while. And then when I finally got connected with her, the first FaceTime that we had, it was just such an instant connection and really a God connection. And I knew that she was the one that I had been praying for and asking God for.

And… Darrell Bock So yeah, take us there, Casey. What were you praying and asking God for? Haley Howard Well, I was, I prayed for, you know, trafficking survivors and for love and any, you know, whatever's laid on my heart to pray for them that day. But I was really praying that I could be the light in somebody's life and help them come to freedom and relationship with God and just be delivered from all of what they've been through. Darrell Bock Yeah, because what an honor it is to, really, to volunteer for Land and Rescue. And then, wow, for God to actually, like, I choose you this day.

Really, really, really cool. So, introduce Haley for us. Haley Howard All right. Haley, this is Haley. She is a survivor of familial sex trafficking. And I will kind of let her introduce herself and tell you about a little bit what that looked like in her story. Darrell Bock Wow.

So, yes. Welcome, Haley. I know it's got to be really different to be on the radio. And, you know, your story is kind of intimate, so very difficult. So, we appreciate your courage tremendously to share this story, you know, with our listeners.

So, you know, can you kind of take us how it got there? Haley Howard Yeah. So, I'm Haley. I've never actually told my story out loud.

So, this should be fun. So, my father was my trafficker. It started out as sexual abuse at the age four.

It was very hidden in the beginning. And my mom was also being severely abused. So, she was like being beaten into like following what he was doing. And we lived in a two-story house. The house was really old and beat up. We didn't have any hot or clean water. So, it started out with my father molesting me in the bathtub, because bath time would become a project because my mom would have to like boil water before she could put it in the tub.

So, we'd have clean water. So, that went on for a while until eventually we were evicted from that house. And we moved into my grandma's unfinished basement.

I think I was about six. I shared a very small room with both of my parents. And because my grandparents lived upstairs, the abuse had to be quieter. So, the sexual abuse was a lot quieter than hitting us or beating us.

So, that escalated a lot more. And it started with my father making me perform oral sex on him. And it was like every day after school. And I was still so young. So, I just thought it was very, very normal.

I didn't know any different. And then after that, I moved again at about eight. The new house we moved into was two houses down from the bar. This and the next house I'll talk about is where some of the darkest memories I have at. And it was in this house that I started to realize that what my father was doing wasn't very normal. And my mom was just as scared as I was. In this house, there were times where I was locked in closets. My dad would like dump bugs on me for punishment. His friends would start to come over to that house and they would rape me while my mom was gone at work because my dad would be home.

And then he would get money or drugs from letting them rape me. And then eventually we were evicted from that house again. We moved into this huge two-story farmhouse.

And from the outside, the house was like every girl's dream. There was horses, so much land, but it was my living nightmare. It was definitely by far the worst house.

I was about 10. And everything was worse than I could imagine in that house. I would be taken from my room in the night and put in the bed of my dad's pickup truck.

And sometimes I still can remember the feeling of just laying in that truck being so scared. A lot of times there was an abandoned barn in the very back of that property. And that's where he would take me. I would be left in a stall.

There were like these horse rings on like the poles and they were used to like tie up the horses when you were grooming them so they wouldn't move. And that's what he would like tie me to. And I would be left out there for days or even sometimes weeks. And the only people that would ever come out to see me were the ones that were there to rape me. Some weeks I was raped over 100 times.

One week in particular, it was probably about day seven or eight of just laying in the stall in that barn. And I heard footsteps and I knew it was my father. And he looked at me and asked me why I was so miserable. I knew I couldn't ignore him because ignoring him never ended well for me. But also my punishment would depend on what answer I gave him. So I told him I was thirsty. I'd been out there for like eight days.

I didn't have food or water. So after I told him that, I then had to beg him not to rape me. But of course he raped me again. And then he picked me up and put me in the back of his truck. By now I knew the routine of when we pulled back to the house.

I would go in the side door. I would shower and I would absolutely not wake up my mother. A few hours later, my mom woke me up after doing all that because it was morning. And she asked me how was camp that week. And this was the moment of realization that my mom didn't know what my dad was doing. And right after that, she told me my dad needed help downstairs in the barn.

So I didn't know what to do. I would get dressed and I went downstairs to the barn to help him. And when I walked into the barn, he walked into a stall and pulled out a gun and he shot my horse. He told me that I lost him a lot of money for being so miserable.

