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Episode 49

How We Know Where We’re Needed—A Deep Dive into AGCI’s International Programs

Kiersten Luginbill, AGCI VP of International Programs

You’re listening to Together by AGCI. I’m Melissa Rush.

This is a conversation that I’ve always wanted to have. I chatted with AGCI’s VP of International Programs, Kiersten Luginbill, about how AGCI decides where we’re needed next, how we figure out which countries to work in, what programs to implement, how we build relationships. We get into all of it. If you’ve ever been curious about how our in-country partnerships are formed or how we decide to open a new program in a new country, this is the episode for you. Well, thank you so much for hopping on and doing this. And, um, I know you’re busy and I’m really excited to like talk to you about these things, because these are things I’ve always wondered and they seem kind of magical that all of a sudden you’re like, oh, we’re we’re going into this country and we’re gonna, you know, do this program. And it all just from the outside, you’re like, oh, it all just kind of falls into place and you have all these wonderful people there. And I know that that is not how it actually works. You’re not like waving a wand and it all assembles if only it were so easy. Um, yeah. So yeah, I, I would just kind of love to know, like, how does it even, how does the process begin? How do you know where to go or where you’re needed?

Or can you just kind of tell me what that looks like at the start? Yeah. Um, yes, I would say it always begins with a lot of listening and a lot of learning, um, and that feels universal and has stayed true from the time I began at AGCI. And since the time our organization began 30 years ago, um, it really started with listening and learning and, um, I think that’s the only way truly to understand the needs and, um, how to respond to the needs. So, um, and that may be listening and learning to caregivers, listening and learning to children, listening and learning from, uh, individuals in government offices, uh, really from every different facet of the challenge. Um, we try to hear different voices and really put that all together to get a bigger picture of what the need is and then how we might be able to respond to that need. Yeah. So when, so that I get how that would work. Like if you’re already within a country and as needs come up, you’re like, oh, there’s this whole area we didn’t, you know, we’ve like listening to the people who are day in, day out, like seeing this need and, and working in it, like, okay, see how we can come alongside that. Or maybe like fill a gap in some way. But when it’s like an area where we’re not even in, like, how does, how does that work?

Yeah, mean, I would say part of it is the holy spirit guides that process. Um, certainly, I mean, the countries that we’re currently in, I would say a lot of it was, it was guiding of the holy spirit and, um, different staff members, um, nauseous me many over the course of our 30 years that kind of stepped into, um, that calling and, uh, we’re able to build relationships locally and through that kind of see the work grow and develop. But, um, I mean, I think in every country, you know, there’s, there’s an urgent need and that includes in the, in the U S I would say as well, but, um, yeah, we’ve been invited in, in some circles because of our standing experience with adoption. Sometimes it’s, uh, been sharing a little bit more about what we’ve been learning about how, uh, trauma children and adults have experienced impacts them and some tools we’ve been using to help address those needs. And, um, yeah, I think we’ve been invited into countries at every level, sometimes at a grassroots level, sometimes at a government agency level. Um, but either way, I feel like the Lord’s really kind of directed the path of AGCI into those places and, uh, really kind of brought about beautiful relationships from there that kind of helped the work continue to grow.

Um, and yeah, I mean, I think, uh, every area of the world that we work in also has challenges and sometimes there’s roadblocks and probably one of our, our, um, struggles is always just to have discernment and, you know, where’s God opening doors where doors closing and how do we kind of, um, discern where to be planted and stick with it. And, and when God’s calling us to a new place. So, um, I think that discernment is, is a challenge, but we’re also not afraid to kind of sit in that uncomfortable spot for a little bit and, um, really wait on the Lord and kind of see what’s what’s. Yeah, that’s so cool. And I think it is really beautiful that when you think back of like, you know, 30 years ago and where we are now, and, and, and, you know, it’s kind of only in, in when looking back, sometimes you can kind of see how seeds were planted and things have kind of emerged in a way that I don’t. I mean, obviously I wasn’t, I don’t know I wasn’t there, but I would have to imagine like, no one would’ve ever foreseen how that would come to fruition. Um, and it, it almost looks like it almost looks like it was so like, okay, well then this and that just the way that the paths of have happened. And, um, yeah, it’s, I dunno, it’s really cool.

