This is Andy Thomas from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we discover what it means to be a wholehearted man. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network.
The following program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised. 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. Well, wonderfully, we have another update for you today on Lantern Rescue. And so we got TC and Charlie here with us in a while.
We're going to have Karp. And so TC, you guys are fresh off the African trail. We are fresh off the African trail. It's great to talk to you again, Robbie, and it's great to be here with Charlie.
Uh, it's been a little less than two months ago. Um, we were in Western Africa, uh, and this time specifically Benin and some surrounding areas. And, um, um, you know, you and the listeners are familiar with the fact, we've been there before, and this is probably one of Lantern's, um, oldest and maybe most consistent counter trafficking or interdicting, um, efforts that they have. So we always look forward to going over there and I'm going to kind of turn Charlie loose on our mission when we were there. Um, so Charlie, what do you, what do you say about what we did? So we, uh, we did, uh, I'll, I'll, I'll do the training piece there.
Um, sure. So we started off with, with some of our agents and, um, and talk to them. We covered several different things all the way from, um, uh, a deescalation of violence to talking to somebody in, um, in, uh, in a non-threatening way, all the way up into, um, if you have to go hands-on or detain somebody. So we did, uh, it was neat to go into it and, um, try to help them. So if they have to go hands-on with somebody, we're doing it safely.
We can do this, um, as a, as a single person, as a single agent there or in, in a team place. Um, and so with that, we kind of started off with, Hey, you know, what, what's the common situation? What do you run into the most and try to try to feel them out for, um, for us to be able to address the problems that happen the most frequently. So we want to kind of cover and help with whatever need they might have or what happens most and kind of advise on it.
What Charlie, what need does happen the most, or what did they share with you? Are they usually running into so most of their stops there are, um, foot traffic or on bikes or motorcycles. Um, and so a lot of that kind of crosses over, but it was, it was neat to be able to say, okay, if, if the largest percent is on a motorcycle, how do you handle that?
Right? If you have a, somebody you need the question or somebody who's non-compliant and they won't get off their bike, okay, what's the safest way to do that? Cause you, you have to think you're also, um, potentially have a victim or somebody innocent on there. And the last thing we want to do is, uh, we just want to handle a situation safely, right? So we want to be able to get them off and be able to question them and say, okay, everything's good here, or this needs a little further investigation. So we, he actually, um, we had a nice little training ground where we did some, um, um, I guess demounting a suspect off a bike. I'm not really sure there's a technical term for it, but we talked through, we talked through and then we went through different situations, um, and applying the one-on-one techniques that we learned earlier in the day, um, for a tandem or team having to remove somebody physically from a bike, um, talking them off the bike or how to kind of quickly disable the bike.
So they can't just, uh, get squirrely and run through possibly, you know, hit somebody. So it was, uh, it was very interesting. It was a lot of fun. There's a couple of little, a couple of little tricks or scenarios to think through with it. Cause it is, you know, moving vehicles and stopping somebody while they're moving slow, can be a little tricky, but it was, uh, I think it was good training and it was a good bonding for us and the team on the ground there. Um, Wow. And I know I'm just personally curious, Charlie, where did you learn how to do that?
It's always a refining. There's, there's a good way to do something in a better way to do something. So, uh, in talking to the team and, um, experiencing a couple of different countries and knowing some really, really talented people. Um, you know, I'm just fortunate to be in the fold sometimes I look at everybody else and kind of in awe of what the Lord will allow, uh, allow me to join in on. So leaning on the wisdom of others and a lot of experience in that situation from some other people, we kind of put together a pretty good plan for that and ran through a bunch of different scenarios.
Yeah. That's, that is really, really wonderful because obviously there's, you know, that's something if they're running into that all the time, right TC, they are running into that all the time. And when we get carpooling, we'll talk about some of the work, but absolutely. Um, I would say that when we're on the border, they must see, they've got to see nearly a hundred motorcycles. I would say at least maybe 150 motorcycles a day.
And they're so good at their work that they're constantly, you know, confronting and approaching whether it's a taxi or a truck or a family, they're constantly doing the kind of work that Charlie and Carp were training them on. And how long we needed and appreciated. And so how long were you guys over there, Charlie? Well, um, let's see, we were there for a week and some change. I'm not sure. I'm not sure on the exact days. They, um, be honest, they kind of, they kind of bleed together when you're running, um, when you're checking out the work and doing training, we had, um, let's see, we had four different training days.
TC, can you correct me if I'm wrong, dear? Was it, was it a week and some change? Yeah. We could be eight days plus the flying piece.
