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Caribbean Update w/ Ren

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
September 9, 2023 12:00 pm

Caribbean Update w/ Ren

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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September 9, 2023 12:00 pm

Today's episode features Ren and other members of the team bringing us some updates of operations in the Caribbean.

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

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

Learn more at https://lanternrescue.org

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This is Stu Epperson from the Truth Talk Podcast, connecting current events, pop culture, and theology, and we're so grateful for you that you've chosen the Truth Podcast Network. It's about to start in just a few seconds.

Enjoy it, and please share it around with all your friends. Thanks for listening, and thanks for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. 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, I know you're going to be glad that you tuned in today. On Lantern Rescue, we have live, actually from the Caribbean, we have Wren and we have Leo and we have Fernando with whole sorts of updates and things that are actually going on, right Wren?

Yeah, we do. We just finished up some work down here and we've had a really prosperous week that we've been down here getting a lot of stuff done, a lot of updates, and we're excited to share with everyone. Yeah, that is really exciting. And so really, Fernando, you've got kind of update on some folks that were rescued a little while ago and what's going on in the process in trying to get them restored.

Yes, first of all, thanks for having me again. Yeah, we did a rescue about a couple of months ago with minors. They were being groomed by the traffickers through Facebook. And, you know, they kind of brainwash and send some naked photos and some of them to the trafficker and then he used it against them and say that he's going to put a public show to their family members and everything if they don't do what he says.

So they used to dress up for their school, you know, the school uniform go to school, but they don't go to school. They go straight to where the trafficker is and he, you know, sexually exploits them. So we investigated, and we actually went to one of his parties and we saw about 30 something, let's say 35 minors there in the party, like literally like 1314 15 year old drinking smoking, and we decided to do a collaboration and throw a party at a rented. He I don't know how to say in English maybe vacation home a good like rich looking house, and he brought them along he brought nine nine of them, and we were able to rescue them and from that information we rescued in total 16, and they still others out there we haven't gotten to yet from that same network, but it was it was glorifying because they were actually crying and they wanted out but with with low income that they come from in a bad neighborhood. They also saw, you know, money being given to them. And so that actually, you know, help the traffic or more, you know, seduce them to do what they need.

They want them to do. Yeah, that's, that's unbelievable. Um, so, you know, my understanding is that they're the one of the young ladies has even got some stuff we could be praying for, right?

Yeah. So, on this trip here, we went up and we visited a aftercare facility that house, some of the girls that were part of this rescue. So it has just a handful of the girls because their capacity is fixed, they really individualized in their attention to the girls, and that's what they're at for capacity now. So not all the girls went to this facility, but one of the girls that did, she had contracted a lot of STDs while she was being trafficked, one of which was HPV, and it has progressed to a point that the doctors are not very helpful for her chances of survival. Now our aftercare specialist, she's doing everything she can. And we're going to be trying to provide as much as we can for her. But something that we do know for sure is that her choice, whether she wants to have children someday if she does survive. Her choice to have children or not has been taken from her by pedophiles that will never even know her name.

Wow. And I hate to be so ignorant, but I am and I imagine a few listeners don't know, what is ACD? HPV is human papillomavirus, and it is a form of what it can progress to is cervical cancer. So it is a sexually transmitted disease that can progress into cervical cancer.

So it is a way to get cancer essentially from someone else. Oh wow, that's so horrible. So we actually, kind of to tie in another case, we had a girl from an operation last year that is one of our survivors, she had contracted that as well. It seems to be kind of common with that level of abuse and, you know, that many sexual partners that are forced upon them. Obviously there's not protection.

So another survivor had contracted it as well. Now she was able to get medical attention and time and she is in, she's going to be fine, but she did have to have her uterus removed. So she won't be able to have any more children either. Wow, that is so sad. Is there a more specific way we can pray? Obviously we don't want to use her name, but I guess God knows.

Go ahead. Yeah, so no, God knows her name. We aren't going to share it publicly for her own protection. Like we said, all of the ones in this situation are minors. So it's just something to really think about is before she even turned 18, before she really knows what she wants to be in the world, establishes her life, she's already having these monumental decisions not only taken away from her, but her life might have been taken as well.

Oh, it's, it's unbelievable. But there are some good news too for some of the girls that you've had a chance to visit, right? Yeah, so some of the girls are doing well. And they're, the treatment, especially at the facility that we went to, the people there are just really incredible. And, you know, there's a lot of hope for them afterwards and, and to be very transparent, especially when traffickers get ahold of victims this young, they, what people think a rescue looks like isn't always what it's going to look like. So when, sometimes when you go in, you expect the girls to run over to you and you're the savior and they're so excited to see you.

