When I first read the email in April 2016, I couldn’t believe my eyes: I had been invited to be the Camp Speaker for Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church’s (TACMC) Family Camp.
Sentimentally, TACMC was my very first church. My maternal grandmother was a familiar and active member. My parents were married there. I was infant baptised there. And I still have vivid memories of gathering at my Ah Ma’s place in China Street, piling into the trishaw (fighting not to sit but to squat in front), and making our way to church. That was more than 45 years ago.
Spiritually, TACMC was also the venue of John Sung’s revival meetings back in 1935 where he “conducted a series of evangelistic and revival meetings that was to have a lasting impact not only on the life of the church, but also on the life of the Chinese churches in this region.” (BGST Chapel Notes, Edwin Tay)
Significantly, the camp theme would be “Spiritual Awakening”. After reading SAY TO ARCHIPPUS and learning more about Archippus Awakening, the church then approached me.
How could I not say ‘yes’?
I have ministered at other camps before but this assignment was a lot more demanding. As a lead up to the camp, I spoke at six services (English, Chinese, Hokkien & Indonesian) over two Sundays on 23 & 30 April at both TA & TA2 (Telok Blangah). At the camp (Village Hotel Changi), there were five teaching sessions over three days. And finally, the concluding message was to be delivered across two combined services back at TA & TA2. Wai Yee partnered me in this effort, managing the Chinese translation wonderfully. I was also thrilled to hear the messages being translated into Hokkien, definitely another first for me and Archippus Awakening!
Praise the Lord for opening this door to TACMC, and for His enablement every step of the way. Thanks to Rev Chua Ooi Suah, Rev Ng Beng Keow, Lester Ngoh and the Camp Committee for their partnership. I believe the timing cannot be more precise. John Sung, I am not, but I am humbled to have played a small part in the church’s desire for spiritual awakening. It was truly very encouraging to see many respond positively to the message of Archippus Awakening – whether English or Chinese, young or not as young. Watch the video of TACMC declaring the Archippus Awakening Battle Cry.
I leave you with some testimonial statements graciously collated by Associate Pastor Rev Ng Beng Keow to the glory and praise of our Lord:
“I was enlightened by the illustration on compass & magnets and gears. Truly in life, I have a compass to lead my path but not aware that there are various magnets around me that influence my direction. Most of the time, I would also feel that without my participation, it does not matter much. In fact, each of us is related just like gears in church. We have to move in the same direction and pace, in order to live as a Christ like community. One member in my discussion group known as Mrs Lim (60 – 70) shared that she was warmly consoled by the Speaker when he said Family is an Area of Operation. Before that, she felt guilty for not being able to play the role of SGM leader as she needs not only to take care of her medically unfit husband but also 2 schooling granddaughters.” Ms Ang Siew Hong
“Pastor Henson Lim reminded us that Christians should not be in a state of complacency. Instead we are challenged to awaken, align ourselves with God’s purpose and do our assignment well. Having been saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, I must now do work according to what God wants me to do. In order not to be a ‘show horse’, I want be obedient in heeding God’s voice. I must stay focused and disciplined and faithful. I want to run the race and finish running my race well. Just as Archippus was reminded, I am also reminded that I must “take heed to the ministry which you (I) have received in the Lord that you (I) may fulfil it” Col 4:17. Praise God for the exhortation of the Camp Speaker as well as the fellowship of the participants, the organizing committee; and the encouragement of the pastors and church leaders. I am refreshed and enriched. It is indeed an awakening for me. I want to be ready and be prepared for the coming of the Lord.” Mrs Margaret Yap Woon Jew
“”Focus on the aligning; let God do the assigning” brought me a lot of peace. I feel that, as a university student, with the academic workload and your whole map of life mostly incomplete, it is rather difficult to know for sure what assignment God has in store for you. The future is uncertain and, to an extent, rather frightening––but, upon learning that alignment to God should be my focus, I am reminded that there is so much more I need to find out about the God I serve, and so much more I can do to love Him and His people while in uni, before I am prepared for bigger assignments in store.” Ms Agnes Tay
“”Anything but aimless” spoke to me alot as I realised that I really didn’t know what I’ve actually been doing and have been rather lost. It made me think about where I’ve been going and where I am actually going to go with my life. “If you don’t align with the King, the Kingdom, the purporse of the Kingdom and the people of the Kingdom, there will be no purpose in what you do” and also the verse “If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, take up the cross and follow me.” I really struggle with denying myself as I’m very competitive in the sense that I don’t like losing. Thus, it struck me in the sense that I needed to submit myself to God and His will for me so as to be able to completely align with him to receive and carry out his assignment for me.” Ms Joelle Long
