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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. Oh, we have an update for you today on Lantern Rescue. The events of this last week, especially in Turkey, are absolutely heartbreaking, and it often amazes me, Wren, how you guys always seem to be there with people with boots on the ground, and that's what's going on in Turkey right now, right? Yeah, it is, and we're really blessed to have such a reach and so many people that are willing to help out in crisis like this and in situations like this, and I know we specifically talk about a couple few countries usually on the podcast, but we do have a presence in about 20 countries, although we had people that were in the right place at the right time to be able to assist in this crisis that's going on. Right, and so this is the crisis and conflict team, right, that we're talking about today, right?
That's right, yes, we are. And so we have with us actually Kay John is back with us and John Wesley, and so Kay John, where are you right now and tell me what's going on. Well, I am here sitting in the comfort of my hometown, but really my heart is not here. My heart goes with those people who have faced this tragedy, who have rather lost their loved ones or lost all the possessions they have or they ever had till this moment. So I am physically here, but really my just my mind, my whole like kind of like I'm just it's a tragedy beyond any human expression that we can comprehend.
Last time there was a tragedy and anything close to this was I think 1939 when there was death toll was about 17,000 and now together in Syria and Turkey, more than 22,000 people have lost lives and then the loss of property is beyond any imagination. So we have people, our field workers who are physically there, our team is there, and they have already started the distribution process, distributing aid, bus needed items like blankets, jackets, space heaters, which are basically one of the most needed items, water and some snacks. We are focusing even on hospitals. We have been requested by a big hospital in Adana that they need water and snacks for children. This hospital focuses and specializes in child care and they are asking and our team has already delivered first batch of water and snacks. And we're gonna basically we have come up with a goal to supply water and snacks for children within that region in all the hospitals. So we are contacting other hospitals.
So that's where we are and it's certainly something that we cannot do at our own. We need more help. We need more volunteers. We need more resources.
We are still a very small part of all the rescue efforts being going on or taking place at this point. John is with me. Certainly we both have been working on this task because we are directly connected with the network there and he has some really great insights. So I will let him speak for a while now so we can share some thoughts.
So John, yeah, go ahead. Oh yeah. So I actually did visit Turkey as well not too long ago and something that struck me and just for people that maybe haven't had the chance to be there was I mean this is a really a wonderful culture, really friendly people.
They offer you tea and sweets and they're just very generous and loving people. But even something I noticed while I was there, a lot of the newer buildings that were going up, they were very rushed and they didn't have probably the construction that they should have. And you see that in these videos that we're watching. These buildings just, I mean, absolutely just collapsing like dominoes.
It's horrifying to see. And I think there's a lot of unique factors that have caused this enormous tragedy. I mean, you've got this major fault line. Of course, you've got a lot of these newer poorly made buildings.
It happened, from my understanding, it happened early Monday morning. So a lot of people were in their beds, in their homes, and the buildings just started collapsing. And then some of the aftershocks were almost as big as the original earthquake, causing more buildings to fall. And it is heartbreaking, but it's one thing you hear as an American, you hear the term earthquake. And if you have experienced earthquakes, you know maybe how frightening that is.
We tend to think of it in our terms. But this is probably not like any earthquake most people have ever experienced, just in the sheer number of devastation that's happening. You start seeing pictures and videos of people being pulled from the rubble, and just the sheer amount of rubble that's everywhere. It is absolutely heartbreaking, and there is an enormous need. In fact, I was talking to Kay John earlier about just the level of damage here. The death toll is already higher than the, he was saying the death toll is already higher than the war in Ukraine has caused.
I mean, this is just in a few hours. So I think I'm still wrapping my brain around just how enormous this tragedy is, and how much help is going to be needed, not just within these precious few days, but also in the upcoming weeks and months. So with the contacts that you actually have there, John, can you give us sort of a report of what the people on the ground there are telling you? Yeah, I mean Kay John will be able to expound on this a little bit as well, but one thing that he's seeing is there's an incredible response from the Turkish government. They've really pushed in, and you see police workers and emergency personnel just going in, and everybody's all hands on deck. So I know I'd read a few articles that there were some complaints about how the government was responding, but just from our contacts there, they actually seemed very impressed with that response. Kay John, how about you? What are the people there on the ground telling you?
