– Operation Underground Railroad –
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Video Length: 55 min
In the past five years of existence, O.U.R. has rescued 2,078 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 1,173 traffickers around the world.
- Tim Ballard, CEO, author, law enforcement Founder/CEO of Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R. CEO of The Nazarene Fund
Tim Ballard organizes activities on the national and international level to stop child trafficking. Ballard’s work includes the development of software and internet investigations specifically to infiltrate file-share networks where traffickers exchange child pornography. Ballard has assisted in the training of many law enforcement officers in these procedures. He has also testified before the United States Congress and has recommended procedures and practices for rescuing children from trafficking rings. In the past four years of existence, O.U.R. has rescued 1,765 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 858 traffickers around the world
Well, thanks so much for having me. I am I'm fueling this talk on Red Bull. I'm gonna, I'm not gonna lie to you. I haven't slept.
I finally got eight hours.
It took me three days. But I got eight hours. So this is this is this is a tough topic. I know child trafficking, the slavery of human beings of children. And I'm just going to throw some stats out so you understand what we're talking about 30 million people and slave today.
6 million children by slavery by the way, Human trafficking is slavery. These are people who do not own their bodies. Their bodies are owned by somebody else and they use for
Sex for labor for organ harvesting. I'm heading this week out to the Middle East where we're running operations pulling kids out from from remnants of ISIS who've taken them.
There are 6 million children forced into one of those categories. There's 10,000 children every year forced into the United States forced into the commercial sex trade right here. So this is not a peripheral issue. It's a big problem. It's, it's horrendous. And I always fear standing before a crowd like this thinking, I'm going to bring the room down and all this happy energy and I'm just going to destroy it all by talking about something so dark. But the message I think is one of light and hope in the end, and that's what I hope to deliver. In fact,
I hope to even provide a clickable
lessons from that I have learned running operations undercover throughout the world that I think are applicable to anything
You're doing at home and your businesses in these in these real estate endeavors that you're learning about. And so I want to talk about this. And it's a particular principle that I've learned from my heroes. I'm going to talk about some of my heroes that I've learned working in these anti trafficking efforts.
And it's, it's it's the
it's to me It's a secret. It's almost a secret principle. That is the success to life but I feel like I've I've learned what it is. To help you understand. I'm going to take you back to 2006. I was working a case, you're going to see some real footage from this case. I was on the border of Calexico, California and Mexico Valley. And we identified an individual named Earl Buchanan, this American man who was kidnapping children and Mexico, smuggling them into the United States
and making child pornography out of his makeshift studio in San Bernardino, California.
a five year old boy
was rescued at the port of entry.
And from there, the case blew wide open. And we found 12 children in California who were being abused in this way. This guy had a house and a studio full of pornography and toys to kind of
lower these children to desensitize these children. It was one of the first cases that I had worked
that I saw the child that I recognized from the child porn that I was investigating, and it almost broke me. And at the end of that case, I was driving home.
48 hours hadn't slept. Red Bull hadn't been invented yet. And I was driving home. And where I lived in this little border town of El Centro, California, there's two off ramps. One off ramp would have taken me to where the little boy was recovering.
With a little boy was was we're looking for
me to take him and just he was healing the next offramp. Being the town is so small was my home where I would get up to go home and I played this little game with myself I said, If I get off to see the little boy I'm going to stay in this fight. If I skip the off ramp and take my home off ramp I'm done. I'm turning in my badge I'm going to go do something else because I was and that's the option I wanted. I didn't want to hurt anymore after seeing what I'd seen on this case I was just done
and I'm driving along and I'm thinking I'm going to skip that off ramp
and I hear this song A Peter Brian holds on you for those local Utah's you know about Peter Brian not. That's called lullaby. It's a song that that talks about a parent figure coming to the rescue to the nightmare of this child. And I felt it was almost providential in that moment. And I it was that song that made me turn off and I went to where I didn't want to go. I went to go see that little boy but something happened in that moment that was incomprehensible to me and
A few years later, right as I turned, I felt this wave of happiness. I felt optimism I felt hope I felt courage. I felt creativity about how I could investigate this case better about what's happening. What did I do by turning off that created
this? It was years later
when I found out what it was, and it's something that we can all tap into. And the person who taught it to me is a guy you probably heard of named Tony. Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins is a is one of the he is probably the single biggest donor to operation Underground Railroad. Tony even went undercover with us because he wanted to see firsthand what happens to victims of trafficking. How do you disguise a guy like Tony Robbins, though? So we had we actually brought that's him right there is I and that's me. So that's him and I about to meet traffickers. He was we kind of put him to
back a little bit. So he didn't have first hand but he, he was there he saw it.
