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Episode 76

Introducing Cycle Breakers

Jep Robertson, National Advancement Officer, & Campbell Haug, Associate Director of Annual Giving

Welcome to Together by AGCI . I’m Marisa Butterworth. Today I get to chat with some of my all-time favorite friends and coworkers, Campbell Haug and Jep Robertson, about a very special new program at all God’s children called Cycle Breakers. Campbell is our associate Director of annual giving and Jep is our National Advancement Officer. In Jep’s spare time, he moonlights as the star of TV shows like Duck Family Treasure and Duck Dynasty. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him. I can’t wait for you to hear what we are up to and how you can get involved today. Well, hello Campbell and Jep. Thank you both so much for jumping on here with me. I’m so excited to talk about Cycle Breakers. I know you guys have a lot to share, so I’m just going to like jump right in. But hello. Hello Audi. Thank you for having us. Yes, thank you. No, thank you. So Campbell, what is Cycle Breakers exactly and why is it so important? That is a great question. Yeah. So in our work with vulnerable children and families across the world, what we’ve found is that a lot of children and families are trapped in a devastating cycle of trauma that really just never ends. And it keeps them in institutions or in situations of poverty or abuse or neglect of parents.

And because they don’t have the resources to break out on their own, it goes on for generations if there’s no intervention. So we created Cycle Breakers as a program to, as a Cycle Breaker through monthly support. You get to be a part of breaking that cycle and changing their lives by giving them access to things that they never had before, such as therapy or trauma informed care or training, independent living preparation, all of those different things. You know, as an OR organization, we intervene in five main areas. We have prevention services to keep families together wherever we can. And if a child is unable to safely stay with their family, then we wanna provide family-like care until they can safely reunify. And should there not be a path back to reunification, then the goal is to place a child with a loving family through adoption or for young adults. We prepare them for successful adulthood and living independently. And then of course we see the most change in a country through our policy work and partnering with officials to change or rewrite child welfare laws all over the board. So all of this is part of breaking the cycle that children and families are stuck in. And so as a Cycle Breaker, you’re really fueling all of that work, which I, I think is just so cool. I love that I see what you did with those five Ps there too.

Yes, got on the five Ps always, they’re so important and, and why we do the work that we do really. I love that, Jep. I know like I’ve, we’ve, we’ve been on here before talking about our travels and as a team, the things that we’ve seen, but why is Cycle Breakers important to you through that lens? Through the lens of like meeting these kids, meeting their families and like seeing the impact that it could have? You know what’s crazy is, and I don’t think I’ve talked about this really, but growing up, my mom would take me typically every other Sunday to this very poor neighborhood and she’d like really looked after this lady who had a lot of kids and just very, you know, impoverished. And, and I kind of saw, I mean it’s funny going into this work now cuz I saw as a kid, like how my mom was a Cycle Breaker and she would help these kids and, and show me without even telling me like this, we’re here to help these, these families and these kids and she would just let me play with ’em and, and we’d have a, like a Bible study kind of thing. And weirdly enough, some of those kids are still some of my best friends and kind of made it out of there. But it’s, it’s, it was, it’s a cycle.

So I mean it happens everywhere we get to see it kind of worldwide, but it’s, you know, everywhere you live there’s a, there’s these families in crisis and these kids are honestly taking the brunt of it. And that’s what it just kinda, I I never thought I’d grow up to kind of be a Cycle Breaker, but looking back on my life, I see why I, I’m a part of this. Yes. And it’s, it’s amazing. Well, you’re sweet mom like exposed you to that. And I think it’s so crazy how that when we expose our kids to an appropriate level of like other people’s hurt and trauma and how we can help, I think it does like plant that seed in so many of our lives of how we can go on to make a difference and so important. I love that. And, and it is funny like yeah, when you go back to think through like what led you to this place, it is so often like that exposure when you’ve been younger and a child and you can see that it does make an impact. It does make a difference. It does change things for people, you know, if, if you intervene in that way.

So Campbell, will you talk just a little bit about trauma and like the, the impact that it actually has on children and families and like you said, Jeb, this is worldwide, this isn’t just happening in other countries, this is happening here, this is is happening to us. We all go through things and experience trauma in different ways, but the kids that, and families that we’re serving are often experiencing really deep trauma that is, is like near impossible to come back from without somebody helping you. Yeah, and I think it’s, it’s so cool to hear that example from you Jep, because I think it’s the complete opposite of what we’re seeing a lot of the time is, is that trickle down effect that you have from your parents. So it’s so cool to hear of a positive experience, but a lot of the families that all of the families that we’re working with have the complete opposite where, you know, there’s trauma in the older generations that really trickles down and because they don’t have that intervention, they just think that, you know, kids grow up thinking that these kinds of things are normal and that it’s totally normal to be abused or neglected just because that’s all they’ve ever known. And parents the same way, they’ve just always, that’s how they were parented, so they just parent how they were parented. Yeah.

