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Ukraine Update

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
April 30, 2022 12:00 pm

Ukraine Update

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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April 30, 2022 12:00 pm

Mark and Robby are joined by Annie, a friend and partner of Lantern Rescue, who is on the ground in Ukraine running a shelter and warehouse for refugees. She shares the heart of workers and volunteers, the power of Christ, and gives insight into the current situation.

A warning: this program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

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

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Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. Thank you for listening to the Truth Network Podcast. 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. I would imagine you're going to be as intrigued as I am at what we have for you today on Lantern Rescue as we actually have Annie live in the Ukraine with Lantern Rescue and Mark, you know, there's just a whole lot going on. I'm really glad our listeners can get up to date on some information that really we could only get through this source. Yeah, Robbie, I'm thrilled to be on the show today. I know it's been a while since we've done a show. We've just been so busy, and I think after this show, we'll do an update on everything in the world we're active in right now. But I am really excited because on the the line here today is a new friend and a hero, I think, and a person that Lantern Rescue is glad to be, you know, working with.

Her name is Annie, and so Annie is in the Ukraine right now, and she has been helping to run a warehouse and shelter effort for us. I want to preface this a little bit. So it's a lot of humanitarian work that we're going to talk about today, and it's so important to be done right now in the Ukraine, especially in a conflict war zone area. And so that's what we're going to be talking about today is what is the best way we can serve the people?

How do we as American Christians, Americans, make a difference there when sometimes we may feel like, boy, this is a lost cause, but we know it's not, and we know there are people who have hope, and we want to help them as much as possible. So, Annie, you want to kind of introduce yourself? Yes, hello everybody. Thank you for this great kind words.

I'm 26 years old, and I'm a Christian. I'm a member of a great Christian church here in Ukraine, and we are very thankful for all partnerships that we have in USA, and especially with Mark and his organization and his whole team. So thank you everybody who is participating now in this Ukraine situation. Yeah, that's wonderful. And so can you kind of fill us in on your role with Land and Rescue?

What is it that you actually are doing right now? We have partnership for these months, like the war started two months, but for these months, we opened like assistance spots, shortages, hotspots from consul churches in Ukraine. And from Land and Rescue, we received many funds that's very helpful to buy different stuff to our humanitarian spots, our warehouse.

It's like hygiene stuff, food, clothes, and shoes, and pillows, even blankets, because people just came without nothing. So we can help them by that way. And just for our listeners so they understand, Annie is a key part of what we're doing there, and she is one of seven full-time workers that we employ. And then there's 30 to... Annie, is there about 50 volunteers now? Is that correct?

Yes, yes. We have like our team, it's half of the volunteers team, and also people who just participated, they came and lived, came and lived, and it's almost 50 people, volunteers people. And the most part is like this full-time servants, that people just left their jobs for volunteering to help their nation. And also some of them, it's like strategies, which came to receive safe funds and to receive the aid, but now they're also the volunteering team. Yeah, so just so our listeners know, so we ran an extraction team, Robbie, with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, and we still have that availability. We moved a lot of people from a lot of very difficult situations, not just from a place like Lviv, not at all, like we were moving people from the Far East under Russian occupied territory. And I'm thankful for the analysts and the intelligence that was given to us by a lot of agencies and groups who stepped in to help us do those extractions. In the midst of all of that, it really became evident that there was a humanitarian need, right? And so Anya and the staff there for us has been able to put, like she said, a warehouse and a hot spot. This is several hundred kilometers into Ukraine, and it's not back where people are catching a breath. It's a place where people are in a move away quickly, you know, and so they've been able to provide shelter.

We've been able to put that warehouse with the goods that she talked about. And why that's so important for counter-trafficking and helping vulnerable people is that when you are fleeing, when you're an IDP or refugee and you're fleeing a conflict area, I've learned this over the years, that first initial contact with somebody sets the stage for much of the rest of your journey or your life. And so it's very important to us that they are first met with somebody who is vetted, somebody who is a Christian, somebody who is going to take care of them the best they can, somebody who's going to give them the gospel, somebody who's also going to give them, we have information that Anya has helped us translate in documentation and to give them that says, look, be careful. There's a trafficking problem. You know, you are a vulnerable person.

