19 Sep


Judy Wills

Back in the early 1970’s we were living in San Antonio, Texas.  Great place to live.  We really loved it there – even considered living there when Fred retired from the U.S. Air Force.  However, that was not to be.

The Alamo-San Antonio, Texas Photo credit Judy Will

We were members of the First Baptist Church in downtown San Antonio from 1971-1974.  It was an “old” church – established in 1861.  It was, at the time we were there, the 15th largest in the nation.  This sanctuary was built in 1925, and completely remodeled and modernized in 1964.  We thoroughly enjoyed that church.  The first Sunday we visited there, we walked in and the feeling was…home

First Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX – from a post card

Since it was a quite large church – somewhere around 5,000 members – it was in the Sunday School, choir, and other groups where we got to know other members.  Janet was still in nursery age, but Karen was school age and old enough to sit in the worship service.  Since Fred and I were both in the choir, I found an older couple she could sit with.  She always found her way to the choir room to meet us following the service.  

One Sunday morning, just before Sunday School started, I was sitting next to an older woman I didn’t know.  She tapped the coloring book I had on my lap (for Karen to entertain herself quietly during the service), and said, “I know how you keep yourself awake during the preaching!”  We both laughed.

I later found out that she was the Senior Pastor’s wife!!  Oops!

One of the organizations within that body of believers, was a young women’s group that we called “Friendship.”  The idea was for each of us to find one international wife who spoke very little English and bring her to the church.  I must say that the only thing “churchy” about this entire program was the prayer we said before we had refreshments.  No preaching…no church teaching…just pure love and friendship.  

We had a one-on-one hour of teaching them English via the Laubach Method of teaching English as a second language.  It is a highly successful method, and even those of us who were not fully trained, could help someone learn the language.

Following the hour of English, we would have some time with refreshments and getting to know each other.  And then we would have another hour of arts and crafts.  We had an exercise class; we had art painting, etc. My specialty was teaching crocheting.  My girls each crocheted a shawl from yarn.  Most seemed to enjoy it.

It was a lovely experience, and one I have treasured.  San Antonio, being a very “military” city, has many international women married to our military men.  Some had never had occasion to attempt to learn English – and sometimes, the U.S. military husbands didn’t necessarily want their international wives to learn English.  But it did my heart good to know we provided that service.

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.

2 Responses to “Friendship”

  1. divoran09 September 19, 2021 at 2:59 pm #

    Those were very good times for you, and you did a lot of good and still do.



    Liked by 1 person

    • ludyja September 19, 2021 at 4:00 pm #

      You are a sweetheart, my loving sister – and I treasure you!

      Liked by 1 person

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