And then he left me with the dead horse and he made me clean up the blood before it stained his concrete. And shortly after that incident, we moved again. We moved into a small trailer and the abuse and traffic continued a lot in that house. My father was actually arrested in that house for molesting another child. He spent about 60 something days in jail. And then he was released and I lived with him for months before parole caught up with him. And they told him that he was no longer allowed to live with children.

So my mom told me that I had to leave. So at 12, I moved out of my parents' house and moved into my grandparents' house. But my granddad was already on Megan's law.

He was already a registered sex offender. So I lived with him and the abuse started again with him and further continued with my father because my mom would bring me unsupervised there. And the abuse there started to get more physical again with my dad.

So it started to be a lot more noticeable. And then on my 15th birthday, he raped me again. And it led to a pregnancy and then a miscarriage.

And then the school workers started to report to the state. And the state got involved and the court case started against my dad. And during that process, I was still being abused by my granddad, but I refused to talk about it because I knew what my granddad was doing to me was a lot better than what my dad could have been doing to me. So then in 2019, the abuse about my granddad finally came out. And I was 17 and put in foster care. And then in March of 2020, my dad was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years as state president.

Oh, my. So, I mean, I'm sure like everybody listening, you know, his heart's just wrenched at how anybody could even, you know, survive that. Can you give us some sense of, did you think about God? Did you just mad at God?

What would your idea of God be at that point? Well, my maternal grandmom was always super, super religious. So I knew about God from a young age, but my dad was very, very anti-God. And if my dad ever found out my grandma brought me to church, I would be in a lot of trouble. I wasn't allowed to go to church.

I wasn't allowed to mention God. But I think from a young age, I felt connected to something bigger. And obviously, like, I don't really know what that was.

But a lot of the times through these, it was outside. And I just remember like looking up to the stars and either like counting the stars or just asking the stars to get me through. And it wasn't until I was older that I realized that I was actually talking to God. Wow. And so can you, you know, kind of take us to how did you get connected to Casey and what happened then?

So after my dad was found guilty in March of 2020, I think it was Human Trafficking Awareness Month or something. And I made a post and it got shared on Facebook into an anti-trafficking group. And then like she said, Gab Riel found that post and then reached out to me. And then me and Casey met through that in Village of Light.

Wow. And so can you take us back to that? Like, you know, what did you say? What did she say to you? Gabby wanted to help me write my story for their blog. So it was a lot of discussion about going back and forth about how I wanted to tell it and what details wanted to be in it and that kind of thing. And then it was later on that I was going through something else. Me, Casey, and Gabby did a FaceTime call and me and Casey just really connected after that and stayed in touch.

So Casey, from your standpoint, can you kind of take us to that meeting back, you know, where you originally got there? The first time you're like, oh my goodness, you know, this is what I've been praying for. And here we are, you know, what was that like for you? It was very surreal. I think there was a lot of emotions, kind of just in awe of Haley and her strength.

And courage, right? Like, oh my goodness, how could anybody, you know, endure this and be willing to, you know, share it in a way that other people, you know, would be able to go, oh, this is the kind of thing that could be going on. And so it is, it's exactly what you've been praying for. So I hate to stop us here because we've got to go to a break, but I know you're going to want to hear what's going on on the other side of the site.

So stay tuned. We had so much coming with Land and Rescue. Again, it's LandandRescue.org. And of course, we could all use your prayers and your support.

We'll be right back. Land and Rescue is a USA-based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Land and Rescue specializes in sending former U.S. special operations, 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 is grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated 150 billion dollars in annual activity. Land and Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Land and Rescue 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 LandandRescue.org to see how you can support them financially. The following program contains sensitive content, including accounts of sexual abuse and suicide. Listener discretion is advised. Welcome back to Land and Rescue and just a really, really special episode as we have this story to share with with Haley and Casey and Wren and, you know, how God came to the rescue. I mean, clearly, if you've heard the first segment, you're like me, like, God, how, you know, how horrible, how unbelievable, unthinkable that all these things are going on. Yet, you know, here's an opportunity to see God in action, to actually look into Haley's eyes and see the courage and to see the peace. Doesn't it blow your mind? I mean, Casey, really?

I don't know. It's hard to find words to describe it. And like I said, just incomplete awe of Haley and her strength.

