By Tan Lay Leng
Annie served as president of WSCS (Women’s Society of Christian Services) for four years at their local church, Bedok Methodist Church, before handing the baton to Irene, the current president. Listening to Annie and Irene share their stories, successes, and struggles was totally rewarding as their hearts for God and for each other was so evident.
Very quickly into the interview, Irene shared that she struggled with her own identity, inadequacy and fear of being compared to Annie. But the Archippus Awakening message reminded her of the person of Archippus, a nobody, but known to God by name. She is like Archippus, someone who is ‘low key’, almost anonymous, yet her name is written in the book of life. And like Archippus who had received his assignment in the Lord (Colossians 4:17), she also has her own God-given kingdom assignment. Irene’s awakening gave her courage to pursue her own passion of reaching out to other women who are struggling with their identity and embracing their own uniqueness. She said when she thinks of seeing other women set free in Christ too, she is like Garfield who jumps off the bed when it knows there are pancakes ready to be served. (This Garfield cartoon strip is sometimes used by Pastor Henson to illustrate that when there is something to wake up to, no one needs to be pulled out bed.) Irene has come to terms with herself that there is no need to copy what someone else is doing.
“The time is short, I want to redeem those years that I had wasted struggling in my own low self-esteem.” Irene said, “and start impacting others by sharing how they can also walk victoriously in Christ.”
As for Annie, when she read Say to Archippus, she knew that she has already been awakened. She began to ask the question many have also asked: After being awakened, what’s next? At the Awakening Event (AWE) 2018, Annie learnt the alignment check framework which gave her a better understanding of what it means to be aligned. When discipleship is concerned, Annie is clear that there are no shortcuts. It is an intentional relationship-building with our Lord Jesus. When the being with our King Jesus happens, the doing out of that being will bear kingdom fruit. That begins to define how Annie serves Jesus. It is no longer getting people to ‘come and serve’, it is getting people to come back to their relationship with God. It is about discipleship. When that happens, people will no longer see serving as ‘just volunteer work’, but they will know that they are on a kingdom assignment and they will go an extra mile, serving without murmuring and grumbling. This relationship with God that Annie pursues has empowered her with courage to obey Him rather than be swayed by people’s preferences. As Annie faithfully carries out her kingdom assignments, God has now entrusted her to oversee the pillar of ‘Discipleship and Nurture’ in her local church.
“This is where my heart is,” Annie shared, “discipling and nurturing others.”
What has God said to you? What has He shown you? How is He directing you? Are you spending time to hear Him? It’s too easy to follow the crowd and not the Christ. Henson writes in Alignment Check, “…to follow the Christ is to learn from that that we may align with Him and be refined by Him. As the first disciples discovered, the more they learned from Jesus, the more He revealed their misalignment.” If you are aligning towards your kingdom assignment, start with what God is saying to you. You will hear Him call you by name. Be secure in how God has created and gifted you in who you are in Christ. He has an assignment for you.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
About Annie and Irene
Irene (left) is married with three grown-up children, a 16-month granddaughter and another grandchild on the way. Annie (right) is married with two grown-up children and two grandsons. She juggles her time between assignments at home and in church. She enjoys chilling out with friends over coffee and cake.