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Hi, guys. So thankful that you guys are able to join us. If this is your first time experiencing the Liberator series, this is kind of a one off series that Lantern is putting together. And really, it's just been a great opportunity to really speak with our operators and just learn about some of those stories of liberation that they've experienced firsthand. So if this is your first time joining us in on the Liberator series, welcome. We're excited to have you. And today we've got Alan with us.
Alan has been with the task force for, gosh, since the beginning. So the stories are many, I have no doubt. But Alan, I know that there always has to be just some story that really kind of sticks with you over the years. And we're excited to hear about that today and how, you know, liberation has occurred in that situation. And I'm going to let you take the floor because you've had all the good stuff. Well, I don't know if I call it good stuff, but it's definitely a story.
So anyway, I'll just dive right into it. We were doing an operation over in the Caribbean area. And during this operation, it's actually two parts.
It's two different aspects of what victim rescue or liberation can possibly look like. So the first one was we were doing operations in clubs and brothels and all kinds of stuff like that. But we wound up getting to this one club. And I think it may have been the last club for the evening that we were doing an operation in.
And we, during the previous operations that evening, we were actually experiencing a lot of outside protests, I guess you would say, in a word, of people that would gather around the area we're at and impede our exiting of the facility or the police. Anyway, we were inside and my hearing is not all that great anyway. And we were wearing communications or radios.
And I was getting radio calls saying we have a large crowd gathering outside and it's getting kind of hot and all that. But I couldn't hear all that. So as I exited the building, right before I exited, there was a girl in the far corner and I directed part of the team to go ahead and check it out and see if she was actually a victim at that point. And so anyway, she was. She was in her mid to late teens. And as they're pranking her out, I led the way coming out of the building right into this pretty volatile crowd.
And it kind of caught me off guard. But the girl that we, the last girl we just processed out of the building, she was very agitated and combative and frustrated that we were actually apprehending her and bringing her out of that environment. So as we're trying to progress through the crowd and get to the transport vehicle, one of the operators who happened to be a female was able to talk to this girl. And her whole demeanor changed once this girl talked to her. And at that time we were able to get everybody back in the vehicle and evacuated the area and got back to the police headquarters. So upon arriving at the police headquarters, this same girl that was very combative and unwilling to leave that environment was a whole different person. And the fact that she realized what had happened and she was taken from that traffic environment and brought into an environment that she would not be required to solicit herself.
And she would have a choice in how her life would go. So that's the first part of it. Can I ask you a question, a couple of questions along that? Because I think it's interesting, you know, for people that don't know what this world looks like. One, the angry mob of people outside, are those were those some of the perpetrators? And what kind of what sparks that? I'm sure that's not the only time you've experienced, you know, that that mob of people?
Is it a draw to what exactly is going on here? Or, you know, what do you what does that typically look like? Yeah, there's a mixed bag, really, you have people that are in that crowd that obviously are wanting to have part of the exploitation of these individuals.
I don't know how to put it. They're looking to take advantage of the situation and those individuals inside the bar, or the brothel or whatever it may be. So you have those people, then you have the local people that don't necessarily like law enforcement in some of these countries we're in. So actively protesting against what they perceive as, you know, police action that is an unmorted in that area.
So you have those. And then you actually probably have some of the owners or co owners of these facilities, and their families and relatives outside that don't want their establishments to be graded in money or proceeds taken from them, you know, so you probably have all that mixed bag in there. You just don't know what you're really dealing with. And sometimes it's, you know, gangs themselves that run these establishments, so you could have gang members out there.
So it's kind of a mix. At best, you know, so that's kind of the people or crowds you run into usually in these places. Yeah, that makes sense to consider all of those things and why that would compile to just an absolute uproar outside, especially if, you know, in some of these facilities, obviously, if there are girls being sold, there are things like drugs going on and probably some sort of money laundering, you know, there's a lot of a lot of corruption that's probably also occurring in some of those establishments. So I'm sure they may not know what you're there for. They know there's plenty of things that you could be there for.
