This is Darren Kuhn with the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we search the ancient paths to find ways that God brings light into a dark world and helps set men free from the struggles that we all face on a day-to-day basis. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it. Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds.
Enjoy it. is Lantern Rescue. Oh, what a treat we have for you today on Lantern Rescue as, you know, God just provides us with such neat stuff.
And this year, going into 2023, we want to help do a little branding at the beginning of this episode. Let me tell you, we have an amazing episode for you with a brand new operator in a sort of a new field that we're going to talk about. But before we get into that, I got Whitney with me here, who's on the team at Lantern Rescue there at the home office, so to speak. And Whitney, we want to help brand the new way that we're going to organize these teams, because we do episodes all the time on different areas of the way that Lantern works.
But now we want to make a special note of how that goes. And so just to start off with today, we're going to be talking about the recovery and extraction team, right, which has to do with people that are in Christian persecution on many times. But essentially, that part of what Lantern does, right, Whitney, is they do extractions and recovery of people that are in harm's way.
Whitney Espich... Exactly. Yep. So yeah, you know, this is going to be a new understanding for our listeners. And, you know, it doesn't—it's honestly, it doesn't change anything we've been doing. It just lays it out in a way that I think our listeners and the public can really get a better understanding of just what we do at Lantern Rescue.
You know, I know that Mark mentioned it in the kickoff podcast for 2023. You know, our focus is on the exploited, the persecuted, and the displaced. But what does that mean, right? So with the exploited piece, that's really our counter-human trafficking team. That's where we deal with the human trafficking pieces, which so many of our podcasts and stories have been about. And then we have the displaced, and that becomes our conflict and crisis team.
So you hear a lot about that in Ukraine, but we've also operated in other countries as well. And then the persecuted piece is the recovery and extraction team. And that team really focuses in on people that have been really persecuted for their faith. And so we see a lot of Christian persecution around the world. And so we're operating in multiple different countries in that regard as well.
So that is its own team. There's a lot of pieces that come along with that, but really the focus is rescue, refuge, and replenish are the main focal points in what we do with the persecuted Christian side of things. And who we have today joining us is actually Kay John is one of our operators in this piece of what Lantern does.
And I'm not going to be speaking a whole lot probably during this, because his story is enough to just halt our listeners where they're at and really see what it looks like to step in and stand in for those that are persecuted for their faith on a level that we're just not familiar with stateside to the same extent it is worldwide. But before we go into that, I do want to say, because again, this is not something I think most of our listeners typically associate Lantern Rescue with, although there are hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of stories that play into this piece of what we do. But collectively within our team, there are 20 plus years in serving to rescue persecuted people and persecuted Christians specifically. But Lantern as an organization piece has... So bringing all of these people in together has really been focused on this as a group for about five years now.
So it's not... This is not a new line of work to us, and it truly is a big part of Lantern Rescue's heart. So it's nice to be able to express that and share that with our listeners, especially through Truth Network, you know, where we're able to speak to those listeners where it burdens our heart a little bit different as believers. So excited for today's podcast, and I can't wait to share this with our listeners.
Darrell Bock Yeah, me too, Whitney. It's really, really exciting. And so, Kajan, I guess to begin with, you know, we know our listeners would love to know your story. So welcome, Kajan. Kajan Thakur Thank you, Robbie. I'm honored to be here.
Darrell Bock Yes. And so, you know, share with us how it got started. Kajan Thakur Well, now you are forcing me to go back in time. So all this started about 20 years ago, when my whole world was turned upside down. I was born in a Muslim majority country, where certainly I was raised in a Muslim family, very devout Muslim family. I was sent to Madrasa, which is Islamic school, religious school to learn about Islam and the Quran, and never thought about any other region other than that.
And without knowing that God has a greater and bigger plan for my life to come and rest of my earthly life. And I was studying engineering, I finished earning my degree in civil engineering. And during that time, I learned that one of my sisters has converted to Christianity. Being a Muslim, devout Muslim, it was certainly something I never expected to hear about, and it was not acceptable at all.
