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Recovery Stories from Around the World

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
May 20, 2023 12:00 pm

Recovery Stories from Around the World

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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May 20, 2023 12:00 pm

 Today, Robby speaks with John from the Lantern Recovery & Extraction team. Listen as he shares multiple uplifting stories from Kenya, to India.

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The following program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised. Welcome to Lantern Rescue, a ministry program dedicated to bringing light into the darkness of human trafficking. It's time to light the way 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. Wow, do we have a treat for you today? On Lantern Rescue, we have one of the members of the recovery and extraction team. We're going to share some stories with us on some recent recoveries and extractions, and I know I'm anxious to hear about what's going on. So we've got John with us, and John, you start off with you've got a lady and two daughters that were in distress. Yes, yeah, so recently we just expanded into Kenya, predominantly because there's so many surrounding countries to Kenya that have just high levels of violence, especially against Christians. And our director there came into contact with a young woman. Her name is Joy, and Joy was born in a non-religious family. She would occasionally attend Catholic Church, but she really wasn't religious herself. But really, when she was 19, fell in love with this Muslim man, got married, and became a devout Muslim. She spent most of her life, about 20 years of that marriage, practicing Islam, very dedicated, praying five times a day, visiting the mosque for prayers every Friday. And during that marriage, she had two daughters. But there came a time where, in about 2013, her marriage started going through a lot of turmoil. And she's had a lot of disagreements with her husband, and it brought a lot of anxiety and depression in her life. She really reached out to Islam and to the Islamic God, Allah, to kind of find peace and restoration, but she fasted and prayed and everything she was supposed to, but no peace came.

There were no answers. And one day, she was just having this anxiety attack, and she was really, really upset. And she got in the shower, taking a cold shower to try and calm herself down, and she says she heard an audible voice asking her to turn on the radio, which was sitting in the same room in the bathroom with her. So she turned on the radio, and the radio went to an early morning sermon, and the sermon just gave her such peace and hope that she'd never felt before. And it became a nightly thing, where she would go speak into her bathroom in the early hours of the morning and turn on this radio to hear the message, and through that, she accepted Christ. But this caused a big conflict for her, because she's married to a Muslim man, and she felt like she needed to live out her Christian faith, but she struggled on how to do that, because she knew, if she was vocal about her Christian faith, it wasn't just her life that would be drastically affected, it would be both of her daughters as well.

She could be taken away from her daughters, they could totally shun her, and it was just a very bad situation. And so she began praying and trying to bargain with God, that she would be open with her faith if he could bring her daughters to faith in him. And her prayers weren't answered for several years, and she kept praying, and in 2018, she had a Christian friend, and she found a Christian friend, and they began praying together. And within a few years, both of her daughters came to Christ, and it was an amazing story through other friends and things like that. But once both of the daughters came to Christ, they came home, told their mom, hey, we're not comfortable practicing Islam, we don't like how Islam treats women, and then also, you know, they said they found a faith in Jesus. She was excited, but the first trial came was that Friday, her and her daughter's refused to go to the mosque for Friday prayers. And over the course of several months, this of course angered their husband, and he beat them. In fact, one day, one of the daughters was beaten so badly, she couldn't walk for three weeks. And he left for, in December 2020, he left the house, and then he was the sole provider, so they began immediately having a lot of financial problems. He reappeared about a year and a half later, demanding that they change their faith, and they responded that they weren't going to. So he divorced the mother, disowned the two daughters, and completely cut off all financial ties to them. He was now married to another woman. So now the daughters had to drop out to the university.

The younger daughter had been accepted into college, but she was going to be unable to do that. And now they're just struggling to put food on the table and to pay rent and just live. They're trying to find little jobs here and there, but with no real work experience, relying so heavily on the husband as a provider.

It's just challenging for them. And this story, one reason I bring up this story is because it's just a wonderful example of how broad persecution, how deep persecution, affects someone's life. It's not just, we do have many cases where people's lives are being threatened, people are threatening to kill them because of their faith. We have many, many cases as well of people who, they can't get jobs, they can't get education.

