Saturday, 10 November 2018

Stop Sexual Abuse!

[10/16, 10:48 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY CARELESS MOTHER*
*Episode One*
My name is Adenike. I am from Lagos state, Nigeria. I was born 28 years ago into the family of Mr and Mrs Temitayo Fowogbade. I am the first born of my parent  and I have three other siblings; Faith, Christiana and Grace. Grace was born as a result of my parent's search for a baby boy who turned out to be a girl. And the chapter of child birth was closed.
The story of my life is a lesson to mothers of our days. The title of my story would have been better if it was "The Carelessness Of My Mother", but I chose this title for some reasons.
My mum told me to stop sleeping in her room since I was two years old neither will I sleep in the children's room but my father's room. At a time, everyone started calling me the wife of my father, "iyawo baba e". I grew up to understand what love is all about because my father showed me unreserved love. Sometimes I wouldn't sleep except I sleep on my father's chest; his chest became my comfort and bed. My father cannot withstand anyone beating me, not even my mother. The major quarrels I witnessed between my father and my mother were because my mother beat me and my father was not happy about it. There were times they kept malice for days just because of me.
My father wass a successful engineer, a tall handsome man with  charming voice. He sings in the choir. He is such a nice man that all and sundry will love to be with because he is also caring. He is tender hearted and jovial. He gives me virtually everything I had ever wanted, including those that were detrimental to my growth as a girl child. There were many things he bought for me without my mother's knowledge. He had  packets of chocolate under his bed that my mother wasn't aware of for many years. He served me two or three chocolate every night before sleep.
I love playing with my father's beards because they were well laid around his jaw. I sat on his lap and played with his beards anytime I was angry; it had a way of pacifying my anger. When I turned six, I realized that anytime I sat on my father's laps he always had erection. As a child, I never knew what erection was or what it meant because we never had a brother neither did anybody told us anything about erection. I loved it when I see his manhood struggling around his boxer. Then I began to play with his manhood anytime I see it rise. My father loved it when I played with it but he will never allow me do it whenever my mother was around. My father's manhood became my toy and any day I didn't play with it, he reminds me. "Nike you've not played with daddy's toy". When he noticed my mother may get to know one day, we restricted the toy play only to bedtime.
Fast forwarding, when I became ten, my father will instruct me to suck his manhood until he ejaculates. That continued until I was thirteen. It became an everyday affair, no sucking, no chocolate. I became so addicted and inseparable to my father. Nobody ever educated me that what I was doing with my father was wrong. He kept assuring me of his love towards me. Of course, I had no doubt because he showed it. Anytime my father traveled, I will be sick all through and get well as soon as he arrived. My love for my father was exceptional. He could tolerate my excesses to a fault. My father was a good man I knew.
Are you getting irritated already? The story just began....
[10/16, 10:48 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY CARELESS MOTHER*
*Episode Two*
My father became my magical being; I almost could not do without him. I trusted him so much because he never hurt me. He tried to keep tears from dropping from my eyes. He was the friend I knew; he was close and listening. He was something different from my mother who was harsh, inconsiderate, unloving and hot tempered. I wasn't worried about anything because my father was also nice to my siblings alike. Myself, and Grace took after my father in everything but Faith and Christy took after mum. They are unfriendly and difficult.
My bond and intimacy with my father continued until I finished my Junior Secondary School Education and my mother began to nurse the idea of changing my day school to boarding. From the onset, I knew that won't work because my dad would not part with me neither will I ever want to stay away from dad for such a long time. So it was going to be one against two. It became a serious battle between dad and mum for a long time. Grandma had to interven but all to no avail. Our pastor intervened too on several occasions but my dad would not shift grounds. "I will not take any of my daughters to boarding school and allow anyone to initiate them into witchcraft", my dad had said several times.
My dad was the first to know when I started menstruating. I had menstruated twice before my mum knew. Before mum could teach me what I needed to know about a woman's circle my dad already did. Mum's lecture on womanhood was a revision. Dad already taught me everything I needed to know. My dad got to know a minute after I fell sick. My dad was readily available for us, unlike mum who gave so much time to her career. I would rather confide in my dad than waste my time with mum. She rarely had time to listen to you. If she does, she won't act until something bad happens.
My mum was a successful banker, an occupation she held with high esteem. Her job meant so much to her because she worked hard to rise to the position she occupied in her bank. Even when mum was sick, she would manage to go to work.
First lesson I learnt from my mum was; the danger of making your career a priority over your family. She gave her best to her career but little attention to us. Her intention sounds genuine but her mistakes could not justify her intention.
Dad was a nominal Christian but mum was a born again Christian with proofs of right standing with God. Dad still sneaks to smoke even though he was a prominent member of the choir. Mum was a prayer warrior and Sunday school teacher. Her fluent English and good communication skills made her one of the best Sunday school teacher in our church. Everyone liked her class because you will always learn a new vocabulary after her teaching. Dad is not a bad person but he was not as serious with God like mum.
They couldn't stay in the same room because mum will not let dad have a smooth night with her unending prayers and vigils. Mum was not tolerant, she sees dad as an unbeliever, hence she nags and yells at dad almost every day. As I began to grow up, I realized that mum and dad hardly spent time together. Mum was just too busy with office and church work. Dad would have been lonely without us. We became his close confidants while mum was unavailable
[10/16, 10:48 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY CARELESS MOTHER*
*Episode Three*
My dad understood my circle so well and he plans for it ahead of time. He buys my pads ahead of my monthly periods without my knowledge. After the first lecture mum gave to me on womanhood she never did any follow up again. She left me with my fate. I would have gotten into lots of troubles if not for my dad who was available for me. This is why I can't leave him for boarding school. Who will give me such attention? Who will be as friendly as my dad? Who will understand and tolerate me like him? These and more questions ran through my mind daily.
The journey to my woe started on the 2nd of June 20...... when my dad became sick and my mum wasn't available to take good care of him. As young as I was then, I played the role of a mother and a wife all together. I filled in the vacuum my mum created because of her busy schedules. Three days after, my dad recuperated and bounced back. At this time, our bond for each other had grown beyond daughter and father relationship. On several occasions, I had noticed my dad starring at me lustfully and forgetting himself. On the 2nd of June, my dad came into my room. I had stopped sleeping in his room because we could no longer justify why I should continue sleeping there, considering my age. He lets me move into the other room to avoid suspicion.
