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Afghanistan in the Aftermath

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
January 22, 2022 12:00 pm

Afghanistan in the Aftermath

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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January 22, 2022 12:00 pm

What has really been going on in Afghanistan after the American withdrawal? Lantern Rescue has been operating in the country in the months following, and Mark shares some of the harrowing realities of life under Taliban control. He is joined by phone by Shaheen, an Afghan on the ground, who has been working with his team to get people supplies and to safety.

Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) at 1-888-373-7888.

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Previously on Lantern Rescue. Some of the stuff in here that's really important is that if the child is under 18 years old you do not have to prove that there was any coercion that forced them to engage in sex acts. Just being under 18 years old and being used for profit in the sex industry makes it sex trafficking and it can be prosecuted that way even if they quote unquote went willingly. So that's something that's very important. So even for victims that think that they, you know, it was their boyfriend and they don't have a good case because they said it was okay or whatever that situation is, it is still sex trafficking.

It is still wrong and it still can be prosecuted. So that's very important to take away from this. 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. Welcome to Lantern Rescue. Today we have Mark fresh off of a whole lot of rescue operations in Afghanistan. And so, you know, Mark, you know, obviously we got a lot of folks who are interested. I mean, what's going on? What should we know? Hey, Robbie, I wanted to do this show because we've really kind of avoid the discussion too much because of ongoing operations. And then I think a lot of misinformation and what some are doing or not doing. And also it's now the point where by the time this airs, we're going to be good.

Our people are going to be shutting down what we've been doing since the withdrawal from Afghanistan. I really think this is a great opportunity in this show because this is Christian talk, not just to, you know, talk about who and some of their situations and why we decided to rescue them and move them, but why we as Christians and as believers in America, why do we care, you know, and why do we make this effort? Because with this effort is risk and it's risk for those involved.

And there's a financial, you know, risk to it because there's no guarantee to a lot of things. But so I hope in this show we can do that. And then also we're going to do something unusual in the show. My task force leader there, who is Afghan, he is going to jump on the call with us. Okay. And I know it'll be kind of difficult for folks to understand him, but this is a brother and I love him to death.

And we're going to hear from him too. Okay. So I want to make this comment first.

I have, and I can't remember if I've made it on this show or another show, but I'm not the proponent that everybody in Afghanistan should come to America. Okay. Not at all. You have made that point on this.

Not at all. Yeah. And I've said that from day one or at the moment, even before the withdrawal, because believe it or not, there were some really unbelievable individuals who prior to the withdrawal were already working to rescue particularly Christians.

Okay. I mean, they were compiling people and knowing who they were as believers in their faith and were trying to provide them safety. Of course, then the method of the withdrawal and the failure of that and how that occurred, you know, created not only security issues all around, but a humanitarian issue that now we're seeing, you know, even people starving at this point. So I was a distant from that, just to be honest with you. We're counter-human trafficking. We're busy elsewhere. And I was, I was somewhat trying to be, okay, great. Let's get those people. That's good. But when the media began to really hit the issue of the withdrawal and what was occurring, obviously everybody's phones went off, you know, people were like, Hey, do you know anybody here?

Do you have anybody there? Can we, you know, do you know how to get them inside? You know, to get them on in the airport, you got to get them on a plane. I mean, there was, there was probably, I'm not joking. I think I probably saw, you know, 20 manifests, you know, from different plane rides being supposedly being made available. And then, you know, I knew of organizations who were trying to do some really extreme things. And, and I was, you know, even invited at times to participate in those things, but I still later, we kind of just held back because we felt like the people that were there on the ground who were not tooting a horn or saying anything, we're actually getting things done, you know, and how do we support them privately? Well, it did become apparent that to support that and to support the demands that we needed to establish what we call is our task force.

And those are real people on the ground who can do task force. Well, you know, whether that's move somebody securely from point A to point B inside of the country, inside the city, or bring them food or make a plan even further, you know, as far as moving them from one country to another. And that became an option, because I went over and helped create that and put that in place. And then since then, others have came forward who have been such a tremendous help, so much that honestly, even in the past two months, a lot of former embassy and, and agencies and organizations that were present in Afghanistan have come to us saying, look, you guys we hear can actually move somebody. So we have been successful in moving them out of Afghanistan to nearby countries. That's been our primary focus, setting them up in apartments, getting them food, getting them medical care, you know, taking care of their needs, all of that.

And that required a not a big team, but a small team cars and safe houses in route, you know, requires the ability to do it legally, I want to make sure you know, we do it legally, we we get their visas, and we get their passports, and we get their paperwork and everything that's needed. And we're blessed to have the relationships that we can expedite that. So also, at that time, I had some private donors call up and say, Hey, are you guys involved in that? Can we do anything?

