For Father’s Day, I’m going to brag on my daughter

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I recently wrapped two days on Capitol Hill with a remarkable group of fellow Christians who are artists and advocates for the world’s poor, including friends like Dan Haseltine, Brandon Heath, Jennifer Nettles… and my daughter Sarah. We were there with the ONE Campaign and Hope Through Healing Hands to encourage members of Congress to ignore President Trump’s plan to cut foreign aid by almost one-third and continue to fully fund programs, like the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief or the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, that have saved millions and millions of lives (particularly in Africa, where our daughter was born).

Bringing Sarah to these meetings was not my idea—it came from my longtime friend (and HTHH Executive Director) Jenny Dyer, who felt that Sarah’s story and perspective would carry added weight as we made our case in a dozen separate meetings with seven senators, three members of the House of Representatives, and a pair of advisers from the Department of Health and Human Services.

I wish you could have been in those offices to hear Jennifer, Dan, Brandon, and others tell moving stories from their work in the developing world, and how their commitment to Jesus and his teachings compels them to speak out on behalf of the world’s poor. Jennifer would tell the good news of how, since 1990, we have halved poverty, halved deaths from malaria, tuberculosis, maternal and child deaths. Dan and Brandon would share their experience and expertise on other critical issues like clean water. And, Jenny would champion healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to save the lives of women and children around the world.

But I think all of us would agree that Sarah was the closer. There is special power in hearing about the importance of fighting malaria from someone who contracted it as a child. There is added weight when arguing for continued funding of ARV (anti-retroviral) drugs if the argument is made by a Ugandan who was orphaned by AIDS.

Sarah’s soft-spoken appeal to these powerful leaders was direct and convicting. We left each meeting confident that they understood what’s at stake with the risk of these deep cuts in foreign assistance and will vote to continue full funding for each of these life-saving programs.

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