When people ask about our Awakening Events (AWEs), it is a little difficult to explain. It’s a camp-retreat-seminar-workshop-breakthrough weekend all rolled into one. And yet, that doesn’t even begin to describe what goes on at AWEs. All we can say is that it is an assembly of Archippuses, desiring to be awakened, aligned and assigned for Jesus. And who should be there? All that is required is a heart of expectation for what God will do, as only He can, in the hearts of those who assemble not for themselves, but for Him and His kingdom. And God never disappoints.
Here’s a little glimpse of what took place at AWE2017.2 …
The Unpredictable Unfolded
After AWE2017 in February, Ps Henson had written, “How will the next AWE be? When? I don’t know and I have no idea at all! The idea is never for AWEs to become routine or predictable. That we will have another Awakening Event is certain … All I know is that the next AWE will be … same same but different.”
The unpredictable AWE2017.2 happened from 1-3 December and the same same but different unfolded. Different Archippuses were released to take up the various ‘same’ roles. We thank God for Linda (Icebreakers), Christina (Adullam Assembly), Jolene (1-2-3-4), Henry (Staying Awake), Reuben (Alignment Activity) and Ps Susheel (Empowerment). MAP, a nine-month mentoring aligning process, was an added new session and Lay Leng, Ivan and Pheinee highlighted the joy of being in an alignment check journey with a community of like-minded Archippuses. To break ice during the MAP session, Sue-Ann and Charles had us listen to an original story and turn our body accordingly to the words ‘right’ and left’. It was hilarious to see that at the end of the story, many of us faced one another when we should face the back of the room. What a fun way to check our alignment as we asked ourselves, “Are we listening?”
The Shofar Sounded
Are we listening? What a divine blast that the same video explaining the Call of the Shofar by Rabbi Elka Abrahamson and Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein was picked by both Ps Henson and Henry. Ps Henson explained how excited he was when he watched the video the first time: the strategic process of Awakened. Aligned. Assigned. was essentially explained in the video. When the shofar is blown during yom teruah (the Feast of Trumpets) each year, the sounds are not random at all. The first sound is tekiah, one last blast : Awaken! Take note of what is happening around you. The second is shevarim, three medium blasts : Take measure where we and others have gone wrong. The third, teruah, is a series of nine short staccato notes that urges one to action. We can no longer be bystanders. And finally, tekiah gedolah, one extra long blast. It’s a wake-up call that enters not only our ears but also our hearts and souls, asking, “Are you listening?” (excerpt from Rosh Hashanah 5778: A Fresh Revelation for a New Year. Are You Listening?)
Are we listening? Are we hungry enough to listen to His still small voice to align with Him, and the great sound of the shofar to stir us to action?
The Hunger Heightened
One among us certainly devoured Ps Henson’s teaching on the Alignment Check. Ps Shanthkumar from India shared, “I wrote down almost every line that Ps Henson said. I am using these teaching points together with the book Say to Archippus as prayer points for the churches back in India.” His hunger is something we can learn from!
Many questions we have been genuinely wrestling with surfaced at our small group discussions, as we articulated our heart’s desire to be aligned with our King. Many of us expressed how we have been awakened to see our misalignment, and hence the liberating truth to know that once we have repented, we are restored in Christ. Cornie from Malaysia shared her heart, “On the first day, Ps Henson said he stood in the place of the person who hurt us, that he wanted to sincerely say, ‘I am sorry.’ Oh, that just turned my emotional state upside down! Before the camp, the Holy Spirit had reminded me I was holding a grudge against a few individuals in my life. I didn’t know how badly I needed them to say sorry to me. At AWE, I am comforted to meet God-sent people to support me and be kind to me. God is good.”
Small group discussions could be intense as we wrestled with questions about refinement; but that was because we did not want to merely talk Christian and not live kingdom. Noelle echoed many hearts’ sentiments as she testified, “The segment on Refinement specifically ministered to me, especially in understanding the sequence of repentance, then restoration and refinement and all that each area it entails. It helped me make sense of my own journey.”
Attending AWE for the first time, Stephen would also have spoken for many when he shared that the alignment segment was different from what he had expected. He wrote, “I thought I would be given a series of handles or ‘to do lists’ to get alignment in place. Instead, so much of what was taught in this segment is worthy of an individual’s full attention. For instance, I have to ask myself : How do I relate to God as father? Do I journal? Do I have time to listen to God? What about my relationship with people? What about forgiveness? The list goes on.”