And we're like, okay. And I it for, for a while, I sent a lot of those donors into another organ, some other organizations that I believe are doing really good work. And they were doing good work, and they still are.

But they're just not well, well known. And they're not on social media, you know, they're just doing it. And then as we began to develop our task force, we began to use those funds to to, you know, rescue people. I had one particular family that we talked a little bit about on social media. They were in such a dire moment when they, you know, when we were contacted that their life was at risk, Taliban came to their house and, you know, left a note on the door, basically a legal document saying, you're facing a death penalty, your family's facing a death penalty, you've got to come to court. It all stemmed from the fact that the females in the house, one of them was a investigator for women's rights. So, you know, during our control, or our time in Afghanistan, you know, it was safe for her that she would go out and investigates the rights of women and abuse situation in cases, right? Well, you can imagine that's not a favorable person, you know, to the Taliban, their perspective of the female is that she's property and that's that. So, they actually accused her of promoting the nudity of women because, you know, she was progressive and, you know, was fighting for women's rights, both in the way they addressed themselves and the way they carried themselves and rights to drive a vehicle, rights to, you know, have a job and move around freely, those kind of things. So, they accused her of that and they were going, you know, basically they were going to kill that family. So, we were able to move them and move them all the way to another country safely.

And I just won't forget two things. One, the children were, like all of them, the children were starving in so many of these families because even since, you know, August, September, many of these families even right now, Robbie, have not left a safe house or apartment that they're in. They're just hiding. They're still in hiding. I mean, they're not coming out. And so, they're starving to death. And then the second thing I noticed is once I've had a case, you know, that we just are finishing now, as this show goes, the children are in the same clothes.

I noticed the pictures that I'm proof of life that I'm getting and stuff like that are in the same clothes that they were in September. I mean, they're just, they've not washed, they've not bathed, you know, they've not had any food. And so, it's also a nervous thing for many of these families to move. You know, can you imagine, Robbie, you know, packing up your stuff and moving to Mexico? You know, you're like, I don't know if it's gonna be better for me there as it is here. You know, and so, we have to try to mitigate that and control that because there are tribal differences, there are, you know, religion differences. There's a lot of things even to move them from one country that we have to kind of take care of and make sure, you know, even that country and those people know there's an overwatch here and then how do we get them a job and move them forward?

And that's a plan that we're trying to put in place and figure out. So, I just can't tell you the joy I had this past weekend going to an international airport and meeting a family that I helped rescue with my team. And this is a rare case.

This is, in fact, this is only one of two that came to the States. But to see those five children, see that little girl, you know, her crocheted outfit. I mean, they'd never been to America.

I mean, you know, they were fresh off the plane. And to embrace them, talking to them and another organization is, I won't say it, but it's a good Christian organization is, you know, stepping up and providing housing for them and things like that. It's just a miracle that we have been able to be used by God to give these people a future, you know, in multi-generation. To give them that assistance is a blessing. Darrell Bock Right. Because you not only have the parents, you know, you have the kids. And wow, what trauma to be literally in fear of your life every second.

Chris Smith Yeah. Well, you should see the smiles on those kids, though. Oh, my goodness.

You know what I mean? And here we are in this airport. I get to the airport to meet them, to fly there, and so I can be with them and move them, you know, with them. And because of the airport airline situation, because of the snow in the country, here are these folks. They're stranded. They're stuck in the airport. Americans, we're like, oh, man, you know, we're so mad being stranded. I mean, I think they were the happiest people in the world to be stranded in that little air-conditioned, heated, food service provided airport, you know. And they probably would have been happy staying there for weeks. But, you know, they're not there now.

Don't worry. We've since got them. Darrell Bock But the freedom just to like, man, to be out in the light of day, because as you said, a lot of these people haven't seen the light of day. Chris Smith Right. Darrell Bock I mean, you know what? It's unbelievable.

Chris Smith Yeah. Darrell Bock So, wow. I mean, you can see we've got a whole lot coming for you in this particular episode. When we come back, we are going to have boots on the ground. Somebody that's actually there right now, still in the heat of things.

So stay tuned. We've got a whole lot more coming for you today 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 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. The following program contains sensitive content, including accounts of sexual abuse and suicide. Listener discretion is advised. Welcome back to Lantern Rescue. And oh my goodness, I think you're going to be so glad you can hear what's coming because Mark, you have a very, very special guest for us. We do.

