Roger Marsh: All throughout His ministry, Jesus challenged his followers to intentionally seek out and care for those in need. Thousands of years later, our culture is still hurting and filled with people who need real help. 21st century believers have no excuse but to minister to those in need around the world. This is Family Talk, a production of the James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Roger Marsh, along with your host, psychologist and bestselling author, Dr. James Dobson.
In just a moment, we'll continue Dr. Dobson's moving conversation that we started on yesterday's broadcast with Victor and Eileen Marx. Victor and Eileen are brave humanitarians and founders of All Things Possible Ministries. The Marx's will provide extensive relief to people trapped in the most dangerous places on the planet all throughout this year.
On our last broadcast, Victor and Eileen talked about their backgrounds and the specific missionary work they are doing overseas. Today, they'll describe the ministry opportunities that have opened up to them with the refugees in Mexico. Victor will also expound on his heart for wounded warriors and military personnel suffering with PTSD.
With that. Let's listen now to the conclusion of this insightful interview on this edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
Dr. Dobson: It's my understanding that you have three main projects at this time. Nora, which we heard about yesterday is one of them. What are the other two?
Victor Marx: Well, I'd say the lion and the lamb is our other initiative that we're seeing tremendous, not only growth but effectiveness. Because our organization, we want to make impact, but we're very much about outcomes. What is the impact going to do long-term, right? And these Lion & Lambs, we're now partnering with missionaries around the world who are saying-
Dr. Dobson: You're pointing at something, people can't see it. Tell us what you're holding there?
Victor Marx: So, this is a little lion that my wife actually, after our first time from Iraq, seeing tens of thousands of kids in camps, we were like, "Lord, what can we do to help these children."
Dr. Dobson: They had no toys, do they?
Victor Marx: No, no, and certainly nothing that would help them from being traumatized. So we've developed a fun little lion and a little lamb. It's very soft, soothing, so it's comforting. Kids love hugging them. The second thing is music that lowers anxiety that actually can bring a kid out of a panic attack, lowers anxiety-
Dr. Dobson: Where's the music?
Victor Marx: It's actually in the paw, when you press a paw, there's a battery that has music with prayers in their own language. We have multiple prayers that are all scriptural based. So a kid now is hugging a toy, sleeping with it, walking with it, playing with it, and they're hearing music that lowers their anxiety and then scripture, scriptural prayers. It is the way that we've been able to have the truth of God's word into thousands of tents, hearts, and lives in the darkest places from the Middle East into ISIS camps for ISIS children.
The next place we're going to is Juárez, Mexico, which everyone knows it's a high threat area, a lot of killing and death. But we're bringing hundreds, if not over a thousand of these lions and lambs into-
Dr. Dobson: How many of you given away?
Victor Marx: We're over 41,000 right now. They-
Dr. Dobson: So a child who has nothing.
Victor Marx: Yes.
Dr. Dobson: Absolutely. You referred to yesterday. The only thing they have to play with is dirt.
Victor Marx: A lot of times.
Dr. Dobson: And you come and you give them something to hold and hug and learn from.
Victor Marx: Right. And they'll line up. I mean, they'll line up until we don't have any more. And that's the hardest problem, not the security issues, not the threat. We deal with all that. It's we don't have enough to hand out. And we're going to the border and we'll cross over into Juárez and we'll be going into refugee camps on the border. See, we're not just complaining about the situation one way or another. We're trying to make an impact with outcomes that will actually help kids regardless of what happens.
Dr. Dobson: Mexico has become a horribly violent place, hasn't it?
Victor Marx: It has.
Dr. Dobson: I think of those, that Mormon family that was brutally murdered.
Victor Marx: It was horrible.
Dr. Dobson: You know anything about that?
Victor Marx: I do. And you know what? Mexico has been a hotspot for violence and, unbeknownst to a lot of people, at some places in the border crossing, there's 15% to 25% of those that cross are Arabic, from other places in the world, not just South America. This we know for sure.
Dr. Dobson: I've been down there and I can attest to that.
Victor Marx: Right. So-
Dr. Dobson: There were 125 different nationalities in one of the border crossings when I was down there had been, or there had been.
Victor Marx: That's-
Dr. Dobson: 125 nations, speaking 125 different languages.