And that first time having that face time and connecting with her and meeting her, I just felt and my spirit knew instantly that she was the one and that I would go to the ends of the earth to do anything I could do to improve her situation, even if it was just being there to listen to her and fight for her. Whatever that looked like, I was willing and felt called to do. Wow.

Wow. I mean, and so from a standpoint, I don't want to skip too far forward. I want to go back in a minute. But before we, you know, we're all looking for the healing. So obviously, you know, this kind of ongoing trauma, you don't get over in a matter of years, right? And so, can you kind of share with us how you feel like the healing, where that's going, Casey? I think we're obviously very still in the midst of healing. And I think that I just, it's such a blessing to be able to be the one to be here for Haley and teach her more about God and try and be the reflection of his love so that Haley can experience that and be able to tell her about how much that God wants a relationship with her and what that looks like and his love.

Right. That's beautiful. I mean, it just really is and the connection itself and to know that God had these guys for you Haley, honestly, because I've known them for a while. And I'm like, man, I mean, how cool is it that he provided, you know, this, but I'm really curious how you could have any peace in the current situation.

Can you kind of give us some idea of where you get that? I've never really known like exactly how I made it through or what was happening, but it's honestly like a miracle that I'm still standing today. And I think I just hold on to that for my peace, that if I got through all of that, then whatever else life puts in front of me, like I can find peace in it and I can work through it. And so when you started this process with Casey and all the discussions with God, did you start going to church or did that happen in foster care or can you kind of take us back to how you fostered your relationship with Christ?

Yeah. So, I started going to church once I moved out of my parents' house. So, right around the age of 12, I think, me and my mom went a little bit before that. The 60 days my dad was in jail, like we snuck to church. My grandma, like I said, was always super religious.

So, she would pick us up and take us. And for me, church just started to become like a safe place. Like I might not have understood what was going on or what was being said, but I knew I was safe inside of those walls and safe with the people around me.

So, that kind of grew. I mean, my dad tried to break it in every way possible, like burning Bibles. If I brought one home, anything you could think of, he would do. Then when he was released from jail, he tried to say that he found God and everything, but he would be an abuse and rape me and my mom Saturday night, and then just put on the picture of like the perfect family and we'd go to church in the morning.

I think I was 12 when I was baptized, and I was baptized standing next to my father. And then when we left there and we went home for the night, my dad killed my cat. So, it was just very like twisted, like. Yeah. Very, very, very, very.

And I can't help but think that, wow, the horse, you know, getting back to that story. But I know something's on everybody's mind that's listening is how about your mom? Do you still have a relationship with her?

Where's that at? I don't have any current relationship with my mother. When I reported my dad when I was 15, my mom was still very, very in the midst of it and she stuck with him. So, I haven't. So, that broke that off and that.

I haven't talked to her. Which was just another leg of your stool being pulled out from underneath you because it sounded like to some extent, you and your mom almost like had a common enemy relationship. Yeah, most definitely. That that was that. And so, there you were. And wow, very much alone, very much alone.

It's almost unthinkable for me. I'm just like, oh my goodness. So, you know, getting back to that, was there a time and, you know, for those people listening, I'm sure they're like me also thinking, was there somebody you tried to reach out to like maybe one of the perpetrators or something? Like, can somebody help me?

Can somebody help me? I mean, here's this little 10-year-old girl. Did you have a sense that anybody was going to try to do that or how did that? I just remember always like thinking and hoping that there was one person in the world that would just care and help.

And it turned out to be Casey. But I just remember thinking that all through like my childhood that I just needed one person to care and one person to help me. And for me, like in the very beginning, up until probably I was about 10 or 12, I just like, I thought this was normal life. Like, I thought it happened to everyone. I didn't know any different. I was very like sheltered.

So, that was like, to me, it was completely normal until I got older and started to realize how abnormal it was. Wow. And so, Mark, you have a question for Casey?

Yeah. First of all, I just wanted to thank our volunteer, Casey. First of all, if people often want to volunteer for Landon Rescue, it comes down to the heart of the person when we meet them, not necessarily their resume or anything like that. And this is a display of the heart of Landon and Casey. We're so proud of you.

And Ren's on the phone. She would say the same thing. We're also proud of you. And then because you've been committed, you've done more than could ever be said on this radio show.

Traveling, driving, commitment. Thank you. And Haley, we're getting to know you and so proud of you. And my heart is just broken hearing it, you know, knowing what you've endured and seeing you right now. You're pulling it together for this moment. I know that.