And I know the, uh, uh, uh, luggage got lost out the gate, literally out the gate. So, um, the first day we got about two or three hours sleep, and then we were training that day. So it was a good time. But, you know, that's always fun teaching.
That's a fun piece too, teaching handcuffs and techniques, um, to a group of people with not enough handcuffs. So we were able to overcome it and work with what we had there. But, um, um, you know, having some of the equipment and, and baggage delayed a few days is always a fun challenge to overcome. Oh, wow. So your handcuffs were in your bags.
Wow. So one of the things, uh, that we did in carpool, talk about the border stations, but on our second, on our second border, we're going through a place, um, that required, you know, a good big hour and a half, maybe travel. And so we're leaving, we're leaving Cotonou and he traveled North and, um, we get picked off by the police. We get pulled over and we're pretty sure we didn't do anything wrong, but we just happened to have a new driver that day. Our usual driver wasn't there.
So this new driver was super nervous. Um, and we actually were on the verge of getting our car towed with all of us, with all of the trainers in and getting ready to go up to the border and work. So we got out of that somehow and we're pretty sure how we got pulled over. I think Charlie was sitting in the front and that probably got us pulled over. So we, we hit the road again and we're trying to make good times. And, um, further North on the same road, we get pulled over again. And this time they make our driver get out. So the police officer gets in and drives the four trainers to an impound law. So we spent, we spent a good hour and a half to two hours, at least trying to get ourselves unimpeded before we were finally turned loose to go up to the border and work.
And again, I think we were stopped because Charlie was in the front seat. So that kind of stuff can be kind of the friction through the whole thing. You know, you, you're trying to do good work and try to do the right thing and honor God with the work. And, um, you know, sometimes saying we'll have none of it, or at least he's going to do his best to make it, um, an issue. So why, why, why, one of the things that I would say corruption probably had a, had a play in the, um, you know, impeding the work that we were trying to accomplish. Yeah. So why would Charlie being in the front seat?
I mean, they just seeing, he's white, right? And this can't be good. So, you know, it's a, it's a money thing. And so it's assumed that in this particular case, we would have, we would have had money and that we would have paid our way out of that situation, which we didn't do. And, um, in this particular case that cost us, you know, a good, big chunk of the day, we were fairly frustrated.
I mean, we finally got our Sunday school game on and talked ourselves out of it, but initially we were, I would say, we were less than satisfied with our, with our, uh, circumstances. Wow. Wow. I guess, you know, that's what happens when you're, when you're back in there and obviously Satan is alive and, and well, well, we got carp on the line now. So, um, what was the part that you wanted to, um, why don't we let, so carp, why don't you, why don't you give the listeners just a brief piece of your bio and then why don't you hit the trainings maybe in, uh, in, uh, you go low and your Lara.
Okay. Um, while I was a cop here in the States, uh, for 20 years and recently retired from that and spent 18 of those years on a, on a SWAT team, um, and just did some stuff through that. And then was involved with another ministry called tactical ministries where they, they go to, you know, central South America training, training police officers, um, and the gospel is a big part of that training with that, with that ministry and some really solid group of Christian guys.
So got into that. And when I was, when I retired, I was just really out of thankfulness, just, um, kind of offered myself up, you know, to the Lord where everyone had to send me and then met, uh, um, and my cohorts here, uh, through tactical ministries and, and then started going on some trips with them. So my part in that in this trip was, um, kind of the same thing, training these guys, um, along with, uh, um, with what you've already been, been told. Um, and then we went to these other, these other two border stations, uh, to help them with some work and just kind of see what they were doing and how things were, were run up there. Okay. Well, I hate to chime in, but I'm going to, uh, we got to go to a break. And of course, when we get back, we've got some more stories and updates on what Landon Rescue is doing in Africa.
So we'll be right back. Landon Rescue is a USA based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Landon 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. 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 Landon rescue.org to see how you can support them financially. Well, welcome back to Landon Rescue and, and I would just love to hear what God's doing around the world. And today, we are fresh out of Africa. And so we got TC and we've had Charlie on, and now we've got Karp. And so Karp, you guys were doing some training in some different areas. Uh, we, we did, we kind of had some guys, you know, back at our headquarters there to, to do the stuff that, that Charlie's already talked about. And then we went to some of the couple of the more remote border stations, um, that, that took some, took some hauling to get there.
You know, that's, uh, people, you know, if they're unaccustomed to that, I mean, you're talking about dirt roads and, you know, poor conditions, all that stuff. And, uh, and, um, so it took a lot of, to get where we were going. Um, one of the more remote border stations.
