Burning Altars by Wunmi Akinshipe

Burning Altars by Wunmi Akinshipe

It was the custom every morning. Mama will wake us up at 4am to study the bible, read out the devotional and pray ahead for what the day entails, we were a family of four, my elder sister and I with my parents

With my sleepy face and feeble heart, I still knew it was compulsory to follow the customary pattern, so every morning we continued as a family with all our family members

My Secondary school choices were being made and Dad’s decision was I go to a boarding school right from junior secondary school, I was such a young naïve and small statured, I heard mum deliberate with dad in the middle of the night over that.

I took the secondary school forms, both of them were boarding school mode only, so alas the decision was already made. On the 5th of September, 2006, parents drove me to Benita international secondary school to start my secondary school education.

After filling in all the required forms, I was assigned my dormitory hostel, Pearls hall, I will staying alongside 14 other students , 5 from jss2 , 5 from jss3 and the remaining 5 of us from jss1

Though it was a new chapter of my life, my parents, elder sister and aunties have given me a ton of advices and counsel to live by in the boarding school but one stood out for me and stayed with me, a burning altar.

Mum and Sister Bisi made emphasis over and over again, I continue and keep the customary tradition we always did at home.

So every morning by 4am, I woke up, prayed, read the bible chapter for the day, read my devotional and then prepared ahead for what the day entailed, I will thereafter clean up and get dressed for breakfast in the dining hall and classes for the day.

As I practiced what was taught each day in my bible study and devotional, I realized it was my word for each day , it was like an instruction manual in which I could lean on to guide me through my daily activities, it was an amazing experience.

Phone calls were only allowed on weekend, so every weekend as I called through to mummy and daddy, they prayed for me and always emphasized I kept my altar burning.

One fateful Saturday morning, I was in the hostel with all my hostel mates doing Saturday general cleaning when all of a sudden, Vivian a JSS 2 hostel mate began to have an asthmatic episode, she was wheezing heavily and matron wasn’t in the hostel, she had gone to the dinning hall to inspect the food hygiene , we were trying to rush her to the sick bay when I remembered what I learnt last week in my devotional, we shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover,  then I halted and turned to Vivian , I laid my hand on her chest and prayed for her. All of a sudden, the wheezing stooped and she started breathing well again.

That was the moment it came to my realization the power of the word of God and the essentiality of maintaining my spiritual altar with God.

 Though I was scared, I was just a jss1 student who was only concerned about having A grades in all my subjects being taught but that was also a turning point for me. I rededicated my life to Christ genuinely unlike all the other altar calls, Sister Bisi had always dragged me along to follow her and then made a decision to have a burning altar

This was an exciting journey I began and  am still on, every day, pouring oil on the altar , from there I learnt to pray in the Holyghost, I learnt spiritual leadership , submission and authority, I learnt about spiritual circles/tribes which all propelled my growth and still making me grow till now

The place of a burning spiritual altar cannot be overemphasized, do you have one?

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