Like just being in our 30th year and looking back at things and being like, oh, wow, well that, like, we had no idea this would happen, but that laid the foundation for this and what we’re doing now, like open this door and, um, it’s exciting. A hundred percent. Yeah, I think it is really, uh, one of the cool things we’ve been looking back a lot on lately is just how our child advocacy model came into being. And, um, it’s so nice now we have a nice diagram and we can talk about it so eloquently, but it really took shape over the course of those 30 years. Like, it didn’t start as this beautiful holistic model than it is today necessarily. Um, we had elements of it that were kind of falling into place all along the way in those 30 years that have kind of brought that model to where it is today. And, um, yeah, I think it’s, it’s, uh, amazing just to look back and see, okay. You know, we started the story of adoption through the story of Hannah and then seeing like, wow, this is, um, one of the things that we can’t look away from is the care that children are receiving in institutions, because children who are being matched with forever families are living in these environments. So what can we do about, um, elevating the level of care and making sure those children have everything they need to thrive.

And then from there we started, um, really looking at like, why are children needing the service of adoption? Like there are so many children that should have the opportunity to be in their family of origin. So what could we be doing to preserve those families and strengthened families? Um, and then from there, you know, we kept seeing children in these institutions who are, um, older and transitioning out of care. And it’s like, you can’t just give up on one whole population of, um, the child welfare system and the countries where we are. And so then trying to develop new ways to meet those needs and all along those different paths where these opportunities to talk about, um, we want to do that for one child, but how do we also do that for so many children that have the same needs, like all across the country or in different countries we work in and that’s where some of that policy work came into play. And so, yeah, I think you look back and, and of course it makes sense in hindsight, but those steps was really like a leap of faith within so many different members of the AGCI team, particularly overseas who saw that need and said, Hey, we need to do something about this and really guided, I think the organization and each of those steps along the way and in creating change. Yeah. Yeah.

And when it’s so cool too, when you think about it, I feel like it, so, you know, at least with AGCI story, it really obviously started with, with Hannah and one and one child and, um, the Beasley families like calling to, to adopt and all of that. And, but like, I feel like your heart or everyone’s heart has like grown as like, learned, but it was like, you, weren’t given more than you could handle at the time, you know? And it’s, it’s kind of just watching it build and like if it had, I don’t know. I mean, I would imagine being incredibly overwhelming for one family or one person to just be like, okay, like here’s all of these things. And they’re like scary and hard and difficult. We don’t have all the answers. We don’t know how it’s gonna work. Like figure it out like that, that wouldn’t have the co you know, that wouldn’t have worked. But then I started like, here’s one child. And like, this is, you know, what you can do. And then learning about, like you said, like the care that kids were receiving and kind of, it just kind of works on you. Um, I don’t know. I just think that’s like a cool thing to think about that you’re never given more than you can handle and it builds on itself in a really beautiful way and, you know, what’s able to happen.

Um, so obviously, like you said, so much of this as, you know, the P the like amazing people, like all over the world that we get to partner with who are like, cause we AGCI, like, we’re not just going in. And they’re like, okay, this is the way to do things like we’re listening really deeply to people who they know so much more than we could ever know. I mean, like, as Westerners going into these different kind of like, there’s just things we would never, never know or understand, and like having the, you know, I got, I don’t know, I guess wisdom to real at least realize that. Um, but so these people, like, how do you, how do, how do those relationships form? How, like, how do you know this is a partnership that’s, you know, we should go in this direction or not, I’m sure there’s been people or organizations that we’ve thought about partnering with, but then heaven. Like, can you tell me a little bit about that? Yeah, absolutely. Um, I think, yeah, this goes back to some of that listening and learning, but, um, you know, the work of all God’s children really blossoms in relationship.