"How are you Nike?", he asked, looking straight into my eyes. I felt an unusual sensation all over me when he looked into my eyes. "I am okay dad", I replied. He sat on my bed and began to massage my hair. Of course, that wasn't the first time he was doing that. He does it to my other sisters too even in the presence of mum. But the feeling that day was quite different. He left after five minutes but that visit was what broke the camel's back.
He came back after thirty minutes. "Nike, I hope you are okay?" Dad why are you worried about me? I am okay". "Alright, come and give daddy a hug". I moved closer and hugged my dad like other times but daddy seems to have ulterior motive this time from his look. "Nike, do you know how much I love you?", he asked. "Yes daddy, I know you love me so well, I love you too." He kissed my forehead and said, "That's daddy's baby." I stopped playing with his manhood when I knew that wasn't right to do with one's father. He stopped asking me to suck too because he began to notice I am getting mature and I could let the cat out of the bag someday. But this day, he reminded me of those days. He sang my childhood favourite song to me again. His eyes were changed and this time I was grown enough to know. These eyes were sexy. I had so much confidence in my dad, so I had no fear for anything.
He held me so tightly and began to unbutton my blouse in a way that suggests he want to have canal knowledge of me. Before I could say Daddy, he grabbed my two breasts firmly. "Give me this one chance and I will prove to you how much I love you", my dad begged me as his face was full of pity. I have never argue with or deny my dad anything but this was a cross road for me. How will I give my dad a chance to deflower me? I couldn't look at my dad's face as he continued to beg me for sex.
"But why do you want to do this to me daddy?" I asked, as tears began to run down my cheeks. "You are a beautiful girl with irresistible body. I want to do this because I haven't done it with your mother for a long time. She practically denies me anytime I make advances. I am starved and I know you won't let daddy to starve forever when you have the answer in between your legs."
[10/16, 10:48 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY CARELESS MOTHER*
*Episode Four*
Mum was promoted to the position of a Branch Manager and was transferred to Ibadan to head a new branch. This was what she had worked for all these years. Becoming a Branch Manager was her utmost dream for many years. Mum was so happy with her new position but the transfer did not go well with dad and all of us. She never gave dad opportunity to protest her transfer when she started making out her plans. Within two weeks, mum had contacted an agent in Ibadan through a colleague who got her a two bedroom flat in the outskirts of Ibadan. When mum left for Ibadan I knew it was a journey to marital desolation for dad.
"I don't want to say anything because you may think I don't want your progress but leaving your family at this time is not healthy", my dad protested. "So what should I have done? Resign the job or reject the offer? The position I have laboured for all through the years? This is God's open door and I can't afford to throw it away. Instead of you to rejoice with me, you are here talking about family. All our children are all grown and Nike can take care of her sisters well. I will always come home for weekend." My mum replied as she ordered Faith and Christy to move her things into the waiting van outside. We are surely not going to miss mum because her temporary exit from the house will give us a level of freedom and peace. We will be free from her nagging and troubles.
That night mum left for Ibadan, my dad came into my room like the other time. From his eyes you could see lust and determination to get what he wanted. "Please daddy, don't do this to me. I thought you said you love me? Why will you be the one to take away my virginity? Please daddy! Please daddy!! Please daddy!!!" All my begging fell on deaf ears as my dad forced himself into me. It was really painful going through this evil act. He left my room without saying a word to me after he stole my virginity. My love for my dad disappeared like a vapour. My love for him turned to hatred immediately. My loving dad became a rapist, the man I trusted all my life became a beast and a terror. My tears was thick and I could hear the loud sound they made when they dropped to the ground.
Three hours later, he came knocking at my door. His voice that was once a balm to my soul suddenly turned to a terrific sound. The fear that griped me when I heard his voice behind the door was frightening. "I am sorry Nike, I am sure you know daddy loves you. Please open the door, I have a surprise for you." If I had a knife in my room that day, I would have committed murder. I would stab him and stab myself. I sobbed bitterly all through the night. I didn't come out for three days even when my sisters came knocking. I could see the worries on my sisters and I didn't want them to do anything stupid, so I opened the door on the third day.
Who would you blame, my dad or my mum? The nightmare of what my dad did to me began to trail me. My sisters tried all they could to find out what happened to me but how can I tell my sisters my father took my virginity by force? It is sacrilege and abomination in Yoruba land for a father to have canal knowledge of his own biological daughter. I knew what his act will cost the family but I can't talk to anybody about it. I can't manage the shame and mockery. The thought to poison my dad began to find its way into my mind. I will kill him and free myself of the trauma of his presence.
What else should I have done?
[10/16, 10:49 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY CARELESS MOTHER*
*Episode Five*
Mum could not fulfil her promise to come home every weekend. Some months, she only came once and sometimes twice. I became hostile in the house and everyone knew something was wrong but no one among my sisters was matured enough to investigate further.
I perfected my plans to poison my dad but that was not easy. On two occasions, I had planned to put the poison in his food but I will discard it again. Seeing him got me irritated. I wished he could die of accident or one mysterious thing but none of these happened.
For three months, I rarely talk to my dad even though we lived under the same roof with me. All the time mum visited, she never suspected anything because I put up pretentious attitudes that looked like all was well. I will enter my shell again as soon as she returns back to Ibadan.
My dad became depressed because of the happenings around. Nike that used to be his close friend became his arch enemy. My sisters started withdrawing from him because they saw me withdrew too. My dad became an addicted drunkard. He started going to club houses just to suppress his depression. I pitied him and talk to him casually. Life returned back to him and he began to pick up again. But our relationship had gone sour. He was buying me different gifts just to pacify me but all that was nothing. My desire to take his life got stronger by the day. I was loosing concentration in school because of what my dad did to me.
On Sunday, our pastor gave a powerful sermon on "forgiveness". He highlighted seven reasons why forgiveness will do you good than whom you are forgiving. The sermon was so touching that I had no option than to drop my murderous plan. Pastor made an altar call for those who need grace to forgive those who had hurt them. I jumped out and he prayed for us. The prayer was like lifting a heavy rock off my chest. I became light and free. I wish I could die that moment and just go to heaven straight to rest from the trouble of this world. I got home that day and prepared my dad's favourite food just to communicate my forgiveness to him. Nike, I am grateful you have forgiven me; he held my hand as I served him his food to whisper to my ear.
