It was at the Youth Camp of Hakka Methodist Church (HMC) last December that I first met Alex and his wife, Julie. They sat through all three sessions and the message of the kingdom struck a chord with them. Soon after, Alex accepted the role of Camp Chairman and invited me to be the speaker. I had already committed to two camps (Shekinah AG & Bartley Christian Church) and was asked to speak at another. After considering the dates and theme, I said ‘yes’ to HMC and declined the other.
“Going Back to Basics: The Heartbeat of God” was the thrust of this year’s camp. Being a very established church, the camp committee felt that it would be good to re-examine the foundations, to go back to basics. This sat very well with the message of Archippus Awakening. After all, it is the basics that many believers have taken for granted but have not necessarily understood or acted upon them. To ensure maximum attention, the committee was deliberately kept small and the programme was devoid of typical camp staples like team building games and family night. The focus was the five teachings sessions and the rest of the time was left open for fellowship and recreation.
Being the third camp I was speaking at, my prayer was for the Lord’s strength to enable me, and for a fresh anointing to come upon every message. Although I was familiar with the material, I had to adapt to another congregation with different dynamics and styles. This required me to rely wholly on the Holy Spirit and to speak as He directs, remaining sensitive to how the people reacted or responded.
It was encouraging that from the very first session on Monday night, when Archippus Awakening was introduced, people caught on and started identifying themselves as “Archippus!”. The next morning, I presented the context of the awakening and the urgency of the times before allowing the groups time to discuss and process the distinctions between salvation, kingdom and church. These may be extremely basic terms which Christians are familiar with, but when pressed to define and to understand how these relate to each other, it is not quite as straightforward as many discovered.
On Tuesday night, we took it one level deeper as campers were challenged not to be satisfied only to be awakened, but to intentionally desire to be aligned that they may be assigned. Once again, we explored basics like knowing and hearing God, understanding His kingdom’s purpose and will, appropriating what was transacted at the cross, what discipleship is all about, having the right perspectives of trials, being empowered by the Word and in the Spirit, etc. These are not new concepts but with the message of Archippus Awakening, the people realised that these were not just topics of Christian interest, but how these contributed to the knowing and fulfilment of kingdom assignments.
The emphasis was faith and obedience on Wednesday morning. Many Christians may know the basic teachings but few act on these teachings. For sure, it is not information that is lacking in the Church, but its application. It is one thing to say you believe, but it is totally another to act upon that belief; and that’s obedience. In the words of A.W. Tozer, “It’s not trust or obey; it’s trust and obey.”
Finally, that night, I shared my favourite topic “Finish the Race”. With this fresh perspective of the race and what it means to run and finish it well, I invited the people to respond. I was so encouraged to see them come to the altar, or the ‘starting line’. The Lord graced us with His presence and the Holy Spirit directed us as we ministered. One sister emailed later saying, “Praise God for your gift of knowledge – sorry but I couldn’t shut my ears & overheard several of your prayers on the last day which were spot on. Am aware of at least one heart that is touched by your message even though seated still.” To God be all glory!
For this camp (or Awakening Event), Cecilia Kong and Caroline Tong joined me on assignment. My desire is always to have others come along so that they can also learn from the messages as well as in their interactions with believers. I am very thankful for their support and participation, joining in to pray for and minister to the saints of HMC on the final night. Serene and the children were also with me at this camp. Other than enjoying the facilities of Nirwana Gardens Bintan, it is always great to have them minister alongside me too.
I give thanks and praise to the Lord for enabling me through three camps this June! I have learnt much from these opportunities and am humbled by how the Lord has been opening doors for the message of Archippus Awakening to be declared across various local communities. Even more exciting is to see how this message is being received and extended as Archippuses are awakened. Special thanks to Alex and his committee for the invitation to speak at HMC Camp; and also to Pastor-in-charge Rev Daniel Lee for his words of affirmation for Archippus Awakening.
In closing this report, allow me to share the following testimony (reproduced with permission):
“Hi Rev Henson, Praise the Lord for bringing you to us; I think our church has really needed a call to awakening for some time now. I learnt about the difference between Christian activity and Kingdom assignment – a breakthrough for me! For me, I tried to discipline myself to do as many ‘churchy things’, like going for prayer meeting, teach in Sunday Schools, usher ministry, etc, but in the end I end up very tired and dry at times. The notion of heavenly kingdom’s assignment grants me a clear picture as to how I should re-orientate my life as a disciple of Christ now – sit at His feet and wait upon Him. And, to stay awake! Your talk has awakened me and now, I’m committing the rest to God to keep me awake and ready for His assignment because it’s the last hour. No more slumber! God bless you, your family and your ministry. I’m glad that you’ve found your assignment. Angeline 28/6/15”