So, um, relationship is really how we come into partnership with individuals or organizations or systems even, um, which sounds funny and to talk about those things in terms of relationship, but it’s true, you know, and I think in relationship in true relationship, um, when you start to go deep in a partnership or with an individual, you know, we get to learn about our shared values. We get to learn about the challenging parts. We get to work through the challenging parts together. Um, and you know, for everyone, you could probably think of like some of the more intimate relationships you have with coworkers or with friends or your family or yourself, and, um, think about like the depth of those different relationships and how that translates into maybe the challenges, but also just the fruits that comes from those relationships. And it’s, it’s truly the same in these contexts. And, um, I think some of my most valued partnerships with staff or individuals or organizations on the ground are those where we really can come into the conversation fully and dialogue and debate and understand each other and then come out on the other side, even stronger together. And I feel so blessed to have been a part of so many of those relationships, uh, for many years now. And it’s fun to look back and see where those relationships began, some of them, you know, 10, 12 years ago and see where they’re at today.

And, um, yeah, and I, I think it’s a beautiful story kind of, uh, of how God uses community to, to address these needs and bring about like a holistic story of restoration, because we do that in relationship, we model what that looks like. And, uh, together we get to bring about this change. That’s so much more dynamic than any one person coming at a challenge or a need and trying to find a solution. We really get to do that in community and in relationship. And I think that’s part of what’s made it, um, so impactful and what’s made the work just grow so much. Even over the last three years is really these incredible leaders and their, um, their ability to be brave and be candid, and to walk into a relationship with people they don’t know very well. And, um, really to paint the picture and then guide, you know, guide us along the way I, as you were talking about that, I was just thinking, like, I can’t think of like a more, I don’t know, like poetic way to talk about, um, like the fact that the work that we’re doing is like then mirrored in the relationships that were like forming with these people. I mean, I just think like, I don’t know, I’ve never even heard of anything.

So like, like that, I guess, I mean that we like that is what we have found to be the way that people actually find true healing in their lives. Right. Or like through deep, meaningful relationships with people where you can have, you know, you can have trust, you can not be afraid to fail. You can say what you’re afraid of all of these things. And like, that’s how we’re also forming these powerful, you know, partnerships that are then like creating change on like a bigger scale. Like that’s really cool. Yeah, it is. Yeah. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. And you know, we talk a lot about, um, bringing true restoration and healing to the children and the families we serve. And of course people can kind of wrap their minds around that. But the other side to that is, you know, are we really to model that ourselves and to bring those same components into relationships with our partners, with their teammates, with, um, the way we kind of do work as a whole, um, do we reflect that same value? And I think that, um, when I’ve had the blessing of being a part of those communities with in-country staff and partners on the ground, and, um, you know, we’re modeling the way of doing relationship together, you know, the fruit for families and programs and kids comes out of that. Um, but it does, it is important.

May think that we reflect that in the way we do work in the way we do partnership as well. Yeah. So this is a question you probably won’t like, cause I just, I feel like it’s, I feel like there’s probably not a good answer, but I’m going to ask it anyway, but like, is there a, like when you, when you’re at the beginning stages of this and you’re, you’re partnering with new people and you’re kind of feeling your way through, like, what are programs going to look like? Is there a timeframe in your head of like how long this takes? Does it just, is that a terrible, I don’t know, like, yeah. Good question. Yeah, no, it’s a great question. Um, yeah, I mean, I think, I think when we work, um, for, and to serve vulnerable children and families, the need always feels urgent. And so there’s a certain like propelling drive, I think in every conversation with every person on the ground with every organization on the ground. Well, you know, we all kind of have this sense of urgency because we are seeing the needs of kids and families, so starkly every day. And of course we want to be able to respond and to put it all into action.