So yeah, we’ve seen profound effects on children and families in all sorts of areas of life from trauma. There’s so many studies that we’ve, that people have done that we’ve looked into and the results are heartbreaking. I mean, there’s without resolved or with unresolved trauma, it can lead to things like lower IQs, higher rates of depression. They’ve even found that life expectancy decreases by 20 years. That’s crazy. 20 years insane. I mean, 20 years, that’s a, that’s, I mean, yeah, that’s like a whole adulthood that you’re missing almost or whole portion of your life that you’re missing. Wow. And so that’s just crazy. And then I think one of the hardest things to swallow, one of the hardest stats to swallow is that there’s a 12 times increased risk of suicide attempts. So when we talk about trauma and the effects of trauma, it really can be life or death for these children and families for them to get this intervention. I think the word trauma kind of just gets thrown around these days, you know, can be traumatized by not having the last slice of pizza or whatever, you know, it’s kind of like a socialized thing now, but it’s so much more than that for these families and it really has a deep effect.

And like I said, it’s generational because it will continue for generations to come if there’s no one there to break that and show them what healthy parenting does look like and what connection looks like. And, and yeah. And it’s so cool because I think with this program, like there is hope to get in there to break through that cycle, which is, I mean, I don’t mean to be cheesy, but which is why it’s called Cycle Breakers. We are, we nailed it right there on the head when we named it. But like, that’s the thing, I, we’ve seen so many examples already. I mean, our team was in Columbia last year and we got to meet a family that is, is be their, their cycle is being intervened for. And we’ve seen such a shift in their lives. I mean, this father was very vulnerable and shared some of his story and how he was abused himself as a child. And so that’s all he really ever knew. And so once he had children, his children also fell victim to abuse. And thankfully he did the really hard work of healing his own trauma so that he could then also do the same for his kids. And we got to see them in such a success successful way.

I mean, they really are thriving now, but I know that if that hadn’t, if they hadn’t done that hard work of the healing and breaking that cycle, then his son would’ve grown up and done the same thing and for generations to come it would’ve been never ending. Yeah. So, yeah, and that’s what we see, that’s what we continue to see through this is that if, if we don’t intervene, if there isn’t intervention at some point it just continues and it continues generationally and you know, it, it, there’s no chance for it to stop a very, very little chance for it to stop. And often there’s just not a place for someone to get help, even if they know that they need it. There isn’t that option for them. There isn’t that, you know, I need, when I personally knew like, gosh, I’ve got some stuff I need to work through, I was able to reach out and find a counselor that could help walk me through that. And that just isn’t often the case for so many people. There isn’t someone to help, there isn’t a guide in their life that can help without a program like this. So Jep, like when we’re talking about this, like why this is something that you’ve chosen to like dedicate your a, a good part of your adult life to like why is this so important to you?

You hit the nail on the head when you said hope because I mean, that’s the deal. I think, you know, there’s so many kids around the world that the kids that I think we’re helping, especially they have no hope. And I mean I, I’m like, I can’t imagine feeling like that. I mean, there’s been times where I’ve felt a little hopeless, but where these kids are and I can say I don’t think I’ve ever been, and you know, it’s funny, we were talking, I was thinking about goodwill hunting and its weird example, but you know, I I feel like, you know, when that that real, that scene that was so crazy, you know, obviously he’s an adult, but he had been through a lot of the things these kids have been through that we see. Yeah. And it’s when that, when he finally realized there’s like, I can, I can get through this. There’s hope, you know, there’s people that love me. I think that’s exactly what we’re doing with these kids. It’s, it’s helping them realize that there is hope, there is a better life. There’s people that love you. Yeah. And we can break that cycle through love and, and really just fixing them spiritually, emotionally, physically. That’s what gets me is like, I mean, I always say this, it’s like if you, I I feel like if you wanna change the world, you gotta help kids.

