Church elder speaks to U.S. Congress alongside actress Jennifer Garner
— Christian Chronicle (@CofCnews) March 29, 2017
Millican, chief financial officer of Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. and board member for Tulsa Educare, invoked the words of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah as he spoke on behalf of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Tulsa World reports.
The Bible passage “tells me all of my religious practices are worthless if I do not break the yoke of oppression,” Millican told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. “In my opinion, there is no greater yoke of oppression than that laid upon a child born in generational poverty — a child who did not choose the circumstances of his or her birth.”
Millican, outgoing chair of Oklahoma Christian University‘s Board of Trustees, talked about a grant program in Oklahoma for high-quality child care centers to help low-income families — funded by money from the state and private donations. He also discussed making grants for similar programs more competitive — and encouraged legislators to make more federal funds available to programs serving children from infancy to age 3.
Garner, who grew up in West Virginia, described herself as “one generation and one holler away from poverty.”
“Poverty is silent,” Garner testified. “Go into those homes and listen for the sounds of adult conversation. There is none. Listen for children laughing or crying. Poverty is silent.”
Federal grants help Save the Children conduct home visits to teach mothers how to connect — read, talk, laugh and play — with their small children, Garner said.
”A child who is not touched, spoken to or read to in his or her life will not fully recover. Neglect is every bit as harmful as abuse,” Garner said. “”I never look at these people and say ‘How could you.’ I say, ‘But there but for the grace of God go I.’”
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