So later on,
Tony came and he helps a lot of our aftercare centers and I watched Tony,
go into our aftercare centers. I was just taking him there to to to give him so much money that we had passed on. He couldn't help just throwing just thousands 10s of thousands of dollars. Everywhere. We went quietly, I want to help more, how can I help this and this, every place I took him. One of the places that we took him to was an orphanage in Haiti, where
I had two children that we were adopting,
that were there, and I was worried about them in this orphanage. The adoptions can take years. And he did something that I caught secretly, and I'm going to let him say what it was I was at his home not too long ago promoting my new book slave stealers. And he interviewed me
I'm going to run this video you can, this is me actually telling him that I caught him doing something and you can watch his reaction.
And if I can share this story
this thing happened. He didn't even know this had happened until six months later, I emailed you Christmas.
When you were with me, and we're, we were seeing those kids, it broke my heart. Because at this point, they're Mike. And I love them. Like, and imagine leaving your kids it's there now they're in a you know, they were in an orphanage. That was it was good. You know, it wasn't they weren't selling them, but it's still an orphanage in Haiti. Right. And, and I remember flying away every time just thinking, are they okay? like God, please take care of my kids. I don't know if they really have food if they really, you know, you don't know what they're telling you. And while we were there, something happened. I didn't tell you about so six months later, when I watched you.
He walked away with the director of the orphanage, and I just not you didn't know this, but I snuck around the other side. I was 20 minutes later, you know, just curious I probably should have done it but I just
I spy side. So I'm on the other side of the wall listening and falling to pieces.
Because you said to her
What does it cost to run this place?
And she gave you the the amount for the year. And you said, I'm going to fund this for two years. And I knew
I didn't know those kids at the time for me was my kids are gonna be okay, I'll have at least so I know they're good until I go. And I couldn't even talk to you about it because I know
so you you what you did for me and my wife in that moment and it took me six months to even be able to tell you that I didn't make the connection. I knew that either words explored the center but I didn't realize we've met somebody kids. I didn't realize at that point that those are the ones you're gonna adopt. My kids was climbing on your head. They're climbing Mount Tony
I think as I'm watching that, I think two of my head's would fit into his head. And anyone else get that like dead?
Like a different species.
So these are my two kids with with Tony. And I'm going to come back to that story in a second.
But the point I want to make is after the cameras went down, and I was talking to them, I said, What is why do you do this? I mean, why do you give you give so much and then you give more like, what is it? Because that's, that's kind of unusual. And he said, You know what, I'm going to tell you why.
Come into my office, we're going to close the door, and I'm going to tell you why, but I'm going to in order to explain why I do that. I need to give you his exact words. I need to give you a blessing in my office behind closed doors.
And I'm thinking about this. And my anyone seen the movie Shallow Hal, the elevator scene with jack black. I'm thinking I'm about to get the elevator scene with jack black
Okay, a blessing behind closed doors. If you haven't seen shower hell for a while, let me just show this clip for you. And you can see what's running through my mind. As Tony Robbins wants to have a blessing, I got one.
That's not exactly what happened. But he sits me down. He goes to this meditation, prayer kind of thing with me. But the whole point of it is to get me to think about giving service, giving gratitude service times that I served times that other served me. And all of a sudden, as I just thought about those moments in my life, I was filled with something that I recognized. It was the same thing I recognize when I had gotten off on the freeway off the off ramp to go visit this little boy. I felt optimism. I mean, I was in tears. I was just like floating. I feel like I want to go run a marathon from his house. I was like, What is this? I felt optimism. I felt courage.
