Matushka Olga Michael, wife of the departed Archpriest Nikolai O.
Michael from the village of Kwethluk on the Kuskokwim River in Alaska,
as described in Fr. Michael Oleksa’s book, Orthodox Alaska, was neither a
“physically impressive or imposing figure.” She raised eight children
to maturity, giving birth to several of them without a midwife. While
her husband was away taking care of many other parishes, she kept busy
raising her family and doing many things for other people. One is
reminded of the story of Tabitha in the book of Acts (9:36-ff) when
hearing that “[i]n addition to sewing Father Nikolai’s vestments in the
early years and crafting beautiful parkas, boots and mittens for her
children, she was constantly sewing or knitting socks or fur outerwear
for others. Hardly a friend or neighbor was without something Matushka
had made for them.
Parishes hundreds of miles away received unsolicited gifts, traditional
Eskimo winter boots (‘mukluks’) to sell or raffle for their building
fund. All the clergy of the deanery wore gloves or woolen socks
…[which she] had made for them” (p. 203).
Do you have a talent? God has blessed each of us with unique gifts. Do not hide them under a bushel basket, but pull them out and use them to help others.