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Recovery & Extraction Part #3- Featuring K John

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2023 12:00 pm

Recovery & Extraction Part #3- Featuring K John

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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March 4, 2023 12:00 pm

On this episode Robby and Whitney are joined once again by expert K John discussing the new tactical strike teams that Lantern Rescue is forming. Listen as they share the new look Lantern Rescue is pursuing beginning in 2023. Starting with their Recovery & Extraction Team focusing on Christian persecution.

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

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

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Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick Live Podcast, where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. 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.

Welcome to Freedom. This is Lantern Rescue. We tell the stories, we talk about rescues, and we empower you to do something about it.

William Wilberforce once said, let it not be said I was silent when they needed me. This is Lantern Rescue. We are so glad you are joining today on Lantern Rescue. We have a real treat for you as we have Kay John back with Whitney, and they're part of the recovery and extraction team going on with the Lantern Rescue, specifically extracting folks that are undergoing persecution. And so, Whitney, we've got quite the stories today, don't we?

Yeah, you know, Robbie, I'm really excited about this episode. So if you're tuning into this, you're in for a treat, but it's going to be a raw look at what Christian persecution looks like around the world. You know, this is something that's close to our hearts here at Lantern, being a faith-based organization.

It just means something extra to us. And so, for us to be able to share this piece with you, we're really excited to bring our listeners into this element. You know, I think as believers here stateside, sometimes we can get wrapped up in the idea of what persecution looks like based on what we read in, you know, the Martyrs for Christ books and things like that. But as soon as we get done reading the story, it still feels very foreign, and then we relate back to what we know as persecution stateside as being, you know, fired or let go from our job because of our beliefs, right? But I really want our listeners' eyes and ears and heart to be open to understanding what that persecution looks like from other countries, and Kay John is going to tell us a lot about that today. And I'm excited because he's got the first-hand look at it, and so prepare your hearts as you enter into this episode because I definitely think God has something for all of us in it.

Wonderful, yes. Okay, John, what does that feel like in other countries? Well, thank you, by the way, for this opportunity for me to come on and share my heart and some of the facts which most of us living here in the West, whether don't know or just elect to not make any efforts to be aware of. When we talk about persecution and just in a nutshell, religious persecution, the latest report issued on international religious freedom by the State Department says that religious persecution is on an all-time high, and it is growing. And then if we dig a little bit deeper, we find out that unfortunately 80% of religious persecution is directed towards Christians. The recent report by the Aid to the Church in Need also admits and presents the same figures, World War List 2023 that was just issued by Open Doors International, and that says that 360 million Christians living around the globe is severe persecution every year. That's a staggering big number, but I would love to explore how it is happening, how it's affecting the lives of Christians, but what is the end result of that persecution?

Is that causing the church to diminish or is it causing the church to grow? We historically have called that mostly persecution is a Third World problem, and people living in those parts of the world, some conditions, so many reasons, poverty, lack of education, lack of basic freedom is the cause or root cause behind religious persecution. But always be clear here that no one is an exception. No country, no individual is an exception. Religious persecution is happening all across the world. Yes, it is more evident in those countries when we talk about Asia, like 2 in 5 Christians face severe persecution. When we think about Africa, the number gets a little better, 1 in 5 Christians face severe persecution. Overall, if we talk globally, 1 in every 7 Christians face persecution. So you can see by these numbers how big or grave the issue is, that Christians are being targeted, being killed, being chased after, and persecution has so many different faces. It's just not the one way that Christians are being targeted. It's just the enemy has come up with so many different ways to target Christians, whether through forced labor or victimization by sex abuse or poverty I just mentioned. So yes, Christians are being targeted all over the world, and here at Lentrum, our focus is on two, we have two objectives. One is certainly to help some of these persecuted brothers and sisters wherever is possible, regardless of the region of the world, and the other is to spread awareness.

So probably today I think my focus would be to address the church here and make some effort so the church becomes aware of the issue. Right, but if you've got a way to kind of put a face on this for us, like the actual story of maybe a family or a group of people that you're aware of where you actually got in there and I guess extracted the people, or what were they going through exactly? Okay, yeah, so I basically have a pretty neat story that we extracted 13 souls, 13 individuals, it happened just four days ago. It was a long process.

It took weeks of evaluations and planning and all that to figure out how we're going to do it. But finally we were able to rescue all 13 of them out of Afghanistan, and the story of these 13 individuals is that they are believers. One of their family members, they accepted Christ way back in early, I think it was 2012, and then through his passion for Christ, he did not just contain his faith to himself, he was eager to share with his family.

He did so and eventually whole family accepted Christ and then they started multiplying by sharing the faith within their community members. And while all this was happening back then, Taliban came to know and basically the brother who was the first believer, he was killed by Taliban a few years back. And eventually after they learned about the conversion of many of these people, they started coming after them and these people were forced to go in hiding. So especially after, particularly after the recent takeover of Kabul or whole Afghanistan by Taliban, since then this family has been on the run.

