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- The Reason Their Are TWO Babes in the Manger

Two Babes in a Manger.
From Jay Raines

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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