They can't survive hardly because of their faith, they're discriminated against. And so this is an example where we are trying to help that family. Obviously, we do ask anyone who is led, they're welcome to make donations specifically to this family if they feel God leading them. So how did Joy and her daughters contact you guys? How did you get to be part of what was going to happen and then kind of what did happen?

Yeah, yeah. So we have a director there in Kenya. He was introduced to them, I believe, through just a network of pastor friends. They were involved with a local church and through that, I guess, network of people, he was able to find what was going on with them and just reached out and helped.

I know he personally went out and took the mother out for dinner. I've got some pictures of them and they talked about what had happened and what was going on in their life and he was able to kind of interview her and see what was going on and where they really needed help. So yeah, that's basically the way our department works. We have a director in each of these countries and we utilize those directors. They're nationals, so they know the culture, they know the area, and they're connected very deeply in, much deeper than we could as an American going over to the country. And we train them in our vetting processes and they just do an amazing job locally finding the greatest needs and ministering to them. And the neat thing about this Kenya, I mean Kenya, like I said, it's literally just a few months old. Our director there is very new, but he's already doing a wonderful job just getting people to volunteer together and it's been amazing. Even trying to master help for what's going on in Somalia and countless other events happening there in Africa.

Yeah, wow. And so he vetted her and essentially discovered what was going on. What did they do? What was the next steps to help Joy and her daughters? So right now, I mean, they do have a place they're living. They don't need to relocate the husbands out of kind of the picture. Had there been ongoing abuse where he was tracing them, then we might have to actually maybe relocate her, put her in a safe house. Thankfully that's not the case for Joy right now and her family, but it is just buying her some groceries, helping them, trying to make some connections where she can find employment. Those kind of things. Because obviously you want to help people, but you don't want to make them feel totally dependent on you.

You don't want to give them some kind of longevity, like connecting with the people that can help them find work, that will hire Christian people, whatever needs to be done to help them long-term achieve their longevity and survivability. Right. So with this network that now she's connected with, right? She's connected with all the other Christians who obviously become her community, praying for and all of them trying to find the best situation employment-wise for all three of them. I mean, it really is kind of a heartwarming story of, you know, we often hear the real crisis ones, but this one's neat from a standpoint of, I mean, I met this kind of things going on all over the place all the time.

Yes. Yeah, it really is. And it's amazing. You can look on a map that says here's the most persecuted countries in the world or things like that, but that map doesn't even do justice to really what can be seen where one person's life is so affected. And the beautiful thing about the Christian community, especially in these areas where there is real conflict and there's real persecution, is how they band together and they do help people.

And that's, I think, one thing that makes us so effective is we don't try to go in and reinvent the wheel. We try to connect people with people, whether that's connecting people with their local church, connecting with, you know, our church here in North America with the churches over there, because together as a church, we can demonstrate the love of God and we can unify each other to build each other even more than what we would be by ourselves. It is heartwarming, I agree, and it's encouraging to know the people that not only what some people are willing to go through to stand up for Christ, but what other people are willing to help them out. Yeah, it's beautiful.

Absolutely. So we're going to move a little bit east of there, not terribly far, but I understand you have another story that kind of starts out in Pakistan. Yeah, so in Pakistan, just to give a little history context here, in Pakistan to be born, so there's a small minority of a population that may be born as a hermaphrodite, right? So to be born as a hermaphrodite, that has been historically shunned. Just for the listeners and actually for me, because I feel totally ignorant, what's a hermaphrodite?

I apologize. So that would be someone who is born with a chromosome disorder where they may have both XX and XY chromosomes. However, they're typically still can be predominantly labeled a male or female, but the way their body develops could be a little bit different. So that's where I guess a lot of, there's just a lot of conflict in Pakistan. Oh, I can imagine. So essentially what you're saying is you can't really tell whether it's a boy or a girl or whether he or she is where they would actually fit in based on the way they were born.

And oh my goodness, is that going to be shunned in a place like Pakistan? So we got to go to a break right now, but when we come back, I think you're going to be touched on how God came to the rescue of this person that was born by no fault of their own. I mean, it's just what happened. And so we'll be right back with a whole lot more with Jon with the recovery and extraction team with Landon Rescue. Stay tuned. Landon Rescue is a USA based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Landon specializes in sending former U.S. 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 dollars 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 to see how you can support them financially.

