Tag Archives: Bulgaria


7 Oct



Judy Wills

 Sunday Memories

July Wills


We had not been in town very long – less than one year – when we found the church where we felt God wanted us to be members.  Six months later, I was the Church Secretary.  I found the atmosphere to be absolutely pure, compared to secular jobs I had held.

Our Senior Pastor was a delight – what you saw was what you got.  A great preacher as well as a tremendous pastor to the flock.  Wonderful to work with.  He considered us co-workers, not boss-employee.

He was very mission-minded – always looking for ways to encourage our congregation to be aware of how they could be missionaries, and lend support to those actually serving on the mission field.

Each year he proposed to have a Mission Conference, with missionaries speaking about their particular field.  He tried to incorporate those from North America, International, State, and Local missionaries.

One year, he was given the name of a woman who had defected from the former Soviet Union, Bulgaria, in fact.  And not only would she be speaking, but she was a concert violinist – First Chair in the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and later, after her defection, First Chair in the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra.  She had earned five music doctorates.  We were suitably impressed with her credentials.  She agreed to come, but required a piano accompanist.

As neither our church pianist nor organist wanted to undertake this requirement, I volunteered.  She sent me the music I needed to play and I began practicing every spare moment.  I was really beginning to feel intimidated by the music – not completely sure I was capable for the task.  But the day arrived, and so did our violinist.  I was shaking in my boots!  I was convinced she would see how inadequate I was to even THINK about accompanying her!  But we practiced together and both seemed satisfied we could complement each other.  My only hope and prayer was that I wouldn’t mess her up too much!

Her testimony was jaw-dropping and spell-binding!  She told how each person in her church in Bulgaria only had ONE PAGE of the Bible – and yet it was enough for them to come to know Christ.  She is the only surviving member of her family.  Both her parents and her brother (pastors) gave their lives for the Gospel.

And then she played for us.  What a command of that instrument she had!  She made it positively SING!  It was such a joy to accompany her.

We became friends from that experience – and other years she came to continue her message to us.  Even though I knew she had professional accompanists, she told me she was always happy to have me accompany her!  She could tell that my heart was in it.  She is a very gracious lady.


Violinist (Photo credit: Arturo-)

Psalm 33:3

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