Random Memories of Germany-Part 3

14 Jun


Judy Wills

We arrived in Heidelberg near the end of June, 1980.

It had been a wet month for Germany, and by the time the rain ended, it had rained 38 straight days!  And it was COLD!!  And when our hold-baggage arrived, I realized that I had not packed any sweaters for us, nor did I have any closed-toes shoes – except my bright turquoise running shoes!  So first trip was to the Exchange to purchase some of those things.  When our household goods would arrive, we would have all those things on hand, but we needed them NOW!

As I mentioned last time, we found the church we wanted to be members of shortly after getting into town.

Grace Baptist Church – meeting in a building owned by a German congregation

The pastor had been there at least three years and left within a month of our joining.  Neither Fred nor I can remember whether or not we had an “interim” pastor, or if some of the men of the church did the preaching.  

A pastor-search committee was formed, and both Fred and I were on it.  Since we were so far away from the States, all “interviews” and sermons by pastoral candidates were done either via video or tape.  Not the best, but the only way we could do it.  We couldn’t afford to buy a plane ticket for each person we interviewed.

One candidate comes to mind, and I’ve never forgotten it.  He was from California, and wanted to come interview in person.

Credit Google Search and map-with-no-cal-420-Occasio Winery

We had heard a sermon from him via tape, and were interested in him.  As I recall, he had distant relatives in Europe, and since he wanted to visit them while in Europe, he paid his own way over and back.

He arrived on a Friday and the entire committee – with spouses – took him to our favorite restaurant for supper, Grimingers.  Oh my did they have good food!!  We ate and talked some, but didn’t really get down to the nuts-and-bolts of his coming to Germany for three years.  And so, I offered to have the committee (without spouses!) come to our house after Sunday’s service for lunch and we could talk about the nitty-gritty stuff, i.e. salary, etc.  And I would serve my world-famous French Onion Soup!  (Karen always told me that I bragged about it too much!  But hey, if you’re good, you’re good, right?!)

And so it happened.  However, when he asked us how we would get his entire household goods over there (at least three bedrooms, two baths, living room, dining room, kitchen, family room – all full of furniture), and his two cars, we were taken aback a bit.  We told him we would pay for 2,000 pounds of furnishings – same as the military allowed – and one car.  Then HE was taken aback.  He kind of stumbled over his next words, and essentially turned us down. 

So that was that – back to square one.  We “interviewed” several other men over the next few months, and finally settled on a man from Georgia.

Credit Google Search and Studio 21 Chase Harrington

The committee was in complete agreement on him, and the congregation was to vote to call him the next Sunday.  The Saturday before the vote, Fred received a phone call – from the gentleman from California.  He asked that we reconsider him for the pastorate.  He said that he felt God was trying to get his attention – you see, there had been a house fire, and most of his belongings were destroyed.  Both of his cars had been wrecked.

Yeah, I would say God was trying to get his attention, wouldn’t you?  Fred informed him that the next day was to be the vote on another candidate (the man from Georgia), and Fred would let him know the results.

Amazing, isn’t it?  We think we are trying to do God’s will, but the world just keeps creeping into our lives.

Well, we called the man from Georgia, and he did become our pastor, and he did become Karen’s father-in-law in later years.  But…that’s another story.  Perhaps next week, hm?

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

One Response to “Random Memories of Germany-Part 3”

  1. divoran09 June 14, 2020 at 10:22 am #

    well done


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