"Two American women were challenged to go to Russia and spend some of their time in ministry to orphanages. They weren't professionals, and it cost them a pretty penny to leave their jobs and pay their own way. They sacrificed, but as they gave their love, they too found love in return.
They came to one orphanage of about a hundred kids where the Christmas story had never been told. So they shared the story of Bethlehem, and the inn, and Mary and the manger, and you know the rest. Then they gave each kid some cut-outs to build their own little manger scene. They used brown flannel to make baby Jesus, some cardboard for the manger, and some yellow scraps of paper for straw.
As these women went around to look at the work of each child, all went well until one of the women got to the table where little Misha sat. He was about six years old, and everything was in perfect order until the woman looked into the manger. There were two babies in the manger. She thought, "Oh, my goodness. What's happened here?" So she asked the translator to come over so she could find out where Misha had gotten mixed up.
Misha had all the details in place until he got to the very end, and then he began to ad lib. He said,
And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, she looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told her, 'I have no mamma and I have no pappa, so I don't have any place to stay.' Then Jesus told me I could stay with Him. Then I told Him I couldn't because I didn't have a gift to give like everyone else did.
But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, I thought, what do I have that I could give as a gift? I thought maybe if I keep Him warm, that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, 'If I keep you warm, would that be a good gift?' And Jesus said, 'If you keep me warm, that would be the best gift anyone gave me.' So I got into the manger, and Jesus looked at me and told me I could stay with Him in the manger always.
As little Misha finished his story his eyes brimmed with tears and they began to splash down his little cheeks. Then he put his hand over his face, his head dropped down to the table, and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon or abuse him, someone who would always stay with him. The American finished her story by saying, 'And I learned it's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life, that counts.'
These two American women gave their lives away to children in orphanages, and in turn, their lives were filled with abundant joy! And many children placed their trust in Jesus, and He filled them with His joy.
To whom are you giving your life?