Congratulations to Lay Leng on the launch of her third book, Precious Moments on Assignments!
When Lay Leng is faithfully moving on the assignment of collecting and writing Archippian Stories, she is usually the one behind the scenes, interviewing and asking the questions. This time, the tables are turned. At my request, Lay Leng gamely agreed to share her heart so that we may appreciate even more the process and perspectives behind her new book.
We both would have preferred to have conducted this interview over waffles ice cream and matcha (cappuccino for me please). However, given the present Covid-19 measures and restrictions, a simple email interview would have to do. This, of course, poses no problems for a writer as prolific as Lay Leng. I thoroughly enjoyed her candid and casual replies to my questions and I know you will too.
As you get to know the author, may it spur you to want to know what she has written in Precious Moments on Assignments. And also, like Lay Leng, to desire to be awakened, aligned and assigned for Jesus and His kingdom. (Hint: Scroll to the end to know how to get your hands on the book/s.)
When did you discover your love for writing?
When I was in primary school. But there was an ‘ulterior’ motive involved – I wanted extra pocket money. In those days – not too long ago, really – whenever I submitted an article to a magazine or the newspaper, I would receive a fee which meant a lot for me as a primary school pupil. I love writing so much I would design my own magazines when I was young, and it was not quite a surprise when I was tasked to oversee the School Magazine for a few years when I was in the teaching service.
What made you write your first two books? How did it start?
Writing is therapeutic for me and it provides an avenue for me to be expressive. I was sitting at McDonalds one day in July 2011 – spending quiet moments with the Lord, yes, I can focus in such an environment – and the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Lay Leng, it’s time to write a book. Call it Precious Moments of a Teacher.” During the November school holidays that year, I flew to Penang, checked into a hotel room and sat down to write. The Holy Spirit guided me every step of the way. When Precious Moments of a Teacher was published, the Lord granted me so much favour with my then principal. She gave me a session to share my book with my former teaching colleagues who supported the book in delightfully generous ways. Within a day, no less than 500 books went out! Glory to God!
I resigned from teaching service in 2012 and entered what I call a wilderness season when I recuperated from a slipped disc. The teaching days had taken a toll in my body, soul and spirit. God was pursuing me back to cultivating intimacy with Him. Over five years, from 2012 to 2017, I had no regular income but I had such a rich experience in my adventure with God. In 2016, the Lord said to write on the wilderness season “so that many know there is abundance in wilderness”. So I did! This time, God granted me favour with my former pastor who wrote me a cheque to sponsor the printing cost of Precious Moments in the Wilderness. Glory to God!
Other than just another book to add to your “Precious Moments” series, what prompted you to write about being on kingdom assignments?
So it was the year 2020, during circuit breaker, and I was having my evening walk. The Holy Spirit spoke to me again about writing a book. He said to document my experience being on assignment with Archippus Awakening. (Now you know how I had procrastinated this. Actually, I was waiting for inspiration to write lah. Writers can always give excuses like no inspiration or writer’s block.) Then in May 2021, I decided to focus on putting this book together. And the Lord guided and enabled me in amazing ways. He brought to mind the different articles I had written along the way and helped me organise my thoughts as I put them down in writing.
The idea of “serving God” is not a new one. What is different about the Archippus Awakening message that has impacted you so deeply?
You know, the Archippus Awakening (AA) message is so very special and precious to me. Hear me out! During that wilderness period, He put in my heart many questions about His church, His kingdom, and taught me many things about what it means to be His disciple, why we are doing church and not being His church, why are we doing ministry but not displaying Christlikeness. Can you imagine my excitement when I heard you talk about all these things that the Lord has already challenged me about? And I didn’t even know I had signed up for an AA event, neither did I hear the full AA message! You took over the microphone to close that ‘End-Time Worldview’ session I attended. After all those things you said, I could not stop crying! How could the Holy Spirit be speaking to me so intimately! Those of you who knew about me running up the steps to grab a copy of Say To Archippus, devouring it in the bus could perhaps understand better now. All that the Lord had been telling me during the time in the wilderness, I got the answers in the book, Say To Archippus. The AA message has impacted me deeply because God has impacted me deeply before I received the AA message. The AA message was like an extremely intimate connection between God and me. (I am in tears while crafting this answer, so touched by God all over again…)
What about Archippus do you most identify with?
Honestly, it is the entire AA message. On a candid note, I really like the way our brother from Uganda pronounces it as Ar-chi-ppus rather than Ar-ki-ppus. It never fails to put a smile on my face because I realised I have come to embrace this name so much already.