Victor Marx: Right.
Dr. Dobson: Can you imagine what the border patrol is dealing with?
Victor Marx: It's been what they call the worst problem or crisis they've ever dealt with. And we've talked to people in Iraq and Syria about the border wall, that we need it, and this is what they say, "Build the wall. You absolutely need to secure your borders or else you'll end up like us."
Dr. Dobson: Who says that?
Victor Marx: Regular people in Iraq and Syria.
Dr. Dobson: Build a wall?
Victor Marx: I've got it on video where they're saying, and I've talked from generals to regular people just living in little huts to IDP refugees saying, "Build a wall because if you don't protect your country, look what will what happen. Look what happened to us in Iraq. ISIS flooded in. We couldn't stop them." So, I tell the American people, this is something that's really not negotiable. We have to be able to control our borders or you want to see the apocalypse? We've been where it has happened. We've lived where it's happened and we don't want it to happen here in the US.
Dr. Dobson: And yet the radical left opposes every effort to control that border.
Victor Marx: And they do.
Dr. Dobson: And they say there is no crisis. I've been there, man. There is crisis.
Victor Marx: You've seen it firsthand. And a lot of these people that take that stand, they're not doing it out of compassion or care or else they would be taking in people into their homes, or they would be down there trying to help, but they don't. They just squawk and complaining.
Dr. Dobson: It's political.
Victor Marx: It is a politically motivated deal, not a compassion or what human needs really need to happen.
Dr. Dobson: What organizations are you working with?
Victor Marx: Doc, that's a great question. I think of our friends over at World Challenge, Gary and Kelly Wilkerson, have been a huge help to us in overseas work. Guardian Group here in the US for counter trafficking. Jeff Tiegs, he's a former Delta operator and retired Lieutenant Colonel, doing a great job working together on that. Mighty Oaks with Chad Robichaux, really one of the best approaches to a camp environment where veterans and active duty can actually go who are really struggling with PTSD.
Shadow Warriors, that's with Mark Geist from 13 Hours. He's one of the Bengazi soldiers known as security force from the CIA and he does a great job working with contractors who, if they get injured or [07:27 inaudible] work, there's really no help or insurance for them. We love those guys. And of course Dave Eubank, one of my closest friends, Free Burma Rangers. I got him into Iraq the first time and then we've done work and really locked arms extensively in Iraq and Syria.
And then there's REBOOT Alliance with Chris and Rahnella Adsit, just absolutely wonderful people, and an organization that helps with support groups for active duty and even veterans. And then Dr. John Shea out of Pasadena, he's actually the doc that I've gone to for stem cell treatment, and boy he is cutting edge. He is a man of integrity and really extensive knowledge in this field.
So these are the people during this time period and season of our lives that we have really locked arms with, worked closely with and appreciate and trust.
Dr. Dobson: PTSD is a huge problem and many people are committing suicide after having been in combat. Stem cell research is showing remarkable results for people who have that almost incurable disorder.
Victor Marx: Yes, sir. I would say the cutting edge right now is stem cells that are being used to help those with acute PTSD, actually the brain can start to heal itself. So you're not masking, you're not just using a drug and it's just not talk therapy. It's actually your brain is starting to renew itself to where ... What I found personally from treatment from stem cells, and of course these are stem cells from the umbilical cord of a mother and a child and it's all good and ethical.
Dr. Dobson: Yeah, let's make sure we're talking about adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells.
Victor Marx: Right.
Dr. Dobson: No babies die in this treatment. The umbilical cord is going to be thrown away.
Victor Marx: Right.
Dr. Dobson: And yet there is rich blood within that cord that does have stem cells in it.
Victor Marx: And it's amazing what it does. It starts to renew, replenish and regrow parts of your brain because we're finding that acute PTSD is equivalent to traumatic brain injury or even stroke. There is damage to the brain, so the stem cells can be put there through a certain approach, and we have information on our website if people want to come and find out or contact us, because not all stem cell treatments are the same and we want people to be very aware of that. But boy, when your brain is able to heal, rejuvenate, then you can handle the levels of stress that maybe you couldn't before due to really a physical trauma to the brain.
Dr. Dobson: Do you ever take anybody with you, any Americans with you?
