by Fong Wai Yee
Team Archippus (Henson, Fayth and I) fulfilled our kingdom assignments to declare the Archippus Awakening message at Woodlands Evangelical Free Church (WEFC) Retreat from 3 to 6 Jun 2019 in Malacca.
Doing simultaneous interpretation from English to Chinese was a new experience for me. While feeling inadequate, God reminded me to work with Christ. It helped that the WEFC retreaters were warm and friendly. It was also heartening to hear their testimonies of how the message has impacted them.
Retreat organiser Erny Khoo shared, “A timely wake-up call that not just calls the church to action but first to align our hearts with God so that the action is God directed and sustained. It was a message that spoke to young and old alike. Of the stories I heard from our retreaters, a common thread was God speaking to them about their own feelings of inadequacies and the freedom they found in understanding aright from Ps Henson’s messages that we ALL have an assignment and God WILL equip each one accordingly. No one is insignificant. That was a precious message for our church this year as we focus as a church on what it means to live missionally.”
Miki Tan, who has been attending WEFC for three years already, put across her feelings of inadequacies this way, “I am very thankful for Ps Henson’s teaching. His obedience to God, his trust in Him and his genuineness greatly encouraged me and at the same time I was made more aware of my own weaknesses. In the Alignment Check session, Ps Henson asked where we think we are now in terms of fulfilling our assignments. I found myself agreeing that I may be faithfully serving but I need to be encouraged. Other times I do not put into action what I know and I need to be reminded. I believe this was God helping me to realise that I must be strong and not easily tossed about, that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.””
Read her testimony in Chinese: 我在WEFC已经三年了。我很感谢神，教会给我这个机会参加这一次的Fully Alive Retreat，也很谢谢Pastor Henson的教导。他对神的顺服、信靠、真诚，给了我很大的鼓励，也令我更加知道自己的软弱。在第四课“定位检查”，有个问题是“此时你认为自己属于哪个景况？”在Yes和No的选项里，我觉得自己什么都对（一、忠心服事，但需要鼓励；二、没有行动、三、需要提示）。相信这是神所给我的醒悟，要我坚强，不要旋转，要“靠着那所加给我力量的凡事都能做”。
We also thank God for the retreat organising committee for their thoughtful efforts to weave the Archippus Awakening message into the various sessions like the personal solitude, group sharing and retreat testimony times. Retreaters appreciated the many personal reflection times given to process what they heard.
Fayth also had the opportunity to share her Archippian journey on the first night of the retreat. She testified, “I mustered enough courage to share my Archippian journey in front of the retreaters. I also witnessed Wai Yee on assignment, interpreting all the teachings to Mandarin and I told myself practice and training will really be necessary for me to be equipped for future kingdom assignments in this aspect. During the group sharing, I was encouraged by how the eleventh-hour message of Archippus Awakening had gripped the hearts of the listeners. I remember that when Team Archippus came together to pray, the Lord’s presence was strong, and He assured us that He would anoint His word through Ps Henson. It would not return to Him void but accomplish all that He pleased. I enjoyed the kingdom conversations and questions that popped up during meal and travelling times with others in the body of Christ who are also earnest to be awakened, aligned. assigned for our King.”
I definitely agree with Fayth how the message had resonated with the retreaters. Stories and testimonies were flowing, whether at our meal tables or while we were waiting for the elevators. Even inside the elevator, Linda Lim had the opportune time to share her testimony with Ps Henson. This is Linda’s story: “The retreat this year was special. God used Ps Henson’s teachings to awaken me. I was reminded of a kingdom assignment I received 16 years ago. My inferiority complex kept me from facing the challenges that would come with my assignment. I told God that if someone from overseas or a stranger were to specifically mention three points I held in my heart, I would fully surrender and obey Him. To my surprise, I heard all three points during Ps Henson’s second teaching session. The Holy Spirit also kept prompting me to share my testimony with Ps Henson. I told God I would do it only if I could catch him alone, knowing that the speaker would likely be surrounded by many people. On the third morning, the lift doors opened, and I saw him alone inside the lift. I knew God was encouraging me with this divine appointment to obey His prompting. Thank You Lord.”
During an exciting session on the last night, retreaters creatively used art to express the retreat highlights and takeaways. A group of young adults drew five horses with fingerprints and wrote “马到成功” (when the horse arrives, the mission is accomplished). Another group painted strong strokes in bright colours to represent horses charging swiftly ahead. These paintings would be displayed on a feature wall in WEFC, serving as reminders that as Archippuses (whose name means ‘master of horses’), we are awakened, aligned and assigned for our King.
The grand finale was when Senior Pastor Lim Kee Oon led the campers to read aloud the Archippus Affirmation, a pledge for anyone who considers himself or herself an Archippus desiring to know and fulfil God-given kingdom assignments. He went on to encourage every camper to seek out his or her God’s kingdom assignments. And should the assignments be found outside WEFC, the pastors and leaders are ready to release them to fulfil all that the Lord has assigned to them.
Senior Pastor Kee Oon has his personal takeaway, “It was clear that many were challenged by the Archippus Awakening message. Many expressed it was one of their best retreats. The message was timely for those seeking God for a new season in serving Him. Others were challenged in a fresh way, encouraged to overcome their fear, having stayed out of serving for a long time. Yet others are beginning to take steps to move past the hurts from previous seasons of serving. Retirees are asking God for a fresh assignment from Him. It encouraged me so much to see what God is doing in fitting pieces together in this season of our church life. Thank You, Henson, for being one of the critical pieces.”
Those were beautiful moments I took away from the retreat! I look forward to hearing exciting stories from WEFC as the body of Christ seeks to know and fulfil their kingdom assignments both corporately and individually, to the glory of God!