Back when I was in college I went to a conference, and I heard the following story shared there. The author of the story is unknown, but the power and impact of the story was incredible. Not having a family or home myself, and knowing the pain and longing for such, this story struck a chord within my heart. Please read the story below and realize that THIS is why we here at Abogar International Ministries are doing what we are doing, that many of these children may know God, who is a faithful Father… for always! If you have a father, mother, and/or family, may you really thank God for them this Christmas season… And please don’t forget the millions of little children orphaned throughout the world who have no mother or father to share this holiday, or any day, with.
Two Babes in a Manger (Author unknown)
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. The Americans relate the following Christmas story:
It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear the traditional Christmas story for the first time. 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 Christmas story, the children and orphanage staff sat and listened in amazement. 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 six 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 mama 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 that 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.