This is Hans Schile from the Finishing Well Podcast.
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Listener discretion is advised. Previously on Lantern Rescue. You start prosecuting the trafficker and you're getting all the evidence, but then when it's time for the victims to come in and testify, they may be living 12 hours away and the only way to get there is by 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. 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. 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. So welcome to Lantern Rescue and really another action-packed episode as we're going to another area of the country in the Caribbean.
And so Mark, there's a big operation going on. Yeah, we've, you know, hey, the last couple shows we're able to update people on Eastern Europe and Ukraine and then the work there is still going and then also the work around the world. You know, we're able to talk about West Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East, some things in the last show. And then really a country, we're kind of going to avoid it where it is just because this operation involved a lot of government officials that were arrested. But we do have a full task force in this country. We've got a great task force leader as well as some investigators who do a great job and then a victim care specialist, particularly in that country.
And, you know, they are kind of like West Africa. They're just knocking it out of the ballpark. They're doing a great job. But that still takes our oversight, training, involvement, time and leadership.
And TC's been vital in that as well. And so I'm going to let him take it from there. What are, you know, we had this operation, I don't know when this show is going to air, but it was right now it was about a month ago that we did it. And I'm just going to pass it off to him to start off.
Okay. Hey, good to see you guys, Mark and Robbie. Good to talk and talk about this mission, which for Lantern was a big success and I think successful on several levels. So we took a team down there. There were four of us and two in country operators, investigators that we met with. And, um, the initial goal was to train up a SWAT unit in this country to actually serve warrants, kick doors, and all the kind of cool stuff that needs to happen at the end of an investigation. So for three days, we were able to train them up. We worked on small unit tactics, some weapons handling and other things, you know, just like Intel gathering before a raid, um, how to secure bad guys or potential bad guys and all those sorts of things went into that planning. We're able to create a really cool relationship with the Colonel of that unit, a very squared away individual that we had high respect for. And clearly his, his troops had high regard for him as well. So that was one phase of the, the operation that was highly successful. At the end of that, we were, uh, rewarded with great relationships, but also a lot of, a lot of honorable things coming from them back towards the guys. So that's always fun.
They were also able to receive a scriptural instruction, which they loved and were a part of. So yeah, I was wanting you to comment on that if you want to add to that. I'm sorry, I wanted you to comment on that because we have our full-time task force investigators who are great door kickers and investigators. And then in partnership, we create a partnership with the SWAT unit for that country. So it's not a local SWAT. It's not a local police force. This is a SWAT unit for the whole nation.
And we've also trained some commandos in that country, but this is a national level SWAT. So TC and another operator, Chris, who were down and Grant all did a fantastic job. And I was there to participate, of course, and help.
I just want to comment on TC. You remember when the Bibles were given out? Yes.
The first set of lesson. I mean, this has probably never happened. Can you imagine you're in this country? You're a SWAT member. You've went to law enforcement.
Maybe you were a commando before. Now you're on the specialized unit and you're big and bad and all that, right? And these white guys show up who you know are going to train you on tactics. But then in the first day, after the first few hours, we stop before lunch and we go, okay, we've got something to give you. And we give them all a Bible in their language and then begin to really walk them through the gospel in a way that makes them think. And maybe you can comment about how they received that.
Well, I think it's cool. Like you said, Mark, they have all these expectations and the one lieutenant in the very first thing and said that they have been training and preparing for days just to get ready for us to be there. Like, okay, I'm sure you have them, but then to have, then to have scripture be a part of that.
And you would think you got all these young, tough guys ready to run through walls and everything, but it's amazing. They take to that, that matters to them. The relationship of that, of course, we know that the gospel is the answer to all of these things. And interestingly enough, there was one guy who ended up kind of not wanting the Bible, but he kind of had, I don't know if Mark, you want to tell the story. He kind of had an interesting week the rest of the week, but just to see them totally dig in and they were taking these Bibles and put them inside the bulletproof vest and taking care of them. And that was pretty cool. Actually. It was fun to watch and great to be a part of.