And that's not always the case. Sometimes they're so brainwashed that they're combative and, and that was the case with some of the girls. Now they did get a lot of change and they got to progress quite a bit. And like Fernando said, a bunch of them did not want to be there and they ran to the guys and they, and they wanted out, but we, you know, there's a multitude of victims.

It's not as if you got her thing. So some of the girls are in different degrees of recovery, but we're really hopeful for, for what that's going to look like in the future for them. And they have, um, it is a faith-based aftercare as we always use. So they have said, know the Lord and you know, their recovery will be along those lines as well.

Yeah. You know, is, is, was pointed out in Exodus and interestingly, I don't know if you've ever heard the statistic, but they say that 80% of the Jews that were in Egypt refused to leave on the Exodus. That's to begin with. And then we know, although it didn't take but a couple of weeks to get them out of Egypt, it took 40 years to get Egypt out of them. And, and so was the case with slavery, right? And, and however that works for all of us, that, that, you know, for these girls, that process of coming out of that is really, um, a long arduous trip that takes a lot of time, right? Well, Fernando is actually going to speak on it.

Hang on. I actually dubbed that, uh, yes, I actually dubbed that the Exodus effect. Um, I seen it often in all age range of victims, you know, when the Jews were like, Oh, you took me out of there to suffer here. You know, so like when we do the rescue for them, it's like, we're taking them out from them being able to send money back to their family, Columbia or wherever.

So they kind of don't see us as saving them at all. You were like more of a hindrance that some of them, but I do call that the Exodus effect because like they still enslaved in their mind. And that's why in the Bible, you know, the older generation, God had a way, waited for them to like die off.

And then the new generation with the newer faith that doesn't know anything about Egypt, was not in Egypt, was able to go to the promised land. Yeah. It's, it's a process. There's no doubt about it. Um, and, and it's interesting, you know, when you read the, in Exodus six, there's the four cups of redemption, the first one, you know, being, I'm going to take you out of slavery.

And then the second one being, I'm going to get slavery out of you, but it takes the third cup, which is actually redemption, which does cause something to die. Right. Um, and it's either that old self, um, if, as we come to Christ and we've seen that with some, some young ladies too, right. Yeah, we absolutely have. And, you know, I know a lot of operators with our organization can say similar things is we've done raids where we've been kicked. We've been hit, um, by the, by the victim.

Um, just to be clear, um, I've been smooth, cussed out in languages that I don't know, uh, by victims and my translators won't tell me what they're saying. Um, but the next day and the days after, and as recovery goes on and you reconnect with them and you keep showing them that you're going to show up and that you haven't, no matter how combative they are, that we haven't given up on them. Um, that's really, really speaks to them and they start to move on in their process, but it is, it's not a straight line. It's ups and downs. It's, it's not linear progression always with, with the survivors and, you know, and every different part of the world, they're different, you know, and in East Asia, they're more submissive because the culture is more submissive.

Hispanic women are not submissive. So you're, you know, you're, you're encountering that as well. So they're, they're strong, but once the positive of that for their culture is because they are fighters when they realize that they have a future to fight for them, that fight shifts from against us to for themselves. And that's, that's the shift that we want to see. And that's always the hope for these survivors, you know?

Um, so we love to get to that point and we love to see that happen, but sometimes it takes a while and you're going to have some hurt feelings along the way. Yeah. Wow.

Yes. And, and so also we have Leo with us and Leo, you guys are down there, um, on actually another rescue mission, right? Um, no, that was our original intention, but a recent tropical storm down this way, uh, set the investigation back a bit, obviously for surveillance purposes. However, um, we are down here, um, and we made the most of it. Um, one of our active investigations, we furthered along by, um, doing some under with, um, Fernando and his team as well as, uh, some of our operators.

Okay. So, you know, and that brings up a really good point, Robbie. Um, so, you know, a lot of times we'll, we'll tell people about, we started an investigation, the investigations at this stage, and sometimes investigations are over in a week and we're doing the raid and it's happened. Sometimes it takes months, even years. And Fernando talked about earlier is they got 16, but we know that more are out there and that sometimes it's an unfortunate reality of this work is sometimes we're waiting forever to get all of them. And we're going to get done. So we just have to go when the time's right and get as many as we can.

And we don't stop looking for the rest. So kind of with this operation, the original intention was to come in and do an operation this weekend. And it didn't end up working out that way, but what did happen is we were able to interact with other operations and to further them along. And now we're hoping to have a couple operations ready at the same time and be able to, to execute those. Right.