And that didn't stop there. Within no time, I also found out that not only my sister has converted to Christianity, which by the way, now I believe that the freedom of religion is a very fundamental right and should be available to anyone and everyone who wants to follow our religion or no religion at all. Certainly being a believer, I know that salvation is through Christ. But at the same time, I also do believe that the sanctity of life deserves that freedom to accept Christ or any other religion.
And nobody should be punished or persecuted in the name of religion. But anyhow, getting back to my own personal testimony, I learned very quickly that my mother and three of other siblings have also accepted Christ as their Savior, and now they are Christians. So being a devout Muslim, it was something I never expected, I never thought about. So in first place, in first place, as I was angry and agitated, I just was outraged and I tried to persecute my own family by giving them threats, but I never was able to find the courage, enough courage in myself that how I can go and harm them or hurt them, or perhaps even rather kill them, as is the case with the religion of Islam, that Sharia does require that people, apostates, especially only Islam, that they are punishable to death.
This left me in a trauma where it was everyday struggle that how to survive, what if others find out about that? And eventually, when I do not have any peace, I started praying to Allah and asking for the answers. There was no answer that led me to start investigating other religions.
Naturally, because I was thinking that all this trouble is caused by Christians, I was not willing to study Christianity or investigate Christian religion, but I did went on to study and examine other religions, all the isms of the world, like Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Bahaism, and I never was able to find peace or anything which can satisfy or bring some relief in my life or bring a resolution to my struggle that I was going through at that time. It was a seven-year-long journey. I can take hours and hours to tell the story of those seven years, but I will leave it there, and by the year 2002, the only desire I was left with was to die. I was thinking that the death can, that is the only thing which can resolve this issue, and I tried to take my own life. I tried to commit suicide.
I couldn't succeed, and I remember just like one time, I stole a gun from my brother-in-law, and I aimed at myself and pulled the trigger. It didn't went off, and now I look back, and I see that God has a greater plan, and I'm thankful for that, that God has shown mercy in my life, but those kind of things, I tried to suffocate myself by inhaling a lot of smoke. It didn't went the way I thought that I will be eventually dead.
Think about a person with that kind of hopelessness. So during those years, my Christian sister, my older sister, she always tried to show love and try to help me and ask questions if she can be helpful and by any means, and I remember during those years, there were a lot of things that those are worth sharing, but I will share one thing, that she did ask me one question and made a request to me or recommended something. She asked me that since you are trying to find answers everywhere, why don't you start calling upon the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and ask Him if He is the true Creator, He should help you, and not wholeheartedly, but I am glad that it was God's plan, so I agreed with that, and she played it well. She knew my nature, that I love taking up challenges, and I took on that challenge, and I started praying to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and while I was praying, it still took several years before I was given an answer, and those several years were full of pain and trauma and self-infliction, but that pain and trauma led me to the year 2002.
That was the year when God saved my life, earthly and eternally. February 2nd, 2002, I thought, this is the day I'm going to die. I barely made it to my work, and as I was trying to engage in my daily duties, I found out that there was something strange. My body, lower body, started becoming paralyzed, and I gave up. I made it back to my room, and I sat down on my bed, and I started crying. I broke down emotionally, and even like I can still feel the pain. I felt that day that I was dying. I felt that I have like near-death experience, and I continued feeling that my lower body was becoming numb, and I started crying out to the God, oh God, oh Lord, Buddha, Bhagwan, Allah, oh God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, whoever you are, why don't you speak to me? Why don't you reveal yourself to me?
