Hey, this is Jim Graham from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we explore relationship instead of religion every week. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds.
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Mass addresses sometimes are served even by words. 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 a really awesome episode of Lantern Rescue as we get a chance to go around the world this week. As last week we were in the Ukraine and Mark, there's so many things going on really for such a time as this, that I know our listeners are going to be like, my mind is blown of all the things that Lantern Rescue has been involved in around the world.
Yeah, sure. Ren and I are glad to be on the show here today. It's, you know, with Lantern, I know our podcast for those who follow us, and I have a lot of people say, Hey, I listen every Saturday, or I always get the podcast. And, you know, for us, we get so busy, you know, we'll be gone out of the country or we're working and it's like we go three, four weeks. And then we come into the studio and we do several shows at once where we try to capture everything that's going on. So sometimes our show, I know our listeners think it's just week to week, but it's really there's so much going on and we're so busy.
We can't do week to week. So here, this is a show for us today. We wanted to take time and kind of update people, what we're doing regionally around the world and everything that we've been, God has given us the opportunity to do and the favor to do and the stuff that's happening. So, um, I don't know, I think it'd be really cool. I know we've got Ren on the show and she has a lot on her plate today. So I would love it if she jumped in, talked about Asia Pacific and some of the, you know, activities that we're trying to do there.
Yeah, for sure. So we've got a lot of good stuff going on over in Asia Pacific region. There's a particular country that we've been working with for a couple of years now. And the main problem that they're having in combating human trafficking is seeing their prosecutions through from beginning to end.
So in this particular country, it's a very remote, very rural country. So what happens is they'll find a victim of human trafficking, liberate them, get them reunited with their families or get them placed with a host family, depending on whatever that situation boils down to. And then the court process starts. So you start prosecuting the trafficker and you're getting all the evidence and all that. But then when it's time for the victims to come in and testify, there may be living, you know, 12 hours away. And the only way to get there is by, you know, a donkey or something crazy where these victims are having a really hard time getting back to court to be able to give their testimony as well as just giving testimony is hard to do a bunch of times to begin with on young victims.
And then you're also asking them to make these extreme journeys that they might not be able to afford, or they just physically can't do. So what we're trying to do is we're trying to implement programs with them, and we're working with their prosecutors and doing some training right now to establish what we call a victim-witness advocacy program so that they have particular individuals identified within their prosecutor's offices that are going to be personally managing the cases of the survivors and helping facilitate this testimony and this communication between the survivor and the court system. So that's one thing we're trying to do. Another thing that we're trying to implement there is allowing the survivors to testify by alternative methods. So it's commonly used in the United States for minor victims so they don't have to be in the presence of their abuser. They can testify through Zoom or through a conference call or something like that. So we're looking at doing that with these victims and giving basically pre-recorded testimony where the defense attorney would also be allowed to be present to cross-examine the witness and allowing them to testify on record once or twice and then go back to their village and not have to come back every couple of weeks to testify through these long journeys that they might not be able to make.
When the victims are unable to make these journeys, what ends up happening is the court process is stalled and sometimes these cases are entirely dismissed because they're not able to get anyone there to testify against traffickers and maybe that's the only evidence they had. So what we're going to do is try to get in the middle of that problem and fix it so that these survivors aren't having to make these treacherous journeys, having to testify multiple times and so they can still get justice. Wow.
That kind of blows my mind. All our legal listeners, they all have a lot of questions for Wren now that you and I can't answer, Rock. Last week we were in the Ukraine and we're helping people in this warehouse and over here we're over in Asia Pacific and helping their prosecution system. And something I never would have even dreamed would have had a solution like what you've come up with. God really has given you favor there. The team we have that Wren is working with and that we know we have vetted and produced and put in place, the unique thing is that they are capable of addressing this with Wren's direction and legal direction from people who know and how it should work.
And I'm excited. We have the right people. Different countries, we've got a door kicker here, we've got somebody who's good at this, something good at that and it's like God gave us the exact people we need to accomplish what Wren just discussed. Right, because putting these people away that are the perpetrators, those are the people that if we could get them put away then we wouldn't have the victims.
It's brilliant that God has orchestrated it in the way he has. Yeah, and what we're really interested in as an organization isn't just charging the traffickers and then being content with, oh well they were charged, not seeing it through the end of the actual, through the prosecution process and into the conviction. So what we're trying to do with this is really, we're mirroring this in other countries in different methods, we're always involved somehow in the legal system and in the legal process because we are committed to not just arresting the traffickers, taking the doors in and rescuing the survivors.