That that’s the only way you gotta help the next generation and the generation under them and to show ’em love and hope and, and care for ’em. I mean that, I think that’s the kids I’ve met, it’s, they finally feel cared for for the first time in their life. Mm. And it’s, it’s eye-opening. I mean it’s, yeah, it, it’s sad that there’s so many that, that are not cared for. And so I love it. I love what we do. Yeah, me too. And I, I mean sometimes it’s, when you say, you know, it’s sad that they’re not cared for. It’s true. And then sometimes it’s like their families just don’t know how to care for them, how to love them. They’ve, they’ve, like you said Campbell, like they’ve never been given those tools of how to be healthy or, you know, not that all of us don’t, you know, make mistakes in our own lives all the time, but like how to have healthy relationships, how to talk about hard things, how to discipline your children in a way that isn’t traumatizing. Just like, you know, we all need this. How to take care of yourself when you need it. Yes. Yeah, yeah. Those things that we just, that aren’t talked about and yeah, it’s a, that’s, that’s it.

That’s, it’s the hope there that, that people have, that there is a chance for something different, that they can be different, they can be better versions of themselves and that they don’t have to live that same reality over and over again as they go into adulthood with their own kids and have it just keep happening. So Campbell like the Cycle Breakers program, I think is really, really unique and a different model than anything that I’ve ever seen before. And I love it because it’s a really, you’re able to have a really broad impact on people and there’s something really cool about like more of a traditional sponsorship, which we also do like a one-to-one sponsor where you sponsor a child through education sponsorship, but this is totally different. Will you like just kind of lay out what this program looks like and how people can be involved in that way? Yeah, so like you said, I think the support from Cycle Breakers is really broad, but I think what’s so cool is that we talk a lot in, in talking about the work that we do, we talk about the one and the many and being able to impact the one and have deep impact within someone’s life, but then also letting that expand into other areas of that region or the world. Totally. And affecting the many. And so I think Cycle Breakers is a perfect way to do just that.

And through monthly support you’re not only supporting but you’re really investing in the lives of children and families, which I think is so cool. Yeah. I think just, I think for me all the time I think about the people in my life who invested resources or time or money or whatever it was when I was down to pick me back up and as a Cycle Breaker, that’s what you get to do for children all over the world who need it most. You know, I have never been where they are and I know that it was life changing to have people in my life who invested in me. So I think as a Cycle Breaker, you get to be that and that’s really cool. And investing in their lives says you are worthy of healing and being loved and living your best life and you’re giving them a chance to become the people that God designed them to be. And there’s something beautiful about meeting someone where they’re at and really filling in the gaps of, of what their needs are. And one of the things I love the most about all God’s children and the work that we do is that we really don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. And Cycle Breakers is another perfect example of that. We really want to, like I said, meet someone where they are.

And I think what makes our work so different is that our goal is always to partner with local leaders in a country so that we can first understand the unique issues within that region and how best to intervene for the people there. And like I said, where the gaps are really. And then we really wanna hire a local team to facilitate that so that it’s the best and most culturally appropriate and effective care possible for the families and families and children in their areas. So for instance, in Columbia we know that sexual violence rates are extremely high unfortunately. So the care that those children and families receive needs to look a lot different from that of Ethiopia for instance, where sexual violence isn’t as prevalent. And I think that kind of, like I said, not having a one size fits all approach is really the only way to create lasting change that can actually transform generational trauma to then generational healing. And that’s what you get to be a part of as a Cycle Breaker, which is just so cool to me. I love that. I love the the, the transition into the generational healing that that is, that this program makes possible. Jep, will you talk about like how do people give in this program?

Is it like a one, like do they give, do they have to give a certain amount or they can, they give like different different amounts depending on where they’re at? You can you from to my knowledge, there is no too much amount. So there’s not give, you can give all of it. You can give 10,000 a month, you can give a thousand a month, you can give $24 a month and anywhere in between there I think spend some time in prayer and know that God is using us to truly change the lives of these kids and families. And I always tell people, I’m like, Hey, I’ve vetted this much. We are 100% legit and are doing the work. So don’t be, don’t be scared. Your money is going to an amazing cause and it’s changing lives. And kind of to back up a little bit, maybe people don’t know this is kind of how I really got involved with all Gus children was Gus cuz we adopted Gus my youngest and we were having trouble just like, man, he’s not like our other kids. Like what’s kinda what’s wrong? Like it was just the things we used to discipline and just, just a lot of range of everything we did with our other kids was not working. I don’t know how to really say that. Like it was, we were just having more trouble. Yep.