Yes, I agree. I have first-hand reports that the response is unprecedented, especially given with the fact that it's not within the Western world or a country like Canada or America or European, like more developed European countries. The Turkish government is really on it, and for so many reasons, I don't want to get in politics.
This is our election year there, and we are celebrating 100-year celebrations, so there are a lot of factors playing in. But the problem here is that the tragedy itself is bigger than any response, so yes, the response is very well done or being very well done, but on the other hand, we see the need is even huge, greater than that response. So a lot of international players, international agencies, relief organizations, they need to come forward and start helping. There is need for blankets, and there is shortage of these materials.
We just found, we spent almost the past 24 hours to find resources and vendors for the second shipment of thick blankets, which can withstand against the below-zero, sub-zero temperatures and things like that. And then there are children, I mean there are these young children who have been separated from their families, who have lost their parents or parents who are devastated because they have lost their children. It's just so heartbreaking when we think about the tragedy. Yes, there is a lot of great work going on, but certainly we cannot replace, no matter how much good work we put in, in order to provide the aid, we cannot replace the human life. So the sorrow and the grief is there, but we see the big passion, there are volunteers. The point here is that, is that enough?
And my answer is no. There is greater need, everyone who is involved with all those relief efforts, they need to put in more resources, bring in more volunteers, and this is going to take months and perhaps years to rebuild and to help those people who are affected by this tragedy to resettle their lives. This is, as I said earlier, this is something unprecedented and I will again quote from my audience that this is like, think about that, I mean, by all means, the Ukraine war that is happening there is sad, it's very unfortunate, but more people lost lives in the matter of maybe minutes, not even hours, than the whole Ukraine war since it has started. So one of the reasons behind this podcast that we are doing is to let our audience and the world know that, yes, please, pray for these people and then I'm going to get here a little personal and forgive me for that, but I'm crying. I really, when first we started thinking about this crisis, personally, it was beyond my commission, within my role with Lantron, but then I can't hold myself back.
I talked with Mark and then we came up with a plan and then I kept saying, oh, we need to increase our budget because there is a greater need than do that and I'm going to ask to my audience, I mean, I certainly, they may not have the amount of information I have. I mean, I can visualize the loss, the damage, the grief, the sadness, the tragedy itself, and that is why my heart is burdened and I have wet eyes, but what I'm going to say to my audience today is, friends, let's think about this and at the least, let's pray for these people. Being Christian, I know that one of the greatest and strongest ways to show my faith is to show them the love of Christ by helping them, helping those people who are in need. And this tragedy is sad, but it gives us a great opportunity to show that love of Christ to these people. And I mean, if we cannot bear much, let's say that we're going to sacrifice something by not going to Chick-fil-A or McDonald's and just even fast for one meal and keeping $10, $15, $20, but do something which will make, I mean, when all together, all this will come, I mean, we can make big difference in so many hundreds of perhaps thousands of lives and we can come up with more resources to provide. And the amount of resources we are trying to deploy, we are not taking any, even all the people working there, the boots on the ground, I love that term, they are volunteers.
They are not expecting any payout or any big payday. They are just there even risking their own lives because of the aftershocks, but still they are there contributing toward this cause just because they have that passion. Yeah, and so again, if the Lord puts that on your heart as you're praying, we'd ask that you go to lanternrescue.org and of course donate, and we actually have a goal that hopefully, you know, this week for just turkey, we want to try to raise $25,000, as K. John pointed out, for water for these hospitals. Can you imagine water being that necessary and snacks for all these children that have been orphaned and are displaced from their parents? And so we got to go to a break, but when we come back, we'll have a lot more from John, K. John, and Wren.
So 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 nonprofit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated $150 billion in annual activity. Lantern Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery and facilitates holistic aftercare services.