I'm so excited. He is able and willing to join us. Of course, it's the middle of the night where he is at. But this is a hero. I like to talk about heroes in my life a lot. And this is definitely one of the heroes in my life because Shaheen, whose name also means eagle. The eagle has been working to rescue those who are in affliction. He has been doing, he and his team, they've done amazing things and I'm so proud of them.

In fact, Shaheen and his team are, he's the one who moved the last Jewish community out of Afghanistan in the last Jewish families. He, he orchestrated that rescue and so I'm proud of him. I'm so glad to have him on the phone as a brother here and Shaheen, God bless you, man. Thanks for joining us today. Hey Mark, good morning. Good morning. How are you? Good morning to you and all the people of America.

Yes. And so the reason I wanted to have you on the phone is because at first a lot of folks were worried about our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan who were suffering, but now maybe that that's starting to, you know, a lot of Americans are forgetting. And I, and I think, you know, currently some of the issues on the ground that you could share with us and with our listeners and just express to them what the need is. But when the collapse happened and everybody just left, I was left behind too. I was like, I was left behind even though I can travel everywhere. I have my Canadian passport with me, but I was, I was left.

Nobody just asked about us. So I just need to go to the border and I came to Pakistan. So I thought that a lot of people left behind.

So I just rolled my sleeve up and I was just bringing people out. Even though my capacity was limited, but I brought a lot of people, including, as you mentioned, the last Jewish I've got that took him out. I've prayed for Americans, for the people of America, because we are all like-minded. We won't give the bad people to be defeated. And a lot of our friends, a lot of good friends of us, they are left behind. And we need your support for that. And please take your support in helping us to bring those guys out who are left there. Yeah.

Man, I love it when you said you rolled your sleeves up, didn't you, Rabi? You know, it's not a matter of just doing something without risk. This man's risking a lot. So I know Shaheen, by the time this airs, we will have moved some other people that you're helping with. But as far as the continuation, is there a sense of desperation still on the ground in Afghanistan?

Yes, a lot of desperation, a lot of grief. Because I came from Kabul. I'm in the wider now. But I came from Kabul two days ago. I'm going back to Kabul the day after tomorrow.

I was in the ground last couple days ago. A lot of people, when you see to their faces, you can see how sad they are, how grief they have in their hearts, and how desperate they are. Because there's no food. I'm just crying when I'm there, believe me. I'm worried.

But when I see them, it makes me cry every state. And I don't know how God will manage it. I know it's only God. And God has the right people to help them. That's right.

I hope your efforts continue. Yeah, I remember when I was there, just the condition that the people were in, and the condition of their clothes, and they haven't bathed, and they did not have food, and they're just starving. And that was months ago. So I know now there is a problem of just starvation. People who have not left their apartments, people who are definitely needing food. And so how many families, I mean, you and I have talked about this, how many families do you think in our structure could we feed in Afghanistan? Well, as much as we could, but we can do like maybe about 10,000 if we have the capacity, 10 to 25,000 people or families we can feed.

Yeah. And these are just starving people. They were on monthly basis. So I'm telling you, my team is very honest people, and they were working day and night because I told them that we are not after the making something, make some difference to feed people and save them from starvation. Did he say 5,000? No, 10 to 15,000 families. 10 to 15,000 families within your network.

If you had the resources. Yes. We've shared a dollar sign on that too. We actually have, Robby, we actually have a grocery list. Like we have an actual list that we put into each family, especially the ones that we rescue. But we're wanting to provide that to the families that are currently in this oppression and they have no food. And so I'm just believing that there's an organization or a listener out there who could help us with this.

It's not something that we as an organization are solely focused on, but I can't ignore it. One plus point that I have, like our team have, that I can get the money and I can go with the money and take it to the right people and distribute the food. Because a lot of people, there are a lot of angels actually, they are just still looking for people who could take their support to Afghanistan. But I can travel to Dubai, I can travel to the US.

We are accessible to everything that I can take to the right people instead of Afghanistan. Right. That's right.

I know you are, Ego. You're the real deal. Well, listen, how much money do you think we'd need to feed that many families? Well, as I told you, for a month, right? The list I see in the future, this is like $1.86 something for that much, for one family that they can feed for one month, the whole month, they can be very satisfied with that. The list I have with you is $1.86 per family, including the firewood. So a lot of people, they are desperate of this winter.

I'm just asking you guys, I'm requesting if you want to do it as soon as better, because now it's winter and people are worried, but when I see them two days ago, three days ago. Right. $186 per family. And I know that that will help them out. That many families, I know we're talking about pushing $2 million, $2 to $3 million. And Robby, that's out of our grasp, but it's not out of our God's grasp.