Um, but I also think, um, you know, taking that time to pause and to really do that relationship building together and to really be sure, like, do we have all the pieces to the puzzle before we start at this program? Um, and even, uh, kind of thinking about, uh, the house of hope and Ethiopia that mean lodge that’s providing reunification services for children back into family care and really helping them to heal in this safe space. Um, you know, that program really developed after three, four years of really, you know, being on the ground and asking questions from just our us team, like our team in Ethiopia every day, being in those conversations and watching what was happening and identifying these needs and meeting in different regions all across Ethiopia here are needs that seem consistent across the board and here are needs that are different or unique. And here are some of the solutions in place and here are some of the things that aren’t working well, and here’s where the gap seems to be. And so, um, really taking all of that information and, um, you know, doing an assessment and then really praying through it, like, God, what would you have us do?

Um, and I think through that those years, it really just became so evident that by the time we were getting ready to kind of move into building the blocks of the foundations of that program, um, we just, we knew that was where we were meant to be. We knew the need was to provide the safe space and to do reunification in a totally different way that it hadn’t been done before. And, um, that children and families weren’t getting what they needed with what existed. And so, um, yeah, I think that’s just one little example of, it seemed like for myself at times, having worked in Ethiopia a long time, like a really big gap, like we need to do something we should be moving, but also looking back, um, it was really the right timing. It was the Lord putting all of those pieces of the need together and our team and country feeling really strongly at the end of that, of where we needed to fuck in and how we wanted to do that differently and going through some education to be able to do that differently. And, um, yeah, it’s, it’s cool when you see all of that come to fruition and then I get to share sort of what the Lord has done in a journey like that, um, to, to meet a need in a way that we didn’t initially expect that we would. Yeah. Yeah.

So how do you know, I mean, I would imagine that, you know, obviously these things sometimes are years in the making of like figuring out who are the best people to, to, to run this. Like, what’s the need, how do we, you know, in setting everything up, like, obviously we’re very intentional about all of that. It’s not just like, oh, maybe this will work. We’ll just try it. Like, there’s a lot of thought and energy and all of that that goes into it. But how do you know when you have to just kind of like, okay, like I’ve prepared as much, we’ve prepared as much as we can. Like now we just have to let go and trust that, you know, God will put it in the right direction. Like how do you know when that point is, and is that scary for you? Oh my gosh. Yes. I feel like we live on the edge of a cliff most days and we know the wonderful thing and challenging thing about working with, um, kids and humans really is that everyone’s unique. And, um, at the end of the day, we don’t have all the answers. And so there’s always going to be a little bit of that, uh, anxious tension. I hope this works. They hope we meet the need.

Um, I will say, you know, working with such incredible staff and individuals on the ground, in the countries where we work brings me a lot of comfort and grounds me in that. Um, and together when we’re kind of walking through those challenges, I feel like we’re able to problem solve together. And, um, and we also know that the failures make us better and have them, we have them day in and day out, missed, missed, uh, decisions, or we, you know, we missed that part or we weren’t expecting that, you know? Um, but I think being able to, um, also give each other grace in that and know that we’re imperfect and, um, we’re not the end all be all of the story. It helps us stay centered on knowing that we’re an instrument in that and how can we get better and, um, just kind of keep improving things as we go. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so kind of speaking of, you know, like you said, I mean, not everything goes exactly according to plan and, um, is there like a lesson or a moment that sticks out to you of something you’ve learned just in this work and like in working with particularly just international, like partners and oh, so many. Yeah. So think of one to share. Um, yeah. I, these last few years in particular have just been a really a big surprise, honestly, for me personally.