“The message of Archippus Awakening was extremely impactful! One message that stood out the most for me was the need for me to align to God and He will naturally assign us to our areas of operation. Many times I ask God, how can I serve Him, but if I am not rightfully aligned with Him, how could He actually speak and tell me what He wants me to do?” Sia Yi Xian
“The focus on the ‘gospel of the kingdom’ resonates with me as it was a time where I graduated from University and is trying to find Godly purpose and meaning in my life. To understand God has a purpose for us and that I have an assignment gave me both conviction and peace. Conviction in my purpose and peace through understanding that it was his will and not mine. The camp message strengthens my faith and resolve to pray and read the Bible more so as to align myself so as to truly understand his will and assignment that he has for me.” Mr Roger Erh
“亚基布是谁? 你我都是平凡的亚基布！就让我们常彼此唤醒，彼此鼓励，去明白神的旨意，有目标地完成神要我们做的任务（西4：17）。主题信息让我们再次被提醒：耶稣是我们的君王，我们是属君王在地上的军队。为君王工作，愿意背起十字架，经得起精炼，又能敏感于圣灵大能的带领，晓得圣灵须与道同行，靠着神的力量才能达成神所指派的工作。因神是我们生活上的指南针，是我们所信靠的。如今，我们是处于何种光景？无论你的任务是在家里，在职场或在教会，我们都要荣耀神！主也知道我们在教会里的事奉，但我们得紧记，别把事奉当着列行公事，而缺失那份宝贵的爱心与怜悯心。感谢主，感谢讲员的宝贵信息，也感谢筹委会的付出。心存感恩之余，我们将会时刻谨警醒，准备就绪，随时候命，等待出发！但愿每个信徒都能成为有忠心，有见识，有目标，神的仆人！” 陈赛珠姐妹
Translation: “Who is Archippus? Both you and I are Archippus, someone ordinary! Let’s awaken and encourage each other to know God’s will, and to purposefully fulfil His assignments for us (Col 4:17). The key message serves as a good reminder: Jesus is our King, and we are His army in this world. Serving the King, taking up the Cross, overcoming trials, tuning into the Holy Spirit’s leading, understanding the pairing of the Holy Spirit and the Word, and relying on God’s strength to fulfil His assignments for us. God is our Compass in life, and He is trustworthy. Under what circumstances are we now? Whether your assignment is at home, in the workplace or church, we must glorify God! God knows our serving in church, but we must remember not to regard ministry as a dull routine, and thus lacking in love and compassion. Thank God for the speaker’s valuable message and for the organizing committee’s great efforts. Besides a thankful heart, we must also stay awake, get prepared and ready for our assignments and then go! May every believer grow to become a faithful, wise and purposeful servant of God!” Sister Chen Saizhu
“阿基布是谁？圣经只在两个地方提到这名字。可见他不是一个大人物， 他只是一个无名小卒。歌罗西书4：17要对亚基布说：“务要谨慎，尽你从主所受的职分。” 及腓利门2 “并与我们同当兵的亚基布” 从这短短的两节经文 让我们知道他的身份是一个军人，保罗劝勉他要尽从主所受的职分，也就是要尽天国的任务，锁定自己的身份和目标。在这次的营会中，有三副图带给我一些的感想。第一副图是一只马安静顺服的被绑在一只塑胶椅子上。阿基布的名字从字面上分析是代表一个马主，马主训练马的目的就是要马到功成，一只强壮力大的马怎会受制于一个轻易可以推开的椅子？ 这是心态的问题，因他习惯了把困难放大。这是不是我们的写照？第二副图是不停摆动的指南针。指南针本应只指向北方，对准它的目标，就是面向着标杆。但是若在四围有许多磁铁之类的吸引力，指南针就很难准确地对准目标了。作为一个阿基布，务要谨慎，就是要尽你从主所受的职分，致力于摆正，让神来指派任务。第三副图是是许多大小不一的齿轮， 一起转动。无论我们所担当的如何微小，没有了这些小齿轮， 整幅的机器就无法运作。 我们必须像许多齿轮一样，互相配合以完成神的任务一样。问题是我们既然承认自己是个无足轻重的阿基布，我们是否知道自己的任务是什么？或许我们需要提醒和鼓励。我们的口号：就是觉醒，整装，出发。 把这口号一再的深印在脑海里，时刻提醒自己要觉醒，整装，出发来勉励自己。” 陈淑德姐妹Translation: “Who is Archippus? This name is only mentioned twice in the bible. Apparently, he is no big shot, but a mere nobody. From these two short bible verses (Col 4:17 & Philemon 2), we know that Archippus is a soldier. Paul urged Archippus to fulfil the ministry that he had received in the Lord, i.e. to know his identity and life’s goal, and then fulfil his kingdom assignment. During the church camp, three pictures spoke to me. The first picture – a docile horse tied to a plastic chair. The name ‘Archippus’ means master of horses. A master trains his horses for performance and success. So, why is a strong horse subject to the control of a frail plastic chair? Mindset is the issue here. He is used to zooming into his problems. Does this not describe us? The second picture is that of a compass with a moving needle. Rightfully, the needle should point towards the true north, i.e. aiming towards the goal and finishing line. However, when there are various magnetic forces surrounding it, the compass will find it hard to aim accurately. As Archippuses, we must take heed to the ministry which we have received in the Lord that we may fulfil it, and also, we should focus on the aligning and let God do the assigning. The third picture is that of the big and small gears turning together in harmony. Our roles may seem insignificant, but similarly, without those small gears, a machine cannot function. Borrowing the example of the gears, we must learn to partner each other and fulfil God’s assignments together. Now that we know we are the anonymous Archippus, do we then know our specific assignments? Probably this is the area which we need reminder and encouragement. Our battle cry: Awakened – Aligned – Assigned. May this battle cry be rooted in my mind and serve as a personal reminder that I should be awakened, aligned and assigned.” Sister Chen Shude