And thank you. I have a question because, you know, part of the driving heart of my involvement in rescuing victims around the world is that my daughters were abused and raped by, you know, someone we brought into our home trying to help them. And I remember my eight-year-old daughter's face and I remember that it took me too long to realize what was happening. The breaking point for me was I looked at my daughter and I said, she has depression and that's not a normal emotion for an eight-year-old girl. There's anxiety. There's fear.

There's there's normal things. But the sadness that was really on her, I knew something was wrong, you know, and it was really hard to talk because she could not express it, you know. So I have a question for you for all the listeners. What signs were you displaying that people should have picked up on? What should the teacher have known? What should the neighbor known? What should the friend, the young friend you had even, you know, what were some of the signs that should have been picked up on? Do you have any you would say? What would you say to that? I think the first thing you said about like no eight-year-old should be that sad or that pulled away or that like out of their own reality and I think that was a big thing for me is I was physically here but I was, I wasn't there.

So I think that's a big one. I think there's a lot of physical signs for me that went unnoticed like bruises in weird places, cuts in weird places that should have been like picked up on. So that and like the emotional aspect and like sometimes it's like you don't want to assume what's happening to your kids because it's hard but it's better, I think it's better to assume and ask the questions and call and do whatever you can and it not be happening than to wait it out and miss something. It's the formulation of the questions. I remember my wife and I trying to ask the questions the right way to get to the truth you know because a child and those who are listeners who do forensics with children in these situations and cases know that you know I remember one of the heartbreaking things with my daughter was like know if that happened to me I would be upset or know if that happened to me this you know like it was she was displacing herself from one character to another you know to protect herself you know and you're saying definitely for those who can't hear that so what about at what age did you feel empowered to be vocal was it was it 15 was there a time before that because most people think an eight-year-old should be speaking up a 10 12 but they don't they don't know how to you know how to say it vocalize it and they they don't know what's normal not normal anymore you know tell me in your what age was it so for so for me it definitely came later I probably like I did speak at 15 but it was very very limited and it was more very forced so people at school saw bruises marks that kind of thing in high school and they called difus and at that point like the bruises could tell the story at that point where they were on my body and it was very very hard for me to be like no that didn't happen so it got to a point to where I had to like to me it was like shame like it was like me admitting to doing something when I didn't actually do anything so and I was still very very quiet about it at that time I don't think I was probably 17 or 18 before I became ready to talk about it I think my dad's trial was the first time that I was like oh crap like I have to face this I have to talk about it and even then it was like I'm not exactly ready but like this is what's gonna happen yeah sure wow we got so much that you know is we can have to do probably another episode as I can see that there's just I'm sure the listeners are like me you know wanting you know some more information about the trial wanting some more information because again as Mark pointed out we want to know what to look we're parents right or we're grandparents or we're uncles or we're aunts and you know how can we love these people well and what are the things that we need to be looking for moreover what should we be praying for right because you know as I think wow God show me show me if this is happening in my world in my family and those kind of things let me know what to look for in my own family or in my friends you know as these cases may be so you know again I'm like Mark I stand amazed at your courage and your strength to share this and what a thing God has is doing here and I pray that you listening would share this episode right you listen to it on the podcast or you heard it on the radio show you know tell people look you need to hear this I know it's a little hard to hear but this stuff is real and you know if we need to talk about it in the church I mean that's that's what we're here for and so thank you for listening to Land and Rescue today we're so honored you joined us and we will have more so stay tuned God bless you this is the Truth Network say what would you do if you were a new Christian and you didn't have a Bible it's Michael Woolworth by the way from Bible League International and you'd probably say well I'd hop in my car I'd go to a Christian bookstore or I'd have one shipped to me what if those weren't options you'd say well I'm new to the faith I mean I need to know what it means to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus you know you would pray that someone anyone would bring you a Bible and that's exactly the way it is for literally millions of Christians around the world they're part of our spiritual family they're new to the faith they want to know what it means to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus but God has them planning where it's very difficult to access a Bible and that's why the Truth Network and Bible League have teamed up to send God's word to 3500 Bibleist believers around the globe our campaign is called the world needs the word five dollar sins a Bible 100 sins 20 every gift matched make your most generous gift by calling 800 YES WORD 800 Y E S W O R D 800 YES WORD or give at truthnetwork.com
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-01 01:20:10 / 2023-08-01 01:31:46 / 12

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