We're also interested in following these prosecutions all the way through to conviction for multiple reasons. One, mainly the survivors deserve justice, but also conviction rates, if you ever take a look at the trafficking in persons report that's put out by the TIP office, the way that countries get funding to help, one of the ways to help combat trafficking is through the TIP report and through the statistics that are reported to them. So that report doesn't reflect the amount of traffickers that were charged, it reflects the conviction. So when you're just charging people, that's really not helping the statistics of the country to show that they are trying to improve the problem that they might have with human trafficking. But when you're getting the convictions, that helps to show on a global scale what that country is doing and how committed they are to combating that problem. So that's another way that this legal process that we get involved in in these countries is really beneficial to them. It's important to us as a team, even down to the ground level, we train the task force and we do the operations and we work with their prosecutors that at the end of the day, the people we arrest, we want to make sure they go away.
We take on a lot of risk personally, we take a lot of time, effort, money, all of that, and we want to do an operation and then the person will walk away. I think, Wren, probably in a couple of weeks, our task force leader from Asia, we're going to bring him here back to the States. I'd love it. I'm just throwing this out there. Let's make sure we do a show, Robbie, with him, Wren, and they can even talk more about that part of the world. You're right, even stories along the way.
Let's jump on, Wren, I'm going to take a second. I'm going to talk about the Middle East and then you can kind of update folks on West Africa. In the Middle East, we've ran a great deal of extraction of vulnerable people out of the withdrawal area of Afghanistan. We've done that for organizations, agencies, vetted groups that we made sure who we were moving, who they were, that they weren't Taliban, that they are people who need to be moved. So we've moved them to a different country and provided a community of people there and we're doing the best we can. It's a humanitarian crisis.
People are starving. We've done a show about it. We have been doing all that we can.
So I want to give people an update. Even since that show where we talked about the media telling us that a million people are dying this spring in Afghanistan, I would say that's absolutely correct. My task force, we're in our communication, our team leader we just brought to the state and then he's back in action there now, is the Taliban has really become full of criminality. They first cleaned up a lot of criminal activity. Basically, that was so that they could be the only gang in town. They've established that they are the only gang in town and now they're doing anything and everything they want to from burning houses to imprisoning people unjustly to taking the newer vehicles from people.
It's just a gang mentality even though they're a terrorist group. What we were able to do, and this is what's so unique, a foundation came to us, a small foundation of a Christian couple and they said, what can we do there? We said, listen, we need to feed people but we also have a medical, we need to do medical exams especially on the females, especially on the pregnant females and we can do it.
We have the relationship to work through the Taliban government that they will give us that placement and access. We actually set up three facilities. We purchased about, together with that other foundation, we did about $20,000 in medical supplies. This is medicine and treatment and we did not want to just dump that into Afghanistan because if we gave it to the urgent care systems, they would just turn around and sell it on the street for money.
So we had to source it so that it was good supply, good stuff, then we got it into the country. We set up three examination facilities. We were able to get three doctors and nurses and their nursing staff to run those facilities for us and we treated people all day for several days.
They just lined up outside, they came in, they were examined and then the medical supplies that we had purchased were used to treat those people. That's something that not everybody gets to do and it's funny, this is why we're so careful. We run a task force that's extracting people under Taliban's nose and at the same time we turn around and we're able to do a medical treatment for several days out of three locations. So we're just doing what we can.
You're hearing it on the Ukraine show. We counter-trafficking, we rescue vulnerable people, but we do not turn a blind eye to the humanitarian needs around us. Right, and you can't help but see the favor of God in that. Like, oh my goodness, the Taliban government's allowing you to do this humanitarian aid and you're doing it in such a way that you're not wasting the resources and then God provides somehow the doctors and the people to actually do that. Actually those doctors volunteered. We didn't have to pay them.
They were so grateful for what we were doing. Those doctors volunteered. And were they already sourced in Afghanistan? Yeah, they're from Afghanistan and Pakistan, yeah. And so with those connections that you have in those countries, that was already happening. So some of these people were being examined that had come out of Afghanistan that were actually in Pakistan.
Yes. The main thing that we were going after are the women and children. Let's treat them. And it was worked out with the leaders that that's what we would do and they agreed to it. Oh, that's just spectacular.
Otherwise, I mean, you could run into a situation, you set up a medical treatment facility and all you have are a thousand men lined up front because they disrespect the females so much. But we were able to overcome that with God's favor. Amazing. Well, when we come back, we had sort of a world report with Land and Rescue of all the things that God's doing with your prayers and your support at Land and Rescue. I hope you're like me, like, oh, yay, God. I mean, that we can help in all these desperate situations, really, for such a time as this, even, you know, from legal to, you know, to doctors, all that stuff.
So 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 Specializes in sending former U.S. special operation law enforcement and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems such as genocide, terrorism and human trafficking.
As a nonprofit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated one hundred and fifty billion dollars in annual activity. 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 land and rescue.org to see how you can support them financially.