Correct. And keep in mind, you know, these places are not Disneyland environments. They're not the happy, friendly neighborhood. They're always within these crime infested, for lack of a better term, evil places in the world.
You know, that's probably the best way to put it. And evil surrounds these places. And when you bring people of light or liberators, I guess, into these areas, it's not usually welcome. That's a great point you make, because I know there's got to be many times where you feel coming into that situation, you feel the heaviness of just that presence of darkness, right?
Like, there are places we can go and travel. And, you know, it's funny, I've experienced in even cities in the US where you just you're walking around, and there's just this empty lull, you know, and it's, you can look at people and you just see that that lack of depth and hopelessness even. And so I'm sure that's the same feeling there. It's like this just spiritual, you know, heaviness that kind of preludes what you're about to go into. Yeah, I agree that, you know, the hardest battles are not of the flesh, you know, they're of the spirit.
And I guess, as we're saying, you know, the prayer I always have before I do any operation or intervention is, you know, may the fear of the Lord go before us and the love of the Lord go with us, you know, and I love that. Wow. I take a lot of faith in that.
And he has never led me astray in those situations. So. But anyway.
Yeah, sorry. But moving on. So you had that end of the spectrum with a girl who was combative, you know, whether she knew she was being trafficked, which I think she probably did deep within her heart.
But the resistance or unwillingness to come out of it, you know, so you have that. And then moving forward. So after that operation, we continue with other operations in a nearby country. And this time, we were actually just to be advisors and assess the actions of the team about local country in an operation they were going to conduct if they'd already done the intelligence gathering on this operation involves a mother who was soliciting her daughter, and started out with an exam or pictures being taken of the underage child who was probably somewhere between the ages six and eight. Anyway, we got to see some of the evidence prior to the operation, and some of the pictures depicted an individual, an adult male individual, you can see his face, but you can see his hands and stuff like that.
And there's some distinctive markings on his hands that kind of put away my mind. You know, but so we did a briefing of all these teams and it was a large team, probably 30 officers, maybe 10 were the officers making the entry and 10 were perimeter guys and 10 were social service workers, I guess, for lack of a better term. And we went from the briefing area to about an hour and a half away from the police headquarters where the victim was being trafficked, which was her home. And it was probably about four in the morning when we left and we got there probably around 630 in the morning, they cornered off cornered off the area surrounding our house, and the team stacked up and I kind of got in the stack with them but in the further back of it just to oversee everything, and made entry into the house, and no resistance, it was pretty calm early morning, the house was occupied by a young male who was, I believe, a nephew, grandmother and sister, and then two small girls, the one which was the victim, and then another one, which was younger than her about two years old, and that was the victim's sister. So during this intervention, the social workers come in and they have the children, there's some interviews being taken place and collection of evidence, and this young individual, male individual, the nephew was kind of acting different. So I pulled one of the lead investigators over and said, hey, you need to interview this guy and see what's up. You know, I scanned him and he didn't look like the individual in the pictures, any indications on his hands or anything.
He didn't match that description. I'm gonna pause you right there, because we do have to take a quick break. But the good thing is you've got everybody on the edge of their seats that's listening right now. And they're all wanting to know what happened next and who was this person, did you find them? So while we head into a break, those of you that are listening, if you have not visited Lantern Rescue's website, got to know a little bit more about what we do, please head over to lanternrescue.org. Learn a little bit about the different ways in which we operate and how we are building out our team in an incredible way.
And Alan, 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 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. 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. All right, guys, welcome back. If you're joining for the second half of this podcast or radio, I want to encourage you to definitely go back and listen to the very first part because it's absolutely incredible where we've led to at this point. Alan's with us today in our Liberator podcast. If you're not familiar with what the Liberator series is, it was sparked by a campaign that we're running, the Liberator campaign.
