A Christmas Message from Mark Hanlon

A Christmas Message from Mark Hanlon, Senior VP

This year I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas not in front of a tree or surrounded by lights—but in here—our child development center in the GMC.

That's because for me, our center represents a "safe place" for kids. If you've traveled where we work, you know exactly what I mean. I can't tell you how much you feel the atmosphere change when you walk through the door of the center. It may be dangerous, or dirty, or chaotic on the outside, but it feels like an island—like a refuge—in here.

So—what did the stable feel like for Mary and Joseph? It certainly wasn't the sanitary place you envision for childbirth. It wasn't "home." And it wasn't a welcoming hotel room.

But for the night—it became safe. It became a refuge. And a child came out of it who will ultimately rule the world when he comes again.

All from a safe place. All from a refuge. Maybe even—holy ground.

This Christmas I want to thank you for all you do to make possible our "fifty-five-hundred-plus" safe places for children. A refuge from the street...from abuse...or from just being ignored.

We are doing important work—building the safe places that children deserve. Holy ground for them.

I hope that Christmas for you and your family is a refuge—enjoying good food...getting great presents...and getting some rest! And when you worship this Christmas, and when you read about the stable and manger—think "safe place." And remember how pleased Jesus is when children are welcomed and protected and loved.

Merry Christmas!