It has been two years since I returned to Singapore after being outstationed in Vietnam for four years as a ‘tentmaker’. That was where I first met Henson Lim in 2012. Henson was a guest preacher during an Easter service at the International Christian Fellowship. I was also at the same service sharing my testimony. Since then, we kept in touch via social media.
About two years later, he shared with me that he was leaving his full-time role in a local church to start ‘Archippus Awakening’. It was also during that period that I experienced my own awakening. God, through His word, revealed to me what His kingdom truly meant and how it was to be lived practically. This led me to a paradigm shift and the redefining of the Church in the context of the kingdom of God.
When I returned to Singapore in 2015, one of the few things on my must-do list was to reconnect with Henson. When we met, he elaborated on ‘Archippus Awakening’ and also gave me his book, Say to Archippus.
For me, the book was a Godsend. I could not put the book down when I started reading it. It was a timely confirmation and affirmation of the direction that I was taking by faith and in obedience.
Firstly, at the time of being personally awakened, I often felt alone and discouraged. I could not help but question the truths that were revealed to me and were guiding my steps.
More than often, I felt like a rebel and questioned if I was a heretic, since what I believed and chose to practise—living in the context of His kingdom—seemed to go against the conventional ways of doing church. Hence, reading about Henson’s personal journey deeply encouraged me as I could relate with his search for God’s kingdom. It was as if God was speaking to me and comforting me through Henson’s story! Reading the book also helped to crystallise my own experiences and make sense of my journey.
Secondly, I found Henson’s book to be helpful and important as the Holy Spirit uses Henson’s gift of teaching to present his personal awakening in the light of the scriptures.
For instance, Henson references the apostle Paul’s statement of faith from 2 Timothy 4:7—“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”, explaining that the biblical ‘race’ actually points to our God-given assignment.
In reality, most Christians have not even begun their race. That’s because of a wrong understanding of what the ‘race’ means, resulting in the Church being in a state of complancency or slumber. Henson’s book does not attempt to appeal merely with his story, but to renew our minds by pointing readers to God’s truths. This is both helpful and important.
Thirdly, Henson’s example inspires me. Personally, I do not know many fellow believers who live their lives surrendered to Jesus and His kingdom purpose. Most of us play safe and live out a mediocre version of Christianity. Therefore, Henson’s obedience to pioneer ‘Archippus Awakening’ intrigues one, given that he had decided to leave his full-time role as a pastor in a local church, probably because many of us would not see anything wrong in serving full-time in a church. That should be the highest level of spiritual achievement right?
Not only does his decision go against the grain of conventional wisdom, it is also risky, given that he has a huge family to provide for. In addition, it would be uncomfortable as he would be starting from scratch.
At his stage and age, he could easily have chosen a cosier and easier path and no one would have faulted him. Man might not have faulted or questioned him, but God would have. Hence, it is clear that Henson stepped out of his comfort zone to obey God.
Personally, I do not doubt that Henson seeks the kingdom of God, and not the kingdom of this world; so I believe his message of Archippus Awakening deserves to be heard and heeded especially in this age of time with the increasing anticipation of the second coming of Christ.
Should you read Henson’s book? Absolutely! I encourage every Christian to read Say To Archippus. Whatever your response may be, I believe you will be inspired and challenged to make your only life count by seeking and fulfilling your God-given assignment.
Andrew is married to Sharmaine. Both of them relocated to Vietnam for 4 years as ‘tent makers’ preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. They returned to Singapore 2 years ago where they continue to fulfil their assignment in building a community of Kingdom seekers.