This was not our first trip to the Philippines. In October 2014, the message of Archippus Awakening was declared at Kidapawan Cty Assembly of God Church (KCAG) as part of their Prayer & Leadership Conference. In January 2015, the message was shared with Jesus Our Refuge Church in Tanauan Leyte. In May 2018, we had another invitation by KCAG – this time, to conduct a full Awakened Aligned Assigned Seminar.
This year, the Lord opened another door through Pastor Rey Sanico of New Life in Christ Fellowship. After attending AWE2018, Pastor Rey shared his desire to bring the AA message to Butuan City. We started praying and planning. And in April 2019, Team Archippus found ourselves back in the Philippines, in the province of Agusan Del Norde, in the region of Karaga, for another AAA Seminar in the city of Butuan!
Although the message remains largely the same, each trip brings with it different experiences. Whilst we are extremely encouraged by the positive response of the pastors and participants, we are also very mindful that we are being impacted and shaped by the Lord as we move on kingdom assignment with and for Him.
For this reason, special effort is made to reflect and to journal team members’ personal takeaways. It reminds us to always remain sensitive to the move and leading of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, it rightly directs all praise and glory to Jesus.
Our prayer is that these testimonies and takeaways will not only encourage you, but also spur you to partner us in the work of Archippus Awakening.
My recent trip with Team Archippus to declare the Archippus Awakening (AA) message in Butuan City, Philippines has been a privilege for me! I’m thankful for the chance to participate alongside the team as I learnt and journeyed with them. It’s been many years since I last went on a mission trip (14 years in fact!), so I didn’t know enough of what to expect, but I had a sense of excitement right from the beginning already. I believe God wanted me to go along with this, and indeed, He has blessed me and the rest richly!
The first thing that really hits you from start till end are the Filipino Christians. As the AA message was declared to them during the AAA seminar, you really get up close and personal with just how receptive, energetic, and enthusiastic they are about hearing the message. Young or old, you see a lot of them giving attention to what was being preached; you see a lot of them taking down notes, even as the sessions dragged on; and you see a lot of them affirming the message loudly when they strongly resonated with something, sometimes just one individual and at other times, as a whole chorus. This was certainly encouraging for the team! My interactions with them were warm and hospitable, to say the least. I remembered how, at the end of the seminar, the host pastor had the whole team stand in a row at the front, while everyone else queued up to shake our hands; I can still remember some of the looks on their faces. They had a way of making you feel special and at home. At times, it was even too overwhelming for me, and I would be thinking, “This is too much for me!” My conversations with them revealed some of the substance of their faith. At times, it might seem like we are from different worlds from people of another culture, but I love that uncanny familiarity that bridges Christians from any place. We could relate with one another, whether is was the familiar nuances of the kingdom or the raw mix of struggle and hope that is part and parcel of the Christian life, but what was most distinct of this familiarity was the quiet but firm sense of potential adventure, sober mindedness, and mission focus as we embraced the AA message of “Awakened, Aligned, Assigned”, and make attempt to apply that conviction on the journey to simply get down and do whatever God calls us to do, whether it is exciting or boring, and whether it is easy or difficult. To me, it is a precious thing to meet fellow Archippuses, or fellow soldiers, who are from different places, but who, no less, are travelling on the same journey that we are all called to; the encouragement and hope that that brings is a truly palpable one!
As for the wonderful Team Archippus, we might certainly be more familiar with each other, but I have also learnt much from them, and experienced much with them. Interestingly, a constant theme for us throughout the trip was having many, if not most, of our plans, and some comforts, upended here and there. I want to honour the team for taking it in their stride to patiently and faithfully “lay aside every” Singaporean perfectionistic “weight” to let God have the wheel. Before the trip, Pastor Henson had assigned us various roles and responsibilities, both familiar and new, and I think that we have all fulfilled them well, without grumbling or delay, except maybe on one occasion, where I had been too preoccupied and convicted by Lay Leng’s preaching to remember to take pictures of her preaching. On a serious note, God’s grace was truly there for us in this trip, even when we had to adapt to sudden changes; He allowed everything to flow quietly and seamlessly like clockwork, as we all sought to fulfil our individual assignments. Again, I am left with the same impression of potential adventure, sober mindedness, and mission focus to simply get down and do whatever God calls us to do.
