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A Touching Christmas Story From Russion Orphanage

Two Babes in a Manger.


> In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department
> of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in
> the public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses,
> the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys
> and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a
> government-run program were in the orphanage. They relate the following
> story in their own words:
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
> It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear,
> for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them
> about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn,
> the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in
> a manger.
>
> Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement
> as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp
> every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces
> of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper
> square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper
> was available in the city.
>
> Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid
> strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a
> worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia,
> were used for the baby's blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt
> we had brought from the United States. The orphans were busy assembling
> their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help.
>
> All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked
> to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the
> little boy's manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the
> manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there
> were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and
> looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the
> story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the
> Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately-until he came
> to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger.
>
> Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as
> he said, "And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me
> and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I
> have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I
> could stay with him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a
> gift to give him like everybody else did.
>
> But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had
> that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm,
> that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, "If I keep you warm, will
> that be a good enough gift?" And Jesus told me, "If you keep me warm,
> that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me." "So I got into the
> manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with
> him---for always."
>
> As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that
> splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head
> dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed.
> The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse
> him, someone who would stay with him-FOR ALWAYS. I've learned that it's
not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that
counts.
 






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