Victor Marx: We do. Our teams are typically handpicked for certain missions that we're doing or places that we're going that are mission specific. So we'll take anything from a former special operation's personnel to certain pastors or a psychologist or people who we feel would make good fits for our teams specific to what we're going to do.
Dr. Dobson: Eileen, do you always go?
Eileen Marx: I have gone about 50% of the time, yes, because I still have teenagers at home.
Victor Marx: But we did bring our kids for one summer, that was interesting.
Eileen Marx: Yes, our kids came with us for seven weeks.
Dr. Dobson: How?
Victor Marx: Well, we brought them to Iraq and we prepared them for a summer trip. We go, "This is going to be camp Iraq, but we need y'all's help." And they were totally excited about it. There was some reservation, I think about my son who had a conversation with. He's 12 years old and he's like, "Hey dad, are you going to put us anywhere where ISIS can get us?"
I said, "That's a great question son." I said, "Do you feel afraid?" He goes, "Yes sir." I said, "That's normal, but it's not right." He goes, "What did you mean? I said, "It's normal because you're about to go into Iraq and there are even military personnel who've never been to Iraq in a combat area. Right?"
So I said, "First to answer your question, no, I'm not going to put you anywhere where ISIS can get you. We have safe houses and we have security and we ride in armored vehicles and we'll keep you away from the combat where we go to get kids or help and whatnot. But we're going to need your and your sisters help to take care of kids that we bring home."
I said, "But right now are you in any danger right here in Colorado?" He said, "No sir." I said, "So why are you letting fear take your energy in your mind space? You're not in any danger, son. And the Bible says, 'God's not given us a spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind.' I've been charged with raising to be a fine young warrior, a moral masculine man, and this is one of the lessons you need to learn. If you're not in danger, don't give your energy to these thoughts, these darts of the enemy. And if we are in danger when we go over there, you'll be the first to know. But we've taught you how to put on a kit with body armor, a helmet. We've taught you how to load an AK." I said, "So we have redundancies but we're, as a family, we're always prepared, not paranoid."
We went and do you know the last three days of that summer, we actually had to hide from ISIS for three days. The FBI contacted our head of security and said, "Look, the chatter is ISIS is targeting Victor Marx." Because we had been on television, our social media platform, so we did have to hide for three days.
My son later told me, "Dad, that time we were hiding out. I never was fearful."
Dr. Dobson: Really?
Victor Marx: And I said, "God's grace is sufficient."
Dr. Dobson: My goodness. Well, we've talked about two of your three projects. They are Nora, and the lion and the lamb. What's the third?
Victor Marx: We call it the Never Give Up Tour and that's where we've committed to spend time, effort, and resources going to military bases and us doing three to four day events, speaking to active duty military personnel and oftentimes family members too, to help build resiliency and really counter the epidemic of suicide. It's at an epidemic proportion right now that people just aren't aware of and it's alarming.
Dr. Dobson: You're talking about the American military?
Victor Marx: The American military in US bases.
Dr. Dobson: And it's increasing isn't it?
Victor Marx: It is increasing drastically. So, we're there almost like an inoculation to prepare active duty so that they won't, as veterans, when they get out, turn to this suicide rate of 22 people a day. We're trying to do both/and of stopping the suicide rate that's increasing for active duty, but then by helping them prepare them, equip, teach them resiliency and things of this nature, it will keep them from hopefully following a pattern of suicide as veterans.
Dr. Dobson: When a person has been in combat and is contemplating suicide, put into words what that person is feeling and what he or she says to you?
Victor Marx: Often times when they've been under high stress levels or seen things or were required to do things that really went against their moral fiber, they come back and they have a hard time assimilating or processing it. And including if they've lost friends in combat, there's survivors guilt. So, they come back to the States, and remember, usually you would take a boat in order to go from one side of the ocean to another. Now you fly 14, 15 hours, you're back in the States. I can remember flying from a combat zone, high stress, death, car bombs, and then when I made it back to the United States a day and a half later, I'm standing in a grocery market looking at 60 boxes of cereal and I couldn't even choose one. And it overwhelmed me because I thought "This is not real life." And all I wanted to do is go back to where the action was because that's what I felt was real life.
Family members often can't understand them. There's a sleeping issue when you're fatigued, things get worse. There's anxiety, your head's on a swivel all the time.