Yeah. They were really receptive. It wasn't like they were like, Oh man, okay, we'll do this.
Cause the American operators are here to train us. No, they, man, they were intense. I mean, they got those Bibles.
They opened up to every passage. They're just, you know, all looking into it, reading it, listening, engaging it. I mean, we had full conversations with everybody. I mean, just full, we threw a theological question out and man, it became a room discussion.
And so that was so cool. And it is so important. And we tell them, listen, you know, it's not enough to be a physical warrior. You have to be a spiritual warrior to do the job that you do for your country and to do the job that we are tasking you to do with us.
You have to be solid emotionally and spiritually, you know, and that's why we're pouring into them. And, and we hope that they, those that don't know Christ will come to Christ through that, that activity in action. Well, since TC whetted our appetite, you know, what happened with the guy who didn't want the Bible? He actually, he actually got in trouble. He was actually hazing new recruits and actually got pulled from the training.
So maybe he should have read the Bible. I think it's tough, you know, just, just to kind of maybe, you know, just one final point on this at this areas, Mark, actually, at the end of one of those conversations, we were talking about the different, you know, there's the spiritual man, there's the physical man. And Mark actually brought a point to them that I could tell mattered to them. And Mark had said to the group, look, I know many, many warriors who were great physically, but came home broken from the wars and had to be put back together, had to get their feedback under themselves with the gospel and the scripture. And then, you know, they were, they were clearly listening to that and it's true. So a very foundational point and something special and it's unique.
Um, there are not a lot of Oregon, well, none that I know of other organizations that are actually doing things this way. So I think it's significant and a lot of levels. That's right.
It's good. And you know, our training facility that week was above average. We were using houses that had been, what's the word, TC, uh, they were not livable. They were on the side of a mountain and in any second they could experience a landslide. So that was, we, we go hiking up a mountain through the jungle, like, oh, we have a training facility we can use up here, carrying gear, guns, everything.
And, you know, we go up and, uh, you're looking at these, these homes that were built, but then they, you know, were taken off the market or they were not allowed to finish and hold because some of them started to experience a landslide down the side of the mountain. And so, you know, when you're on the third floor of one of those things, you're just hoping that having 20 guys chomp around in them, you know, or more, uh, that it doesn't decide to slide at that moment, you know, it was a beautiful view though. It was a beautiful view area.
I mean, it's gorgeous. You're looking out over the whole island, you know, I don't think I'd have been enjoying the view right that second, but nonetheless, you got to be training. Oh, it was, it was good. I think, uh, TC, maybe you could talk a little bit about the, the scenario trainings that we did. I mean, you know, I know not all our listeners are going to understand everything that we take people through, but maybe you can talk about the scenario training.
Yeah, well, I think we've got a sharp crew here. So a lot of times for these countries, the training that they get is death by PowerPoint, a lot of lecture, a lot of talking so that the training that we do is very kinetic. And, but in order to know that the operators have obtained some of the skills, some of the knowledge we finished with a scenario, several scenario based trainings that would simulate the best that we can in the environment that we had the kind of work that they would be doing if they were going to serve a warrant.
So they quote unquote hit a hotel and they hit what was the other one, Mark, was it a nightclub, a nightclub scene. And they had to, they had to run recon and come back and report the Intel and then actually come and hit the plays, arrest people and rescue victims of trafficking. And they had to work through all of that.
And the last scenario is actually two teams at a time. So it was interesting to see them go. Mark, I don't know what your thoughts were about their level of success.
I think they had some. Yeah. Yeah. I think one of the biggest successes when you run that scenario and the Lieutenant looks over at me, I mean, after the very first scenario and goes, okay, the way we have done this has always been wrong. And, and the way you guys are showing this, this is right. And we have to adapt. And we, and he's basically saying we have to get the number of people like this is big and you know, where we help us later too, is that has to, now that authority has to be given not just to that unit and that unit commander, but to the prosecutor and those in that country who are, who are issuing out the operation maybe, and they're calling up the number of operators that are needed.