And I remember four years ago when we were kind of talking about this big vision, we had to see a child advocacy center launch in Columbia, and we wanted to create this huge chain for children and families and launch all these new programs and, um, Holland our president and our board even would say, I was very hesitant and just looking at the scope of this work and are we going to accomplish this? Um, and I looked back on that as a day and I’m just grateful that a whole team, um, helped to kind of keep pushing that forward and pushing me into that uncomfortable zone. And, um, I can just see how God’s hand has been in every step of the way. And there are things that we just never would have envisioned in a million years coming out of those four years that have put us where we are today. And, um, this just incredible team on the ground in Columbia that every day are teaching me like new ways about doing work and about serving kids and, um, about really changing the whole picture of children’s lives in, in the country of Columbia. And gosh, what an honor to like, be a part of that and how humbling to say, I didn’t think it could happen and then be in a place where God said like, yes, I could do it and way beyond what you imagined.

Just so, um, that’s just one example of so many, but, um, I really just can’t say enough about the amazing individuals and partner organizations that we to walk hand in hand with and the work, because I get to talk about it here on a block, but really, you know, they guide the work in such a thoughtful and powerful way. And I know kids are changed every day because of the work that they are doing and the past that they’re creating. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, that’s so true and I mean, we’ve had a few, um, awesome international partners actually on this podcast and I feel like they are, so, I mean, dedicated doesn’t even like begin to cover it. Um, and the stories and the journeys that they’ve walked, like you just get, I mean, you know, I have like a half an hour conversation with them and you’re just like, how is this one person’s life? Like, I need like, seriously, like, it’s, it’s like, it feels like this could be, you know, and, and it’s just like, then they use, you know, like some hard stuff that they’ve gone through. And I mean, that could, you know, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re then going to go down this path of, of, you know, dedicating your lives to like helping kids and like, change, like creating like generational change. And I mean, like deep work and it’s, and they’re so humble.

I mean, every person that I’ve talked to, it’s like, they’re like, oh, well, you know, it’s not me. And I’m like, you are amazing. I mean, it’s just, I don’t know. I just feel like that is so true. We are so, so lucky the people that God has brought, like to get to partner with ABC. I mean, it’s just kind of thinking about Columbia. Like I remember when we were talking about, oh, some of these big things we were going to do and it almost sat like you’re like, well, okay. But like, that sounds crazy like that. And then it’s just like way beyond that way beyond that. I mean, just the number of kids. I mean, like, there are hundreds of thousands of kids’ lives are permanently changed for the better and like to get, I don’t know. It just even to think about it, we talk about it, we put it in all of our little marketing things that we print it out, like these numbers. Cause if you sit down and think about it, like it’s so easy to get caught up, oh, you know, 120,000 kit or whatever, but then you think that’s 120,000 lives that, that, I mean, but that doesn’t even begin to cover it because it’s those kids and it’s their families, it’s the lives they’re going to have in their future kids. It’s like, I don’t even know what that number would be, but, um, it’s overwhelming.

Um, so, you know, obviously there is so much like hope and excitement and amazing things that we get to talk about and celebrate every day, but there’s also so much hard stuff. And that’s like, kind of at the root of like our work, right. Is that like we see these needs and you can’t look away. Um, and that can be really, I think, hard to deal with. I mean, I know when I have traveled, I was with you in Columbia and some of the things that I experienced there, I was like, all I could do to like, get out of the room, you know, like be appropriate in the moment and then just like lost it. Um, how do you, how do you deal with that personally? Like how do you, how do you do that? Yeah. Oh, good question. Um, gosh, I think, you know, I think just when you think that you’ve found a way to navigate that, well, like, uh, in my experience, I’ll, I’ll have an experience with another child or a situation that just sort of knocks me back, um, and makes me realize how hard, um, yeah, how hard some of these stories truly are. And, um, and there are times where there’s big questions, just like God, like why, you know, sort of like why.