Unity, these amazing things. So what is this? He says, Tim, it's a chemical reaction. It's a chemical when you give when you serve, your brain actually releases these amazing chemicals, oxytocin,
dopamine, and don't endorphins, serotonin. And it's what and if you're if you're a spiritual person like he is, he says, These are the chemicals God puts in your body that opens up the heavens that helps you to get past the physical and into the spiritual. So whether you believe that or not, the reaction the fruit of this is real.
So I wanted to do my own research on it and I found a brain specialist, one of the people that helps us rescue heal the brain of children who have been traumatized. His name is Tom Harrison, and this is what he says his research. The research is conclusive through ongoing acts of service charity.
Thoughts of kindness and gratitude, the brain releases a powerful cocktail of chemicals, which include oxytocin, endorphins, dopamine and others. These chemicals in turn produced in the recipient positive benefits, which produce higher levels of achievement, increased creativity, positivity, optimism, and unity. Why are these fruits so important? Because you can't teach these things
in your home to your children, in your businesses, to your employees, can you go to your employee and say, all right, be creative, you can say it be optimistic. Be a unifier be a team unity, you can say it all day long. But how do they How do I do it? How do I be creative? How do I just do this? You do it by creating the environment in which service is is prominent is paramount. you encourage your people, your family to serve others.
This is my Tony
Robbins always saying the secret to living is giving us is like life mantra. And that's why he gives so much because he'll tell you I receive way more than I give.
I get all these amazing fruits.
And as I learned this principle, I began to apply it more in my operations.
Let me give an example of a of an operation where this principle worked. For me. It was one of the very first operations we did at Oh, you are what happened
I had done a training as a government agent in Bogota, Colombia trained a bunch of Colombian agents on how to infiltrate child trafficking rings. And I was tired of the training that I've been doing the same check the box training that I've done so many times, I don't think anyone was listening. And so when the when the State Department minder left the room, I shut down the laptop and I said
We're not doing the training that I was supposed to do. We're going to do a real case, we're going to we're going to take three days and plan an operation and rescue children. So we decided I asked them where the kids being being hurt where the kids being trafficked. They said Cartagena, Colombia, why sad commentary on our country, because that's where the Americans come in on their cruise ships. Because the Americans, a United States is the number one consumer of child pornography and child sex in the world. So we are the clients. And so as such, they said, Tim, we need you to come under cover. We need you to bring a bunch of American guys who can play the role of the American sex tourist and infiltrate these these trafficking rings. I said, Yes, let's do it. I was saying yes to everything. I was writing checks that I had no authorization to write it. In essence.
I committed $100,000 of the US government resources and 10 agents for two months to do this operation. And as I got on a plane and flew home, I thought what have I done, I have zero authority to do this. And
My boss reminded me of that in a not nice conversation the next day when he asked me how things went. So I was stuck, what do I do? Another thing was happening in Haiti at the same time where I also made a promise that I shouldn't have made. And so those and I'll get to that in a second, but those things were weighing on me. And I decided the only way to fulfill my promise is to quit my job and go about it as a private entity where I don't have jurisdiction or limitations. And so we did the operation. Now, the reason I'm not a master at this principle, by the way, so but but in this case, it was interesting because I had no competing incentives. When I did this operation, it was only about service. I wasn't trying to you know, please my boss or look for a raise or look for cash award for my great work. I that wasn't an option for me. The only option I had once I quit my job and went in to help the Colombians was service.
And this was the case of all cases where I can
experienced the fruit of having that pure intent. Let me give an example. So I meet these traffickers. I go on the beach, I go on this little beach called body, the body Island, I sit on the beach and the Colombian cops which is acting like my tour guide, or my my taxi driver, and I just sit there with a sunglasses that have a camera in it. And within 20 minutes, I get approached by this guy named Franco. Okay, who offers me children 1112 years old. So fig introduced me to his boss, Eduardo. And now we're negotiating a sex party. He's gonna bring the 15 Kids he's Can he controls?
And I'm meeting with Eduardo. And usually I would have said that's enough. Now, these undercover meetings are very intense. I'm in Eduardo's house, he's got armed thugs all around. I have nothing. I have a I have a I'm wired. All I have is my voice and my and my verbal Judo, to keep me safe. Because if he finds out who I am, I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm in Columbia, in this little in this house, with all these arms.