Be careful when you go to the border that you watch out for these things. And if you have any problems, call these people, right? Anya, you guys also are doing a great job. I know that you register people as well.

Can you just kind of comment on that for our listeners as well? Yeah, it's, you know, it's like, it's very important to be the first person you meet in your territory. And we also have a situation list of people who came and now we've already helped for 30 days, we've helped for 10,000, 30 days. We also help them because we, our volunteers register them on financial aid from another organization. And it's very important to them to start not only with some food or blankets or some material aid, but also they have finance to pay for their room and start to leave whilst they will find the job and everything else.

In these situations, they're not so vulnerable for traffic. They should say something. You should tell me. You know, can you also comment, you know, it's important that we track and register people, especially when it comes to vulnerable people. And there is no established national tracking.

I think Motorola is trying to, or Microsoft is trying to establish one. But, you know, what we're doing the best that we can with the IDPs that are coming to our warehouse, can you kind of speak on that registration process and what you guys are doing? Yeah. There's no government refugee program established right now. Yeah, you're right.

Robbie, you probably want to know, like a lot of listeners, Annie, can you kind of speak to the condition, the physical condition and people understand this. Annie and our team are in a warehouse that's very, very close to the hot spots. We're not far back at the border. And so the people they're seeing are people who are fleeing. They've lost their homes, they've lost a lot, and they come with hardly anything.

And Annie, can you kind of give us maybe a story or description of their physical wellbeing, their emotional wellbeing, spiritual? Many of them, before they came to our warehouse, they have been, their house is just blocked by the occupied army for many days, for two, three weeks. And some of the families just came with heated cars because they were going through humanitarian corridors, but that corridor wasn't humanitarian. And they came through very big danger and it was very hard for them. Physically, they are tired, a lot, stressful, tired, disappointed, but you know, the people who came to our warehouse, they believe that they will come back home soon.

And it disappoints us because we are not in so stressful situation. We understand that they couldn't come back there because for example, my room is destroyed totally. There are no, no variable, no variable anymore, because it's like no one apartment is safe there. And also the hark of all the structure, mental and hospitals, everything is destroyed.

And there are so many cities, small cities, not so large, like hark of a variable change, you know about them, it's destroyed. So people hope that they will come back soon, but you understand that maybe not. And spiritually, spiritually, they are very open. When you are, give them food and clothes, and after that, you just smile and said, God loves you and they'll be okay. They started to cry. I didn't saw anybody, anybody who didn't cry when you prayed about them, because really Jesus Christ is there and he just touched everybody's heart and just saying that I'm here with you.

It's so powerful to experience such a huge presence of God in that place, that he never will fail with us and he will be with us all the time. But the stories, so many stories about children who even didn't talk anymore because they are so scared. And about mothers who don't have connection with their relatives, their husbands. So we helped ready 10,000 refugees and there are thousands of refugees in Ukraine now. So we haven't enough time to tell every story, but everything that we do, it's worth of that. Well, I'm wondering, Ani, is the orphans or children without parents or from what I understand as they flee, a lot of times you have children that don't know where their parents are.

And can you kind of walk us through what that's like? We don't help them personally, but we know many organizations, like another volunteers, which created orphans from hotspots and to deliver them some food and clothes. And we had contact with volunteers. So we don't help them strictly, but we are like have partnership between each other, between our governmental organizations here in Ukraine. So we are like a humanitarian help for helping organizations which help orphans.

They just call us and we just figure out how we can help them. Ani, I know we're feeding 400 to 500 people per day. In the area that you're in, we've got a record of how many we think refugees are in the area. By your calculations or the information intelligence that you have, how many refugees are in the area of just the warehouse? Like how many people have helped already have assistance. We have almost 100,000 refugees in the United States region.