If you exist, then it's got to be you who should tell me what to do in this situation. Otherwise, if I die this moment, you cannot ask me, you cannot bring judgment upon me, and I was really literally like arguing in that state of agitation, state of like anger and deep agony. I was just filled with that anger and agony, and I was praying and uttering these words as I felt that I was dying slowly. My life, my soul was being pulled out of my physical body, and all of a sudden I hear these words come to me, in that language that I inherited, and first time, second time, third time, and I felt I realized that there is someone else in my room. I opened my eyes, and I see this person filled, covered with light and brightness like light emitting from his body, and I couldn't continue staring at him, and he asked me to come to him, and I couldn't walk or move from my place. He walks to me, he places his hands on my head, and he says, come to me, I am the way and the life and the truth, and I will bless you with the life eternal. And I didn't know what those words meant at that point. The only thing I realized, and I felt that moment was that there was something that was pulled out of my body and then sent back to me in my body, and I was like sex-free. His hand touched my head. I hate to jump in, Kajan, Kajan, I hate to jump in, Anya, and you're in the middle of a great, believe me, wonderful story, but we got to go to a break, and so I just want to jump in naturally, naturally there, which I'll, this, we'll edit this so it'll be okay, okay? And so I hate to leave everybody at this point of the story, but we got to go a break, so when we come back, I know you're like me, you're dying to hear, you know, what happened when Kajan met Jesus?
We'll be right back. Lantern Rescue is a USA-based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Lantern specializes in sending former U.S. special operations, law enforcement, and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems, such as genocide, terrorism, and human trafficking.
As a non-profit 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. Well, welcome back to just this spectacular episode of Lantern Rescue. We're hearing the story of Kajan, and what a remarkable conversion experience God had for him in this Muslim country, and oh my goodness. And so when we left Kajan, he had just seen, right, he's seeing Jesus as a response to his prayer in the midst of, from what it sounded like, Kajan, that you were literally paralyzed, and you couldn't move your legs, and he came to you? Yes. Yes.
Wow. And so after he came to you, can you kind of pick us up from the story right there? So that person, and I did not know who he was. I was shocked, I was mentally sick, ill, and now I'm seeing this person, he walks to me, he places his hands on my head and says, I am the way, the life, and the truth, and come to me, and I will bless you with the life eternal. I still remember those words I have never heard before, and as soon as his hands touched, the pain, all the pain was removed from my body, I was set free, and I started praising.
He walks away from my room, I felt his physical touch, I felt his physical presence, and I felt him physically walking out of my room and leaving me with those thoughts that I might, that God appeared to me, or he sent his angels to set me free, because I do not have any idea about who Jesus is, and he never said that he was Jesus. So within 20 minutes, I have a great desire to go back and meet my sister, that Christian sister, convert, first convert in my family, and share what has happened with me, and share this experience, and as I made it, I was about four hours away from the town they were living in, and I made it back, I made it to that town, and I saw my brother-in-law in first place, I started, I was so excited, I couldn't contain myself, and I started telling him what has happened to me, and as I was talking to him, my sister and their three young children joined, and they are circling around me now, and I'm telling them that I saw this person, and he looked like an angel, and he touched my head, and now I am set free, there is no pain, no confusion, and as I shared these words, the moment I shared these words with him, my brother-in-law picks up a book with a black binder, and showed me a verse, which was written in the Bible, and the verse from Bible, John 14 6, where Jesus spoke that I am the way, and the life, and the truth, and whoever comes to me finds the life eternal, and they said that was no one else but Jesus, and friend, this is just amazing that I don't have to go through any, like, journey anymore, it was this sense of transition that I accepted Christ as my Savior that very moment, February 2nd, 2002, and I don't have to go through any, like, Christian teachings, I just started praying like Christians do, and this is now part of my sister's, older sister's testimony, that it was so instant and miraculous that Cleve was using the tongue, which Christians will use to offer their prayers to Christ and to God, and I was praying with them, and they were rejoicing, that night was the most exciting night in my life, we were sleepless, they wanted to share about Christ, about Bible, they read a lot of scriptures from Bible to me, and I was eager the same way to learn more and more about Bible, last morning I left their place with the Bible in my bag and an advice to keep it secret, but that was not the case, though it was ideally our desire so that I can live safely in my native country, but very quickly when majority people found out that I just converted to Christianity, I have to go through a great deal of persecution, as I earlier said that once upon a time in the thing that when I was in the most lowest place in my life, I tried to take my own life, now the case was a little different, now others were trying to take my life, just because I have left Islam and I am now a Christian believer, a follower of Christ, so I was, now this was the time I was sorted, I was accused of plotting an assassination attempt on the sitting president of that country, I was accused of paying innocent movement girls and boys money to convert them to Christianity, all sorts of allegations, so all started happening in late 2003, and between 2003 and 2010, I went through a great deal of persecution where I was physically assaulted, physically beaten, I have scars on my body, and I was, one time I was arrested and thrown in prison, it was, again, I can take hours and hours to tell all the details, but I will stop here, and just by saying this, that now I look back and when I question that why God, why Jesus let all this happen in my life, I have an answer, that it was all part of God's plan, one of my American friends puts it together this way, he says, before God makes a man, he breaks the man, so I believe now that God has this process that he was taking me through to help me to understand his plan for my life, and friends, when I went through that severe persecution, I learned how it feels, what it costs, what it takes to survive, and that is the reason behind what I do today, when I try to help and serve persecuted church and persecuted brothers and sisters around the globe, and that is the reason behind my calling, that why I am working with Lentrum Rescue here in recovery and expansion. Wow, and I'm curious, Kajan, how did they find out that you had converted, how did they get that information?