So, I mean, we're, we're changing the environment there for the whole nation, how they operate as SWAT, you know, and how they'll do these, these type of operations. So yeah, I think that was, that was just great when that one, because this one Lieutenant thought he knew everything. Okay. There's always a few, when you start in training, they're the ones who are, you know, they're, I don't know, they're just trying to impress you as an American, you know, they're trying to come across. They've already learned everything.
And the reality is, you know, they don't, but he, at that point, he could see the light go off in his head and he was like, Oh my goodness. Okay. This is, this is way different. This is what needs to be done. So to finish this out, we were able to watch them graduate the ceremonies. Mark was able to pass out t-shirts and certificates, shake some hands, a lot of photos and things like that. But in which you might think was not a big deal, but actually to these guys, it is a very big deal to get that training.
They're not going to get it any other way. And so to see them, I got to have a conversation with all of the lieutenants of the unit and give them a little Newt Rockne speech about what leadership is about. And so I would say, you know, as a whole, we hit leadership, we hit spiritual disciplines, and they got technical, tactical skills for those three days. And this was all leading up to the actual operation.
And so when we come back, oh, we hear what happened. So we'll be right back with a lot more of what's going on around the world with Landon Rescue. Landon Rescue is a USA-based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Landon specializes in sending former US 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. Landon Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Landon 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 LandonRescue.org to see how you can support them financially.
The following program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised. Welcome back to Landon Rescue. And today we're in the Caribbean with this operation. We've, we did the first segment on the training, but now we get to what, what, what did they do with their training? And so TC, can you kind of take us into that?
Sure. So we, we like to train. Training is, we've said it before in other shows is like, you know, it's like currencies, like money, it's cloud, it's all those sorts of things.
However, as good as all that is, everybody wants to go on an operation, right? So actually one day in, our team had to split and Mark and I took off and one other actually took off to go on an actual operation that had been planned. And two of us, two of the team stayed back and worked on some of the other things that we were working on. So we ended up driving to a bordering country to take part in an arrest of some immigration officials who were actually complicit in trafficking people by messing or somehow doctoring. And maybe Mark, you can comment on this, their, their passports.
So we drove for a good big four hours, I think stayed in a hotel, which was maybe just below average. And then we met up with, uh, I don't know how many Mark, how many guys you think, or how many operators are in that one setting when we, when we met up to launch. Yeah, it was a, it was probably one of the largest operations.
I think this country's country's done, especially involving the takedown of government officials who were falsifying passports and documents basically for foreign women from the South American region. There's still some investigations involving the, so off of this, but they divided up. I don't know, man, there, there was probably including the SWAT unit that we trained, including other, you know, local police in the prosecutor's office, you know, investigators, all that. I mean, there was, there was a hundred people involved in this and, you know, for us in our role in this particular one, whereas sometimes we are kicking the door down or in line to show them how to kick a door and to go in.
And this one, we really were taking a kind of an oversight to, to see how it was done. And it was, there, there's a lot, there's just so much you want to help them with, you know, they are trying, they're doing what they can and we're proud that they've made these arrests and the prosecution is happening, but from a practical sense, there's just a, there's still a great deal. There's just a life of work in every country that we're in. There's a lifetime of work and you see it from not just our vantage point of what they give us, but sometimes just as Americans, we just know how things work. You know, this country is doing, has done so well.
I know people complain about the justice system here and this and that, but as a whole, it's far, far above what we see in other countries. So we have that vantage point to see, and I'm glad that we were able to watch how they did this because we're going to be, you know, doing some changes and we're going to be helping them out in different levels. I, you know, I would say after, I got to say one thing, the hotel, what do you mean above average, man? That thing was like, I'm pretty sure somebody died in that room the night before I got there. And I can't even say on air what was all in that room.