It's like the region of my town, my city, and also the city where we are working. It was for government information, officially 30,000 refugees. But it's on the official information. Nobody knows how many couldn't register because they like have disability or it's children or something that they couldn't trust.

So essentially it's 30,000 refugees. Okay, I think we're probably, Robert, we're headed to a break and I'd love to after the break come back and talk a little bit about the team and who they are and what they did. Oh yeah, and some of the things that they've been involved in is mind-blowing. So when we will be right back, I'm sure you're not going to want to miss the next installment of Lantern Rescue.

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 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 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.

Welcome back to Lantern Rescue. In today's episode of our wow, we're kind of live from a warehouse in the Ukraine, and we have Annie and Mark in the deep discussion of all that's going on there right now, which is really kind of hair-raising, but Mark, I know you'd like to share some more details about the team themselves. Yeah, we're going to ask Annie here to just comment on what did she do before this and the team, the seven that we employ, you know, what are some of their backgrounds, and I think also people should understand that the females on this team, they had the availability to leave, you know, the country and not stay, and they have chosen to stay up to this point and do so much good.

So Annie, what did you do before this invasion from Russia as well as the other team members? I think I should say that I came to my church in 2014 because I must leave my native town because of wars there. First war when Russia attacked my town in Donetsk region in 2014, and we started with youth clubs, and also I was responsible for different charitable projects, and our church is already here in Ukraine for 15 years. We have very strong leadership. It's very kind people that I love so much, and our pastor is just a dedicated person doing everything for his country and his church, for the people, for glory of Jesus Christ. And we also have different projects that we have centers for addicted people and in the center for single mothers with children, and also projects for homeless people. We were the only one organization, like the only one church who is helping in our city for homeless people.

There were so many projects for children and for teenagers. We have very powerful, strong youth ministry, and we have partnership with government, and so we are very respected organization here. In the peaceful time, it was strong and powerful projects, and you know, and now we continue to help with needed families and single mothers. We still have our health centers, and we feed homeless people on station and on markets and different hotspots, but also now we are starting our warehouse for health and community. And also we have army soldiers with equipment, and we are going to deliver humanitarian aid for destroyed villages in Ukraine. So we have much work, and I couldn't just leave and ministry to this church. I'm not a hero because many members of my church stayed here and decided just to be a part of God's ministry here.

He just lead us, and I don't think that even our church has to be clarified on Jesus Christ. And everything what we will do, it always will be focusing on helping people, social work, and not only conferences, teaching, preaching, because if you will not feed people and you will not close them, you couldn't say nothing. Massage recess sometimes are served even by words. One of the things that a lot of people have commented to me, because even when one of a couple of our teammates were at the border, and I said, hey, connect with those we are employing to run a warehouse, here they are. The comment they got back was, wow, these are young people. These are 25, 26, 27-year-olds. And much of the volunteer and staff, they are just very young. We are so proud of them. We are so proud that they are, despite their age, showing such wisdom and dedication. The other six that work for us and work with you there, Annie, can you comment on, I know some of them are pastors.

Can you just tell me a little bit about each of them, or at least to our listeners? My pastors and our team, we do rehab centers. We have three rehab centers for addicted people. And also we have a house for single mothers and children. And we have projects for helping needed families, like disabled families.

Right. No, hang on, Annie, I mean like the other seven that are employed, what is their background? They are all, what did they all, what did they all do before we employed you to run a warehouse? Okay, in our team we also have my mom. She's a very precious person to me, so I will talk about her firstly.