Welcome back to Landon Rescue with today's wonderful episode. We've got Jon with the recovery and extraction team, and we talked about Joy and her daughters in Kenya. Now we're moving over to Pakistan and in somewhat of a complicated gender situation, right, Jon? Yes.

Yeah. So because of this kind of shunning from Aphrodites, there have been many situations where these people are disowned by their family. They're kicked out onto the streets, and they're just treated horribly. And so what we've done is we've brought those people off the streets. We've loved on them. We have a shelter specifically kind of dedicated towards their rehabilitation, and we've seen really all of the ones that we've helped, as far as I'm aware, come to Christ.

And it's just been a wonderful ministry. Now the reason I say that is we did find this young man on the street, and he was a man that had a lot of violence done to him. As a child going up, he had a lot of abuse, and he was molested, and many terrible things happened as a child, and then even later as an adult. And during that kind of time of confusion, he really went to the transgender community and found some acceptance.

He found acceptance there. And in that, once his parents found out that he had gone to that lifestyle as living as a woman, they began to beat him and really made his life very painful and difficult. And finally, after months of abusing him and realizing he was not going to change, they kicked him out onto the street. So he'd been living on the street for, I think, close to a year by the time we'd found him.

And it was just a heartbreaking story, especially his time on the street. He had just faced a lot of very, very difficult challenges, and so we brought him off the street, kind of gave him places to stay, washed them, cleaned them, and helped them, you know, fed him, and gave him a place to stay while he kind of got his life back together, and just loved on him. And during that time of just loving and caring for him, he came to know about what we believed in the gospel, and he himself accepted Christ and kind of repented from his own lifestyle and chose to follow Christian faith. It was definitely not something that we imposed on him or forced him to do, it was just through the love and difference that he saw in our workers there in Pakistan that really led him to accept the gospel and come to Christ. So that was early, that was in March that all this happened.

Yes, March of this year. You know, I've had a chance as a radio person for a period of time to interview many people who had gender confusion that lived that lifestyle, whatever, but when you really dug into each of those cases on how they actually turned and repented from it, somebody, a Christian, loved on them. And a Christian gave them acceptance and a Christian believed in them, and as a result, you know, they gave their heart to Christ because they could see the love that was in this person's eyes. And each case that I'm familiar with, I mean, they completely, you know, fell into Jesus's arms and were delighted to be the way that God had made them originally. And I mean, not just, you know, converting with a, you know, sort of chip on their shoulder, but actually turning back the ones I've interviewed to actually really embracing their new sexuality and in some cases, getting married and having children and all sorts of stuff that really just, I think, highlight how cool it is that you guys are in Pakistan of all places.

I mean, you know, someplace where you would not want to live that I wouldn't think because, you know, they take no prisoners on a lot of stuff. And so what a wonderful thing, especially for these poor folks, I can't even, you lost me with that word, but it's really an amazing thing and what a beautiful thing that Land and Rescue is looking to rescue all those that Jesus loves, right? Yes, yeah. Our mission is to serve the persecuted, but in so doing, it's not just Christians that are being persecuted. And this has caused an incredible evangelism movement among those that are rescued because they love God, they want to share the gospel.

And it's really something that only God can orchestrate, to be honest. I love being a part of this team. I cannot give enough credit to our workers and our people that are there in Pakistan doing this on a daily basis. And I'm really, in many ways, I'm learning from them.

Here as an American, I find it easy to get caught up in many political or social issues and begin questioning, you know, how do I respond to certain situations and things like that. And then I hear from our workers on the front lines that, you know, they're pulling someone in with this gender identity crisis and they don't care about how things look or really any other, even the cultural implications. They just want to love and show them Christ. And I think that's just a beautiful example and I feel honored to be a part of that.