On Monday, my dad bought me a big phone he ordered from the UK. He knew how much I desired to own a phone but mum will not allow him buy me one. This girl is too young to own a phone, mum had warned dad several times. If you buy her a phone I will smash it on the floor, mum threatened. She insisted none of us will own a phone until we are eighteen. But all my friends in school have phones yet they concentrated on their studies. It was never a distraction like mum painted. I loved the phone dad bought for me because all my friends in school who had intimidated me with theirs began to respect me when they saw mine.
I was enjoying my phone for three months and mum didn't know I own a phone. When she's around I put it off, remove the battery and hide it all through until she had gone.
As I was gaining my dad's confidence, he struck again. This time he drugged me and raped me. In my sleep I had a dream a man came and force himself into me. He beat me up after he raped me and warned me never to tell anybody again or else he will kill me with his machete. In the dream, I cried in pain until I woke up and noticed the pain all over my body. I couldn't lift my hands nor legs. My dad did it again!
[10/16, 10:49 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY CARELESS MOTHER*
*Episode Six*
It became a regular occurrence that my dad regularly took advantage of me. He does it almost every night. His act exposed me to spirit husband. That man will always come to molest me in the dream. My dad will do his physically, while the man will do his own spiritually. In no time, I lost the will to resist my dad. He destroyed my self esteem and pride. My academic performance started dropping. My position in class moved from 2nd and 3rd to 37th. I began to lose interest in my studies; my mind was clouded with sexual filthiness. At seventeen, I had turned to a sex addict. My dad could no longer meet my sexual needs so I arrange for my school boys and teachers to have sex with me when the urge comes.
I was caught with Ahmed having sex in the toilet and the matter was reported to the vice principal. He invited both of us to his office to investigate the matter but he was caught in the web of the seducing spirit in me. I slept with him three times and the case was closed. When the urge comes upon me, I can sleep with any guy available. It was time to write WAEC and my vice principal had assured me of success if I continued giving him sex. I grabbed the opportunity and made use of it to clear all my papers. I didn't bother to read my books because the vice principal had arranged everything in my favour. When our result came out, I had distinction in all my papers.
Mum was happy about my result and began to persuade my dad to let them send me abroad for my university education. My dad and mum began another quarrel over my university education. My dad's business had almost collapse so he only managed to feed us. Mum was the one responsible for our school fees and other major family bills.
On the 8th of March, I was feverish so I went to the nearest chemist in our neighbourhood to get some drugs for myself. After taking the drugs, I wasn't getting better then I decided to go to Oxford clinic to run some tests. "Young lady, you are six weeks pregnant," the lab attendant announced to me as he hands the tests result to me. I collected it without saying a word. When I got home I dropped the test result on dad's bed and locked up the room so my sisters won't barge into his room and see the result. Dad hardly lock his room, so he was surprised when he came back and found his room locked. He looked at me and Grace who were both in the living room when he arrived but I pretended I didn't notice him. He seems to understand there must be something fishing, so he removed his key and opened the door. Five minutes later he rushed out and invited me to his room. What is the meaning of this? He pointed the test result to me. I was angry and felt like slapping him. How can he ask me the meaning of the test result in his hand. Did he not know that having unprotected sex, would result to pregnancy? I looked at him with disdain.
"Nobody must hear this, let it be between me and you", my dad pleaded. We will get rid of it before anyone notice it. He did not allow me go out for one week until he came with a taxi driver that morning. He drove us for a long journey. He took me to a small hospital between Lagos and Ogun state. A place very difficult to find anybody who knew us. An abortion was carried out on me. My first sexual encounter was with my dad, my first pregnancy was for my dad, my first abortion was by my dad.
It wasn't easy hiding my affairs with dad from my siblings again. They became so curious and suspicious. They asked me many questions I had no answer to. I was running out of my mind after the abortion. My spirit husband will also not give me breathing space. He used me every night with serious beating after having sex with me in the dream. One day I asked him, "Why do you always beat me after having sex with me?" "You are a cheat, you have been giving others what belongs to me. If you don't stop sleeping with your father, I will kill him one day", he replied. Intentionally, I continued to have sex with my dad so the spirit man can kill him. I want to be free from him. I want his death desperately to be free from his prison. My loving dad is now a heartless man.
Getting admission into the higher institution became very difficult. Since the spirit man had been having sex with me, nothing was moving for me and dad anymore. Everything I did always end up in failure.
[10/16, 10:49 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY CARELESS MOTHER*
*Episode Seven (7)*
Everything around my family went upside down. Grace fell ill and was diagnosed with a terrible heart condition that required an emergency surgical operation in India. The cost of transportation and medication were in thousands of dollars. Dad had no money anywhere because his business had practically stopped. Mum had to empty her account and borrow more money to fund Grace’s medical bills.
Grace and mum fled to India for the surgery. Everything was not as planned. The surgery was not successful, so they had to stay three extra weeks to carry out another operation. Mum’s leave elapsed and she couldn’t come back from India because of the three weeks extra they needed to stay back for another operation. After series of operations to save Grace’s life, she died while in India. It was a tough time for the family. Mum came back without Grace. Her job was at stake but she has huge loan in the office to offset. On her arrival she couldn’t resume work immediately until after one week. Mum would have gone back to work on Tuesday if not for our pastor who insisted she needed to stay back at home to mourn her daughter. While at home, mum could be on a call for hours.
Mum’s position was given to another person before she resumed. She was moved to the cash department as the cash officer while Mr. Paul was made the new branch manager. These new developments really brought darkness to Fowogbade’s family. My pursuit for admission was put on hold. Christy had to drop from school because of accumulated unpaid school fees. Faith had few months to write WAEC so her fee was paramount. Everywhere we turned to for help, there wasn’t any. Three days for Faith to start her WAEC she took ill and was rushed to the hospital. It was like hell was let loose on Fowogbade’s family. From one calamity to the other.