That's fine, good. She was my mom and also she was a leader of HomeGroup and she's a leader of RTG project from 2014. And now she is like coordinator of our warehouse, she is coordinator of volunteer team. Also our pastors, they were so respectable people before the war and now our pastors, he also become a volunteer in our main pastor, major pastor. He become like a volunteer in military staff, I don't know how to explain this, like territory of defense here in Ukraine, but also he's participating in every question of our warehouse and every project that we have in the church. As a second pastor, he's also the leader of youth clubs and our youth ministry. And he is leader of youth clubs from whole Ukraine of some non-governmental organization. And now he's just have some contacts and he's manager of different staff, his partnership and everything else. And he have a very powerful teenager movement and now it's very important to support teenagers because they just very, very long list, especially people who teenagers who have unbelievable parents.

Because parents are stressful, they have no hope in Jesus and it's very difficult for teenagers to spend this time in Ukraine. And also another members of our team, they are like leaders from rehab center, another two, they are members of the team of fundraising, local business fundraising here in our city. And the last one is leader of all warehouses staff that we have. It's a special person who is responsible for everything. Everybody loves her because she is giving stuff. She is caring about everything and she is very important person in our team.

So we have very powerful team and these seven people, they are very strong. They left their jobs for full-time service. And now at this time, they even don't have the time to have like a freelance job because they are full-time in their house from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening. And after the working at their house, we have service, we have prayer and everything else. So their job is very, very important now. Yeah, I'm so thankful for you, Lanern. I'm so thankful that you are part of our team. It was a God-ordained thing. We were running extractions and running people, doing that job. And I was made aware of your volunteer group through a pastor, a friend of mine in Florida. And we were always looking at that position that she is in to say, okay, if we need to move people into that area, we can. I know they would help. Within as time progressed, Robbie, I realized Annie and these people are all volunteering and they are just doing what they can as community leaders and as pastors. And then that touched my heart so much and it touched a donor's heart so much that I said, look, that is a very key effort outside of what we do as a counterhuman trafficking task force.

I want to do something like this in that part of the world. And so Annie has been instrumental in putting the team together there, getting the right employees, having the volunteers. Like I said, we're feeding 500 people a day and we're giving shelter.

And we just now got about 100 sheets and beddings for people that are sleeping outside the warehouse. We just provided body armor for the team and helmets and things that they so desperately needed because once we set it up, we had to say, look, let's help with the bunker. We've got to secure this place.

You guys, the listeners are going to hear from Annie again and in hopes to, we're hoping to, with another organization, bring her to the States so that she can be even more vocal about the situation there and the work that's being done. And we need to pray. We need to pray for this team and we need to pray for this part of Landon every day. We need to pray for our organization as we seek to find the best way.

You know, we're not holding ourselves into a hole. We're just trying to help people as well as organization. And the funding that we have for this is just a hundred percent. You give it, it's going there, you know, and it's, you know, like I say, we're constantly buying extra things. I'm trying to never tell Annie, no, she may already know that she already knows that every time she asked me, I know it's a real need and I'm just like, God's going to provide, we're going to do it, you know? And so we're doing it. And so for our listeners and for the sake of the Ukraine people, please pray about, consider helping us out.

Yeah, I know our actual Sunday school class, you don't even know this Mark, but you know, I teach special needs at Calvary. And they, when they heard about this, they said, can we give our penny? You know, cause they give us pennies. They all give their ties every week. And so they're creating a fund right now to give to the Ukraine.

I mean, that's that. And they want that money to go. In fact, I think they're going to have a check for you here in the next day or two. That's wonderful.

And then believe it or not, there are pennies. I think they've raised like $200. That's awesome. Isn't that cool? That's a, Annie, you hear that encouragement? That's, that's from a Sunday school class of American children that are special needs, like their handicaps. And they've been raising their own pennies and keeping their coins to, to donate to, to this. So they're always, I mean, that's the first on their prayer list.

Yeah. I mean, these are, these are folks with Down syndrome and, and autism. And the first thing on their heart, always, what do you want to pray about? We want to pray about the Ukraine. Well, that's what that's always on their arm. That's precious. Well, thank you for listening and we will be back soon with more from Land and Rescue. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-24 14:38:28 / 2023-04-24 14:48:15 / 10

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