For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth. Colossians 1:16

Friday, December 30, 2011

It has been a while since I last posted, and I apologize.  The end of my college career left me a little overwhelmed!

During the last week of class, the Biblical and Theological Studies Organization sponsored a fundraiser for this ministry.  Four of my good friends played a concert: Riane McConnell, Monica Laytham and friends, Trinity Mather and Anders Nordstrom, and Ryan Ciganek and friends.  A number of friends, family, and family of friends donated homemade goods, photos, and artwork for a silent auction, and a great number of friends and roommates of friends donated baked goods for a bake sale.  Altogether, the fundraiser was an amazing success and raised over $1,300!  How amazing is that?  The community at my college is amazingly supportive and such an overwhelming blessing.  I'll miss that more than anything else from my time in college, but I'm very excited for what is to come.


Helen, Sarah, and Monica

The bake sale

My wonderful friend Shelley who helped organize the whole thing

Some good friends enjoying the evening

Enjoying the music

Anders and Trinity

Unfortunately, the camera died before I got any pictures of Ryan.  It was a great night and only came together by God's grace and His family.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh the Lord is good!

Since the last time I posted, God has multiplied by blessings.  I currently have raised $1,500 thanks to the generosity of so many wonderful people.  God has been faithful, and not only in providing funds.  Within three hours one day, an entire fundraiser came together.  Some wonderful friends have joyfully agreed to play a concert, and more wonderful friends have agreed to use their artistic gifts to create beautiful things for a silent auction.  Everyone on campus has been such a blessing, from donating their time to advertising to encouraging me when things get overwhelming.  Random students who I don't even know well have come up to me and asked how fundraising is going and have told me that they are praying for me.  How blessed am I, that I not only have a supportive family, two supportive churches here in the States, and also an entire university campus praying for me and loving me through all of this?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Support Letter

Some people have been asking to see my support letter, and as I have run low on copies, I figured why not post it here?

GBSE – St-Etienne, France

August, 2011

What do people in France need just as much as Americans?
                Someone to share the good news of Jesus Christ

What can I do with my degrees in Biblical and Theological Studies and French?
                Return to France and share the good news of Jesus Christ


            As I write to you, I am about to begin my final semester at North Park University. My love of learning has proved itself more with each class I have taken and made it possible to graduate in three and a half years. As I have been considering options for the future with my double major, and after studying for a semester in Saint-Etienne, France, God has opened a door.

            I will be returning to the Loire Valley region to work closely with the church I attended during my semester abroad, Le Groupe Biblique de Saint Etienne. Since beginning my French study over eight years ago, I have fallen in love with the language, culture, and people of France. I have now been blessed with the opportunity to return for eighteen months to work in ministry for the people that I love so dearly.

            GBSE was started by a church planting team with the mission agency CrossWorld. CrossWorld was founded in 1931 and now has 80 teams in 30 ministry areas of the world. I will be involved in planning and implementing outreach events, working with the youth, involved with Bible studies and living in community with the unique group of individuals and families who attend. Check out the church’s website at

            While in Saint-Etienne, I will have the opportunity to attend culinary school, which will allow me to receive a fantastic education in an area which has been my passion for the past seven years, as well as learn and work alongside those who may not know Christ.

            An opportunity like this can only happen with the support of friends and family who will pray for me throughout my time in France and partner with my ministry through financial support. My budget will resemble that of a career missionary. One-time contributions totaling $7250 are needed for my “outgoing expenses,” as well as $3365 per month in monthly support for my 18-month commitment to serve. Monthly support works out to about $110 per day.

Some are called to go, others to send
I am asking you to prayerfully consider being one of my monthly partners and send me back to France to work with GBSE. Please fill out the enclosed response card and mail it to CrossWorld and let me know of your partnership with me. Throughout my service, I will be updating my blog with news of the work in France, as well as pictures and stories and a support update.

            Thank you for the unique role you have played in my life, especially through your love and support. Please pray for me during this time of preparation and help me love and serve the people and youth of the Loire Valley.

                                                                        Que Dieu vous bĂ©nisse!
                                                                        (May God bless you!)


Abby Austin
227 E Lincoln Ave
Wheaton IL 60187

10000 N Oak Trafficway
Kansas City MO  64155

Checks should be payable to CrossWorld, with my name on a separate note. Each contribution will be acknowledged with a receipt for tax purpose

Monday, November 7, 2011

An Update

Hello again!

Well, it has been a while, and for that, I apologize.  I am now about 6 weeks from graduation from college.  Wow!  I do not know how that happened, but it has finally come.  Right now, I am hoping to be leaving for France in March.  My original goal was to leave in January, but the fundraising has been going a little slowly.  Right now, I have $835 of the needed $7250 before I leave.  While this is a little discouraging, I am full confidence that God will provide.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Beginning

I suppose I should begin with how I was called into this ministry.

Last Fall, I had the chance to study abroad in France, as many already know.  My Mom, being the ever-caring person she is, used her resources to find a church near my town.  These missionaries knew of a church in my town and directed my Mom there.  She contacted the Moyers, one of the families that leads the church, and they immediately invited both my Mom and me over for dinner on my first night in the country.  There, I met the Gorrells, another family that leads the church, and the Hadleys, a British family that attends the church.  Though I was running on about 5 hours of sleep over the past 48 or so, I was able to talk with them and felt very comfortable.  I began attending le Groupe Biblique de St. Etienne (GBSE) and absolutely fell in love with the people there.  About two weeks after my arrival, the church went for a retreat at Camp des Cimes in the Alps.  It was there that I realized that I wanted to work more with those people and do ministry with that church.  I began speaking with Randy Moyer about interning with the church and I looked up the application about a week later. 
This past May, I received the official letter informing me that I had been accepted to be a short term missionary.  I received this letter three days before I left for a class in Greece and Turkey, following and studying the ministries of St. Paul and St. John.  I had my reservations about returning to France for so long and decided to wait until after my class to think about it.  While sitting at a theatre in Miletus, my professors and classmates began a discussion on Paul's call.  Paul never knew if he would see the people he loved so dearly again, or if he would return to the places he loved so dearly; yet, when God called him, he simply went.  He always had hope that he would be reunited with his friends, but he never truly knew.  It was at that moment that I had a moment of clarity and I knew that I would be returning to France, and I could not stop smiling from that moment on. 
The details of returning are overwhelming, but I have full confidence that the Lord will provide.  I am so thankful for the people in my life who support me through action, prayer, and finances.  God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.