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 manager 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


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.


Manny, my blogger friend and creator of Kairos Now, posted this story on his site yesterday.  What an excellent story for Christmastime! (Manny has a new blog now so the following link comes from a source that I found this year…2013)

Here’s how this true Christmas story ends:



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