Which part of the book was the easiest or most fun to write?
The preface. Writing books in Penang has become such a beautiful memory, so recounting the beginning days before I got more involved in the work of AA was… nice.
Which part of the book was the most difficult or most challenging to write?
I wanted to write on my misalignments as transparent and real as I could but I am aware I needed to be as sensitive as I could too, to the people involved. My heart, really, is to share what misalignments are and how God is always calling us to realign, in His mercy and kindness. So that was the most challenging part, and as a note to self, I could improve in the content in the alignment check moments.
What is your favourite part of the book?
All the overseas moments! Because cannot travel overseas now, mah.
Which chapter or experience on assignment means the most to you? Why?
Just the entire colourful experience being on assignment. Like my preference for food varieties, I particularly love learning new things. When I am tasked to do a variety of sub assignments in AA, I enjoy every single one because I get to experience new things, meet new people and learn new things. (Don’t give me more work hor…haha)
Whilst many have affirmed the AA message and recognised its relevance for the Church, not everyone has responded like you. Why do you think that is so? How can these be further encouraged? What would you say to them?
First, let God love you, then fall in love with Jesus, over and over again. When that happens, you will be willing to give Him time and space. When you set aside time for Him, you get to hear Him speak and you get to know Him more and more deeply. And you fall in love with Him again. Now, simply enjoy the adventure with Him, embrace His heartbeat for people, and experience the ride when He brings you to places on assignment with Him.
In serving alongside myself and others in Archippus Awakening, how does this affect your involvement in your own home church? How do your pastors or leaders feel about it?
Yes, I am not actively involved in my own home church. We are publishing this interview ya? 🙂 Okay, pastors at Grace Assembly, be assured that there are three main communities I am plugged into: AA, my Tung Ling Bible School cell group and a group of prophetic artists. I do not know how my pastors feel about me serving God in AA. The last time I spoke to one of them, he said, “It’s good. It’s good.“ a few times. My former SP had written a foreword in my second book, and is totally aware of my involvement with AA. Does that mean anything to help me strengthen my answers here? Haha. Hey, I am a kingdom subject on kingdom assignment with my King.
In the book, you quote quite a bit from Say to Archippus & Alignment Check, as well as AA teachings. In a sense, you have begun to speak “Archippian”. Share how this came about? Intentionally? Unconsciously? Do you see this as a hindrance or barrier in trying to get more to be awakened, aligned and assigned? If so, how would you address this?
Being a word person, I have thoroughly appreciated how you have crafted those words so clearly and creatively for my own understanding. Call me simple in my thinking, but what I have been blessed with, I assume will bless others too.
I am reminded of a friend whom I had invited for the first AAA Seminar six years ago. Then, she had expressed along the line of not being able to accept these Archippian terms. She shared recently that her “heart was not circumcised then”. Today, six years later, having been impacted by the AA message again and again, she is awakened. It’s the heart issue.
How would you respond to those who may consider you a tad over-enthusiastic about the Archippus Awakening message? How do you process and deal with negative reactions?
I used to be quite affected indeed. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with being enthusiastic about serving our King? I couldn’t get enough of loving my Lord back for how He has so loved me to awaken me in such intimate ways. Over time, I examined my heart again and again and accepted that I am someone who talks a lot about things I am excited about. In doing that, I could have been insensitive to another’s feelings. I must learn to manage my enthusiasm.
Is this just you? Or do you think there may be others like you who have been impacted by the AA message (just that they don’t write books)? How would you encourage these to share their Archippian journeys and stories with others?
Of course there are many lah. And I can help these write their stories! I wanna sing the song “Go, tell it to the mountains, that Jesus Christ is Lord!” Should you have been encouraged by any of the stories posted on AA website, you need to share yours too, because it will definitely encourage others.
What do you hope to achieve with this book (other than sell lots of copies)? What is your desired outcome for those who read your book?
That they should FOMO being on kingdom assignment with Father God. One of the things you said to me earlier days that remained in my heart is this: Yes, there are challenges while we are on assignment but the joy of serving Jesus outweighs the challenges. It is so true!
What advice would you give to someone who desires to be awakened, aligned and assigned? What would you say to Archippus?
Read my book please. The last lingering sentence will be worth the reading journey 🙂 On a more serious note, imagine a treasure chest before you, with everything you have dreamed of in it. Now, go, open it. Unless you obey what God has said to you, the blessings cannot be unlocked. He is worthy of it all.
Where can we find Precious Moments on Assignments and your other books?
I thought you would never come to this question! Haha. https://www.preciousmoments.life/