The cops are there's cops undercover outside, but they don't travel as fast as bullets, unfortunately. So I that's the situation. So usually I'm not trying to like
when I've been any situations I don't usually try to It's hard enough just to keep that conversation going, get the deal done and get out of there. But instead I was filling these fruits of optimism and courage and creativity and I was able to expand my conversation with him because I thought I don't want to rescue just 15 kids, I want to rescue 100 kids but that would require Eduardo to bring his competitors into the game. And so I said to him, You know what, why don't I don't just want a sex party. I want to be a business partner you know how many pedophiles I have who will come down with me that we can we can cater to all bring all bring the guys you bring the products and I know that's horrible and it sounds horrible, but this is how we have to talk to these guys.
And let's do something. So it looks at me as I read I'll let you in on my on my business plan. You open
was up the books and explains to me that he's in the process of building a child sex hotel out on these on the bayou islands, which is about an hour boat ride out of off of Cortana.
And he says, I need a million dollars to finish the hotel. It'll look like a hotel to any pastor buys. But inside it's just kids and the Americans, you guys can come in. So great. I'll give you a million dollars, but 15 kids, that's not enough. Because that's like that's not productive enough. So I want at least 50.
And he says, well, then I'd have to call other people. I said the new Call of the people. And he did what I hope he called every traffic or all its competitors into the room, including this woman named Kelly Suarez. Miss Carter, Hannah 2012 beautiful woman who was famous in town, and she had a modeling school.
She used her modeling school
as a ploy to lower nine and 10 year old girls and boys.
Giving them scholarships to her school where she would take them and then desensitize them, give them for not give them porn, give them drugs, and then tell them that part of your job is to go into this room with this man, and do what you just saw in the videos.
So they all got together and we ended up doing this deal. The day of the operation were on the island near the property where we're going to build a hotel, and they brought 50 kids, for us to try the product to try out the product and make the initial deal. And again, we I can find myself in this crazy situation. Because what happens when we do operations, the aftercare site is the most important. The kids have somewhere to go, they need to have somewhere to go to heal.
And so when we when the cops raid and do the arrest, the aftercare specialist need to be right on their heels. So the kids know right away, you're not in trouble where you're good. We're the good guys. We're here to help you because they're confused. And we're doing this negotiation, everything's good the money's transferred and the
Colombian cops feel like we got enough and they give the keyword because we're running live radio to the cops and the boats, the arrest team. And they say the key word which is Elizabeth glasses is bring out the wine. The cops were supposed to hear that and and then they come and within a minute, the arrest happens and we get out of there. So the deals done, we have nothing else to talk about. And he says bring up a wine
and the cops don't come.
And finally we get messages on our cell phones, we can't come the boat with the aftercare specialists broke down.
And we will not read them unless the specialists are there. Now you understand our predicament. Because these these, these traffickers are now saying, take the girls, you get the rooms you get taken them. And obviously we can't take them.
But if we don't take them what's going on.
And it was a scary, intense moment, but again, like never
like never before my life, I felt what I couldn't teach myself on my own creativity, courage, optimism, because this was an act of service. And so we had this idea. And we all it wasn't just me, my whole team who made the sacrifices as well. It's like, we all almost have the same idea the same time and just went with it. So what I did was I said, Okay, listen, we're going to split the revenue on this hotel. And,
you know, you might think it's none of my business how you six traffickers are going to split your 50%. But it is my business. Because if you're fighting amongst yourselves about who gets what, that's going to hurt us, because we know that you guys are together. And so I'd like to know how you're going to split
your 50% amongst each other. So it's going to be it's even all the way through. So that's not a good idea. Because Kelly Suarez is a lot more effective at this than you guys are. So I think Kelly, I'd feel more I feel more comfortable Kelly got 80% of your 50%
Can you guess what half
these guys then? Kelly goes? Yeah.
It's like yes. Like, what are you talking about? All of a sudden, these guys are at each other's throats. And they're fighting. I don't have to sit back and just watch for 20 minutes as they fight and say, I deserve this. I mean, they're about to go to blows with each other. They're still fighting as I see peripherally. The cop the speedboats coming in with the with the arrest team.
So it works. It worked. It worked. CBS News embedded with us on this operation. I have a three minute clip so you can actually watch the real thing go down.
