In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics based on biblical principles in prisons 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, 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 Mary 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.

–author unknown

7 Responses to The Manger

  1. Elizabeth Saunders says:

    Great message!

  2. Richard says:

    Our Father’s touch into my life is always so appropriate, yet from a totally unexpected source. Thank you for being His channel – again!

    • Tamara says:

      My prayer let each one of us accept Jesus as our personal Saviour this Christmas and may each of us witness and proclaim Jesus saving love to all those who never heard the Good News of Christmas.

      He is the Saviour of all mankind to all those who believe, accept and follow his teachings.. Peace will come to their hearts and to all human race.

      He is God with us, let us all pray for wisdom that the God of Love enter all hearts as it was always meant to be, for all the world is passing vanity.

  3. Corazon Perez says:

    Everyone is invited to come and as Jesus always do that to everyone who will, will find rest and comfort in Him….

  4. Linda Woods says:

    What a sweet story. And Misha, Jesus Christ WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU! Please believe that!

  5. Angie Cooper says:

    What a Blessed message this is! I have tears flowing from my eyes & think what a perfect story coming from this wee child of God! So true that it’s not what we have, but who we have in our life that counts. Thank you for my morning, blessing! AllWorship, you have blessed me beyond words with your 24/7 Christian music. And then to add this tidbit, well, I’m overwhelmed by it all! God bless you abundantly & may the light you shine ever so brightly continue to shine into so many dark lives in these end times! Bountiful blessings, and love, Angie PTL: for YOU! \o/

  6. Harvellia Thomas says:

    WOW!! I love this. Thanks. Have a blessed Merry Christmas.

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