Two Babes in a Manger (an oldie goldie Christmas story)

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manger
In 1994, two American volunteers answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach Bible-based morals and ethics classes in several schools and institutions, including a home for about 100 orphaned, abandoned, or abused children.

Shortly before Christmas, the volunteers told the children at the home the story of the first Christmas—a story that most of them had never heard before. The children listened in rapt amazement as Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, found no room in the inn, and ended up taking refuge in a stable, where Mary gave birth to baby Jesus and laid Him to sleep in a manger.

Afterwards the volunteers organized an art project. They gave each of the children a small piece of cardboard to make a manger, part of a yellow napkin to cut up for straw, a piece of beige felt from which to cut baby Jesus, and a scrap of fabric to wrap Him in. As the children assembled their mangers, the volunteers moved around the room, interacting with the children and offering a little help where needed.

When one of the volunteers came to six-year-old Misha, she found that he had already finished his project. But as she looked closer, she was surprised to see two babies in his manger. When she asked him about this, Misha crossed his arms, knit his brow, and began explaining very seriously. For such a young boy who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related it all quite accurately, until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then he started to ad lib.

“Baby Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told Him I have no mama and 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. But I wanted to stay with Jesus very much, so I thought about what I could maybe use for a gift. 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 said I could stay with Him for always.”

As little Misha finished his story, tears filled his eyes and splashed down his cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, he dropped his head to the table and sobbed. Misha had found Someone who would never abandon or abuse him, Someone who would stay with him “for always.”1—Author unknown

 

heartbreaking truth.

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child

I was secretly glad to have a cold yesterday so it didn’t notice when my eyes would tear up.

You see my daughter has been talking with her husband, who is working as a translator for the Syrian refugees pouring into Germany. He told her how there are so very many orphans. Some parents have died on overcrowded boats and some, there not being space for them all to get on the trains,  had, in sacrificial desperation, thrust them in the available spaces (some only 2-3 years old)

I cannot imagine being so desperate for my children’s safety that i could make such a sacrifice, having to trust somehow the German people would take care of them.

The German government is pleading for people to adopts these little ones.

(Don’t believe all you read in the media about Syrian refugees by the way. The vast majority arriving, he said, are Syrian women and children, not single men or not economic opportunists with fake Syrian passports.)

Sometimes I’m so thankful for face book!

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nepal

You see the first I heard about the earthquake in Nepal was that my old friend was safe – a face book announcement.

He was in an affected area and this is a photo from his page.

Such folks are rare and I’m so relieved he and the children are OK. Many years ago he took over a small group of orphans after foreign aid workers were forced to leave (he’s Nepalese) and has devoted his life to bringing them up (they are young teenagers now).

You can see his heart by this quote from his face book page:

“All my Nepali Facebook friends, please make a list of worst effected people you know of and inbox me and I will do what I can to help. I will add to my list I already have over 50 families in my list.
Don’t tell me here, either call me or inbox me. Thanks! You can also tell me what is the greatest need right now. I might not be able to help everyone but I will try to do what I can and however many I can help.”

I might add he, himself is living in a tent since his home was damaged and only going back inside to access the internet (which appears to be working). They have had 96 aftershocks there so such trips are dangerous!

I later heard my other friend in the area – an equally committed English lady – was safe also.

I have been through several earthquakes both in Japan and Taiwan (some major) it’s hard to explain the confusion and disorientation that hits when the ground shifts under your feet, seconds seem like lifetimes.

You can see why my heart leapt to know they were OK. Such folks are too precious to loose.