You can learn more about that at lanternrescue.org backslash liberator. But it's really a podcast that allows our operators to walk you guys into some of the stories where they have truly seen liberation occur and what that has meant. It hasn't always looked like, like what you might expect, you know, the first story we discussed that was an individual that was incredibly combative. And if you listen to Wren's story on the liberation series, she mentioned a very similar situation, but it's like when that light flickers and they get to see that they're walking out of a lifestyle that they were in into something hopeful.
That's where that liberation sparks. And so we are midway through a story, another story that Alan is sharing with us. And so Alan, I'm going to let you pick it up. You know, you had mentioned, you know, coming into this house where you knew there had been see some material child pornography is what most people are accustomed to hearing pictures that had been, you know, sent around and there's this whole investigation going on around this. So walk us back into that home.
Okay. So where I left off was the young individual in the house, which was a nephew acting a little odd and the investigator initiated an interview of him. And as the investigator was interviewing him, he was indicating that the house across the street should be of interest to the law enforcement, which was directly across the street from the victim's house. So they obtained a search warrant relatively quickly. Usually when we do operations overseas, there's a judge that actually goes with us, which is kind of weird in America because that doesn't really happen.
But over there, they are basically our warrant when we go to do any operation, the judge has us 40 to bless or deny any request that's put to him. So he granted the authorization to search this individual's house. And so in this case, I actually worked my way up to the front of the stack a little more and we made entry and there was an individual in there and a male mid to late 30s, maybe early 40s in that area. And as soon as they had him, I looked at his hands and he was obviously the guy that was depicted in the photos with the victim. And I was like, oh, we got the guy.
And law enforcement in foreign countries do a good job to the best of their abilities, but they don't always make some really good choices. So when they brought this individual out, they also brought a shotgun out and laid it on the table where they seated the individual at. And I was like, oh, maybe this is my opportunity. So I moved in and the guy was sitting right beside me. And there was a couple of police in front of me and around him. And I kept kind of inching my way towards him and trying to shove him towards the shotgun. So the wrong or right in my mind, if he went for it, that gave me the opportunity to have a little vengeance, which was obviously not in the cards because the police saw what I was trying to do. And they wound up handcuffing him and then moving the shotgun from the area. So the Lord intervened there.
It was not meant to be. So during that interview process in the ongoing investigation, they found all the material in this gentleman's house, the computer, and that led to later on identifying an individual in Spain and in America that was tied into this whatever you want to call it. So anyway, just to give the viewers an understanding, it's not a local thing, it's a worldwide thing when it comes to this kind of stuff. But anyway, so moving on from that, we come out, the individuals in handcuffs and we're putting them in the police vehicle to be transported to the jail. And as we're coming out, I saw the social workers bringing the young victim out and carrying her. While I was in the house with the victim prior to making entry into the perpetrator's house, I was able to see the victim and the social worker's interaction with him. And there was just a hollow look about the victim. She had no idea what was going on. She was in the house that she was raised in with the mother that was supposedly her caregiver and the one that was supposed to smother her with love, but she wasn't. She was exploiting her own child. But to kind of keep it in perspective, the girl didn't know she was being exploited. She just thought she was doing what her mother wanted her to do. So as they brought the victim out, we were putting the perpetrator in the car, I looked over and I saw the victim and the look in her eye had changed so much when she realized that she was being taken out of what she perceived to be a loving motherly environment. But it wasn't to an environment where somebody actually did care about her and so that hope and that spark in her eye, you actually saw it ignite. So that is the other end of the spectrum where in the first part of this podcast, we talked about the girl was combative and all that.
This girl was completely complicit and compliant. She just didn't know, but the realization was still the same. Once they realized they're no longer being exploited or evil, grip upon them is released, that light and that hope is something you can't really put into words. So that's the reward of individuals like me as an operator going out there and doing all that stuff in harm's way and all that kind of stuff. It all makes it worth it when you actually see that the love of Christ working through us and being manifest in those that we liberate. That's probably the most valuable and worldly best reward you could ever have.