Um, so yeah, I, I would say for sure, I’ve had those times, I mean, I sound a bit like a broken record, but I do think that community, like having developed a community, um, with others or teams locally, you know, we, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a phone call. Um, we’re in a country with a staff member. We would just we’d bang, you know, um, just something really hard that’s happened or just, um, the challenges that it feels like you’re facing some days or this uphill battles. And, um, I mean, I was trying to have a conversation actually not long ago with us. Who’s one of our staff members in Ethiopia. And, um, we’ve worked together for many years, probably 11 years now. And, um, we we’re, we’re calling stories about some of the kids we worked with and we both almost like at the same time, we mentioned a specific kiddo’s name and, uh, we both just burst into tears. He was cared for for a long time as an organization and he ended up passing away and it was just like a total shock to the system. And sometimes I’m like still brought right back to that moment, you know, um, and being on the phone and just crying together.

Um, and that’s a really hard thing, but also like, I think that’s what sustains all of us in the world is, um, having that, uh, that community, you know, those relationships where somebody gets it and we’ve really walked through the hard times and the good times together and, um, and praying together to Anna Maria and I are, I was like, we just need the luck navigate this. And, um, I think, you know, some of those moments too, where you just feel that your end and we know that we can kind of come together in prayer around some of those things. And I think that’s a sustaining thing for so many of us too. Yeah. Well, I mean, again, that kind of is very full circle. Like even in your personal life, you know, like in your, like dealing with these big unimaginable tragedies at times, um, the way that you get through them is with relationship like through relationship with other people. And, um, I think it’s important to remember we’re never alone and you know, it to have someone to even just like talk through how you feel and like, say that was really hard or like, this is how I feel about this. And like that’s a release in a way. And then they, and it goes, you know, they share with you and I don’t know that’s yeah, it’s kind of like what we’re just doing in life right.

Is like being there for one another and like, you know, it’s, there’ll be good days. There will be bad days. So it’d be really hard things. I just think in the work that AGCI does, it’s, you’re confronted with it, I think at a level that, um, I mean, everyone has hard stuff in their life and this is, you know, I’m not trying to, like, there’s not a competition of how it, you know, but, um, I feel like we have to look that in the face, like kind of a lot. And, um, and then, you know, and not just like, be like, okay, well, I can’t deal with that. That’s too hard. It’s like, you have to deal with it because otherwise you can’t do this work like, right. You have to like, look at it and then say, okay, and then what am I going to do with that? How am I going to use that? Um, in some way, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Um, well, on a more positive note, like thinking about the future, like what, what are you excited about? Like where is there a direction that we have started to go in, or that we’re thinking about going in, that you feel like is particularly invigorating? Oh yeah. There’s so much exciting work happening. I think really building these, um, teams, these amazing teams of local leaders to see them take shape and, uh, and grow has been really incredible.

And I can see just this wave across the globe of new team members, kind of joining, um, joining our organization. And, um, and one of the really exciting things has been seeing those local leaders pass on the strategies and the tools and a way of doing relationship and programs and all of this knowledge that they have, um, and have shared with us, you know, passing that on to other organizations and really starting to see that momentum wave grow. And, um, it’s really, I think when you get to be a part of something where you see every day, a child’s life changing, like in tiny ways, um, like I couldn’t sit still and now we can color to really big ways. Like I had this really traumatic past, and now I can talk about that and like integrate that into my adulthood. Um, it’s just something that like, like you have such a visceral response to it and you want to give it to others. Like you want, you want to share that like, oh, this incredible change and let us share what we did and what we saw happen. So you can see that too, but the kids that you care for. And so we’re starting to see that, um, that growth happen and really our teams on the ground sort of developing brand new ways to invite people into experiencing the same change we’ve seen with our kids across the country or across the globe.

And so, um, I really excited just for the possibility of how many kids could be impacted by that. And then just the encouragement and drive. I think of so many local leaders that are taking these things and adapting them to their context or the program they work in or the needs of the kids that they serve. And, um, really just kind of like seeing that change, that really tangible change of individual kids that they see every day face to face. Okay. Yeah. Oh, well, I just, like, I wish everyone could see you. I mean, we’re on a zoom call, but like through the computer, I can feel like your energy and passion, like for like throughout this whole conversation, just like that this just lights you up. Um, and that’s so like how wonderful though, that that’s like, what you, and that’s the work that you’re doing. And you’re like, you know, huge part obviously of making happen and you get to like, have these relationships with these people and then like, watch it come to fruition. And like you said, I mean, see those incremental, like big and small changes in people’s lives.