I mean, we didn't, we saw that corruption piece kind of rear tug. We had again, we're, um, we had a, a high ranking, uh, official, um, kind of kind of circle, uh, the wagons of these, some of these guys that are running motorcycle taxis and he circled a bunch of them up and said, you know, did, did a, uh, formal introduction of the counter human trafficking unit and said, today, these guys will be here. Um, so if you're coming across the border with anybody, they're going to stop you, you know, and kind of couch it in that, uh, Hey, I'm, I'm tooting my horn about what we're doing, but obviously that was a tip off for those guys. And word travels fast. They all have, um, you know, what's that groups and stuff, just like we do, uh, so I'm sure word traveled fast and we kind of saw the results of that word, where everything was, we saw a lot of traffic come across the border.
And after that, that conversation was added, it dried up for a little bit. Um, so that was, that was very, very frustrating. And then you kind of see just the same things on those outskirts of the borders where they're, they're stopping and making people, you know, pay an unofficial toll, uh, to go across and sometimes taking the things that they have for whatever reason.
And, um, so just, just very, very frustrating. But those guys that are, that are working, uh, the border on the counter human trafficking side, they're doing a stellar job of talking, uh, you know, stopping people and talking to them. And then they're not afraid to, uh, to get in the mix and do that. So that was very, very encouraging.
Yeah. And so what was your part of the training piece there? Um, I was just assisting, um, assistant Charlie with just some, some hands on stuff.
Obviously, obviously these guys don't have a lot of, um, you know, all the cool gadgetry that, that American police have, you know, there's no, a lot of the intermediate weapons that we think of, um, these guys don't have, it's just hands on, um, they they're unaccustomed to things like, um, like a baton or even how to do basic, you know, handcuffing, if they even have handcuffs, um, and how to transport prisoners and all that, all that sort of thing. So just kind of helping them out with a hands on piece about how to work with a partner. You know, if it's one thing to, uh, to try and control somebody on your own, but it's another thing when you're trying to control somebody with a partner and making sure you guys are working together and to accomplish the same goal. So, um, again, just kind of a support function to help those, those guys, um, you know, police their own and work their own country and they do have a love for that and a desire for that.
Yeah. That's great that, that, you know, what God has provided and in those countries and just an amazing team that really have a passion, you know, for what they're doing, uh, and that God, it's encouraging to see those guys, you know what I mean? Where you see at every level of the gospel is, is, and I don't know if TC touched on this already, but at every level of the gospel is, is capable of solving the problem.
You know, corrupt cops trafficking, the traffickers, the victims, the people that are, that are buying the fuel to be in traffic. I mean, at every level, the gospel just has such a, such an impact to stop that stuff. And so did you actually get a chance to see that kind of going forth and what you guys were witnessing with these guys?
We, we did. I mean, and, and while we're doing the training, I mean, there's a lot that, that goes into that. When we talk to them about their calling, uh, even in that law enforcement aspect, when you look at Romans 13, one, you know, the powers of be ordained of God and talk about, you know, the calling that they have of God. And if God has called you to do a particular job and has given you authority and placed in a position of authority that makes you accountable then. And so what kind of man or what kind of officer should you be if the God of all creation has called you to that?
Yeah. You know, that, that puts a big burden on people to, to make sure they, they do what they do. And so on the corruption side, when you see that, that level of corruption, those guys, again, it's a different King, different kingdom. They're just, they're, they're acting according to the kingdom that they're in and the only way to combat that effectively, I think is just through the gospel. Oh, that's amazing.
And beautiful, wonderful stuff. So TC, I guess you're seeing the same thing, right? Yeah. And so in this particular instance, we were in a station called Egolo and it was probably an hour and a half North. Carpentier actually, so they split the team in two Charlie and another were where this corrupt guy was and Carpentier were on the other side as the border kind of winds around you know, the police station there. And so on our side, again, many stops, we even had a little guy who wasn't much bigger than a two liter water bottle.
So we had him for a while, kind of cleaned them up and gave him some water and waited for his folks to get themselves squared away. But you know, the team that we work with are so good at their jobs and they know exactly what they're supposed to do. And basically they're almost like, they're almost like privatized law enforcement.
They're actually in a position where the police have empowered them and civilians to make arrests and stops and transports them. So like Karp said, you know, they are all over it. They are, believe me, they are so dedicated to the task. Like they are maniacal almost. They just, they really just never stop, you know? So I would say out of the 52, 52 weeks of the year that they could operate, they operate 52 weeks.
I don't, I don't think they take many days off. So. Yeah. And it's, you know, for those of you may have missed previous episodes, some of these folks have actually lost family members to trafficking. And so, you know, God's given them a particular burden, right? For, for what they're doing, right TC?