I vividly and clearly remember thinking to myself, during Pastor Henson’s open night preaching on Moses’ response to God’s call in his life, that I was 1) very privileged to be part of God’s move in Archippus Awakening (here I was, seeing God at work in the Philippines and being a part of it alongside this lean but mean team!), and 2) no longer in a place to grumble to God, as I had done in the past, about not having the “right stuff” to do His kingdom’s work. At that moment, I knew in my heart that God was speaking directly at me; it was as though he was saying to me: “I have revealed My word to you, you have asked and I have given, now will you obey?” As the weight of those words sunk in, again, I felt the same impression of potential adventure, sober mindedness, and mission focus, a calling to a level of ownership in my faith where the rubber actually starts to hit the road, a calling to urgently “get my house in order” and align with the Lord, a calling to devote more time to wait on and enjoy Him, and to step out in faith and take the risks that are actually worth taking.
So, if I could give a sense of my whole experience in Butuan, it would be that God had, long ago, gone before our team to prepare rich soil for the AA message to take root and grow, not just in their hearts but, as I realize soon enough, in ours as well; I believe our work there was an important catalyst that operated within a much much larger picture of God’s end time move that we are all invited to be involved in. Just as God would subtly but surely use every occasion along the trip to spur me on to a greater ownership of my faith, I hope this occasion will do the same for you. To God be the Glory!
They sat, inclined forward, a notebook and a pen in their hands. Their eyes were bright, their ears pricked. The pastors and ministry leaders present at the AAA Seminar were hungry and ready to receive the AA message. In fact, I saw them devouring every word coming from Ps Henson, whom God greatly anointed. After the two-day seminar, during the Sunday services, these pastors were already preaching – in their own words – the ‘awakened aligned assigned’ message. One pastor expressed to me he had started reading Say to Archippus and would be using it to prepare his subsequent sermons. Throughout all these moments, God would often whisper to me, “That’s My answer to prayers. That’s My answer to prayers .”
Team Archippus had been offering prayers to Him over the months of preparation and He was certainly ahead of us, answering both the prayers of the pastors in Butuan and the prayers of Team Archippus. There was such an alignment of hearts of both teams with the kingdom purposes of God.
Without a doubt, God commands His blessings where there is unity. I enjoyed every moment serving alongside Team Archippus as each of us carried out our assignments. We prayed for and cheered one another on. Like what Siew Hoon had shared during our thanksgiving time, Esther and Ruth were great encouragers! They would say, “Great job, Aunty Siew Hoon! Great job Aunty Lay Leng!” The beauty of the LORD was so much upon Esther and Ruth as they took turns being our photographers and providing slides support. I was much encouraged by Daryl too, who was always ready to serve and help in small ways. I took with me many cherished Jollybee moments and kingdom conversations with one another. I had loads of fun chatting and praying with roommate Siew Hoon, I think this goes without saying!
On this kingdom assignment in Butuan, I had an exciting first-time assignment. I was tasked to teach the session Alignment Check. Before the trip, Ps Henson guided me and taught me how to deliver the content. When Ps Henson prayed for me, he saw me in the skating rink enjoying myself. I clung on to that word of encouragement. I was grateful to God for the warm and responsive Filipinos who were fantastic learners. Ps Susheel said I spoke with such intensity throughout yet there was no fatigue on the part of the listeners, and I knew it was God’s grace and mercy! My preaching assignment at a service was yet filled with precious moments. The Lord enabled me and the pastor and his wife confirmed it a timely word for the church members. Truly, like what Ps Henson always teaches: when we do our part, God will more than do His part.
Everything we’ve done, the LORD has done for us. “LORD, You establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us.” Isaiah 26:12
Thank You LORD for these precious moments and to You be all glory, honour and praise!
Tan Lay Leng
This was my 3rd trip as part of Team Archippus doing AAA Seminars outside Singapore. But this was the most significant one for me. I was cautiously optimistic before the trip as to how the pastors and leaders in Butuan City would receive the awakening message and, subsequently, run with it.
The seminar itself went well. The people were responsive and it was very encouraging to see them really getting into the discussions and even referring to their notes. I felt that the Holy Spirit had worked His Word in many hearts. Some information came to me after the seminar that helped me to make sense of their receptivity. The short video presentations by the founders of the NLCF movement showed that they had a definite kingdom focus as well as the desire to see every member doing kingdom work after salvation. I also got to know about how Ps Rey Sanico had banded together with 4 other pastors to build the body of Christ in Butuan. It would seem that they had a vision and we brought the architectural plans. Only God could orchestrate such a move and I am excited to be a part of it!
