“The Orphanage Runs Out of Food”

“The Orphanage Runs Out of Food”
“The difficulties in obtaining food for the children during the war years were in fact extreme. At one point, St. Tikhon’s flatly ran out. M.A. Shakhmatova, at the time the director of the orphanage, relates: “Indeed there was no more food for the children, who numbered 90 at that moment. Our staff was upset because Vladyka John used to bring in new children to the orphanage, despite the fact that some of them had parents, and we would have to feed them too. This was his way of acting. One evening, when he returned to us fatigued, without strength, frozen and silent, I could not control myself and told him what I thought. I told him that we, women, could no longer look at hungry children without having the possibility to feed them. I could no longer control myself and even raised my voice in irritation. . . . He looked at me sadly and asked: ‘What do you need?’ I answered him, ‘Everything, but mainly oatmeal. I have to feed the children that every morning.’ Vladyka John looked at me sadly and went upstairs. Soon we heard how he was making prostrations with such force that it was hindering the neighbors from sleeping. Having fallen asleep near dawn, I awoke from a ring at the door. Opening the door, I saw an Englishman who said to me that he was the representative of a grain company, which had a surplus of oats. He asked if we needed it, because he had heard about the existence of our orphanage. They began to unload the sacks of flour one after another. At that moment, the bishop came down stairs, and it was difficult for me to say anything. He passed by in silence, but I saw in his glance a reproach for my lack of faith.” p.122, Exodus: St John Maximovitch Leads His Flock out of Shanghai (Orthodox Profiles) by John B. Dunlop