And, and so you're, you're getting an opportunity to train as well. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. We were down here, we, we trained with SWAT team and we're pretty successful with that.

Just some general basic tactics for entry work and movements from house to house and whatnot. So nothing super crazy. But necessary. Right. And, and, you know, obviously this might be just, you know, God's going to save somebody's life because they learned some of the stuff that y'all are teaching them. Right.

Right. So, you know, what we do is we try to train as many people as we can, and these are the people that are going to be called out to raids. And while the tactics, it's not always a direct, you know, ABC equals a trafficking victim is in their arms. But what it does equal is those are the people that may be providing security or they might be going to a domestic violence call next week and they see signs of trafficking that we talked to them about. Or they do end up on a human trafficking raid and they are there and they're able to safely get them, their bodies and the victims out because they've learned these tactics and they're ready for, for whatever might come their way. There's all sorts of lives at stake. Well, we got to go to a break. When we come back, we got a lot more update from the Caribbean.

So stay tuned. 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 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 dollars 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 Lantern Rescue and this update from the Caribbean and always is, you know, as you guys listen to this show, think about who you might be sharing it with that might be with you.

Think about how you might be praying for the things that we're talking about. And again, we're just so grateful for you tuning in. And so, Fernando, you had some more you wanted to talk about of some of these young folks that were involved in this last rescue operation that you've had a chance to reconnect with.

Yes, more geared towards your American audience. First, the operation actually started when two of the victims escaped from a rich, closed community and the personnel that had them were Americans. So just to let you know that the Americans come down here and they feel like, you know, they do what they want to do. The second thing that I want your audience to understand as well that these girls actually go home at night. So not every victim is in chains. They go home and then they go to the traffickers. Like I said, they pretend they go to school, but they go to the traffickers. So sometimes like what we see on movies or television, it's a little fantasy, but, you know, some do exist that they are chains, but most of it is, you know, you need to look hard to know that that's a victim of trafficking. So just wanted to throw that in there in case, you know, someone wanted to understand a little more.

Yeah, that's really helpful. And so, you know, what encouraged you, Fernando, as you had a chance to meet with these young ladies that obviously you'd seen months before? What encouraged me to do what?

To do this job? Well, just that God was doing something, you know, obviously that you felt like there had been progress made, I guess. In the girls' lives.

Oh, yes, definitely. I mean, there's still a lot to still a lot to go. I mean, it's the their mental process is not it's not finished yet. I mean, hopefully, you know, you won't get probably successful success stories for all of them. But, you know, we're we're hopefully we'll get some success stories and someone gets to heal and go back to school because they miss so much, so much of school. I don't know if they go back, they're going to go down a grade because it's been going on for a while.

And they're out of the hands of the traffickers and into a better, better lifestyle for now. All right. So, Leo, did you have another update for us? I can talk a little bit more about the about the investigation and kind of some stuff involved in that. OK. So what Fernando is talking about is something that we started to pick up on in America called sex torsion and something that's becoming pretty popular where, you know, someone will meet a child online and they'll talk to them, befriend them. I mean, this is it's been the boogeyman of computer for a long time, but they change their tactics and they'll talk to these kids and they'll befriend them and they'll eventually solicit solicit nude images or partially nude images from the child and then use those images against them. I'll tell your parents. I'll tell this. I'll tell that.

I'll send it to all your friends in school. Your whole contact list on Snapchat, whatever threat they use. And that coerces the victim into more interactions. Now the trafficker is basically ordering certain images and saying that they want this or that. And that's kind of how this case, like Fernando said, started out and how these victims are brought into this trafficking ring. So they use the images and then it was you need to meet up.

This is what's going to happen next. And they progress into being victims of sex trafficking. And like you said, they were going home at night. You know, their parents were seeing them every day. They weren't missing children.

They were still in their communities. They're still in their in their home. So it's a lot to think about, especially if you have children. You could the threat isn't always outside. It's not something external. Sometimes it's in the phone. It's in your house. It's on the computer. It's right next to you if you don't realize it.

And they can be trafficked right out of their own home. And I want to apologize real quick. We are still in countries that we hear some background noises, some tropical birds and loud car horns.

I apologize for that. Yeah. And but that's part of the part I'm sure the audience is wondering about, like I am. So, you know, this particular country or this area that you're in, a lot of the world, actually, they're on Facebook and Snapchat and all that stuff as much as American kids, apparently. Yeah.

Yes. So social media is huge overseas as well. The Internet access, social media, the phone.