This is the CBS Evening News with Scott.
Dozens of children were saved from slavery when agents rushed in to break up a sex trafficking room.
Last weekend, police broke up a major sex trafficking ring in Colombia, which has become a destination for tourists looking for sex with boys and girls. The police had help from an American who went undercover to rescue the children and the lanky Hondo met him.
Timbaland Ballard has one mission to track down child traffickers. Four months ago Colombian authorities asked him to investigate a tip that children were being sold their as sex slaves within a half hour. This individual walks up to me starts asking me what I'm here for what I want. And within minutes, he says, Well, I've got I've got kids as young as 11 years old. Ballard, a former Homeland Security agent. Now heads up operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit group that rescues traffic kids. After that first meeting, the Colombians asked him to put together a sting. No man will be in here only women operation underground
railroad spent months planning, renting this house, rigging it with hidden cameras to document the crime, coordinating with Colombian authorities and negotiating with the traffickers how they find these cages. They lower them. And by pretending to have a modeling agency, they target them at nine or 10 years old. And they were telling us that about by 11 they're ready for sex, they're ready to be sold. What is that like? Looking into that kind of person's eyes? It's horrifying. And this is why because I've got a smile in the face of evil. This is the table where we're going to do the negotiation less than 24 hours after the operatives land here. This is better traffickers arrived on the island. And the final deal the undercover team began.
54 boys and girls aged 11 to 18 were ushered in for what had been billed as a sex party. They were given candy and drinks and told to wait in this small room. This little living room boy, I remember he asked when we offered
If they could give him some cocaine or something that he said they usually give me something because I'm really scared. By the time the deal was done, the alleged traffickers were set to make $25,000.
That transaction was never completed.
25 Colombian special operatives, the party
arresting five suspects, four men and one former beauty queen.
All charged with child trafficking
victims 29 of whom are under 18 were evacuated, given medical exams and placed in a rehabilitation center where specialists are working to undo the damage right and forgotten the boat and we had to walk by the this room where the kids were and they put their hand up, and I touch their hand
see that there's liberation now. liberating
Child at a time. You know, CBS News, New York.
And we'll be right back.
Today we're is our first this is our first operation.
Today we're in 20 countries 22 States United States doing these kind of operations all around.
But this this this was that that very first one and in fact
I want to share something with you because I can't we can't distribute this online is there's no other way to see it except in private settings.
you know, after the dust settled, let me get to learn the stories of the individual kids. There's so much. There's so much more that happened here. We actually rescued 120 kids in total in three hours. You just seen a little piece of the story. I can't even get into whole thing how crazy it got. We were approached by 20th Century Fox several years ago to do a movie
feature film based on based on this story and based on the story, and I never thought that it would come to anything. But they they did it and they filmed this last this last summer. I think it comes out this December.
It's it stars Jim Caviezel. You know who Jim Caviezel is he plays Jesus in the Passion of the Christ and the Count of Monte Cristo.
Yeah, they had to hit a dye his hair, because he's got jet black hair and real life. And then that's Mira Sorvino Academy Award winners, she plays my wife. This is on the set. So this hasn't even been announced. Officially. They haven't put together a trailer but 20 Century Fox sent over some footage just so they can show me like hey, just so you know how it went. You know, here's you can get a feel for how the movies going to look and feel. And it's totally they said, Don't show anybody This is just for your eyes. And so I'm totally gonna violate like, I didn't say yes, I didn't agree to it. I just,
I just said I said Okay, understood.
Anyway, so I want to show you just so you can get an idea. And now that you know the story a little bit, you can kind of catch the scenes that you just saw the real scenes. Interestingly, I'm in the middle of the trial against Kelly Suarez, and he's going to be there traffickers is happening right now. So in the stars align strangely because I went to I went on set like once in Colombia twice, maybe.
But once in carta, and I went on the set to watch them film, and it happened to line up with me when I needed to testify in the trial. So I'm literally watching this woman who looks just like Kelly Suarez and replaying the holy event through this filming, and then driving an hour from there to the courtroom, and actually testifying and it was very surreal experience. But this is this is the sound of freedom. And just some various clips from that movie that which I think will come out later this year.
kid, you go back with his father right?
