Monday, December 19, 2011

A Traditional Post

(husband putting the star on our Christmas tree)

I have always loved traditions. Christmas, college, camp... give me a tradition and I am one happy person. My family for instance has some special Christmas traditions. Here is a small sampling.
1) baking day.
2) putting our Baby's First ornament on the tree.
3) watching Christmas movies together (namely White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life).
I look forward to these every year, no matter how old I am! And now that I have started my own family, we are beginning our own traditions like Jake putting the star on top of the Christmas tree. I can't wait to add to the list for my kids.
Growing up, we looked forward to summer camp for a lot of reasons. No parents, the Blob, bunking with best friends. But most of all we looked forward to the annual pillow fight. It was usually the highlight of camp. In my love for traditions, I stumbled upon the following quote the other day that so accurately describes why traditions are awesome:

"We don't keep traditions, they keep us together."

Yes. Togetherness. Family. Friends that are like family. Something on top of our love for one another to keep us coming back year after year. More than presents or anything else, I look forward to keeping traditions. Not for the sake of tradition, but for the building of memories.

This is (rightly so) reminiscent of our relationship with God and his church. There is everything right about sharing life and traditions with the body of Christ. Not meaningless ritual, because that is religion. But the building of monuments for our remembrance and the next generation's acknowledgement of Someone greater than us. Our need and enjoyment of each other is clearly divine. So don't forget who brought us together in the beginning.

So, go make some new traditions this year. Not just because it's Christmas, but because we are meant to be together. Our hearts are completed in togetherness. And because traditions make that togetherness even more special and fun. Remember Jesus. His birth, life, and death changed the course of history. He makes this season worth celebrating and he makes being together the best way to live.

Merry Christmas!
Abigail

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

worth a thousand words.

Welcome home for a month!

the old biscuit mill with friends

our view from the University of Cape Town

found on side of road

scarborough beach

the waterfront

african penguins

my heart will go on and on

chapman's peak

Merry Christmas from London! (it's ok because they don't have Thanksgiving)

In line with the spirit of the season, we are so grateful to have experienced all that we did in South Africa. Thank you for all your prayers and support!

Up next on the blog... regular life. Hopefully you will all still want to read it.

Thankful,
Abigail



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One Week's Time

In one week's time, I will be back on American soil. I will be jet-lagged. I will have a dynamic month of church planting (and my first trimester!) behind me. I will be in search of the nearest Starbucks. I will have many "should haves" or "what ifs" and "wows" under my belt. I will be craving turkey and dressing and anticipating listening to my first Christmas song of the season.
But until that day, I am still living the dream. Sharing the greatest news with people who have never heard, with some of the greatest people on the planet in maybe the most beautiful place I've ever been. Our team has seen more than 30 people give their lives to Jesus! We have seen people healed of things like a dislocated ankle to a busted lip and one of our own teammates was healed of a soccer injury (that was inflicted by someone on our team...). It has been an amazing three weeks and we are believing for even more in the last few days. God doesn't just own cattle. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. And Jesus said we would do even greater things than He did. We believe we can stand on those promises and believe for more. Will you believe with us for these last few days?
Tonight I am going with two of my teammates to disciple 5-6 freshman girls in spending time with Jesus. These girls are so fun and desperately want more of God. I'll let you know how it goes!
Catch you on the flipside,
Abigail