As if that was not enough. Mum lost her job. A job she held in high esteem. All the bank did, was to let her finish her loan before sacking her. The blow was too much. I had to engage in mini prostitution to help raise money for Faith’s medical bills. I slept with any man who could give me money. Our former vice principal became my main client. At a time, he gave me just a thousand naira after a round of sex. It was this bad. My parent knew I was not working but they had no effrontery to ask where the money was coming from.
I was much afraid of nemesis catching up with me some day, considering the number of men I had unprotected sex with. The threats and assaults from my spirit husband kept me in fear. Even when I was sick, I couldn’t talk to anyone about it in order not to compound my family’s problem. We began to live a beggarly life. The church was our lifeline. Dad had sold everything we had just to keep us going. Faith had practically missed her WAEC that year. Everything was against us. My tears of agony and pain. Our landlord was the only one who seems to understand with us. But his understanding did not last for eternity. He came pleading that we should forget the outstanding and just vacate his house in three months. The man is kind hearted but he needed to make this decision to recover his property. I had to sleep with our landlord five times for him to extend our stay for another six months. My parent were not aware of what I did that made the landlord give us six months extension.
I will tell you what happened to Faith in part 8.
[10/16, 10:50 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY CARELESS MOTHER*
*Episode Eight (8)*
Out of curiosity, I insisted I must know what was wrong with Faith since I was the major financier of her medical bills. No one was telling me until I stopped bringing money for anything. My mum reluctantly told me she did an abortion and it was not well managed and she had complications. As I talk to you now, your sister’s womb has to be removed to save her life. Immediately I heard this I went blank. After some minutes I asked mum if she revealed who impregnated her. No, shez said she doesn’t know who was responsible. Meanwhile the doctor advised we don’t bother her for now until she’s out of the hospital.
I was mad in my spirit, let it not be what I was thinking, I mustered some words to myself. Could it be that dad had also been sleeping with Faith without my knowledge? Faith is a decent girl and she has never told me she had a boyfriend. We talked a lot and I would have known if she was seeing any guy. My reaction got my mum worried but I couldn’t tell her what was going on in my mind. If daddy is responsible for Faith’s pregnancy, I will kill him and kill myself. I assured myself.
My heart was heavy and weak. Why are all these things happening to us alone? O God have mercy on Fowogbade’s family. Grace was gone, mum lost her job, Faith is laying helpless in the hospital, dad’s business had totally collapsed, landlord had given us ultimatum to leave the house, I have become a sex addict, everyone had abandoned us, eating regular food and living a good life is elusive, Christy is at home because of school fees. What is our offense? Why are all these things happening to us at the same time? Who did we offend? What happened to those prayers mum did for the family? God, are you in existence?
When I was left alone with Faith I hugged her passionately to my heart. Dear, I love you and you will live to testify of God’s goodness. I spoke many words of hope to her. Faith, I know who is responsible for your pregnancy! I said and looked straight into her eyes for a long time. Is he the one? She bent her head and tears rolled down uncontrollably. I looked at those tears and I saw betrayal, disappointment, dashed hope, hatred and unexpressed agony. Without a word, I understood those tears. They are tears that spoke volume more than words. Dad had been doing it with Faith too. But why will dad be this wicked? Why did dad wear the garment of an angel but a heart of a monster? We held ourselves for minutes as we both sob bitterly in each other’s arms. (this is a case of a dad’s involvement, there were instances where an elder brother subjected the younger sisters to sucking his penis until he cums. Hmmm, things are happening – story for another day. They knew it was wrong but couldn’t talk as kids, but today as adults, the whole childhood early experience has contributed to the hatred meted out to him.)
Faith narrated what she has been through in dad’s prison. I thought my case was pathetic but Faith’s own was more terrible. Faith spent two hours telling me how it all started. Dad started sleeping with Faith at age 11. A time she was yet to menstruate. He started by putting his finger in my pant, then he will tell me never to tell anybody. He told me he will kill me if I ever tell anybody. At a time, I couldn’t stand to hear the atrocities my dad had done to us. Mum was the genesis of our problems. She was never available for us when we needed her. Dad played the role of a father and a mother. Mum made dad’s life miserable because she saw him as an unbeliever. Dad never enjoyed mum’s intimacy hence he found solace in his daughter’s laps. If dad must die, mum should die first. I will take vengeance as I live, I promised myself. I can no longer wait for God’s judgment or the threats of my spirit husband. Their judgment is too slow.
[10/16, 10:50 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY USELESS PARENT* Title changed as suggested🤣🤣🤣
*Episode Nine*
Faith’s womb was damaged because dad had done abortion for her three times. But how manage I didn’t know all these when it was happening right under my nose? If I accused mum of carelessness, I think I was more careless than her. How can my sister be pregnant for my dad three times without me knowing? She did three abortions and I was not aware? Adenike you’re very stupid and useless, I insulted myself.
I had sat down to weight the consequences of exposing dad and killing him. Killing him seems better. It will clean the mess and save the family name from shame and disgrace. Exposing him will drag the family name to the mud and lives everlasting stigma to our generation. The stain will haunt us all, our lives and our unborn children. Who knows if he had done it with Christy and Grace too? That will be the worst of the blow. Grace was gone but I can find out from Christy if she had been abused by dad too.
I was deep in this though when I slept off. In my brief sleep I had a long dream. In my dream, I sent thugs to kidnap my spirit husband who had been abusing me. They brought him into a thick forest where he was tied, hands and foot. The leader of the gang gave me a gun to shoot him. I took the gun and pulled the trigger and blew his head off. As soon as I killed him, some police officers surrounded us and took us away. We were thrown behind bars with serious torture. Still in my dream we were charged to court and when the court clerk called my case she said “I hereby call up the case between Miss Adenike Fowogbade and the state”. The judge looked into the file before him and looked at my face, Miss Adenike Fowogbade you were accused of the murder of Mr Temitayo Fowogbade on the 17th of September, are you guilty or not? I had not said a word when the judge pronounced his judgment.
Having been found guilty of this offense of murder you are hereby sentenced to death by……. That was the last thing I heard and the next I saw was that I was thrown into a dark bottomless pit and I was going down endlessly then I woke up. I was so frightened and my body was shaking uncontrollably for minutes. I became restless because I understood the dream. All messages I ever heard on hell fire flashed back in a jiffy.