The following program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised. Well, welcome back to Land and Rescue. Today's show, we're going around the world and we've been to the Pacific and we've been to the Middle East, but now Africa.
So Mark and Ren, we'll just go right straight to Ren. You've got some stuff going on there as well. Yeah, I mean, there's always stuff going on in Africa, but a really unfortunate case that we had recently was an immigration agent was actually caught trafficking victims across the border near a border station where we work at. So our team intervened and they got the guy arrested and he's being prosecuted and the survivors are getting treatment. But it's a really concerning case because we expect people in those positions to not be complicit in trafficking, let alone be the ones that are actually trafficking. It's really concerning in that aspect. And then there's the other aspect where our team isn't just blindly letting anyone's stories cross the border. They're questioning people even in positions of power and they're investigating those rules as well. They're not just assuming automatically, oh, well, he's a cop, so he's definitely not doing it. I think there's two sides to that.
I think our team did the right thing. We can't share a ton of details on it yet, but the case is still developing. But if people are on social media, the most recent updates are always on there.
It's Land and Rescue on Instagram and Facebook. So stay up to date with that to keep a little more up to date on that case. But I think it's a really good example of our team just showing how proactive they are in these investigations and that they're not willing to just accept stories. They really do dig in to see what the truth is. I love it when people come up to us and say, what do you do with all the, you know, the corruption in the governments? There's several things we do. One of them is we arrest them.
That's what we do. So this is a prime example of that. You know, the one the case that Rens briefing everybody on that we established a task force that doesn't back down all of our task force. We've had so many radio shows where we talk about an engagement conflict with a government official who's doing wrong. And in this particular case is like a lot, a lot of immigration officers and people in the immigration office because they're the ones who when it comes to crossing borders, they're the ones who have a lot of access to that false documentation, the means to move people from one place to another. So in this case, he was arrested.
So that is still developing in like rank. Probably always could comment. He didn't do it alone, Robbie. He wasn't a run one man trafficking ring. You know, this is probably going to involve some people in another country.
So, Ren, you any more comments on that particular situation? You know, again, when that team there in West Africa is really outstanding in it. Yeah, the team there is just phenomenal. And yeah, Mark completely right. It's definitely not a one man operation. So like I said, the location is ongoing. And I'm sure that part of that development will be finding out other people that were involved in this and that were, you know, the minimum complicit in this. And that's going to drive, you know, what changes need to be made at that border station. Do we need to get more involved there and determine kind of our our impact in the region and just helping to root out that corruption in the government one instance at a time.
Wow. So anything else in Africa that you could comment on Mark or Ren? I think, Ren, you remember just also we have almost an investigation opened every day, almost an arrest every day to with that particular task force. The girls that were intercepted. You remember the guy who claimed that he was their brother and he had really good documentation. Yeah. I've got that brief pulled up.
I can go through it. Your brief on that case where they were told they were started and it was an apprenticeship and start working. And the team interviewed the brother and the alleged brothers and their stories and they matched our trained interrogators on the team. You know, they did everything they normally do. They do a really good job. OK. They're very, very good. Knowing their culture, knowing the cultures, the surrounding tribes, the surrounding countries, just they just really good.
But in this case, the interrogation process didn't reveal anything. You know, it was OK. This is the brother and this is a real job and everything matches up for these girls.
And so they head on into that other country for that job. Well, what's that? I think. How much time passed? About a month ran. Is that right? It was a month.
Yeah, it was a month passes by. And in our one of our offices, these two girls now come back in a state of victimization. I mean, they are crying. They have found out that when they they got there, that they were taking the slave labor. They were brutally beaten.
And this was so upsetting to all of us, to our team and everybody. That's the criminals we're fighting against because they're learning even, I think, to overcome our interrogation. So when you work in an area, let's say you work a border 100 miles and every day your task force is running that border and they're doing the things that they do.
They're running their interrogations a certain way. Well, the smugglers and the criminals start to even learn our tactics. And so that's something that we're addressing, I think, from an operational side. We've been looking at, OK, how do we make sure that our tactics of interrogation aren't exploited by smugglers, that they learn what the questions we are, that we ask in the way that we verify documentation. And then they overcome that.
How do we combat that? Right. Right. And also this story is a case to make people realize that a lot of times survivors are they're victimized, they're re-victimized.
And even for them personally, it takes a little bit for them to understand what a bad situation is. So obviously, when these were two girls about the age of 17, they were duped into this, but they lied as well. Right.
Right. I mean, they were lying as well because they thought what they were going to was a good thing. And now they obviously know better and have learned through a hard situation.
And they'll be instrumental now in being part of the advocacy of that area, saying, look, this is what we were told to like, you know, they're smarter, they're wiser and all of that. So but I'm glad that we were able to be there for them. If we didn't have that office, they wouldn't have had anywhere to go.