And when I say family, I'm referring to the extended family. It's like a few siblings and then some other people who were being persecuted there. So luckily, two of them, they were airlifted to Canada and now they live in Canada and they developed connection with the local church there and the local church started to find out how to help them. And as the church was making efforts, they learned about us, they made contact with us and they requested us that if we can find out and help them to figure out if there is a way that we at Lantran, our team, can help the people who are trapped inside Afghanistan. So that's how we got involved and we started evaluating the situation and very quickly we found out that we cannot make sure that these people can stay safe and alive if we try to just relocate them within their own country from one region to another region and it's obvious that they need to leave the country.

So once we figured that out, we started making efforts. And by the way, when we were doing our evaluations, we found out that the daughter of that couple who was airlifted to Canada, she at the time she was nine years old, now she's 11 years old. She was left behind, she was separated by her family, so she is one of those 13 individuals that we have, that the rescue team has just extracted. So think about this, how the parents and siblings were feeling when they found out that their sister or daughter respectively can be killed any moment.

So certainly there were a lot of prayers in play and then a lot of other strategic planning. And through God's grace and our expertise in the field of rescue and recovery, we were able to figure out a safe path and it was a very challenging task though. We went through, like there were times when there was an imminent threat to the lives of some of these individuals, but finally it did happen. And when I was going through all this process, I just thought about that particular girl, her name is Tatina, and that just reminded me of her own daughter.

And I just thank Lord that this is just, it doesn't need to be that it's got to be my own daughter. These are, as humans, these lives are precious. Then as believers, their lives are precious, not only in the lives of our Lord, but even as being a part of the church, being part of the same body, being a believer. It's just so amazing and important that what we can do if we have the willing heart. And we do so, as electrons, that's the whole idea behind our existence, that we exist to help those who are being persecuted, especially those brothers and sisters. So thank you to those who support us, who support our mission, but all these 13 individuals were successfully extracted and now they are in a safe house, in a safe location in our neighboring country. And now we are trying to figure out what the post extraction needs are so that we can address those areas that involve a lot of steps like counseling, trauma healing, long-term planning, that how we can help them to reestablish their lives, long-term sustainability. So yeah, this is how we can help when we get involved. And as a result of this, the testimony and the stories of these people, whether it's Sakina's story or Najib's story, these stories just help multiply and grow the church.

I mean, this is how church is growing despite the rising persecution. Oh yeah, and I couldn't help but note that, oh my goodness, as long as all that's been going on in Afghanistan, those people had to be in hiding for like a year and a half, right? Yes, they were. Since the fall of Kabul, they were hiding. In fact, I have some of the pictures they took on their only phone they had and they were able to carry with them that they were hiding in the cave. And I had a picture of them when they were on the run until the point where they found a lantern rescue and our team was able to provide them with a safe house within Afghanistan so that we can plan on their extraction. Yes, I mean, they were targeted, they were attacked, they were like almost like I was talking after post extraction, I was talking to one of the family members and he was telling me that they... I asked them that how they made it from like this is a big country, relatively, and he was telling me those horrible stories that how many days they went without eating and they felt that they're going to die. The only reason they survived was the prayers and the faith they always had in their heart that God's going to help them and it did happen.

Oh my goodness, yes. And you can imagine the trauma that they've got to ride work through. So it's so amazing what God's providing through Landon Rescue to help them as if they've come out of that. And you can see as we were talking about that this episode is that you can really see what God is doing around the world. And so we're going to be right back after this short break with a lot more from Kay John and Whitney and on this part of what the extraction teams are doing with Landon Rescue.

We'll be right back. Landon Rescue is a USA based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Landon 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. Landon Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Landon 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 LandonRescue.org to see how you can support them financially. Welcome back. And as we were talking earlier, we've got Kay John and Whitney with us in this update on certainly this extraction that we just heard out of Afghanistan. And oh my goodness, Whitney, you know, we really have no sense of what all those people struggle through, right?

Right. You know, I think probably sometimes we are just we can be so removed from it. We don't even recognize just the extent of things that are happening there. You know, as Kay John just said, that family was in hiding for a year and a half, you know, before we got to them. And I mean, we have, gosh, we probably have 300 requests in queue right now. There's a lot of sifting that has to go through that and checking up on things and making sure people are who they say they are. So it's a it is a long process, right, to get to people.

And so, you know, the reality of it is, unfortunately, we don't we don't always make it in time, you know, and that's not something we like to discuss. But it's the honest truth. And I think in this situation, it's incredibly important for us to bring that to light that, you know, we want to act as quickly as possible and we want to reach every single person.

But that's not always the case. You know, we've always been very real and transparent with our listeners. And I think that's a piece of it that we as believers need to hear and understand, because our prayer life should change hearing that, you know, our prayer life should be pushed to a place where we are just standing in the gap and truly battling spiritually for those people to hold on.

And as as Lantern as a group here, we've spent those moments of, you know, our entire office just in prayer over a family and praying that they just are able to hold on until someone gets there. You know, so I would love for Kaye Dawn, if you would just tell our listeners a little bit about what persecution looks like, right? Like it's not it's not necessarily what we expect or think and I know, like you said, it wears so many faces, and just giving one example won't do all the others justice, but it is a severity. I mean, we're not talking about, you know, they just lose their job or they just are, you know, ration food or whatever. And we're talking about serious levels of persecution that that are unfathomable.