All I can say is I'm glad I only spent about 10 minutes in it. We got in it and, you know, we had to roll back out. I think we got in about one o'clock and by two o'clock we were going back out the door for the operation, you know. So it was eight different raiding parties, eight different locations, all hitting their location at the exact same time, which is for about 5 a.m. That's the best time to arrest people. They've not went to work yet and they're just kind of getting up or they're still sleepy.
They're in bed, so it's easy to do it at that time. When we returned back from that operation, we were also that week involved in something we can. Well, before we get back from, I mean, for those of us who don't know stuff like this, like me, I mean, so are you saying that eight people were arrested as a result or maybe even more than that? Yeah, it was actually more than that. It was initial eight and then following that, even some more of the food chain were arrested, some more of the officers, immigration officers, some of the smugglers, different ones who were involved were all arrested. And there's still, it actually ties itself to another country. We have some influence in that country too and, you know, we're trying to have a key person there arrested as well. Yeah, so that was a successful... Yeah, it was about 160 women, 160 victims.
Wow. That's how many were, you know, falsified. Their documents were falsified.
They were passed along, you know, crossing international borders and then the outcome of their life was not what, you know, most of them either had been sold further or trafficked or they were being held in a brothel and used in that way. But nobody was hurt. Everything went smooth as it could be or... Yeah, no one was hurt.
Wow. Yeah, that's quite a thing because there were over 100 people involved and you got all these arrests. You know, it sounds kind of intense. So, I mean, you just went through it and I'm like, well, yeah, what happened? You know, you were going to comment to...
I want to throw one thing in there before we move on to the kind of like the final whatever. I think it's significant that the organization, the non-governmental organization that Lantern works with or that the task force was invited, was asked to go on the raid, which is significant because they're not necessarily law enforcement. They're more intel for law enforcement, but they're invited to go and to be a part of that thing. To me, it's proof that the model is working. There's a coordination between an anti-trafficking organization there and the police and that the police at a very high level recognize their value to all of the arrests and the investigations going on.
So, I think the model is legitimate and I think even this particular raid spoke well of that relationship in that process. Yeah, in that country, our investigators are, you know, they're full-time. They're Lantern Rescue investigators. They're part of a task force and we have a different name there in that country than Lantern, but they do a great job because we see the caseload that they take on and I see that the AG's office takes every one of our cases, you know, serious and wants to address each one of them.
And in fact, we have one operation that could happen any moment and involves a great deal of victims from three different countries and they're actually, anyway, I just won't say too much, but it's a big operation too. And TC, you were undercover on that one. I think you were involved in the under, I know I did part of the undercover work. I think you did as well maybe and in part of the food chain.
That's something TC and I both done. He and I both have went to this particular country, went undercover as a buyer and I know a lot of people probably don't quite grasp what that is, but that's going into area that is maybe controlled by a cartel or somebody or a building. And we're posing as a, an interest. Like we have an interest in buying girls. You know, Robbie, they sometimes they parade those girls in front of you.
They're minor girls. You're there undercover trying to determine what information you need for the prosecution. We often are recording or documenting those things. And then our local people are also part of that undercover work. They're posing as something else maybe. So that's how those investigations get moved forward. It works well sometimes for an American such as myself or TC to go in because we're not burning local people.
They expect an American to show up who has money and wants to buy girls. That's horrible, but you know, it makes sense. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And so TC, with your experience undercover, is there any part of that that you might want to share with our listeners what that's like? Well, it is different.