And when we came to our first gala and I heard about the book, the book the What’s Karen Pervis book? I give it Out all the time. The Connected Child, is that what you’re thinking of? The Connected Child? Yes. I’ve, I’ve bought so many copies of that book and given it to people who have kind of been through what we’ve been through where just like, I just don’t understand, I, I walk like what we’re doing to help these kids. I’m actually walking through that with my own kid. So it’s kind of a, well it’s a full c circle cycle thing for me for sure. Yep. We just realized there was a lot of things he inherited genetically and just some trauma maybe his mom had, you know, when she was pregnant or even before they got passed onto him. I, I’ve learned so much about just, you know, helping kids. Like for example, he has a lot of trouble like sensory issues where it’s like if he puts on a shirt or something and it feels weird to him and it kind of freaks him out. His hair is kind of weird about his hair and we were like, what do we do? There’s a lot of stuff you can soothe kids. We have like a weighted blanket we use weirdly enough like drinking lots of water can help kids to kind of calm ’em down.

So you know, we’re using these same principles in these kids who’ve been through so much trauma and stuff, you know, to help. And I’m also doing that with my own son. It’s just kind of crazy how it’s all worked for me as far as like it’s just almost like I was meant to do this and I’m still doing it in my own family. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all. Yeah, I love it. I love that too because it, it speaks to the impact I think that all of us have had. If that impact, it’s, I should rephrase that, the impact it’s had on all of us because of the work that we do and seeing things through a different lens. And I think this is so cool because this invites everyone else into what we get to see every day because we get to see these things in person when we travel. We get to hear these stories when we hear from different members of our team that are around the world and team here locally and with Cycle Breakers we get to share that, those stories with you. So you get to see the impact that you’re making. You get to see the child, the whose life you, you helped change because your money, like Jep was saying, like it’s going towards this mission and God is using this organization for such incredible big things right now.

And it’s so cool that we get to see it every day and through Cycle Breakers it’s, it’s really cool because you, when you sign up you get to experience some of that Campbell, will you speak a little bit to that? Just like what does it look like when somebody signs up? What does that look like after that? How do we keep them engaged in what they’re supporting? Yeah, so I mean we will be sending updates as much as possible. So when you sign up, your support is for all of our work globally as we’ve kind of talked about. But you can specifically say whether you want updates specifically from Africa or from Latin America if you’re really interested in those areas and or or you can just say, you know, I want the global updates. So we will be sending out text updates which are just, we’ll have pictures and short stories of different ways that you’ve impacted children around the world and you’ll get a handmade bracelet, which we were just in Ethiopia and so I actually got to see the girls making these bracelets and I can tell you with certainty there was a lot of love put into those. So that’s a really cool memento and just something to remind you of the impact that you’re having every day.

And yeah, just, we’ll send global updates throughout the year just so that you are very aware and see exactly where your money is going and how you’re impacting children around the world. I love that. And we did, we just saw them make these sweet, sweet bracelets. They were so cute and we were able to thank them too in person. I was like, thank you for doing this. And I love the bracelets because it really is just like a reminder of, you know, it’s something that you can wear and think about the kids that you’re impacting all around the world and just have it or have it on your nightstand or wherever it is to think and pray for those kids. And there’s those families because they’re really doing like the big hard work and their own lives because that change doesn’t happen easily or quickly necessarily. That that’s hard. You have to be vulnerable and like be willing to push through things that, that hurt so deeply to get to that place of healing. And so having like something like that ha hearing these stories, it really gives you a chance to be involved actively, not only financially but also through prayer of just advocating for these kids in that way is, is so important. And I love that. Yes. Like sweet reminder. Yeah. For that and what that looks like.

So Jep, I think that you, like you’ve given, like I said earlier, like you’ve given your life to advocating for kids that have experienced trauma in their own life and for this healing that they can also this healing and hope that they can also get. How for anybody listening right now, like how would you suggest that people start advocating on a more personal level in addition like so they’ve signed up for Cycle Breakers, what else can they be doing in their own lives? I definitely think you gotta tell people kind of what’s going on in the world and, and the kids you’re, you’re helping. Cuz we definitely want this to spread and social media’s a great way to do that. We’re definitely doing a lot more with churches and we want to get every church in the world hopefully involved in what we’re doing and, and just know that there’s such a big need and there’s, it, it, it could be so easily, we can touch so many just by spreading the word and saying, Hey, this is what we’re doing. Look at these kids’ lives change, look how rough they had it and how hopeless they were and look at ’em now. They’re smiling, they’re understanding love and what God’s done for ’em. And so I think the biggest thing is just really letting people know, tell, tell ’em about all God’s children. Say man, have you seen what these guys are doing?