You're right. Every case, whether it's recovery or extraction or just providing aid and be living in a safe fashion requires a lot of extensive evaluation, planning, and it is a process and we also have to figure out resources. Let me tell you that like these, I just mentioned these 13 individuals, seven of them are minors, as young as 15 month old, two year old, three year old, five year old and seven year old.

Out of 13, 10 of them are 21 or younger. This is just amazing that if we have resources, how we can save these precious lives. But unfortunately, certainly, as I said, that is the extensive process so many times. As you just mentioned that we have 300 plus people on our waiting list. And in fact, just in past two weeks, we turned down four more requests, because we are overwhelmed and we lack resources. And resources, all sorts of resources, just not only about financial resources, it's about human resources. We need more volunteers, we need more paid employees who can help us to quickly move through the evaluation stage.

Otherwise, every story does not necessarily end up with a good happy ending. Like we had last year, we had a request to rescue a unit. When we received that initial request, there were 17 of them. But by the time we were able to figure out all the resources and raise the support, seven were gone, gone missing, most probably were killed.

We did rescue 10 of those and they are in a safe location now. I had another case where we were able to help and rescue and make sure the husband's life is safe, but we couldn't get to the wife in timely fashion and she was pregnant. And she was stoned and she lost, she survived, but she lost the baby, unborn baby. They took her home and they buried her half before stoning and they stoned to the point where she became unconscious.

Luckily, she survived, but her child was killed by stoning or as a result of that stoning. So yes, I wish we have resources to say yes to every case, every request which comes in and we can quickly move on to the next steps because the more faster we can move, the higher probability there will be that we can make sure that these precious lives are saved. So certainly, I mean, it's very tragic, but I'm telling you that yes, on one end we see it as a human tragedy, but on the other end, I have seen these witnesses. I was recently out of country with many of these participating brothers and sisters. I spent many weeks there praying with them, eating with them, breaking and partaking bread with them. And I'm telling you, their stories are so life changing and empowering that when those stories are told and retold over and over again, they just change the lives of others who listen to them or who hear these stories. It's just amazing that on one end, it seems kind of like very challenging and unfortunate that all this persecution is happening, but as a result of this immense persecution, extreme persecution, the church is growing.

The church is growing in Pakistan, the church is growing in Syria, the church is growing in Afghanistan, in China. We just helped a very young boy out of Syria. He was the only, how do you call it, lone survivor, a believer, and all of his family was killed years ago in Syria and he was just hiding.

He doesn't have any ID, he doesn't have any legal documents to travel. The only way he survived was he kept moving like a panhandle, like a homeless person, just moving from place to place, begging for his life. But eventually somebody felt sympathy for him and helped him to get connected with the outside world.

And as a result of those efforts, we were notified through some of the well-wishers and Christians who wanted to help that gentleman and we got involved and we were able to help him. And now he's established refuge in Lebanon with UNSCR, so eventually, hopefully, that he will have a bright future. I was talking to him and I asked him what is the single most dream at this point that he desires to come true and he said, I want him to study.

I have lost these years. I want him to study and I want him to work so I can help others. I mean, he did not ask that or mention that he wanted to study and earn a lot of money so he can live a comfortable life. I was so, like, I mean, it was so encouraging and empowering to hear that the desire he bears in his heart is not for his own personal prosperity but to help others as he felt that he's being helped now. So, I mean, it's just amazing and I can continue talking. I know we have limited time here but I hear these stories day in, day out basis and I work with these people. I coordinate all the extractions and, I mean, I have these thousands of stories that I have came across to know over the course of this past decade and a half.

I have now, I don't know, 17 years precisely speaking because all this started in 2005. So, yeah, it's just amazing what you're doing around the globe. Absolutely. He is, you know, and I think sometimes, you're right, I'm so glad you brought it full circle because I do think sometimes we just feel the pressure, the weight of being a believer in the world that's around us, you know, but the church is growing. I think sometimes it's hard for us to feel that or see that from where we sit on the days that just feel like evil is overwhelming but the church is growing through persecution and, you know, God is so faithful in that way.

And when you were talking about that family that hid out in the cave, you know, A, to know that 10 of them were under the age of 21 and you've got children there, I personally cannot imagine hiding out with my kids and thinking that we would be able to stay, you know, unknown. That in itself sounds like a trial, but it reminded me of David when he was hiding in the cave and, you know, God was faithful to see him through and I believe that God is going to be faithful in the lives of the people that are being rescued from persecution, even those that fall to death and persecution. He is still faithful to grow the church in the manner that he does. People are able to see what those that are persecuting believers look like and I think it turns their hearts. It makes you realize that's not who I want to be, that's not what I want to be. I think it begins to plant those seeds even in the moments that people we're fighting for don't make it. Thank you so much, Kay John. God bless. What an amazing opportunity. We have to see what God's doing.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-04 14:30:29 / 2023-03-04 14:40:37 / 10

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