I tried to pray but to pray but no single word came out of my mouth. I tried crying but my tears were held back. My knees were hitting each other. I lied on the floor for 25 minutes without knowing what to do. The earth was so empty as if rapture had taken place. I looked right and left nobody to talk to. I looked down, the fear of hell gripped me. So I decided to look up to God for help. I felt an invisible presence at my back saying “The prayer of a sinner is an abomination before God”. I picked my Bible but the pages were blank. O God have mercy on me! I know I had gone far away from you but please remember the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. I wept in bitterness.
Terrible things happened in part 10.
[10/16, 10:50 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: MY USELESS PARENTS
Episode Ten (10)
The fear and terror of hell made me suspend my plans to kill dad. As much as I wanted vengeance against him, the experience of hell I had in my dream was so scary and frightening. Hell is not a place to be for a minute talk more of eternity. I rather swallow the venom of vengeance than go to that terrible place. But why would someone I am related with or any human creature in God’s image consciously or unconsciously be the one to make me go to hell? Your end will be terrible and full of regrets.
The few minutes I spent in the bottomless pit cannot be described with man’s language. If you are reading this story I beg you never to go to hell. Some persons have sworn to take you to hell through the manipulation of their master the devil, please do not allow their plot to prevail over you. Please! Live a life that heaven would be happy with you for.
Faith’s womb was removed but mum never knew what the real problem was. After Fatih was discharged from the hospital, dad fell sick. He started losing his memory and his thoughts. He was transferred to the psychiatric hospital for more investigation. Dad spent two weeks at the psychiatric hospital before he was discharged. He began to gain his memory and thoughts back.
Our six months ultimatum given to us by our landlord will expire in some few weeks. He expects me to renew the rent like I did before, but it was late. I had made up my mind never to do evil again. I will keep my body for the Lord henceforth. I cannot see what I saw in my dream and continue living a careless life.
My refusal to warm his bed got him angry so much that he gave us seven days to move out as against three weeks left from the original arrangement. I was not bothered this time because I had rather sleep on the street than offer him my body again.
We began to plan to move out before the seven days elapsed but had no money anywhere to even pay for a two-room apartment. I will never go back to those men again neither will I allow anyone to use me for a price again. Our pastor was contemplating we bringing our loads into the old children hall in the church. Our burden was just too heavy for the church at this time. Our uncles all abandoned us like they never existed. Leaving our house will generate lots of embarrassment because of the debts we are owing in the neighbourhood.
We eventually moved our things to the old children hall in our Church. We also slept in the hall for two days before dad went to scout with his friend. Mum, myself and Faith put up with a church member. The frustrations and humiliations was unbearable but we had no option at the moment. I went to a program with a friend in their church and the pastor made an altar call for those who want to give their life to Christ. I was the first to walk out. The sermon was too powerful to resist a follow up call to give one’s life to Christ. I rededicated my life to Christ and my peace began to come back again.
[10/16, 10:50 AM] Seyi Omoniyi: *MY USELESS PARENTS*
Episode Eleven (11)
The Final....
Dad became sick again so much that he was stinking.  Taking care of him was really a big sacrifice. We had no money to give him good care. The church tried their best but couldn’t solve all our problems. I became a regular member in God’s People Church where I gave my life to Christ. I don’t miss their hour of visitation that usually take place every Friday.
Dad’s health deteriorated so badly. Deliverance was conducted on me and the spirit husband left. But the pastor said my deliverance and that of my family will only be complete if my dad confesses all his atrocities. (For anyone who must have sexually molested anyone, please go and look for him or her and confess, apologies and be delivered for the curse to be broken over you/generation). After my deliverance the spirit husband came into my dream to molest me like the other times but I resisted. He attempted raping me but we fought dirty and he sustained a big injury on his head and lost so much of blood. His men who used to be with him during other visits didn’t come with him this time. He laid down helpless and that was his last visit.
Pastor Rotkam began to visit dad to persuade him to confess his sins and be free but dad was adamant for months until he became blind and his heart was failing.
On the 16th December my dad asked me to invite Pastor Rotkam and our pastor. I pleaded with Pastor Rotkam to please come and see my dad. He was reluctant because he seems to have lost hope on my dad and resolved that he will let my dad die in his sins since he refused to confess his sins. He finally agreed and a meeting date was agreed upon.
I am making this confession not because I want God to heal me, but so that my family can be free from what I caused them as a result of my atrocities. Pastor, please, I want more mothers to be invited to listen to my confession, my dad requested. Our pastor called the women leader of our church and within thirty minutes the room was filled to capacity.
First I want to plead for mercy from my beloved daughter, Adenike and her sisters for all I did to them. All that happened was caused by my wife. She placed her career above her family and left the care of the children to me. She was never available for us so I took over her role as a mother. I was my children’s father and mother. My wife starved me of sex all through our thirty years of marriage. Sometimes we could stay for eight months without meeting each other as husband and wife. She said I have evil spirit and she doesn’t want me to infect her with my evil spirit.
I found comfort in my children, the comfort I never find in my wife. They became my wife I never had and were so close to me. I threatened my wife with getting sexual satisfaction elsewhere if she will not give me and she gave me the go ahead and that was the beginning of evil in my family.
I have slept with all my daughters. I have aborted their pregnancies times severally except for Grace. I molested my daughters for over two decades and my wife was not aware. I did a charm on them to stop them from telling anyone about what I was doing to them. I know I may not live because the day I confesses, I will die, according to the juju man. I alsooooo........., dad could not complete that statement when he was attacked with hiccup and gave up the ghost.
The women in the room could not hold back their tears. It was a festival of tears. It was a festival of tears. Everyone in the room wept bitterly not because my dad passed on but for the emotional confession. God forgave us but every member of the family was left with a scar. Faith lost her womb, I was tested HIV positive, mum went into comma and became paralyzed partially, Christy dropped out of school and Grace died.
Look at what the sin of one man caused my family. Mothers who are reading my story should remember that they will face God one day to give account of their role as mothers. Fathers, no matter how much you love your female children, know when to set the boundary. Ladies and children who are going through what I and my sisters went through, should speak up and be free. I may be HIV positive but I am free and happy especialy with the hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Thank you for reading.
   