That make him feel
kind of good
God's children are not for sale.
I want to tell you about
one of my
other one of my great heroes who
taught me this principle. How service is so effective in turning
the lights on in the dark of
bringing optimism when they're when there is no hope.
The same principle that Tony Robbins taught me his name is guess no Marty.
Guess No. Marty is a man who I met many years ago and
was a lot of the reason that we started operation Underground Railroad, the first place. This man is a Haitian man.
He has several children, one of which was born here in Utah. His name was Gardy, US citizen, little guard. He was here for a time and then move back to Haiti and little guard he was kidnapped from the church,
where his father was an LDS Bishop in Port au Prince kidnapped by traffickers
Now this is something that happens often in a place like Haiti.
And when I learned about the case, I decided that I wanted to help him find a son. And
it was the other reason I left I couldn't do it as us agent. It wasn't a US case.
And the danger The interesting thing about this man is the first time I met him, this is his son. This is guarded take these pictures are taken just a few weeks before he was taken.
When you see this man's face, this is him always. He's smiling, he's happy. He's
had a light. And it was so unusual to me because I thought how do you have this light
when you're going through the worst hell imaginable.
And I wanted that light. I wanted to be like him.
When I first met him, he explained
To me that
when I asked him what was being done to find his son, he said,
he said nothing, except that I walked the streets of Port au Prince every night
hoping and praying that I'll hear my son cry.
He asked me, he said, he said, Do you have children? I said, Yes. He said, Could you sleep at night?
Knowing that one of your children's beds was empty?
And I said, No, I couldn't. I couldn't do that.
and he says, Well, I can't either. So that's why I spend
my nights walking, hoping. I promised him we would do everything we could to find his son. And so after we went from from Colombia, the second operation that we did as a foundation was to find this little boy and we found his captors we dug into the case for the police worked with us, and we figured out who did this to him.
It's a typical tactic that these traffickers use. In this case, they throw up a sign that says orphanage. And abandoned children, especially after the big earthquakes and hurricanes. There's abandoned children everywhere.
And decent people take them to the orphanage, because it says orphanage, but the traffickers, and they take those kids in with a smiling face, and they sell them on the black market.
And the Haitian police, and our foundation identified what that orphanage was where we thought it was. And so they asked us if we would go do a sting operation, go undercover.
And go into this place. And fine guardi and if they were selling kids, let them sell us kids.
So, as I tell the story, you're going to see the actual footage from our undercover cameras of doing this. So I went undercover, pretending to be a trafficker. within five minutes. The people at the orphanage are telling me these kids are for sale. There. $10,000. Pick whichever one you want. Here's how to evade a police. Here's how you get around.
The system blah, blah, blah, all these things and I'm just I can't believe it. I can't find Guardium looking around. There's 28 beautiful children. I don't know which one is guardi if he's there, but I do have this experience with this little boy
who walks up to me and
I pick him up and something tells me he's the one you have to buy in the sting operation. I didn't know why it shouldn't have mattered. I just had to buy anyone.
I find out a little bit later that his he has a little sister because this little girl as I'm holding this little boy this little girl is falling around with this scared look in her eyes. And it occurred to me what happened was I wanted her to go away. I'm holding this little boy looking for guardi pretending like I'm you know, doing my thing when my colleagues are keeping the traffickers busy and I don't want this kids to be following me.
So I give, I give
I give this little girl
Now these kids are on the verge of starvation.
And I give this little kid a candy bar. And
she does something that kids don't do.
Okay? Especially starving kids. She takes it without taking your eyes off the little boy and breaks the candy bar in half, and places the other half into the hands of a little boy. And I knew in that instant, their brother and sister
and I put him down and I grabbed her hand and he grabbed, she grabbed his hand once I put them down, and she was terrified. I realized what she's thinking how many Americans have come here and picked up a child and that child's gone forever, and she's not gonna let that happen to her little brother.
So I tell them both that who I am, that they're going to be together, and I'll make sure they stay together forever.
And she understood, she believed me and we did the operation. We ended up buying these kids and
at a hotel nearby,
exchange the money these are this is the actual deal we're making. Once the money was transferred, the police came in beautiful operation everyone arrested, we get arrested to to kind of keep our cover. That's me getting arrested.