Monday, October 31, 2011

Taking the Cape

Week 2 in Cape Town has been wonderful, fantastic, miraculous, and fun. Living in Obs (short for Observatory, which is our part of town) this month has made me feel very whimsical. We walk everywhere and live just down the street from cute little cafes and a bookstore. Most of the restaurants are into healthy, delicious food and, of course, there are Magnum bars here. I even found Dr. Pepper!! Maybe heaven is a place on earth...
But moving on from the temporal to the eternal, we have had the favor of God on our team since the day we got here. Most of our days are spent on the University of Cape Town (UCT for the South Africans), sharing the gospel and praying for students. UCT has been called the Harvard of Africa. It is no small accomplishment to get into this school. Students from all over Africa, India, and the Middle East come to study here. This has been reflected in the diversity of people with whom we have shared. In any given day, I could pray for a Muslim, share the gospel with a Hindu, and have a really long conversation with an atheist. I met a girl just the other day whose father is a Christian, her mother is Hindu and she is atheist. The culture shock in that conversation was that she was open to me sharing the gospel with her. While she later rejected the message, she was so kind and receptive to me. That is what I love most about this city. The people are so warm and inviting. The majority of conversations I have end in them thanking me for coming over to talk. I mean, who wouldn't want to share Jesus here?
So far we have seen 20 people make decisions to follow Jesus. These are smart, informed, life-altering decisions and they have not been taken lightly by these new believers. One man, who gave his life to Jesus a couple of days after meeting one of my teammates, was found by his wife reading his Bible. She asked him why he was doing that and his reply was, "You will not see another day go by where I am not reading this." It is so encouraging to see the kingdom come to life! We are only halfway through the trip and so expectant for what God is going to keep doing.
Jake and I are so thankful for (and so in need of) your prayers! We know that what we are doing is only half the battle and the other half is your intercession. So here are some specific ways you can pray, if you feel so led:
1) Supernatural rest. We have pretty long days and walk everywhere (and one of us is still in their first trimester). Pray that our sleep would be multiplied and we would be refreshed even as we share.
2) Continued favor in making disciples and not just seeing conversions. We want to leave lasting fruit here in Cape Town.
3) Wisdom as we lead our team. The school's director left last week, so Jake and I are leading the team now and we would love to lead God's way instead of our own.
4) And Jake would like you to pray that he doesn't lose any of his muscle since he can't work out regularly...

Cheers!
Jake and Abigail

Monday, October 24, 2011

Miracles: Great and Small

Don't let the title deceive you. All miracles are great but some come in smaller packages than others... but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me stay true to my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and go in sequential order (if you guessed I'm a J, you'd be on the money).

GREAT:
As you may remember from my last post, my team and I needed $30,000 to go to South Africa. Well, not only did God provide every single penny, but he did it in an extravagant way! I'm talking $25,000 in one week! That is no coincidence, my friends. God is on the move. At this moment, I'm writing to you from the beautiful city of Cape Town. A land of mountains, seas, beautiful people, and open hearts. Even in the few days we have been here, we've made so many connections and been able to encourage students, believers, and each other. I feel privileged to be able to spend a month here. Partnering with God is the greatest adventure there is.

SMALL:
small in stature, maybe; but HUGE in God's faithfulness and provision!

video

So there you have it. Baby Bean Griffin due May 24th. We could not be more excited to welcome the next member of our family!
(and yes we are still moving to Baton Rouge and very excited about that too!)

I'm glad I could share this glimpse into our lives with you, but I'd be lying if I said it was just for you. It is for me, too, because I am unbelievably forgetful. I need to recall and record the faithfulness of God so that I can move forward when my vision is a little foggier.

Sending you spring-time love from SA!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When I Get Older

I will be stronger. Or so the song says...

Jake and I are hitting the sky. Leaving on a jet plane. We are so excited and we just can't hide it. In just 19 days we will be on our way to Cape Town, South Africa. We, along with our team, are believing for a miracle during these in between days. You see, we need $30,000 before we can leave the land of the free behind. We can infer from Psalms (50 to be exact) that God owns everything, so this amount is nothing to Him and we are oh so thankful for that. Would you believe with us?

South Africa is a country not-so-subtly divided. Apartheid, slavery, corrupt government, and forced Christianity. Cities and townships. It is dangerous and beautiful. Spiritual and lost. The face of Cape Town is many different colors. They have ideas and dreams. They are hopeful, though wandering.

BUT GOD.

God wants to bring His kingdom to these people. He wants to see slaves set free, poverty wiped out and a generation unified. A nation stronger, from the inside out. People from all over Africa and the Middle East come to Cape Town to attend university. This is a city able to affect nations. And we hope to give them something to take to their people. Not a social system or a structure, but a relationship with the only person that truly brings restoration and freedom. Jesus. Years could possibly make this nation stronger, but He definitely and eternally will.

We so appreciate you joining us on our journey of following Jesus. Your prayer and support mean the world to us! Thanks for being on our team.

p.s. if you are in Waco, we are having a garage sale (donations? we'll take anything we can get) and selling t-shirts to raise some funds. let me know if you want in on that :)