And he continues to amaze me. So Shaheen, as you also, the communities of people that we have rescued and have placed in different places, what do you feel their outcome? And I mean, I know, and we've talked about this, but I want our listeners to hear, when we rescue somebody and we put them in a nearby country and they're there with an apartment for three months and they've got some food, what is the future outcome that you hope for them? I don't see any future outcome when three months is over and we have our listeners support, because if we don't support you there, I don't think these guys that they are reporting for three months period, I don't think that because some of them, they're already in the last month, because they just called me today that they were running out of the money. So I said, okay, I will just have somebody to take money to them.

I remember the young couples that they're there, that they have committed to. It's hard. Yeah, they called me just a couple hours ago about their allowance.

For example, if they are done for three months, we don't have any extra support. I don't know how to do that, but I'm just, again, I'm just not, I don't want to be looked bad, but I'm just doing this for people who are very needy there in the ground and that their support matters. And if you have your listeners support, I think we can keep this thing continuous because you know that day and night our teams are bringing people out. So this is a truly important mission for Afghanistan.

One is this feeding, the relief, and the other thing is just bringing people out. This is the glorious job, the God's job that everybody's doing. And whoever is supporting them, I think they'll be the great thing.

Yeah. So we've helped people escape the clutches of the Taliban and we've given them a safety net for a little bit, Robbie, but we're in desperate need of a couple of things. And we're making plans, humanitarian plans, but we really need the support of our donors and we need somebody out there who's passionate about this, can step up and begin a conversation with us on how we can sustain these people and how do we send a humanitarian team over to help them get a job and figure life out in another country. So that's some of the things that work, but there are people starving. I think that's being overlooked.

I don't think the media and people are just talking about the actual humanitarian crisis that was created in Afghanistan by the withdrawal. So Shaheen, I appreciate you jumping on the phone with us. It's my honor, sir. Please pass my regards to your listeners and I hope you keep thinking what you're doing.

That's right. Well, look, God bless you, man. I will see you soon. Okay. Thank you, sir. Have a good day.

Thanks. So, Mark, as I am trying to process all that I just heard, is what he's saying, is that the 15,000 people that are starving right now, those people are people they have moved outside of Afghanistan already or are these people that are still in Afghanistan? A lot of those are still in Afghanistan.

The large amount of that number are still in Afghanistan under the Taliban and they can't go out and they worked for the army, they worked for the government. They're just not free to move around and they're starving. And then on the flip side of that is we do have a large number in other countries that we are sustaining every month, but we're in a need where we've got to help them forward.

There is no way forward. We can't just continue to pay for their apartment things. We have to figure something out. And we're in talks about sending humanitarian teams into those regions.

I mean, as an organization, we're counting, meanwhile, we've got an operation this weekend that involves 40 women in a Spanish country. So we've got a lot going on. Yeah, we got a lot, but God continues.

I'm just a person and my team's a person. Anytime God brings the need in front of us, I just try to take it and trust the Lord. If you're listening or like me, you feel overwhelmed and where do you go when you're overwhelmed? The only thing you can do is what an opportunity to pray and join us. Like here, you now know, I mean, it's not unlike the Germans, what happened in World War II, that you're aware that some people were aware of all that was really going on inside of the country.

And so, you know, we've been given this insight as to what's going on inside of Afghanistan. And here are all these needs that we know that God can mean. And of course, if it's something he puts on your heart to meet in some way, shape or form, obviously, go to and tell us what you can do. However, God puts it on your heart, you know, join the prayer team or the social media team or, you know, they need all the volunteers in all sorts of different ways.

But obviously, funds are huge. And what else was on your heart, Mark, that listeners can do as they respond to this just unbelievable need? Yeah, I mean, I think God is going to find the fertile heart out there to this message. There are going to be some who, why do we care? Why do we care about people around, you know, in that place? And why don't we spend all our money here in the States? And that person is a fool.

They've never traveled, you know, they've never went anywhere to realize the condition of humanity outside of America. And I'm not saying we don't do stuff here, because we do, I, you know, I spent my morning with a agent, a county traffic agent, that's part of us, you know, looking at a case and, you know, compiling it and working on how we're going to, you know, what we're going to do there. So yeah, we do stuff here. But this this need overseas is just tremendous. It's, it's great.

We are a country with the capabilities and resources to help it. We're grateful to God for you guys. And for the eagle, right? Yeah, that's right. And for all that's going on, and for our chance to join with God and what he's doing.

And he'll make a way where there seems to be no one. Thanks, Mark. Thank you. Thank you. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-19 11:10:41 / 2023-06-19 11:21:39 / 11

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