And so it was a great operation. We took down the ring, except that as we process and identified all the kids, we realized that Gardy
was not there. Guard he had already been sold. And I had to go tell guess no, his father. That was difficult conversation I've ever had. I couldn't he was he was at a different hotel, waiting for the results, praying that his son would be found. I couldn't I kept calling a cell phone. It wasn't working for whatever reason. So I went in person went to the hotel, I walked in, he saw me I saw him and no words were necessary. He could tell by the look on my eyes and he just broke down and I wrote down.
His son wasn't there.
I eat out the words. We did. Get
28 but your son was in there. And it was just horrible. But it only lasted for about 20 seconds, this moment of emotion with him. And then he pops his head up and he puts that classic light back on his face. And he's smiling. He says, Stop,
You don't have to be sad about this. I said, What are you talking about? He says, Tim 28 kids were rescued. I said, Yeah, I'm worried about the one that wasn't. He said, you're missing the point.
These 28 kids wouldn't have been rescued.
If my son hadn't been kidnapped, because you wouldn't have been you guys wouldn't have come. And then he said maybe the most profound thing anyone's ever said to me. He said,
If I have to give up my son
so that these 28 kids can be rescued.
That is a burden I'm willing to bear.
And then to prove he believed that it meant that the next day he went to the police, and he told them if you can't find the
Parents of these 28 children,
I will bring them home.
These children rescued in the name of my son, I will be their father, and my wife will be their mother.
And in a place like Haiti, where resources are scarce, the police took him up on that offer.
And eight of those kids went home that very day
And by the way, he didn't know how he was going to finance that the lives of these kids. He didn't know that we were going to be able to come in and and take care of them financially. He just did it. It was irrational service. That's the term I've given it irrational service, and it's beautiful. But the more important lesson for me was, oh my gosh, it's the Tony Robbins principle. This guy is in hell. His baby's been taken and by the way, two weeks after his son was taken, he's looking for his son and the earthquake hits and kills his mother kills his sister kills his brother and his best friend
All while he's looking for his son,
just to make matters even worse,
he was in hell, he couldn't be in a lower place. And then I discovered why it was that notwithstanding that darkness that surrounded him, he had light.
I knew I had light
because service turns the lights on.
Service creates the reactions, physical and spiritual,
that allow him
to have courage, to be optimistic, to be creative.
And then I learned this lesson yet again, same lesson. I just told you the heroic actions of this little girl, my daughter.
Their names are Coleen Coleen. They actually
It took us several years you heard me refer to them if Tony, but they just came home last March. It's almost been a year since they've been home. And it's it's been an amazing blessing.
But I want to tell you about this little girl because she was also in a dark place. Imagine a two year old child, the two year old, being thrust into a situation where the only adult in her life we're trying to sell her. And she has a little brother who's one. That's where they started their journey. Their parents were killed in the earthquake.
And some kind person thought they were doing good by taking them to the local orphanage.
mean look a little there. This this is this is the day of the operation.
This is when she gave them the candy bar.
She's not only his sister, she is his mother. How can she do that?
Well, let me tell you how she did it. The candy bars a hint what she did there. Now that they're in a good orphanage,
I would go see them often.
One time I went to go see them and
she comes to me and it's so funny these kids are so funny the first time I saw them after the operation they ran to me and and they would throw their hands in the air and say pop up blank, Papa blank. That means white Danny
that's that was just what they threw out threw at me. I was like what
I told I call my wife and I said I don't think that our kids are exactly politically correct.
We it took it took some time after they were home they kept coming blah blah blah because in case you gotta stop, I'm just daddy now okay.
