Pictured above from left to right: Michael Wear (Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships), Kathleen Strottman (Exec. Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Ambassador Susan Jacobs (State Department), Steve Gillis (Patch Our Planet), Robert Clay (Deputy Administrator U.S. Aid), & Carolyn Twietmeyer (Project Hopeful). 

What a whirlwind.  About a week and a half ago, I received an invitation from the White House to present Patch Our Planet on one of the panels for National Adoption week.  My answer was of course, yes.  It was an amazing discussion of how government and faith-based organizations are working together to try to get orphans of all ages into forever families.  And, it was our opportunity to emphasize that the Christian Church is the answer.  Located on every corner of the world, the Church is in the position to do the most good.  And, we have a mandate and a calling to lead the way.  Patch Our Planet wants to help the Church by equipping and educating church leaders with a long term, holistic strategy that has the benefit of the foster child and global orphan as its main priority. You can read all the details and see the different Senators, Congressmen/women, government officials and National Leaders that were represented at the meeting here at the White House website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/11/29/national-adoption-month-white-house

I am grateful to have had such a wonderful opportunity to speak on behalf of the foster child and global orphan.  My prayer is that the Church would awaken to its responsibility and once again take its rightful place at the front of this epidemic.  Each church doing something will be enough to eradicate this problem.  It is my hope that in 10 years, we’ll look back and see such a great movement of the Church to care for orphans that we won’t be talking about 143-210 million orphans in our world.  What if instead we heard stories of ALL of the 100,000 awaiting kids in the U.S. foster system being adopted by loving families?  And, what if we hear how the Global Church moved to eliminate the word “millions” from the face of the earth when talking about the number of orphans in the world?  It’s not that far fetched.  With God, all things are possible.  But, our inaction must now turn to action.  Each one doing his/her part will make the difference. 

“As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Here is a little snapshot of our time in Washington, D.C.  Thank you for those of you who prayed for me and tuned in to the live feed.  We are hoping to get a video up at some point.  But, for now….here are the pictures:

 Renee and I on our way to the White House Executive Office Building.
 In front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
 As you can imagine, security is pretty tight.
 This gorgeous building hosts the White House Staff and many of the high level meetings.  Connected by a tunnel to the White House West Wing.
 We need one of these for our house.
 The Elevators are really cool.  Beautiful wood work.
 There were Rotondas like this located throughout the building.
 Coolest staircase ever.
 Our conference room is located down this hallway.
 National Security, Secret Service, Vice Presidential offices all located in this building.
 About a 4 foot door.  Lady on the elevator said it used to have something to do with the air conditioner.  Renee and I think it’s probably something much more interesting than that.
 Tree outside our conference room.  There was one on every corner.
 You have to appreciate the bathrooms.  You know you wanted to see it. 
 Getting the panel started.
 I know, it’s blurry.  Why would you need a clear shot at the White House? 
 About 80 people in the room.  National faith-based leaders and government officials.
 Reading the notes of all the other panelists as they spoke.
 This is in front of the West Wing where all the Senior Admin. officials enter the White House.  Secret service were there and watching us very closely. 
 The White House looks beautiful at night.  Put your glasses back on. 🙂
The National Adoption Month agenda.  We are under the 12pm time slot.
There was a first for me.  I could actually hear my heart beating in my ears before my opportunity to speak.  I just prayed I wouldn’t pass out and knock over the really cool microphone.  Humbled that God would give me the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Church and the Orphan.  If you haven’t seen the other posts, I would encourage you to look around the archives of this blog and be inspired to do something big.
Would you consider supporting Patch Our Planet financially with an end of the year gift or by becoming one of our monthly sponsors?  With upcoming orphan trips to Ukraine and Costa Rica, we need your support to continue to have maximum impact advocating for orphans here locally and globally.  You can follow this link for more information:  https://patchourplanet.org/
Thank you and God bless!
Steve Gillis
Founder/Exec. Director, Patch Our Planet