They wouldn't have remembered, OK, wait, that there is a team, there is a unit that was warning us about this, was diving into us. We lied to them. We need to go back to them now and tell them the truth. So they brought that case back to us. And, you know, we have the identification of the smuggler. So, you know, they're going after that individual now.
Wow. Yeah, that's quite a case. Quite a case. Yeah, I think I'd like to comment on and we're just going to call the country out in the Caribbean. I think people know we're heavily involved in Haiti and we do have something that's playing out there on a larger scale. But could we talk about just the one case that our one agent has been involved in involving the pastor? The one with which one? Yeah, there's more than one pastor case.
Yeah, there's more than one. The most recent one where I think people need to know, like a country like Haiti, just how hard it is for us to operate there right now, because we have agents there. We have task force members and we have a pastor that has raped girls, has sold them out from an orphanage, has taken money from people in the US. And then we started an investigation and he went on the run. And then one of our task force members went and we actually, he set up undercover and kind of watched the facility to make sure, you know, he was just doing an investigation.
And then we confirmed that the pastor had left that area and was on the run. Then we were able to acquire a warrant, which I would just say in the country of Haiti is really hard to get, because there's so much dysfunction. And, you know, to get the leadership of the police forces to actually issue a warrant is a really big deal. But that just shows our persistence and the quality of our task force members. But we actually have that now.
One of the difficulties is this guy is hiding in a place that gangs control. And yester, was it, how many days ago was it ran that we were sent the images? Like we get a lot. I'm the guy that got shot. Yeah.
Two days. Yeah. And that was something, that's just something we get every day. It seems like from that country where it's somebody we know, it's a policeman we know. It wasn't a task force member. It was somebody that our task force knew, but it was basically in the same area that this pastor, this wanted pastor is hiding.
And so that creates the difficulty. We do the investigation. We report on it. We get to all the right authority in that place.
And then the guy goes into hiding or he's protected by gangs. Short of a small army, it's really hard for us to get into that region. It's really hard for us to go in and make that arrest. So, you know, we, we need wisdom. We need prayer. We need finances because those things cost more money than a normal, maybe raid operation.
You know, we have to fly down extra people and spend a lot of extra time. Did you think that you got that picture to specifically warn you about what you were doing with him? I don't think so.
You don't think so either. I think it's just, that's just, it's just showing what they're doing to people who enter that region, you know? Yeah, I think our guy took, one of our guys took those pictures. Yeah. And it's just, they're just showing, you know, this is, this is the consequence. I mean, there's part, there's parts in Haiti right now that are, you know, it's completely safe. You know, you know, it's, you're running a mission and it's far from a lot of the criminality.
Then there's parts like this where it doesn't matter who you are. If you drive a vehicle through that, that one mile, they're just taking shots at you. You know what I mean? They're just shooting. They're just out of control. And they're very young gangs. We're talking, these are 18 year olds, 19 year olds. These aren't, you know, it's a very young country.
So, because of the disease, because of the earthquake and, you know, earlier in the year. So, you know, we're trying to overcome that and we have something that God has opened up for us that we hope we can report on soon that will allow us to impact a country that we've worked so hard in for so long. And I think it's just going to take us even to another level. Great. Yeah.
Great, great. So, moving on to and back to Ukraine, Wren, can you give us an update from that? Yeah, so operations are continuing to go in Ukraine and we're still working at the warehouse trying to provide that initial point of contact to people that are coming across the border to give them support to warn them about the very vulnerable situation that they're in.
That they're at a higher risk of trafficking as they're coming across the border undocumented. And with that, the crisis going on, just how many people are moving back and forth, that they just need to be extra careful and have a heightened sense of awareness when they're interacting with people. And we're providing them information on how to keep themselves safer as well as giving them, you know, initial food and clothing and just a safe place to land and to get some support while they're there. So, it's a great program to have going over there and we just hope that those people are able to find safety in their travels. Wow, you can see if you're listening, you know, how God has given land and rescue favor around the world. And it's because of, you know, everyone's prayers and certainly God loves these folks, I mean, everywhere.
And Mark, it's kind of unique. There's so many organizations in the United States along this way. They're well-funded and whatever, but getting help from people around the world, you know, it's wonderful that God's provided it through land and rescue.
It is. We're so blessed. I tell you, we never would have thought in such a day as this we'd be used in different parts of the world to do what we're doing. So, I appreciate our donors. We appreciate our listeners a lot. And we ask that you just consider to continue to support us by listening to the show. You know, follow us on Instagram and, you know, definitely if God lays it on your heart and you're able and burdened to do so to get to, you know, to land and rescue.
Because every single penny goes right to where you want it to go. That's right. Thank you so much, Mark. God bless. Thank you, Wren. Thank you. Thank you, brother. Thank you.
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