So she comes to me Papa Blanca Blanca want to visit them and the orphanage shortly after the operation was down and they're in a good place now and she comes into my backpack and she takes out a box of protein bars.
she takes those protein bars and runs them into the house.
runs them into the to the
orphanage house and the director of aftercare who's with me says to me, I think that
I think that your
that your daughter is gonna she's a hoarder, I think, you know,
and I said, What's that? She says, Well, you know, when kids that go through a time in their lives when they didn't know when they were going to eat, even when there's an abundance of food, they'll hoard food, just in case. So she comes out shows me the box is empty. And she's kind of smiling about it. I'm like, that's interesting. So I grabbed her hand and say, Show me where the chocolate is. And I'm thinking I'm going to find, you know, this maggot infested nest of food with fresh protein bars poking out the side. But that's not what she took me to see. She ran me upstairs, she opened the door and I see this beautiful sight, but eight little children, about six, seven years old, who were doing school work and now knowing on what they think the chocolate bar in their fridge, they can't figure out why they can't bite into it because you and I know it's not actually a chocolate bar
One little boy was crying. He didn't have a chocolate bar. And Colleen says to me, Papa blonde, please go buy one more. I didn't have enough for him. Just give me one more. And I honed in on the one more because she didn't have one I looked at her hands what's in her pocket? I looked at the box counted the number compared to how many kids had bars she did not care for herself. She did not take you know kids are going to take their first and then maybe share right? Opposite with her. Six months later, I give Christmas we come down Bring Christmas presents for all the the orphaned children.
Same thing she takes all the Presidents doesn't take any for herself. It gives them all away.
And I thought she might do that. So I brought a duffel bag of toys just for her. I said, Listen, these are By the way, the little boy my son keeps all his stuff. Okay.
But there's a reason because he was the one that was being protected. He didn't
have to learn the lesson that she needed to learn
to protect him.
So, I bring the duffel bag and say cooling, these are just for you, you have to keep these. And she says okay, and she's looking through them. She's looking at me looking at the kids who all have toys. And I do this little thing that parents you know, we parents do I look away like I'm distracted to see what she'll do. And sure enough, when she thought I was sufficiently distracted, she's dragged that bag into the house, and proceeded to give every one of her toys out to the kids again, the kids that already had toys, and then she sits back and just smiles.
And I hit me again, the same lesson. This little girl needed to learn how to get out of hell. And she need to make sure her her little her little brother never felt the effects of it.
And so she served.
Service became her survival mechanism. Now she couldn't stand here.
And even articulate to you with words what it was she was doing.
But she knew it worked. And so she did it. If I serve, if I serve two years old, three years old, four years old, she's doing this. If I serve others put others first something happens to me. Something happens to my brain. Again, she couldn't articulate this but she knew it was happening. Something's opening up a lights coming in.
And she used that technique
to save her little brother
others came to pull them out.
Again, what a lesson for us I want to show you a video. You might have heard of a singing group called Gentry here from Utah and Madeline page of the voice. They came to me a couple years ago and they said I want to do we want to do a music video for you. It's a great, they said give us your footage and we'll just do it great. We give them all if we film all of our operations. We do dozens and dozens of operations around the world.
We didn't give them direction. Am I saw the final product I was just shocked I was stunned. They had even unbeknownst to them told the story I just told you you're going to see my kids their rescue. You're going to see guess no. And even more poignant Lee they the songs they chose two songs you recognize both. One is someone in darkness pleading for help.
And then the other song talks about the light.
And I think of guests know Marty, think of Colleen my daughter.
And think of how we now know how we can get fat light.
They're being sold
I want to suggest,
because I see your reaction to the story into this and I want to suggest that we might be proving this model right now right here the Tony Robbins model the secret to living
is giving and this is why because I've done this presentation so many times and I know your thoughts right now. Some of you are saying and thinking right now I want to go undercover. I will go undercover right now and I'll pull those kids out. You're thinking it that that's irrational, it's almost as irrational
for you to have those thoughts as it was for guest MRT to take eight children into his home.
But the reason you're feeling this is because you're experiencing
stories of heroes like Colleen heroes, like yes, no Marty.
And I would argue that you are having a shot of this reaction is beautiful reaction. You're you're feeling that the oxytocin and serotonin come into your system. You're feeling light.
Even though it's so irrational that we would put you under cover without knowing what to do.
But it proves the model
You can access it anytime.
By creating an environment of service and I'm not talking about just serving the cause of, of our foundation or even this cause I'm trafficking any cause. serve people make it a part of your of your professional environment, your family environment, focus on service. And watch what happens. Watch your creativity, your unity with those you love and work with your optimism, your courage, watch it go through the roof, and then watch the amazing results
Thanks so much for having me. Come God bless you.