The END!

This story was got from a different source.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

If you are or know an introvert, read this


One day, I went for a program in school organised by students. It was a really nice one and I learnt a lot from it. But I remember feeling out of place at times. Some people seemed to be so outgoing, expressive, chatting openly and freely and hugging some people like they were family. It made me feel odd not being able to socialise 'the way' they did and almost made me feel alienated. It's not that I couldn't talk to the people around me or speak in front of a crowd. It's just that I couldn't act as extroverted as some of the people did and it seemed like the outgoing displaying extroverts had the spotlight on them and got showered with love. I remember thinking that if maybe I was as outgoing as the extroverts there, maybe I would feel part of the family more. The experience like others in the past only made me realise that I was just naturally introverted but is that a bad thing?

When I was younger, I used to think that it was because I was shy but I discovered I wasn't really shy after all when I talked with total strangers during evangelism, made announcements in buses, started a conversation with someone in a social gathering and talked in front of a people (both small and large). I later on came to realise instead that no matter how social and talkative I may be, I was just naturally introverted; I couldn't be an extrovert. In fact, if I socialised or talked too much, I would develop headache. So my break from socialising was having my quiet time all alone. I wonder how many people have felt like I did in the scenario depicted above?

In a world where we reward extroverts, introverts can feel out of place and disconnected. We often find ourselves wondering, "Why can't I be enthusiastic like others? Why do I feel so reserved when asked to go for a party? Why am I not like everyone else?" But you see, it's okay when someone invites you for something like a party and you say something like, "No thank you. I'm going to stay at home and read a book tonight." I'm not saying that we should become social recluses and totally disconnect from the world. I'm saying that we don't need to feel shame and guilt for not being outgoing in a society that more often than not, praises those who are. We were not born to just blend in and be like everyone else just to be accepted. We were born to be different and stand out. If we look deep within ourselves, we would discover that we have many qualities and gifts like deep thinking, ability to enjoy time alone, creativity, being able to truly listen, make powerful decisions, calm and deliberate speaking, thriving and working in business alone and more. And when we allow ourselves to be who we truly are and not pretend to be someone else just to blend in with everybody, life becomes easier as it removes the burden of trying to fit in so much from you and you perform better. In fact, some of the best past and present leaders were introverts: Ben Carson, Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg among others.

This is my message to all introverts out there. Stand strong in your personality traits and view them as strengths. Just because you're not naturally assertive, outgoing or the life of a party does not mean you can't be a great wonderful strong person that people would love and want to have as a friend or role model. By being authentically you, you do yourself and others a favour. So stand out, be different, be you.

Adapted from the You Tube video by Amanda Bucci titled 'If you are or know an introvert, watch this.'  Video Link: https://youtu.be/T537kDoMzNA

Friday, 29 June 2018

An exclusive interview with a medic, poet and fashion designer!


Mimie: Please introduce yourself. 


My name is Anyanwu Ogochukwu Chidiebere, a 400 level student of the department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Port Harcourt.

Mimie:  Please could you tell us more about yourself? 

I'm the third of five children from my parents. I'm a Christian,  the present Academic Coordinator for clinicals for the Federation of catholic medical and dental students (FECAMDS) UPTH chapter and also a member of St.  Jerome's Lay readers association,  St Mary's Catholic Church, Alakahia . I love writing,  blogging, sewing,  sleeping, listening to cool music , cooking and watching cartoons. 

Mimie:  You're a writer, poet, blogger and a fashion designer. How did you discover these talents? 