It's not an American specific thing. You know, kids over in other countries have phones in their hands as well. And they're getting on social media and creating their own profiles and contacting people that they don't know. Or, you know, those people are contacting them.

However, that pans out. And a lot of times they'll pretend to be someone that they're not. They'll pretend to be a child of their age group. And that's how they get in. And they build their trust.

You know, these innocent kids that are naive and trusting. And yeah. Wow.

It's it's it's a lot to take in that the whole world is infected with that particular virus is kind of so much to be praying about. There's no doubt about that. And so. Yeah.

Other updates? So, you know, we did a lot while we were down here. And one of the other things that we did is we met with, you know, like we always say, when we do operations, we always work with law enforcement. So that is their local SWAT team, those local police departments. But that's also going to be the prosecutors and the legal side of things, because when you're arresting the traffickers in legal systems, America's legal system isn't perfect.

Other countries aren't perfect either. You want to arrest the trafficker and fully prosecute the case. You want to see some sentences come out of this. You want to see punishment.

You want to see the traffickers off the streets. So we met with the prosecutors while we were down here and, you know, worked out some cases with them helps. They always help along the investigations. They're involved pretty much the whole way through investigations.

And then it culminates in the raids. So meeting with the prosecutors on here in the legal divisions and determining some training needs and some personnel needs that would benefit them and help to expand the programs down here and help more children and adult victims of sex trafficking and labor trafficking be reached by their their legal abilities and to actually have significant sentences that are going to hopefully start deterring these crimes in places like this. Yeah, which it just brought to my mind that, you know, wow, maybe you have a friend in the Caribbean somewhere and that you would need to share this podcast, because obviously a lot of what Land and Rescue does is just to educate folks on, you know, being proactive on this problem. And obviously there's a lot of families down there in, I guess, in Mexico or anywhere in South America and the Caribbean that all could greatly benefit from us sharing this podcast, right?

Yeah. And, you know, people that travel down here as well, because, you know, even if you're just traveling to the Caribbean for vacation, because like Fernando said, the people that were abusing these girls and that were running this ring, they were they were Americans. You know, there was Americans involved, there was locals involved as well, but there were Americans involved. And a lot of that does come from once people leave America, once they leave the country, they think that, you know, the next country's laws don't apply to them or America is going to come get you if you get wrapped up in some foreign prison. And, you know, that's not one, that's not always the case. And that definitely shouldn't be your exit strategy is, you know, that America is going to come get you or that because the people that you're abusing aren't Americans, that they don't have rights and that you can come down to other countries and do horrific crimes to children.

Yeah, it's unthinkable. This is Alan. Oh, it is great to hear your voice. I've missed you. I haven't seen you in a long time.

It's been a while. As in most areas we go to our countries, law enforcement is our primary point of contact and through our relationships with them is kind of the catalyst to to move us forward in the direction to combat human trafficking. Obviously, the law enforcement side is necessary. So the way we get in good or good relations with them is to bring things to the table that will help them do their everyday job and keep them safe. So with the experience we have coming into these countries and the diverse background, we have the military and law enforcement that we bring to bear, they get a lot of what they would never get in their everyday academy or duties as law enforcement in those countries we are at. So we bring them a different skill set that benefits them during their normal job and then it rolls right into assisting us with the anti trafficking side of the house. So a lot of words there, but basically we're helping them to better themselves and doing their everyday job. And they appreciate that so much that they want us to continue that relationship and then help us in the investigations and the actual interventions that are taking place because the trust is built that we know what we're doing and giving them the ability to know what they're doing to keep them safe.

Sure, sure. So, Alan, knowing what you know, how would you tell our listeners, what should they be praying for law enforcement down in the Caribbean? When you are in the forest, you know, so these people live in this country and so what is normal to them is not really normal, you know, so having us coming in and giving a different set of eyes for them to see through makes them aware. So as the listeners prayers for them to be more open minded or open eyed to see the realities that are going on around them, and it's not the norm that it's, you know, really evil or Satan at work, but he has a very good ability to blind those individuals from seeing that.

So the prayers, I guess, would be to help open the eyes of those embedded in those countries and in those cultures to see the evil for what it truly is. Wow, that's a great, that's a great, great prayer, Alan, as always, I'm so grateful for what you guys are doing, for what the doors of God has opened up with that, and we'll certainly be praying with you guys. Thank you so much for the update. Thank you, Wren. It's great to have you guys back. Well, it's good to be back, Bobby, and so not because of the work we have to do, but just to be in the words of guidance and direction, I guess. Yeah, me too, me too. Thank you, guys. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-07 11:20:24 / 2023-10-07 11:31:22 / 11

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