I was also blessed to meet Ps Ronel who does not see churches full of members or believers but, rather, disciples. My conclusion is that God is again doing something in the city that gave us the Kairos course and I count it a privilege to play some part in His work.
As for my own assignments, I enjoyed taking the session entitled “The Kingdom Advances”. I shall be my own hardest critic and say I could have done better. And I endeavour to do so. Preaching at The Shepherds Community Centre (Ps Ronel’s church) was great fun and I was blessed very much from spending time there just talking to different ones.
I am thankful to have been a part of this team. Each member has been a blessing. Thanks, Ps Henson, for going all out for every session. You have exemplified the “to me for you” paradigm for all of us. Thanks also to Lay Leng and Siew Hoon for taking care of all the arrangements/coordination. Having played those roles before, I know how much patience and graciousness is needed and you both have done great! It’s also been such an encouragement to hear both of you share. One of the things I was looking forward to during this trip was to get to know Daryl a bit more, since we didn’t have that much opportunity to do so during MAP. Your authenticity and openness are an encouragement to me. And thanks also to Esther and Ruth. These two were “on duty” every session of the seminar and it was so great to watch them carry out their assignments with smiles on their faces. Well done!
In conclusion, in reflecting on all this, I count myself privileged to be part of Archippus Awakening and also to be partnering in this work of the Lord. Truly, it is only by His grace, for which I am grateful.
Pastor Susheel John
Every aspect of this trip was truly God at work. He knew the saints in Butuan needed the Archippus Awakening message. He has prepared the hearts of His people, both pastors and leaders and the young people.
During worship on the first day of the AAA seminar, I had an impression of big rain drops falling from above. I sensed the Holy Spirit was watering the ground of the hearts of the people so that the seeds planted would be fruitful. They were paying attention and taking notes. Through the group discussion with a few youths, I saw a strong desire in them to serve the Lord. They appreciated that God was using the AA message to guide and show them how to move on.
The teachings of Ps Henson, Ps Susheel and Lay Leng were full of God’s power. Lay Leng, Daryl and I had the same experience that the Lord spoke through us when we took over the mic in front of His people, both in the AAA seminar and at the two different churches where we were sent out to preach and share.
There was strong unity in Team Archippus. We were in one accord, ever ready to obey our King’s command. Ps Susheel, Lay Leng, Daryl and I obeyed the Lord’s leading and prompting to switch with one another as to the Sunday service we were to be dispatched to. We saw His wisdom when we received feedback on how the messages and sharing touched the people’s hearts. Ps Ronel of The Shepherds Community Centre later said that both Ps Susheel’s teaching and my sharing were timely message for the congregation.
I am pleased to see Daryl being ever willing to help in any way. Esther and Ruth were serving in their sweet and quiet ways. They were great encouragers who cheered Lay Leng and me on when we were going to speak. I enjoyed prayer and chit-chat time with my buddy. Many of our (and the team’s) prayers were answered by God. I truly saw the different parts of a body function in unity. I really enjoyed serving with Team Archippus.
The Lord has taught me to rest in Him and work from the posture of rest. I was very touched by His goodness over Team Archippus. After we had done our part in the seminar, one of the pastors prayed over us and the brothers and sisters lined up to shake our hands to thank us. My heart was filled with the love of God, and I could not hold back my tears. Our King is so good. He never takes us for granted and never fails to reward us.
Thank You so much, Lord Jesus for enabling and empowering the team and showing us Your goodness. All glory and praise be unto You, our Master and King.
Toh Siew Hoon
I was very encouraged by how open and responsive the Filipinos were. They were super warm and welcoming towards all of us. It really warmed my heart to see how eagerly they caught the message and desired to apply it to their lives. I’m also really glad that I was able to serve in a small way by helping out with the photography and the slides. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to go for this trip and see the many ways that God moves.
This trip to the Philippines has been a thoroughly heartwarming experience for me. Everything about these people touched me so powerfully, especially their passion and zeal for God’s Word. During each session at the AAA Seminar, I could see every member of the audience taking notes furiously, and with an eager expression on their faces. They would also respond with equally earnest enthusiasm and joy. Seeing their faces and hearing their responses really warmed my heart. One could see that their hearts were truly postured for learning. Throughout the entire trip, I have seen God’s power and His hand in everything. I am so blessed to be a part of Team Archippus and I thank God for everything He has done. To God be the glory!