Well for writing, it started a long time  ago since primary school. I was an active member  of the debate  team and press club and won inter school competitions. Same as in secondary school,  I remember  press club and jet club "dragging" me as their member and I had to belong to both because  I loved both clubs. I also gave moral talks which was almost  a routine  for every student to do in morning  assembly  in my secondary school, Altitude College, Lagos.
        I've loved sewing since  I was a kid. I noticed  I'd make dresses for my dolls and I had to pressure my parents to let  me learn how to sew and that's  how I learnt how to and trust me, it's one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
        Poetry was a recent thing. Started  writing poems in my year 1 . I remember writing and sending  it to a senior  colleague  then, now a doctor and he told me it was good and encouraged me to write more . Till date I still write and I keep getting better at  it.
Blogging  was a suggestion  a friend  gave and it stuck. We opened the blog  fashionpen360.blogspot.com.ng together and that was how I started blogging. That is still a work in progress as I intend to get better  at it.

Mimie: You're a writer, poet and blogger but what exactly do you want people to know you for? 

Know me as a PDF - poet, doctor in training and fashion designer. Know me as a poet because  I'd use my words to spread peace, unity and love. I'd also use words to be a voice of the voiceless. Know me as a doctor in training because I'll treat  you right when I'm done and know me as a fashion designer  because  I'd make your outfits stand out. 

Mimie:  You have a blog: fashionpen360.blogspot.com.ng. What is your blog about?

My blog,  fashionpen360.blogspot.com.ng for now is all about  creative writings and adverts,  but newer features are coming  soon. 

Mimie: What kind of fashion designer are you?

 
On fashion designing,  I make Ankara wears for both males and females, scrub suits for both male and females, ward coats and I also design English wears. 

Mimie: Which one are you more passionate about: writing or fashion designing?

That's a tough one. I'm passionate about both. I don't  think  anyone is given more preference. 

Mimie: Which would you be liked to be addressed as, a Dr, a poet or a blogger? 

I don't mind  being address by my name though but if need be,  address me based on the senerio. A doctor in the hospital, a poet on stage and a fashion designer  when I make your clothes.  Simply put, PDF - Poet, Doctor in training and Fashion designer.

Mimie: How are you able to combine writing and fashion designing with your academics?

I've learnt  how to manage myself in time and I've always  had in mind  that my primary aim is to be a doctor  so no matter  how versatile I can get,  I don't let anything come between me and my studies

Mimie: One day, you would get better and go places but what exactly do you want people to know you for? Doctor/ Writer/ Fashion designer?

Like I said earlier, the senerio would determine what I'd want to be known for.   But I'd prefer to be known as someone that has touched lives. Other titles can fall into place later. 

Mimie: What advice do you have for us, students? 

Do what you  love and be happy.  Dream big and work towards achieving it. Discover your talents and don't let medicine make you only a book worm,  just spread your wings and fly high because  the sky is just your starting point. And above all,  put God first  and every other  thing  will fall into place

Mimie: Thank you for your time Ogochukwu.
  Thank you for the interview


Mimie: So that's all folks! Until the next interview, stay tuned! Who knows? You might be next! If you think that a particular person should also be interviewed, please comment or reach out to me. Don't forget to drop your comments too. Stay blessed peeps!

Friday, 30 March 2018

An exclusive interview with Dr Chris


An exclusive Interview with Dr Chris



Please Sir, could you introduce yourself?

Dr. Chris: My name is Dr. Christian Chimaobi OBIJIAKU.
I am a Medical Doctor currently working with University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH).

Please tell us more about yourself.

Dr. Chris: Like I said earlier, I am Christian Chimaobi Obijiaku, a graduate of Unique UNIPORT, studied Medicine and Surgery between 2008 and 2016.  I am the third in a family of four ( two males and two females).
I am a Christian of the Catholic denomination.
My hobbies are travelling, playing table tennis, educational research.

It is advisable that as medical students, we should not just be confined to the book. We are encouraged to participate in other extracurricular (social and political) activities. Sir, what other things did you take part in besides studying as a medical student?

Dr. Chris: I was a member of INVITTI Fund raising committee, October 2015 - October 2016. I was also a member of INVITTI Sports Committee, October 2015 - October 2016. Then, I became the Chairman of INVITTI Project Committee, October 2015 - October 2016. From June 2015 - JULY 2015, I was the Chairman, Logistics sub-committee,      PUMSA Health Week .
I became the President, Federation of Catholic Medical and Dental Students          (FECAMDS), UNIPORT Chapter May 2015 - August 2016.
I was also the President of St. Jerome Guild of Lay Readers, Chapel of Annunciation Catholic Chaplaincy, University of Port Harcourt from April 2015 - January 2016.
From August 2012 – January 2014, I was the Chairman of Claude Ake Hall B, Medical Hostel, University of Port Harcourt.

(NB: INVITTI is our final year medical student class activities 2016).

As most people know, the journey to becoming a medical doctor is not an easy one. Along the way, some fall out, others are delayed and there are those who go through medical school smoothly and graduate at the expected time. Our focus now is on those who were delayed. The students who have lost one, two or more years due to poor academic performance or failure to pay the previous session's school fees. We understand that some of such students may end up feeling depressed, despondent or feeling that they have failed.
Sir, some years back, you had a similar experience. Do you mind sharing your story with us? 

Dr Chris: Indeed the journey through medical school is a tough one. Failing to admit this will make one unaware of the prevailing storm. It typically begins with attempts to secure admission: sitting for UTME and POST UTME exams, and/or doing some remedial courses (which in UNIPORT is called Basic program), and then passing from 100 level to the next, then comes the first MB with some of your classmates been withdrawn from the medical training, to Part 2 MB where those who are repeating the class and fail to pass the exam are shown the exit door. Then one gets to year 5 (pseudo-immunity class) where we were told that 1 second in a child’s life is more valuable than a whole year spent in the class. Little wonder why some people spend over five years in year 5 (this is very real). In all these, getting to final year opens the door to this glimpse of palpable hope of finally becoming a medical doctor.
These events can be ‘crazy’, frightening, depressing and can leave one suicidal. However there is light at the end of the tunnel for many.