My language skills are not that high, which for the particular role that I play, they call him the burnt guy, isn't necessarily essential, although it would be, it would be better if I were much better at the skills, the language. But we're walked in as a guy who, in my particular case, I'm posing with a certain profile. And as Mark said, we're trying to determine through the conversations, whether they are prostituted, if they're, you know, under their own control, so to speak, or if they're being trafficked, like one of my first investigations, we were upstairs in a flat. And through the conversations that we had, we determined that the two girls were trafficked, were definitely being trafficked from another country. They had some vague information about more girls that could be trafficked and made available to us.
And so that's how the conversation goes. It's different, you know, we run surveillance and kind of surveillance and all those sorts of things to make sure that everybody's safe and sound both physically, you know, mentally and all that kind of stuff. But those are the things that have to happen in order to, you know, in order to make the investigations complete, or in order for prosecutions to actually happen. So, you know, we pursue not just because human trafficking, there's other trafficking that maybe we can prosecute on quicker. And so it might be drugs, usually undercover, we try to, I try to make an effort to find out what the girl or girls are going to cost. We're trying to find out age, we find out if drugs are available, crack or other things to purchase at the same time, guns, buy it all while you're there.
Because the more you can bring the criminality of these people to light to the prosecutor, the more likely he's going to say, let's get it, let's go after it, let's take it down, you know, let's prosecute on the following things. Wow. And so then, from what I understand, after the operation, there was another event, right? Yeah, during that week, you know, we tried on this show, we got a couple minutes, we try to demonstrate some of our all sees work and experience. I would have to say in this country, our country, I don't quite, I've never quite had this experience. I've had, I've had government officials honor us and honor our team or honor the work that we're doing in the past, especially in the Middle East, they do a lot of that kind of stuff. In this country, we got invited to a banquet for somebody very important. We went to that large building.
And it's very, it was a nice building, let's just say that big. And we go in and they escorted us over, kind of like their Secret Service escorted us over into this private banquet hall. And we enter and we're like, wow, this is, wow, you know, we think we're just part of a banquet. Once we sit down, then we see all the like one and two star generals of the whole country come in one by one, and they all sit and we're like, okay, we're just part of this.
But then the next entourage comes in. And this is the lead person in that particular country invited us and asked, you know, kind of like who's in charge and me and task force leader. And so they bring us over to a special table. And now we realize, oh, this whole banquet is in our honor. And this is really weird. Because we haven't, you know, I don't know how much money was spent that night by that guard, you know, to do this, but this is bizarre to this day. We don't have answers. I mean, we're where we got some ideas, but I am at this moment thinking, there's going to be a drug raid on this government official.
And he just wanted a bunch of Americans in here. So I'm literally texting agency people I know, and I'm going, listen, I don't know what's happening here. But I just want you to know, like, if, if the door gets, you know, if the door all of a sudden, this whole building goes down, we are not part of whatever this organ this government's part of, like, this is, this is bizarre, you know, I mean, they've got special singers, they've got a chef, they've got everything right, laid out. I don't know, TC comment something.
I mean, what do you want to comment at this point? I mean, we're all you know, how when you're uncomfortable, you sit random Rob straight and kind of look with your eyes only. Yeah, that's what the whole team looks like. Yeah, we're ready to make a bolt for the door and shoot our way out. Yeah, I mean, and they would. So we're there. And to be honored in that way was a way above and beyond what we were doing in the country.
I mean, you know, come on, this is not right. So you know, when people talk about how we work in these foreign countries, we have to constantly watch our back. We'll just in that show, there was something that happened that I don't know if we should probably say on air, but then some things that went down, but we need your prayers constantly.
Because I think even that night, we may have avoided something that, you know, I really feel like, yeah, we did tip into something, and then we avoided something. And I'm not sure if that wasn't just the prayers of people back in the States praying for us. Wow. Wow. And you can see, you know, we're just so grateful here, that we can hear what's going on around the world and know that we can be praying Afghanistan.
Of course, we talked about the Ukraine, the Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Pacific. It's just, oh my goodness. So thank you guys so much. Thank you, TC. God bless, and we'll be praying for them. This is the Truth Network.
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