Absolutely. To see that hope brought back, that's incredible. I can't imagine what it makes you feel like in those moments. Because I'm sure in the fast pace of those things occurring and those cases coming to a close right in that moment, to see that, it just kind of reassures you that you're here for the right thing and you're serving the Lord. You're bringing the Lord to these situations in a way that is going to impact that child forever. I think it's so interesting, like you said, that that particular child was complacent in what was going on, but could still acknowledge and recognize that something wasn't right. That just makes my heart hurt thinking about being ill. Yeah, and I know there's different people in the world and God has given us all different talents and abilities to serve Him. And usually as an individual who's an operator, those talents and stuff that He's blessed us with, you utilize those and you do your job without really, more often than not, emotion or anything like that.
You do what needs to be done, what needs to be done, and to be in that mindset and then have your eyes open to the reason why He's equipped you that way. And seeing that spark, that love light up, it's like, wow. So it's usually you don't get, at least I don't, I keep emotions out of the mix when I'm working, but I really couldn't once I saw that little girl come out. It was like, there's a flood of emotions came over me and I actually had to walk away because you don't want to see a grown man cry, but I must say, I did shed a few tears, but not sad tears.
I was like, wow. It's like hearing, well done, good in Jesus. I was just thinking those tears are out of the righteousness of the Lord being fulfilled in that moment. The goodness of the God we serve coming to fruition fully and being able to see it. So often we don't get to see some of the work the Lord does behind the scenes. We don't get to be present for it, but to see just His righteousness fulfilled in that place, in that moment. What an amazing thing to bear witness to. Like I said, that's all the reward guys like me need, which keeps us motivated and moving towards do sometimes what we really don't want to do, but we do it anyway because we're doing it.
I love it. I think that's, man, both of those stories are so incredibly powerful. I know our listeners don't often get those kind of deep dives into some of those scenarios and situations, but I do hope it sheds light on a couple of things. One is how paramount it is for these countries that we work alongside with to be actively pursuing when we're not there and when we are there. It's that constant need because this stuff is not stopping anytime soon. But how well we work together in those countries is powerful because there are people within those countries that desire so deeply for just a change and a shift in the atmosphere when it comes to the exploitation of individuals.
And so to come alongside, that's incredible. I also think it's important, your story about the shotgun, because so often we have people that ask, well, or say, I just would want to, I don't know how you guys do it, right? Like, I don't know how you handled that situation. And, you know, there are times where it's hard, like you've got to find yourself in that moment. And there are things that you probably would love to do for that person to recognize, hey, what you did was wrong, right?
The handling of it in the flesh in the moment, you know? So I think it's a raw piece of being in those moments that our audience is welcomed into in this podcast. And so I'm thankful that you brought all of those pieces together, and then to see that true liberation occurring in both of those situations. And, you know, I think that's what we're here for. So I'm so thankful you joined us today.
And, you know, we know that the ultimate liberation obviously is in Christ. And so we look forward to hearing how the Lord continues to work in those stories and the stories to come, because we can trust His faithfulness and His goodness. So thank you for sharing all of that with us today, Alan. I really appreciate you jumping on and making time for this.
My pleasure. Hopefully, it just makes people more aware. Well, for our listeners, please continue to join us for this Liberator series. It has been eye opening for me even in the mix of it on the day to day.
I've got to experience and learn some of the things that I have not been able to hear before. So I know you guys are coming alongside and joining in to hear some interesting stories as well. And I hope that you're able to see how much we believe in just the power of the Lord to bring that hope and liberation to those in need and how thankful we are that He has chosen Lantern Rescue to usher in that light. So head on over to Lantern Rescue's website to learn more about us. We've got some great blog posts and stories of some different cases and situations that we have experienced over the last little bit. So get updated on that. If you're not already subscribed to our newsletter, be sure to send over your email. Subscribe to our newsletter to get those up to date every month occurrences, stories of what's going on in the different areas that we operate. Have a wonderful day, guys. And Alan, thank you again for joining us. This is the Truth Network.
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