Dr. Dobson: Bad dreams?
Victor Marx: Because of the stress that's going on and then you're on alert, you're hypervigilant. It's not if somebody's going to try to kill you, but when. And I'll tell you a surprising statistic, I just read a study that said the Air Force actually is having more people commit suicide now, they're dying by their own hand of suicide than in combat ever in the first time in the history of the Air Force.
Dr. Dobson: How sad.
Victor Marx: So it's not-
Dr. Dobson: Families wait for them to come back and pray for them and ache for their arms and they come back and they don't talk.
Victor Marx: Right.
Dr. Dobson: And they're into themselves. That must be a terribly difficult thing, when you've been separated by the military assignment, being deployed, and then it's never quite the same again.
Victor Marx: No. And military life is very difficult. You're moving from one duty station to the next and military families have abnormal stress versus regular families. But then you put in deployments overseas and there are duty stations that are high risk or they're deployed at the front, then they come back to try to process this. It's very difficult. They do withdrawal, they do feel out of place.
Dr. Dobson: Is the military doing anything to help?
Victor Marx: They are. I've got to say right now I'm working with the US Army and there are great strides being made in order, even to use faith based initiatives, to help people have hope and healing for this.
Dr. Dobson: That's legal now.
Victor Marx: It is legal now, not fully accepted because we had many years of anti-spiritual chaplain's corps, but now there are the right people in the right positions of leadership who are wanting to see spiritual resiliency brought back into the ranks and we're part of that.
Dr. Dobson: What kind of support do they get? What kind of therapy do they get?
Victor Marx: There's always been a stigma if you report to a chaplain or you tell someone, "Hey, I'm having trouble." But that has to change because the number of years we've been in combat and at war. It's like I have a friend that has a thousand missions, a thousand combat missions of being deployed multiple years. And when you're in that type of environment, it's going to affect you. When you're hunting monsters, it is difficult to come home. And I would say the church hasn't done a great job of trying to help. They hand a combat vet who's a special operations guy, bulletins and say, "Could you hand these out at the door?" And they're like, "Yeah, sure." Or they just try to tame down manhood versus saying, "No, we need you. We need leadership."
And a lot of times in churches, speaking of the pastors, a lot of the pastors aren't leaders of men. They're good Bible teachers, but it doesn't make them leaders of men. So I think in the military, how they're trying to change things right now is to give more credibility and empowerment to the chaplaincy corps to help those people struggling. But that's where we come in working with the military because they're bringing us in to help. They need help, right? They're not able to address this whole situation. So we come with a three prong approach. One is me speaking, doing events on bases, everything from my dog doing dog demo attacks to martial arts. We'll bring in our films and our resources, to the follow-up care, which would be Reboot Alliance, Bible studies that men and women can attend. And then also Chad Robichaux's Mighty Warrior Oaks, which is a great place where people can go for a weekend or a week to have their head be able to be processed.
Eileen Marx: Well the other big part of this movement is to educate people on what PTSD is, educate the person who's suffering and educate the families. Because when we have more information about what's happening in their brain, then we know that they're not mentally ill, they don't have to have this stigma. And I think that has been huge to help people overcome the stigma and for families because the families are also suffering. The wives are suffering, the children are suffering. Friends don't know how to interact with this person who really their mind is now altered from seeing combat from being in these situations, so.
Dr. Dobson: Do you have a ministry to the women whose husbands are deployed?
Eileen Marx: That door's open. When I have an opportunity to go to speak to the women, I love to, because as a woman, my husband suffered with PTSD. I know what it feels like. We've lived this out and we know God can heal the brain. We do know that, but you have to have the right environment and you have to have people who are educated in this whole realm of PTSD.
Dr. Dobson: Victor, when you and Eileen first began this ministry, you were actually working with youth here in this country.
Victor Marx: Right.
Dr. Dobson: And your purpose was to reach out to them. Describe that and how it led to all that you're doing now?
Victor Marx: Yes, sir. We really started the ministry almost 20 years ago, reaching troubled and abused youth here in the US, and we found one of the biggest demographics was in incarcerated youth facilities. So we really saturated that whole area. We've been to either me speaking, our books or resources and to the over 1600 facilities here in the US. We've never stopped. God's only increased. Like the Jabez deal, our 10 pegs have gone out and he's brought more support and more team members to help us.
