"From the Diary of a Missionary"
". . . But then the place that is 'chosen' came closer, the grounds of the monastery could be seen, and I felt happier in my heart. I approached the house. The children joyful and cheerful ran out to meet me. They surrounded me, looking at me with serene eyes, each one expecting a present -- one was expecting a little shovel, another -- a little rake, another -- a doll, everything that had been requested in advance. And then the laborers for the Kingdom of God approached me. One asked for the Spiritual Meadow, the other for the Flowers from the Garden of Ephrem the Syrian. A special feeling was in the air, the atmosphere was special, and I immersed myself into the surrounding life . . . Over there you can hear children laughing, and candy tasting is under way; other there, to the side, the Spiritual Meadow is being perused, and here in the monastery garden are fresh juicy apples to quench one's thirst. Everything around is beautiful -- silence, calmness! Lord! How can people not understand that nature is the best friend and healer of many ailments of the soul, and why do they not seek pleasure in spiritual solitude, but seek after the friends of Mammon?
"Before vespers I explained to everyone, as much as I could, the importance of the day, and during the service I said a prayer of gratitude to the Lord God asking for the elimination of hatred and the multiplication of love. And in this way I finished the important day of Portsmouth peace.
"Departing for the school.
"The next day, as soon as the sun shined through the windows, I woke the older orphan-children up and told them that the school year at the English school had already started and that we should appear there and get registered. We got ready, said a prayer in the church, and after I had put the three children into the carriage, we set out on our way to school. The children's joy which shined in the happy faces of the little ones, and other associated thoughts, brought to my mind my childhood and my departure for the seminary school. I remember how my crying mother blessed with the sign of the cross and gave me into the hands of her brother, my uncle, how he threw me into the carriage, how I tumbled in it a couple of times, and before I managed to look back, my dear poor little house with all its precious humbleness had disappeared from my eyes. The days of my loneliness, the days of my seminary school existence flashed in my mind, when once a year I was taken back to my dear home, and only in a carriage driven by bulls, where, on the first day of my arrival, the school-issued boots were unemotionally, ceremoniously taken away and locked up in a chest and returned only for the Sunday service. The remainder of the week I used to walk in the "natural" ones, tempering them with all sorts of splinters and changes of weather. I turned my eyes towards the little orphans sitting around me. And I felt so much pity for them, I had such a desire to hug them, caress them and show them lots of love so that unhappy orphanhood did not remind them of their loneliness. I blessed every one of them with the sign of the cross, saying a few warm words of encouragement. Here is the English school building. I introduced the little ones to the teacher, asked for special patronage, since two of them did not know English, and set out on the way back, asking the Lord in my thoughts to help them grow up, and to enlighten these little ones spiritually for the benefit of the Orthodox Church and to the glory of our worthy undertaking. . . ."