"By this time Shirley had arrived and so had Pastor Carl. Then two Russian ladies and a young boy arrived: Nadija, her daughter Valentina, and her great-grandson Benjamin. Let the season begin!
"For the first hour or so they were our only guests. This is rather unusual, but made for a “soft” opening of the Clothesline season. We gave them each a white bag and, as they diligently went through the racks looking for clothing, Shirley and I brought out boxes of surplus summer clothing to put outside on the grass that we wanted to just give away.
"As they were leaving, Nadija saw the extra boxes of clothing, but her bag was full. I could see her dilemma: one bag was the limit. But these were surplus. Using sign language – Nadjia does not speak much English – we assured her that she could take more from the outside box, and we gave her another bag to use. She found a few items, and then, to our utter astonishment, she came up to us, pointed to the sky and said a word I believe meant “God.” Then she patted her heart, point first to me, then to herself, then to the church building. After that she said, “love singing.” She proceeded to sing a song in Russian. I believe it was a Christian song, and she was thanking us for our kindness to her and her family.
"My friends, I so wish you could have heard her. She has a beautiful voice, and it was a beautiful moment that brought a tear to my eye and goose bumps on my arms. She then continued with her sign language to say that if she understood English better, she would like to come to our church to share fellowship. “God loves us All,” she manage to sign. It was enough.
"Thank you for your support of the Clothesline Ministry. Little do our guests realize how this ministry is truly a group effort."