They're gearing up for operations right now, and you can go to lanternrescue.org to see how you can support them financially. Welcome back to this update from Turkey and this tragedy that's going on. And Wren, this is really almost more than we can get our minds around, isn't it? Yeah, I mean, it's really crazy to try to think about the gravity of the situation. Most people nowadays have had someone in their life suddenly die. A couple of years ago, it's been almost two years now, someone very close to me very suddenly died young in their life, very unexpected.
And that's earth shattering, right? Like your whole world changes, but you can find solace in some familiar things. Like maybe you can go to your favorite coffee shop you went to with that person, or you can go to a grocery store maybe you went to.
Something minor that seems minor, but it's a comforting thing. You have these familiar places you can go. Can you imagine not just losing one person suddenly, but losing everyone you know and everything you know? So now, you know, when I went through my loss a couple years ago, I could talk to friends that also knew that person, and I had that. You don't have that. Everyone is gone. I could go to places we went to together to kind of mourn them and grieve that loss.
They don't have that in Turkey right now. All of that is gone. The buildings, the families, the homes, the friendships, it's all gone. People are truly on their own trying to process this crisis. And a lot of those are small children, and they have needs. Like they have nothing is such a foreign concept to most people. Most people think having nothing is so much different than it actually is. They think it's, you know, not having a car or something simple like that. For these people, they truly have nothing. They don't even have water to drink.
So it's just the gravity of that situation is so hard to wrap our minds around. Darrell Bock No, it is. And, Kay, Don, I'd love that it's Landon Rescue and that the, you know, with this aid, those people on the ground, they're praying. There's a lot of, that's actually Christian relief that only Christ can provide, right?
Dr. Anurag Bhatia Yes, absolutely. In fact, the first thing we talked about after we prayerfully taught, could jump in, and provide this aid and make these relief efforts. I talked with Tim and I said, folks, this opens up a big opportunity for us to share and show the love of Christ. We have people there who are, whose lives have been affected.
There are a lot of Christians out there. We have identified Christian groups in parks. They are temporarily sheltered there. They have all sorts of need for baby formula, for diapers, for all sorts of other stuff, adult incontinence items or other food items.
So we are, there are two things to remember that we are not dumping stuff which way people not benefit from. We basically assess the situation. Our field workers have been clearly advised and told that, hey, when you talk to those people, try to figure out what their needs are. And then even in some cases, take them to the grocery stores and help them to buy the stuff, if that is a possibility, or if not, then provide them what they really need. And with every provision, when you meet someone and during the evaluation process or the distribution process, ask them and pray for them. So no matter, believer or non-believer, I mean, this time of need, everyone's heart is knelt down and then they are open to prayers. In fact, prayer is the first thing they are asking for. And other people are really passionate to pray over them and to share Christ and Christ's love with them.
So that itself is a great, I mean, it's just so like a joyful thing to do. Darrell Bock Yeah. And John, tell me your thoughts.
John Dickerson Yeah, there's no doubt. There's something that I'm really finding is wonderful to be a part of. This is definitely a Christ-centered operation. You look at how not only are we, I mean, we're talking about neighborhoods and there's whole groups of people. We've got churches. I mean, the whole church has been devastated. Not just the church itself, but church members. And so we've got pastors that we're trying to connect with and help their church members. So some of it is just Christians trying to help other Christians. But then you also have so many other people, not unbelievers or people that are of a different faith that we're reaching out to and showing God's love. And it's not a simple thing.
It's a sacrificial thing. Team members that are there in the area, anyone from any organization or whatever, they're risking their lives. I know I heard a story about the last major earthquake. In Turkey, there's a journalist team. I think this was presented by the BBC News. But they had a journalist team that went into the area to try to report everything and an aftershock collapsed the hotel they were staying in.
And all of them were killed, from what I remember of the story. And so this is not a light activity. This is something that people are sacrificially giving of themselves, their time, their money, their effort, to show God's love. And what greater way can we show our love than to sacrificially give for others? And what greater need? We're literally talking about the people with no homes, parents with no children, children with no parents.