Yes, sir. And I would say, you know, just to close out, I know we're running low on time. I had three different, very, very different types of stops that they've made just in the last week, just in one week's time.
Now the ones, the ones pretty heavy, maybe for radio. So I will forego it and you can advise, but one of the ones is, um, almost exactly a week ago, they, they caught a woman who had four different kids from four different places. And she had, she had abducted these kids, one, one girl, three boys.
And I would say they were all 15 or under at the most 15. And she was taking them across the border to do Hawking. If you understand what that is in a lot of these countries, you'll see kids on the side of the road with all kinds of things for sale from iPhone cords and sunglasses, the bread, whatever. And they will stand out, all the back and forth, back and forth through the traffic, Hawking their wares and all of that money, all of the money they make goes to a trafficker.
And she had abducted all four of these kids to go and do that for God knows how long, you know, that, that, that labor trafficking is, I think it's at least 40% of all African human trafficking, labor trafficking. Um, so that would be one form of that. Um, and the other one, Robbie, I don't know, I guess if you want me, I can put it out. And if you need to, I don't know, edit it, you can edit it. Do you want to go with that?
Yeah, we actually have like five more minutes. So, um, yeah. So this one, this one is, I will try to say it in the most, the most benign terms with this particular case is the worst possible kind of kind of case. So two days ago, um, the team there that we had trained, um, arrested with the police, they arrested, uh, a, a rapist. Okay.
And the reason that he was arrested was because the community had gotten the hold of the police and our partners because his victim died as a result of his actions. Okay. She was 12. No. Yeah. So she was, she literally died as a direct result of his continued actions. And, um, so our team was a part of that arrest and transport and taking him back to the authorities where he is going to stand trial and they're actually seeking the death penalty already.
Um, the, the mother of the victim was there taken to the police and she was taken to the police station and, um, she was unable to, she was unable to pull herself together to be able to bring a coherent testimony at least with the initial try. And so I know that's super rough to hear. However, I don't, I guess I don't want anybody to think, you know, so often the team is able to interject these, these victims in that the, like with the lady, you know, they were able to stop those kids from ever being actually enslaved.
Right. You know, the trafficking piece is just the conduit between being coerced and being enslaved. And so many times this team is able to do counter trafficking, but sometimes they are actually trying to get people out of slavery in this particular case.
Um, you know, you know, the, the training, the safety part of the training, the carp and the Charlie and I have a teammate, you know, was able to give them the direct result of this guy going to jail. And so we don't want to lose sight of the fact of how horrible this stuff is. Nor do we, as a team, want to lose sight of the fact that what we do matters, you know, as your listeners, as they support lanterns are a part of justice, you know, many, many thousands of miles away. So I, you know, we've talked about that before, Robbie, and I can't overemphasize the fact that it takes all of us to fight a problem this day.
Yeah. I heard Mark, um, actually speaking to church recently and he talked about prayer and specifically he said, you know, does Satan tremble when you pray? Um, especially if you're praying for places like Africa, where actually I know he was going to Washington, DC to help, you know, fight the, the, um, child sacrificing practices that are going over, you know, that's part of what you guys are doing as you protect these borders. But as we pray for you guys that, that we literally can pray that governments will engage in what God gave them the right to do, which protect their citizens and become those people.
Like, you know, you guys were talking about in the book of Romans that, that, you know, that's what the governments would be and, and, and, and claim those things for the kingdom. And so as you pray and support a lantern financially, it's, it's amazing what God is doing around the world, TC. You get to see it in so many beautiful ways, right? Amen. And I would say this, I would, I would add one more prayer burden to the, to the folks listening. Karp and I have seen this so many places.
I don't know how many countries we've been to Karp, probably three or four at least, but in every one of them, in every one of them, corruption is a serious problem. Everyone. And we, I would just ask for the prayer, that the gospel and as we go as God's, you know, ambassadors that, that the light just as much as possible, beats back that corruption piece. Wow. That's powerful.
Absolutely. And again, we're so grateful for all of you who has supported lantern. And, and we've got a special push going on right now as, as the Lord has blessed us with all sorts of matching gifts. And so, you know, you can kind of double what it is that you can do for the kingdom right now by giving to lantern.
And we want to make sure to, you know, send you to lantern.org to get, to get hooked up with both ways to pray or if the Lord puts you on your heart to support him in some other way, of course you get all their contact information is there at lantern.org. Wow. Thank you so much, Karp. Thank you so much, TC. What a, what a amazing thing God is doing out there with you guys. Thanks, Robert.
Thanks for the opportunity, Bill. God speed. God speed. Yeah. God speed. Thank you. This is the truth network.
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