As a matter of fact, there was a case where it was on 60 minutes, a 10 year old boy who was abused by his father, who was a Neo-Nazi leader. This 10 year old boy killed his father and this boy was put in a youth prison. I was one of the first people to go and visit him. And his jumpsuit was too big for him, his shoes didn't fit him and he was shaking. You know what I asked this kid?
Dr. Dobson: Mm-mm (negative).
Victor Marx: I said, "Do you miss your dad?" And he started crying, and I said, "I'm sure you do." And he did. He was crying, he missed his dad so much. And there's more to the story, but 60 minutes covered this. I told this young man, I said, "I'll be your spiritual dad from here on out." I never lost contact with him. I would go visit them when I could. We'd write letters. He became a Christian incarcerated, spent about nine years. And then here recently, I get a message and that said, "Remember that kid? He's out and he wants to meet you."
I spoke at a men's conference in Los Angeles and I actually brought him to it and introduced him to 2000 men as a young man who made it.
Dr. Dobson: Really?
Victor Marx: And you know what? We're actually looking to send him to Bible college and I told them, "You have a position with us at ATP. You can do an intern and we'll help." Because he has a desire. Guess what? To share his story, to speak about the goodness of God, to redeem the worst things in life for good. And I hope and pray to the Lord that he gets to start speaking at youth prisons.
Dr. Dobson: When we began our first program yesterday, and continuing today, I asked you a question. I said, "Victor, what drives you? What is the motivation?" We just now heard it. We just now discovered it. You get the greatest thrill out of what you're doing, don't you?
Victor Marx: I do. I love giving the enemy a black eye, because that's what we're called to do, advance the kingdom of God, the kingdom of light, while pushing back forces of darkness. And for us to be allowed to do that and be led by God's spirit, it is a joy. It's hard. It is definitely hard. There's hardship involved and suffering, but hey, if the Lord did it and He calls us to it, He'll give us the grace to complete it.
Dr. Dobson: Well, it's been a pleasure having you here on these two occasions. You've been here before, I always enjoy hearing you talk. I can just imagine what you go through in other countries. It is indeed another world, isn't it?
Victor Marx: Yes, sir.
Dr. Dobson: And because of air travel, you go from American life and culture, all of a sudden you're in a situation that's completely foreign to everything else. Do you have to adjust to that every time you go?
Victor Marx: Every time we go, and every time we come back. And we'll see what the Lord has in store, but we're looking for maybe a future season to start training people to do what we're doing.
Dr. Dobson: Do you encourage people to contact you, write you?
Victor Marx: We do. We love it when people follow us on social media or call or email. And we have thousands, thousands of prayer warriors and thousands of people who support what we do. And we're grateful for friendships just like yours and Ms. Shirley's. Y'all's friendship, it puts wind in our sail to keep doing what God's called us to do.
Dr. Dobson: How can people get a Lion and a Lamb?
Victor Marx: Well, I'll tell you what, we've now been able to get these little guys in the hands of kids all around the world for 10 bucks. So, someone goes to our website, they'll see Lion & Lamb. They click on it, and they can support of getting one or two-
Dr. Dobson: What is that website?
Victor Marx: The website is Victor Marx with an X .com. Victor Marx with an X .com.
Dr. Dobson: Thanks for being here and let's do it again.
Victor Marx: Absolutely.
Eileen Marx: Thank you.
Victor Marx: Thank you.
Roger Marsh: Well, this is Roger Marsh and you've been listening to Dr. Dobson's interview with Victor and Eileen Marx here on Family Talk. Go to drjamesdobson.org for more information about the various projects that they talked about over the last couple of days here on the broadcast. Through their website, you can also learn more about Victor and Eileen's story and also All Things Possible Ministries. That's drjamesdobson.org and then tap on the broadcast icon at the top of the page.
Well, that wraps up this broadcast for today. Thanks for joining us and be sure to listen again next time for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. Have a blessed day.
Speaker 1: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
Dr. Dobson: This is James Dobson again, as we close today's program, I just want to thank so many of you out there who make this broadcast possible with your contributions, and I want to tell you how much your generosity is appreciated.