“Could you come to Nepal and hold a AAA Conference as well as commission the Nepali version of Say To Archippus?”Ps Vivek Das, Nepalgunj Prayer House (TBC)
That proposal by Ps Vivek Das of Nepalgunj Prayer House, one of Archippus Awakening’s AAKO* partners, started the ball rolling back in July 2023.
After meeting up with Ps Vivek over Zoom a few times, the dates for the conference were fixed and an AASG team plus Ps James Lee from Malaysia, was formed to go up with Ps Henson to declare the “Awakened Aligned Assigned” message to our brothers and sisters in Nepal. Ps Vivek would be the key person handling the Conference organisation on the Nepal side. He would tap on his contacts and network to reach out and gather leaders and pastors to the event.
It seemed a simple enough event to put together. But while Zoom is a great alternative to communicating via email and WhatsApp, it was still challenging to coordinate things remotely. Lots and lots of prayers were poured over this event from all parties involved.
As Yeen Peng shared in her personal reflections on the trip:
“Various challenges cropped up to hinder the preparation for the production of the book and planning for the conference: the wives of both the Nepalese pastors in charge fell sick, there was civil unrest in Nepalgunj, the district where the event was to be held, leading to curfews for almost a month. There were also long religious holidays the month before the event and even a simple online visa application turned out to be a hurdle when the consulate staff in charge went on a 20-day holiday! Fellow soldiers in KPI (Kingdom Prayer Initiative) came together to pray with the team before the trip.”Yen Yeen Peng, Covenant Evangelical Free Church
*AAKO – Archippus Awakening Kingdom Outpost, a term we use to describe our overseas partners helping to echo the message of awakened, aligned and assigned in their spheres of influence.
Slowly, very slowly, the details of the event were fleshed out. It was decided that the Conference would be a packed 2-day event (21-22 November 2023) with the book commissioning to be held on the first day (21 November 2023).
And since many of the participants had to travel long distances to attend the conference, the proceedings would start early (8 am) and end early (4:30 pm on the final day) to allow them time to travel back. There would be no night meetings.
Interspersed with the AAA message delivered by Ps Henson, we had both AASG and AAKO Nepal team members share their Archippian stories. This not only helped to break up the heavy teaching sessions but also allowed the participants to understand how this message can be applied to their lives.
While the majority of attendees were male pastors and ministry leaders, there was also a good number of ladies who attended and were blessed by the teaching and sharing.
Held at Tharu Worship Center, pastored by Ps Harihar, the venue had a large hall which was able to fit the more than 140 attendees comfortably as well as large sprawling grounds which allowed for the more than 10 breakout groups to gather and discuss the teachings without being distracted by each other, including one group which met on the rooftop of the church! There was also a separate building where all of us could sit and eat our meals cooked by the ladies of Ps Harihar’s church.
At the end of the Conference, Ps Henson challenged the attendees to respond as well as come up for a time of prayer and ministry. It was a beautiful sight to see both the men and slowly, the ladies respond to the call. And we were privileged to be able to pray with and over them as led by the Holy Spirit.
In the end, more than 145 people turned up, of which pastors made up more than 50% of the participants. The rest were leaders of the various ministries of the churches. There were about 60 churches from 11 districts represented.
The Book Commissioning
The translation of the book Say To Archippus into Nepali started back in 2022, a project taken up by Ps Prem Tamang from New Beginning Church, Pokhara. Once translated, it was proofread by a few others. Then Ps Vivek sourced for a printer for the production of this local version pf Say To Archippus.
However, we faced several obstacles, one of which was that there were several long public and religious holidays in Nepal in November. This delayed both the printing and delivery of the books. But thanks be to God, it was delivered the day before we flew off to Nepal.
We are praying that the book will be a useful resource for the people of Nepal as they read it and process the message in the book in their own language.
An Interesting Occurrence
Since there are no flights that fly direct to Nepalgunj, the team had to fly to Kathmandu, stay one night and then fly domestic from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. The hotel in Nepalgunj was huge and was undergoing a major revamp after being bought over. What was interesting to us and made us all go hmmm was that there were sculptures and pictures of horses all over this hotel!
Sister Yeen Peng commented, “At the hotel where we were staying, we found sculptures and paintings of horses. I felt that it is yet another assurance from the Lord as ‘Archippus’ means master of horses. It seemed like we, the eight Archippuses, are riding into Nepal, carrying the AA (Archippus Awakening) banner and declaring the AA message. We trust that the Lord will be faithful to break down strongholds and renew mindsets.“
We also saw quite a few horses (or ponies, as Ps Prem gently corrected us) on the roads of Nepalgunj, several times right in the middle of a busy street with cars and motorcycles zooming past them!
Encountering God Even as We Served
It never fails. Even as we stepped up and out of our comfort zones, “to say ‘Yes’ to God even though my flesh says otherwise” as Christina John, Oasis Fellowship, puts it, God encountered each of us differently.
Ps Prem, ever energetic and animated, who translated for Ps Henson on both days of the Conference shared that the message hits him differently as he translated.
“The AAA conference has been a transformative experience, altering the course of my life in terms of ministry and mission. A profound realization occurred within me, serving as a pivotal turning point. I am now convinced of being fully awakened and able to discern my God-given assignment. Simultaneously, I recognize my misalignments, symbolized by the flashing of 1, 2, 3, 4 messages* in my mind.”Ps Prem Tamang, New Beginning Church, Pokhara
Ps James Lee, Church of the Good Shepherd Sandakan, shared that, “I kept receiving new insights during the teachings” while for Ps Susheel John, Oasis Fellowship, God opened his eyes to realise that, “I don’t really know what it means to take up the cross and follow Jesus the way Christians in Nepal do.”
Elaine Low, Covenant Evangelical Free Church, was reminded again that, “The love that God has for His people transcends many languages and cultures. It is the same for each of us. He meets us where we are, and always inviting us to come alongside and partner with Him in the assignments that He has for us.”
A few of us admitted that we had grappled with the decision to go on this trip, not knowing what to expect but we are all glad to have said YES.
Build the Arc
One lovely side effect of going on such trips is that we get to Build the Arc* in a very personal way. Living, working, eating with one another, and having shared memories help to bind us closer as a group.
Elaine says, “The joy of serving with one another has allowed us to foster a closer bond and relationship.”
Agreeing, Ps James added, “When you are part of Team Archippus, there is never a dull moment. So much opportunity to learn and grow to see how we can echo the same message whenever the Lord prompts us.”
Ps Susheel also shared that not only does he “feel that his relationship with TeamSG members has grown, his relationship with our AAKO Nepal pastors has also deepened.”
Indeed, meeting our AAKO partners face-to-face is always a joy.
The trip has indeed opened our eyes to many things. On the practical side, we learn not to take modern plumbing for granted and as Gordon Goh, Bethesda (Bedok-Tampines) Church, shared, being “prepared and planning are important, especially in administrative things like getting a visa to enter the country.”
It has been such a privilege to partner with what God is doing in the nations and in the process grow in our walk with Him.
And now, I leave you with this quote from Christina:
“When you are on assignment for the Lord, expect the unexpected! He may not always do it the way you expect but He will always come through.”Christina John, Oasis Fellowship
* Build the Arc refers to the gathering of saints who are awakened, aligned and assigned to advance the purposes of our King, Jesus Christ. A community of believers who are on fire for the Lord and eager to encourage one another on our kingdom assignments.