Where Is The Holy Spirit?
By Lynn Betasanes
This was my question on our recent mission trip to Ouzinkie, Alaska. Upon arrival we were greeted by a few of the island residents and escorted to the cultural center where would be staying. We set up ‘camp’ and prepared for our students that would be coming the next day. We had quite a few come the first day but very few parents came and the attendance diminished over the week. I guess I expected more curiosity or interest from the village people. For the first part of the week I felt very much like our presence was irrelevant. I almost felt like we were babysitters or summer entertainment. We put a lot of effort into planning lessons and activities and some of it was of little interest to the kids and it seemed of no interest to most parents. I kept wondering when the Holy Spirit was going to show His presence and help us teach the children so our efforts would not be in vain.
In a conversation on the phone with my husband I expressed my frustration in the lack of interest in my teaching and he stopped me and said, “Lynn ~ your job there is not to teach ~ you’re there to be an example of an Orthodox Christian ~ that should be your focus!” Wow ~ that sure opened my eyes! He was right and when I followed his advice and stopped trying to be a teacher and just be with the kids I found the Holy Spirit had been there all along.
He was there when 3 of our students were baptized at the end of the week and our daughters were the Godmothers! He was there in the friendships that we made with our fellow missionaries and some of the village people. He was there in the night when some kids were sad or scared and looked to us to comfort them. He was there watching over for our safety when swimming in the ocean and the lake. He was there when the local teens finally came around and accepted our teens. He was there when we were so mad we wanted to cry and He was there when we laughed so hard we did cry! He was everywhere we were. But mostly, He was in our hearts ~ I just needed to be reminded how to look inside and find Him there!