So, well, again, it can take a while to answer that question adequately, but let me tell you how all this started. I was trying to keep it a secret, but in 2003, I was, evening tea is a very cultural thing, so I was working as a construction manager for a secret organization which takes care of the projects of secret nature, like military or government needs, and I was sitting with my colleagues and my sister, Christian sister, called, and I left my chair, and I tried to maintain adequate distance so they can't hear my conversation with my Christian sister, and I was talking to her, and she asked me, do you think that you would be able to come to church and attend church this Sunday? And I got so excited, I said, oh yeah, why shouldn't I come and attend the church? And they overheard me, and as soon as I made it back to my seat, they asked me, they were already suspicious because I was no more offering salat or going to mosque or fasting during the month of Ramadan, so they picked up the idea and they became suspicious, and that's how all this started. And then, later on, I was trying to help some poor Christians in that country. The country I come from, the majority of the Christians are extremely poor. They are considered a slum of the society, and so I was trying to help some of them, and I was accused of spying for some foreign countries, and I was investigated, basically, for that, and when I was cleared out of that investigation, I decided to, I went back to my office, and as I made it to my office, I cried out, and I asked Jesus, Jesus, I want to worship you, I want to, why I have to go through all this? What is your plan for my life?
How I can continue serving my persecuted brothers and sisters, while I can also worship you at the same time, worship you freely? And I felt that God was leading me to resign from my job. I resigned from my job, and I started very, very, not long after that, I was led to start my own business. I started a construction company there. Within two years, I became very successful. I had 400 plus employees there, and we were a construction company focusing on industrial construction, and through those resources that I had then, I was trying to help persecuted, and I started a small organization back there, in that country, which focused on doing the same thing, what Lantern Rescue is doing here now, under rescue and extraction segment of their ministry, or their non-profit, and when I was helping, I did not realize, but later I found out that some of those radical organizations, the name of the organization is Harsatul Jihad al-Islami, which is banned by United Nations, banned by USA department, they found out about my conversion, and because of their suspicion, they planted two of the employees in my construction company, to spy on me, and collect all the evidence, and in early 2010, I found out about them, and then not long after that, my house was attacked, my office was attacked, everyone, everything was taken down, and there was, what was issued against me, directing movements to find out about me, and wherever they can find me killed. Basically, there were newspaper articles, magazine articles, this is a long story, but does that answer your question?
Darrell Bock Oh, yeah. Well, and again, it really does, because, you know, like all of us, we don't live in that culture, it's hard for us to understand how people would be that suspicion of somebody that just said the word church, right? Because I guess you didn't say mosque, you said church, and that, you know, set up there, and that led to just, what an amazing, unbelievable story, but you're right, we're almost at the end of this episode, but the good news is we've got more. If you guys could be praying for them, and again, go to landandrescue.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-21 14:27:07 / 2023-01-21 14:36:49 / 10