They're definitely grateful for what they're doing and what's being done. Oh, absolutely. I mean, Jesus is the hero that's so beautiful when you see that, when people, you know, take that same Jesus approach. Like, I know this may not look like, you know, but, you know, it's not the well that need a doctor, as Jesus put, and he would tell them constantly, right?

Look this up and see what mercy is more important than sacrifice. And it's really, really cool. So you got a new extraction or work that you're working on in India, just a little bit further east.

Yes, yeah. Right now, so May 3rd, just about two weeks ago, there was a huge conflict that happened that resulted in the death of, I think the death toll was about 70 last I heard, but over 60 churches were burnt down, hundreds were injured. So, again, just to give you a brief history, there's a, Manipur, India is in the very northeast corner, like far northeast corner of India. And it's populated by a few different ethnic groups, but the land is broken down to two. So you've got the valley in the middle, and you've got the tribes in the surrounding area. And the tribes, which are made up of several different tribes, they tend to live in that kind of hill forest country. But the main valley are where the, what's called the metis live. The metis have a very urban area.

In fact, they make the majority of the state's population and the majority of the political structure. They're kind of the predominant people group there. And a lot of times, there's been a lot of conflict between the metis and the surrounding tribes. And the tribes feel underrepresented and can't, you know, have less schooling, less infrastructure and things like that. And recently, the metis have tried, they're not allowed to purchase tribal land. And so the metis have started, which is the surrounding forest area. So the metis have tried to create a law that recognizes them as a tribe as well. So now they can buy land.

So that caused an outbreak to happen. And a lot of these tribes, to further the conflict, a lot of these tribes are almost entirely Christian. And a lot of the metis people are majority Hindu.

And Hindu as of late has become more and more nationalistic and militaristic. And they've made, there's been a lot of violence happening between these two cultures here in this area. Well, the tribes did a march on May 3 of this year. And halfway into that march, there was a mob attacked. The many Hindu mobs attacked the march. And this created a huge violence. There's reports of police coming in and then joining the riders and tear gassing and shooting at these tribal people and tribal people fighting back. And the majority of them, you know, fled the countryside, the hills. But there was, it was just a horrible, horrible situation.

And that event just escalated. And the mobs continued looting, burning houses and mostly churches, Christian churches. I think there was over 60 churches, as I mentioned, burnt here in this country, small state of India. And now we've got about 30,000 of these tribal people and majority Christian that have been displaced. They no longer have a home.

They don't feel safe in their own state. And so the India Army was called in to evacuate them and to give them place. So right now our main goal is just to get into the area.

India is still a network that we're developing. We don't have a director there yet. We're looking to hopefully find somebody this year.

But to go in there, I'll probably be trying to go in the next month. But the main mission is just to serve these people, help them give them food, water, the basic necessities, and also help these pastors, speak to the pastors and find out what are their immediate needs. Do they need Bibles and maybe some hymnals to continue worship over the next six months, a year, however long it takes for them to rebuild, find a place that they can worship together and just kind of meet some of those immediate needs as quickly as possible. Well, we can all just pray right now because it's obviously in need. Lord, I thank you for John and I thank you that I know you hear the cries of those people in northern India.

And Lord, we need a director. We need somebody on the ground, a national who could take up this cause with their connections and bring Christ's community to these people in need. And Lord, I know you know exactly who that is and I just pray that you would bring it to the forefront so that the team would be aware of it and that that would happen. And I also pray for the financial resources and the other things needed for John to go and for these people to have some relief as they are literally fighting for their lives as a result of their faith. Lord, we know you are there encouraging them as we speak, but Lord, we pray that you would bring more and we thank you that we can be a part of that even today. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. Amen.

Well, wow. What a work God is doing through the recovery and extraction team there at Landon Rescue again. You know, we've talked about that this year that we have the whole teams that are responsible for the recovery from sex trafficking.

And certainly those that are helping like in the Ukraine through what's going on with the war relief and that kind of stuff. But then this recovery and extraction team, you know, it's amazing to see what God is doing. John, I am so grateful for your help and for what you're doing. God bless. God bless you. Thanks for having me. Thank you. And thank you for listening. And don't forget, it's
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-20 14:27:45 / 2023-05-20 14:37:38 / 10

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