And then like, I dunno, what’s exciting to me is imagining, okay, well then, like, where’s that kid going to be, you know, 10 years from now and like, what lessons have they learned from that, that then they’re going to implement into their own family or not even just their families with their friends, with like their classmates, like w what, I mean, the people that they interact with at the grocery store. Like, I think the more you learn about, I think the importance of relationship and connection and all of these things, I mean, I think it just fundamentally changes you and every interaction you have with people, I mean, you know, we have good days and bad days, but, you know, hopefully it does, it does change the way you interact with human beings in general, and you see people’s pain and stories and all these things in a different context. Um, and it’s, I don’t know. That’s exciting to me. And that’s, what’s, that’s, what’s happening. It’s yeah. I think when you see kids who have experienced some of the hardest things, to be able to come into fully who they are uninhibited, like, and free truly free. I mean, that’s an exciting thing to see. Um, and we want every kid to experience that, you know, no matter where they are, no matter how old they are, um, even our adults.

So we work with like, yeah, we want them to experience that freedom and, um, yeah. To be able to live out fully who God created them to be, and like what an amazing thing to get to be a part of. Absolutely. And I’m glad you mentioned like older kids and adults too. Cause I think sometimes we think like, oh, like, I mean, this isn’t the right way to think about it, but I think I used to think this, like, that person is too far, it’s too far gone. Like, there’s not like what, you know, like they’ve on this. Like how, how could they change? And that’s not true. And that what’s so exciting and motivating. We even can always change. And, and I think, you know, even this has just been one of the crazy things, but even watching as an organization and when we cheat and we fall and, um, you know, we’re adapting to meet different needs and different challenges. And, um, we have new staff members that bring different viewpoints. But I think that like all of that is just such the, the picture God paints, right. What humanity has that we are evolving and ideally, always moving towards like this picture, this fuller picture of restoration and knowing that I feel like God calls us to be a part of and, um, yeah, what a cool story to get to be a part of.

And it makes for really exciting, never a dull moment dates 100% true. You could always say that it’s never dull. It’s never dull there. Um, well what did, what did we miss? Is there, what else is important for people to know like about, about AGCI and like the work that we’re doing around the world and the people we partner with. Yeah. Wow. I, again, will just say, I always wish that I could have everybody’s voice. Um, there’s just so many incredible individuals that represent AGCI around the world and we’re so grateful to have them on our team and so grateful for the leadership that they bring to all of the work that we do. And, um, yeah, I mean, I think we’re just really excited for the work ahead and, um, we’re excited for opportunities to learn and to grow and to fail and to keep going. And, um, yeah, we’re, we’re, we are, we’re forever changing, I think, and evolving as an organization, but we just are so grateful that God has put us in this place with the teams that we have. And I’m just excited to keep making a difference for kids. Yeah. Yeah. It’s a gift to get to, um, be a part of that. We’ll thank you so much, Kiersten. This was so fun for me. It was so fun to get to chat. Yeah, it always is.

And I just, um, I just can’t thank you enough for what you’re doing and like the role that you’re playing and like pushing all of this forward and, um, the intentionality in it. And it’s just really creating a, like a more, I don’t know, I think compassionate, um, beautiful world. Like, I mean, it’s just like the ripple effects are just kind of go on forever. So thank you. Yes.

That was Kiersten Luginbill, VP of AGCI’s International Programs. Thank you for listening to Together by AGCI. As always, if you liked what you heard, please rate or review us wherever you listen to podcasts. If you’d like to read or watch even more stories, check out our website,, reach out to us and let us know what you think on Instagram at @allgods childreninternational, or email us at We look forward to sharing another story of hope the next time we’re together. We’ll talk to you soon.