And as Kay John mentioned, we're not just grabbing a whole bunch of items and throwing them at a crowd. We're assessing needs and seeing, okay, here's a family that they need food. They have no food. They have blankets and things. Maybe they got from somewhere else, but they need this to survive.
And we're talking about just surviving in the upcoming week. And then maybe you have another family who found a child, and that child needs baby formulas. And now we're purchasing baby formulas so that that child can survive. And something that amazed me is our workers there, they're negotiating and finding the best price for things, not to be stingy, but so that we can have more of it.
I know there's one case of blankets where they over halved the cost that we were going to have to pay to double the amount of blankets we were able to get and distribute. And I'm telling you, God is working. I'm excited to be a part of it.
I hate what's going on. I hate that there's so much pain and suffering. But it is through the pain and suffering that God is uniting people, and we are able to show Christ to Christians and to unbelievers. And I think there will be people that maybe even come to Christ because of this.
That is definitely my prayer. Darrell Bock And so, Kay John, there's a need for volunteers as well. Is that something that Landon can, for people that may want to do something? Kay John Well, yes, let me be clear on that. When I mentioned we need volunteers, yes, certainly. But we need those in those areas, the areas which have been affected within Turkey. So yes, we already have the team there, but more hands will be more helpful.
So if there is someone in our listeners today who is there, who has ability, or who knows someone there who is willing to help, they can contact us and I can put them in touch with our team leader there and then we can use those hands. By the way, I also wanted to ask our audience, let's do not forget Syria. This earthquake, as bad as it hit Turkey, the similar way it has affected Syria and Syrian people, and we are not operational there, but certainly our heart goes to those people. Our prayers goes to those people. This is a country we are talking about already been devastated with the war and all the conflict in the past more than a decade and now we have this earthquake and out of those 22,000 plus people who have lost lives, about 4,000 or close are the people on the Syrian side. So let's keep them in our prayers.
There are organizations who are operational there and trying to provide aid, so at the least we should not forget those people also when we pray for this tragedy. Darrell Bock Okay, John, I understand there is a particularly heart-wrenching story of a hospital that you know of. John Kieschnick Yeah, and from the reports we got, there was a hospital that had begun collapsing. Some of the patients got out, but this was a care center for operations, and so doctors and nurses, some doctors and nurses didn't make it, some of the patients didn't make it, but those that did and got out, many of them, one individual said they don't even remember pulling the IV out of their arm, they just remember being outside the building, and so you got people in hospital gowns, and imagine that for those of you that maybe have visited the hospital or visited family members in the hospital, it's not necessarily the most comfortable homey place, but still it's a place of recovery, you're there being taken care of, and so these people, they're already in pain, they're already struggling, and as rescue people came up, they came up on all these people standing outside, some of them in hospital gowns, and it's very cold in Turkey right now, and we're talking about sub-zero temperatures in the night, and these people have nothing, I mean no blankets, no food, and there's just a shock of what is happening, and it's not just in this one area, I mean this is something that's going to take months and years to even begin to recover from, so this is not something that we're going to be able to fix or solve overnight.
So Wren, you want to kind of wrap up? Yeah, sure, so like you said, this isn't something that's going to be fixed overnight, the earthquake is over, but you got to think of everything that's going on now, like these places are destroyed, families destroyed, people have absolutely nothing, so it's really hard to think about that, and to think about going to sleep and then waking up in the morning and everything just completely being gone that you've ever known is just insane. Right, so this is an opportunity, if God's putting it on your heart, you know, go please, please be praying, all of us, and go to lanternrescue.org and donate. Again, we're trying to raise, you know, $25,000 immediately to get, as we talk about water, blankets, you know, whatever these people need, and there's people on the ground there assessing those needs, and then again, you know, praying with these people. So we thank you all so much for listening to today's episode and would ask, again, that you would, you know, allow God to touch your heart with this and go into prayer for these families, for these people, for this devastation, and again, as God puts it on your heart, you know, we're trying to raise $25,000 as quickly as possible. lanternrescue.org. Thank you, guys.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-20 11:01:49 / 2023-02-20 11:11:49 / 10