Popular author and speaker Archpriest Michael J Oleksa has spent most of his life serving the Church in Alaska and advocating for the native populations there But he has also had many adventures in other parts of the world The unifying thread in all his experiences is the providence of God, leading him, providing for him, and guiding him through miracles large and small In this collection of reminiscences, Fr Michael relates story after story of the wondrous love and mercy of God working in his life and the lives his ministry has touched His faith and enthusiasm are contagious Everyday Wonders is of the same vein as Everyday Saints byArchimandrite Tikhon amazing and Ordinary Wonders by Olesia Nikolaeva good It brings to life the small miracles and blessings we often overlook but still illumine God s grace in our lives Even in this genre, Fr Oleksa s work stands alone with its insight into Orthodoxy and the story of Orthodox countries during Communism.When I first saw EW at my church bookstore and then online I was hesitant to read it I had heard the story of Alaska s conversion to Orthodoxy but it didn t necessarily intrigue me.Yet something I have yet to pinpoint drew me to read Fr Oleksa s story and for that I am grateful.Everyday Wonders is so much than the story of Alaska It is the story of religion in the Eastern Block and it is the story of connecting to the past and to the future.Rarely if ever do I share religious books outside my church circle but Everyday Wonders is one that I have multiple times I have already given away several copies to friends or shared it with friends Orthodox and not for reasons that made sense to the person Regardless of the recipient, everyone I have shared it with has loved it and wanted to share it with others if for no other reason than the story of Fr Oleksa s experience in Bulgaria which is both astounding and inspirational.A quick read, Everyday Wonders will stick with you whether you are religious or not, in ways that you may never have predicted.It is very much worth the read. Father Michael Oleksa is a retired Orthodox priest in Alaska, but he s not actually from there he s from Allentown, Pennsylvania How he came to Alaska, what he found there, and why he stayed are just a few of the many subjects he covers in his delightful collection of stories that he has compiled here in this one volume Through these tales of Alaska, and other tales of his travels around Alaska, Europe, and Africa, Father Oleska weaves a remarkable chain of providence and miracles both great and small that have surrounded his life and ministry Ever since I learned that there were Orthodox Christians who were also Alaskan Natives, I was determined to go there Here my two greatest lifelong interests, Native Americans and Orthodoxy, were united in one place, and I didn t even need a passport to get there This was a phenomenon I sincerely wanted to experience and explore Page 7 Father Oleksa had longed to go to Alaska since he was quite young, and while in seminary at St Vladimir s, in New York, he finally was granted the opportunity when a small Aleut fishing village, in need of a priest most Aleut are Orthodox as it rebuilt after the disastrous Good Friday earthquake of 1964, and its diocese having no priests to spare, agreed to sponsor the young seminarian if he would come to Alaska during the summer months and teach Thus began Michael s first forays In those summers up north, Michael tells the tales of how he immersed himself in their culture, learned their languages and traditions, and even met and married a young woman of the Yup ik tribe pronounced YOO pick Into those tales he weaves the history of the Russian traders and monks who brought Orthodoxy to the people as they too intermarried, fusing Christian Orthodoxy with the native traditions to create a new creole culture that has endured through to this day, and has contributed greatly to worldwide Orthodoxy.As Father Oleksa establishes his roots in Alaska, he is also looking to reconnect with the far flung branches of his family still who still live in Europe, and how they endured two world wars and decades of communism In time his travels to meet them also take him to their ancestral villages in Poland and Ukraine, and even to finding new friends in Romania, Bulgaria, and Finland There are no coincidences in these meetings for him, as his life and work live out his faith and ministry He sees the hand of God in all things, even in the actions of a Bulgarian pickpocket or a freelancing Romanian tour guide looking to brush up his English.The volume is a short one that can be read in just a couple of hours, but it serves as an excellent and gentle introduction to the peoples of Alaska, introducing the reader to several Alaskan Orthodox saints and the miracles associated with them, and even why you might spot a helicopter in an icon of Saint Herman There is also an audio version of the book, narrated by Father Oleksa who is a jovial and entertaining reader and pronounces the various Aleut words correctly, I might add.Full Dislosure I was given a copy of the audio book in consideration for posting this review But I should add that I liked the book so much I also bought the print version. If Fr Michael s book teaches us anything, it is that we can find God in our life on a continuing basis Each chapter shows a miracle of God in ordinary time Not everyone is as observant as Fr Michael, but if we will but listen we will hear God speaking to us in Divine Language We need but open our eyes and ears to hear our own Wonders from God.