They’re, they’re really changing lives. I love that. Campbell, would you add anything to that? Yeah, no I think you, you hit it Jep. I think just spreading the word, I think everyone has a sphere of influence and just being able to share what you’re passionate about I think goes a really long way. And we have some donors who are willing to even invite friends and families into their home and tell the stories of AGCI I and ask their friends and families to become Cycle Breakers. So if that’s something that you’re interested in or just sharing on social media, however you feel like you wanna do that, we wanna make it as easy as possible for you. So I’d love to connect with you and, and we can work together on that. But even just sharing this podcast, there’s just really simple ways to be able to spread that. That’s great. And so if somebody was like, Hey I could host something at my house or I’d love to post something on social media, how would they go about getting in touch with you? Is there an easy way? Are you comfortable sharing your email or is there another email? Yes, no, I’m very happy to share my email please.

Yeah, you can reach out to me at and I would be so happy to, to connect you, connect with you and hear a little bit more about, well I wanna be able to tailor everything to your specific, like I said, sphere of influence in what you wanna do. So, but we’ll make it as easy as possible. We have some materials to give to you to make sure that you have everything you need to share with your friends and family. So yeah, just reaching out would be great. I love it. And same if you have like, if you wanna share this with your church, if you wanna share this in any way you can reach out and if it’s easy you can also, I’m sure email like and they’ll, they’ll get the message where it needs to go as well. Yeah, absolutely. So I just love this. So how do people sign up? Both are either of you like what are the next steps people can take right now? Yeah, you can go to the website and become a Cycle Breaker on the website. So it’s just Breaker and that’ll take you where you need to be. And as always, you can also reach out to me if you have any questions at all. Great.

And I know, so Jep, I know you ingested something really fun on your social media for Valentine’s Day and just talked a little bit about becoming a Cycle Breaker in lieu of gifts. But is there, do you know of any ways, like is there a way to sign up through your Instagram or anything like that? Is there another easy way? Yeah, definitely. You know, follow me and Jess, she’s at Jessica Duck wife and I’m at Jep Duck man on Instagram and you know, definitely we’re gonna post a lot more stuff. We have a a, a cool kind of schedule coming up where we wanna share some cool insights with you guys and I wanna share this verse with you cuz my dad always tells me this and he pretty much knows the Bible by heart. So, but I have to read it, it says religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this to look after orphans and widows in their distress. It’s cool. He tells me that all all the time. And we recently, you know, super Bowl was just on and me and my brother, I don’t know if y’all saw it, but there was a short little thing about Fox Nation and, and we were in it for a second and it’s so funny cuz my mom called me after the game. She’s like, gee, watch that game. It was awesome. And I was like, yes ma’am.

She was like, y’all were. And I said, mom, did you see us on there? And she was like, y’all were on there. I was like, yeah, just for a second. And she’s like, oh yeah, yeah, we, we did see that. And, and my dad, he grabbed the phone from my mom, he was like, Hey son, there was a hundred million people just saw a, an advertisement for y’all’s TV show. He was like, think about all the kids you could help. Oh, that was his first thought was like, not that, oh that’s so cool, super Bowl, blah blah, blah, blah. He was like, think about all the kids you could help because of that influence. And I thought, man, wow. Pretty awesome. Just kind of that’s how my family thinks, which is, which is great. So, so yeah, we’re definitely gonna make a big presence on social media and especially churches is definitely something. So if anybody listening it’s like, you know, I’m an elder at this church. We’d love to have, you know, something with you guys involved. Maybe come and tell us about Cycle Breakers. Definitely email us, hit us up and let us know. Yeah, that’s great. And thank you guys for doing that. That’s, and I didn’t even notice that you were on there. I feel very ridiculous. I didn’t even see it pop up, but it was really short. Really short. It is, it’s true.

When it impact I did, I saw it. See Campbell saw and I didn’t even notice. I love it. Well, thank you guys both so much for coming on here and talking about it. I’m so excited for Cycle Breakers. It makes such an impact. I’m excited that we’ll be sharing more with you when you sign up. Like Campbell and Jep both mentioned, like you can sign up for as little as $24 and you can go on up to whatever you can do. I would encourage you to, like Jep said, just pray about how much you can do a month because the more you do, the bigger impact that you make personally and that we’re able to make around the world, it just, it, it really does add up and it makes such a huge difference. So thank you guys for coming on and sharing. Thank you so much for having us. That was AGCI’s Campbell Haug and Jep Robertson. If you’re interested in joining our Cycle Breakers program, head to our website at and click on “Become a Cycle Breaker.” This is truly life-changing work and today you can make a difference by helping us to break the cycle that traps children and families. Keep up with us on social media by following us on Instagram and Facebook @AllGodsChildrenInternational. If you like what you’ve heard, please make sure to follow us and rate us wherever you listen to podcasts.

Thanks for listening or watching Together by AGCI .