Praise God for this assembly of Archippuses who hungered after God’s heart. As we pursued God, we found Him pursuing us. Our young adult Sue-Ann could testify that as she basked in His Presence together with the community of Archippuses, God lured her out of the dark place she had trapped herself in. She put it aptly, “I finally accepted the truth that everything starts and ends with our wonderful Father God, including our purpose and existence, hence there is good work to be done for Him.”
The Laughter Lingered
Yes, there were serious moments but certainly many light ones too, with the naturally funny and endearing Reuben on assignment as our camp commandant and facilitator at our very own AAA Grand Prix. Our assignment was to build our individual cars using four bottle caps, ice-cream sticks and a rubber band. As we plunged into action, one witnessed how much sought-after Aaron was, since his much-aligned car scooted off a good distance as he released the rubber band. It was hilarious to see cars steering off the track or just refused to start during the preliminary rounds.
At the final round, Feni’s ‘Lamborgina’ with the AA logo emerged champion. We learnt how important every part is for alignment to take place that we may move well on our assignments! I suspect the joy lingered in the shores of Indonesia. One hotel staff came over during our group photo session to snap a shot of us as he heard our unison cries of “Archippus! Awakened. Aligned. Assigned.” In the presence of God, there is fullness of joy.
The ArcKeepers Assigned!
The powerful presence of God certainly came crashing down as we offered our lives to Him on the finale night. As His people responded to the altar call, God’s love extended. On the third and final day, we were ready to hear the next steps. Sharing his personal journey, Ps Henson revealed how God confirmed the word of Rehoboth (Gen 26:22), that it is time to “enlarge the place of your tent” (Isa 54:2) and to build the ark (Heb 11:7). When Ps Henson explained what building the ark referred to, there was AWE in the air. For sure, we are not to build another church, organisation or institution, but a like-minded community of Archippuses, symbolically expressed through the “arc” logo of Archippus Awakening. Building the arc involves assembling with the right people for kingdom purposes, releasing Archippuses to their assignments and Areas of Operation, and celebrating success stories amidst struggles. One could only catch this in the Spirit. Archippuses in alignment with God are assigned as arc-keepers to build the arc with fellow Archippuses. So, Archippuses, let’s rise up to be arc-keepers, focused on the aligning as we let God do the assigning!
We give thanks and praise to the Lord for His presence, love and grace at Archippus Awakening’s 4th Awakening Event (AWE), our second for 2017. A total of 76 Archippuses assembled, from 38 churches and 5 countries, with one common desire to be awakened, aligned and assigned for Jesus and His kingdom. More than 60% were first-timers, invited, accompanied and served by others who have experienced AWE for themselves.
Indeed – Rehoboth! – the Lord has made space for us and we shall be fruitful in the land. It is time to boldly enlarge the place of our tent, to build the arc, to awaken the saints that even more may know and fulfil their God-given kingdom assignments.
Still not too sure what an Awakening Event is all about? Mark the dates of 3-5 August and join us at AWE2018!
By Tan Lay Leng
Lay Leng is an expressive introvert (whatever that means) who loves to eat prawn noodles and was in the teaching profession for over 15 years in three countries. She enjoys cycling and spending time with her nieces and nephews. She worships at Grace Assembly of God. At an Awakening Event, she kept smelling a sweet fragrance before the Holy Spirit whispered, “Lay Leng, pay attention to the Truth that will be spoken.” Ps Henson Lim took over the microphone and as he was sharing how God called him out of pastoral-full-time ministry to start Archippus Awakening, Lay Leng found that her ears were pricked, her heart was leaping and her tears kept rolling. She was resonating with every word from Ps Henson’s mouth. She started connecting with Archippus Awakening and at a second Awakening Event she attended, on the commissioning night of AWE2016, she received this prayer, “You shall spread the sweet fragrance of Christ wherever you go.”
Lay Leng is also author of ‘Precious Moments of a Teacher’ and ‘Precious Moments in the Wilderness’. She received the National Caring Teacher Award in 2006 and the Outstanding Contribution Award in 2009 and 2010. Should you be keen to enjoy the fragrance from these two books, do contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her current goal is to co-author a book with her ex-pupils.