Published December 23, 2013
GPS is helping people find Jesus.
The technology can't do much to help sinners find salvation, but it is helping churches recover baby Jesus dolls when they are stolen from nativity scenes, a crime that happens all too often, according to the faithful.
"We have even seen contests where the teenagers compete to see who can gather the most baby Jesuses," said Todd Morris, CEO of BrickHouse Security, which provides GPS trackers, free of charge, to churches to install in the dolls.
Morris calls the program "Saving Jesus."
"We have been providing free GPS trackers to churches and temples for the past 5 years because there has been a rash of stolen nativity scenes and stolen religious artifacts," he said.
Alan Czyzewski, a parishioner at St. Ambrose Church in Old Bridge, N.J., who came up with the idea, said he believes Jesus would approve.
"Jesus would say, 'Thank you,'" he said. "To protect the symbolism of Christmas and His birth, I think [Jesus Christ] would be all for this."
A few years ago, Czyzewski came across a creche scene at a nearby church that was missing the baby Jesus and covered in graffiti. He then did a quick Internet search and found BrickHouse Securities to save his own church's Jesus.
"I've been putting a GPS on my baby Jesus for years," said Czyzewski. "It's a shame, but that's the way society is. We just have to make sure that things we love are protected."
Morris says the GPS tracking device is about the size of a Zippo lighter and stays asleep unless someone picks up the doll and starts moving.
"When a church wants to borrow a GPS tracker for the holiday season, they just apply at BrickHouseSecurity.com for a free rental," said Morris. "We send them out the device preprogrammed and activated and give them some instructions on how to hide it inside of baby Jesus."
If a doll is ripped out of its nativity scene, it can be found, according to Morris.
"We then monitor [baby Jesus] from our cloud-based mapping system and set up alerts so that they get a text message or an email if baby Jesus is in motion," says Morris.
The "Saving Jesus" program not only protects baby Jesus. Morris says they will protect menorahs and other religious artifacts, too.