Back to my experience. I canvas for academic excellence always. I began teaching younger colleagues from my year two. I learned from a lot of sources: lectures, classmates, study groups and tutorials. I did pass all my exams at first sitting, until I had my first resit in paediatrics. I felt my goals has been shattered. "I am supposed to exude excellence." I thought to myself. "Will I still be the Surgeon I desire to be? Could this be a sign that I should have probably done an Engineering course?" (I did far better in Physics and Chemistry than in Biology). I withdrew to myself and then discovered I could have prepared for the exam better. Albeit, I still failed the resit and then had to repeat the class. There was no type of prayer I didn’t say.
Surprisingly, during the repeat I was vigorously serious and didn’t take a chance. I was shining academically and was among the best in my new class.
How was I able to cope? I prayed about it, talked to my senior colleagues who were already doctors (their story inspired me), talked to my spiritual director (a Rev. Father) who said to me “Do this class like you have never done it before”. I also had support from family and friends (FECAMDS) who were amazingly contributory to my “recovery”).

Sir, what advice do you have for us as medical students?

Dr. Chris: Medical school is all encompassing: medical education, socials, spiritual life, sports, politics, entrepreneurial skills and business education, human relationships, and a whole lot.
Please allow the university pass through you. Be the best in all of those. But always remember that academic excellence is next to nothing.
To the Year one students, study your basic sciences and get into year two in flying colours.
To the Year two and three students, it’s a new playground, learn the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry with all keenness and pass into year 4.
To the Year four, this class is the the only chance you have to correct the ills of preclinicals, know the ‘stuff’ it is a lifelong knowledge.
To the Year five and six, you want to be a responsible and skilled Doctor? Now is the time. There is no better teacher than your patients.

I do not need to remind us all to shun cultism, violence, and cut down on social media. Eat healthy, sleep well, exercise adequately, pray without ceasing, apply and secure for yourself at least two scholarships. Just be a complete human being.
I wish you all success as you climb the ladder of medical school.

Thank you very much for your time, your honest responses and especially for sharing your story. It's really inspiring and I must say I've learnt a lot. Hopefully, others can say the same. Once again, many thanks Sir!


Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Empty Bottle

   For a long while, I kept seeing this bottle in my mind.
Initially, it was half-full. Then it kept reducing as the days went by till it eventually became empty. I was worried...that bottle  represented me, it represented my spirit.

Yes, I knew I was a born again Christian. Yet, I felt empty like something was missing. I was not feeling fulfilled, joyful or purposeful. My Christianity had become just a religion. Going to church, evangelism, serving, praying for lost souls had all become dragging activities. I was at my lowest point and I kept wondering how I would get back that revival fire that made me feel so alive, joyful and purposeful.
Even God seemed far away, like a Supreme Being far up in heaven. I couldn't feel Him; I wasn't close to Him anymore.

      I remembered that three years ago, the reverse had been the case. By the time I left secondary school, I was born again. I had a relationship with God and Jesus and prayed to them everyday. But I didn't immediately enter the Uni and was at home for a year. Because of the ample time I had then, I did a lot of exploring including discovering and learning more about God. That period, I came across books on the Holy Spirit written by men of God like Benny Hinn, Chris Oyakhilome and Chris Kwapovwe. For the first time, I learnt that the Holy Spirit was a person, just like God the Father and the Son. Before then, I used to think He was like a wind, dove or fire that gave people gifts and made people speak in tongues.
Like a person, we could have a relationship with Him. He's still God and not just something God the Father uses to touch the lives of people. One of those books asked, "Are you ready to have a relationship with Him? Do you want to let Him into your life?" The moment I said 'yes', I knew it was the start of a relationship with someone I knew so little about. 

During prayer time, I made sure  I had the 'Talking time' when I just talked to God without asking about anything. I began talking with the Holy Spirit as a person. I jut wanted to know Him, I was curious about the most 'spirited' of the Trinity. I found out that He was actually a person! He was like a friend that always seemed so happy, open and playful. He was that kind of person you could talk and laugh with. I talked to Him about everything including unnecessary trivial things. I asked Him many questions and He gave me answers. Prayer time became Conversation time. I began to feel happy and revived. There was that revival fire that kept burning in my soul. For the first time, I began to pray not just for myself and my family, but for others like wartorn countries, the sexually abused, the depressed, the poor. I did it even in the family prayers, my mum commented one day, "Ihuoma can pray for the world, eh." He gave me desire to read my Bible and to actually understand it. No longer did the Bible seem like  a book written by 'The Oga at the top' to dictate how we should live our lives. When I read it, it was like someone was talking to you through a letter. It opened my eyes to the meanings behind each verse. I could see God as a person not just 'The Big Guy Up stairs'. He had feelings too; He could be happy, hurt, jealous, angry, forgiving and loving. The Holy Spirit gave me ideas and inspiration. He showed me my purpose. I felt so happy, purposeful and completed. Because of that, I always looked forward to prayer/conversation time.

Then I entered the Uni. Of course I was still born again. The fire was still fresh. I went to church, joined fellowships, led people to Christ...but I made one mistake: I stopped having my quiet/talking time with the Holy Spirit. I was no longer Mary that just wanted to sit and talk with Him, I had become Martha instead. I was just so busy with school and religious activities, so I neglected my relationship with the Holy Spirit. I call this Martha's Syndrome. Gradually and unknowingly at fist, I stopped feeling revived. It started in my first year, progressed into my second year and was worse by my third year. I attended all the church programmes and fellowships I could but nothing could revive me back. I knew something was wrong somewhere. I was a Christian but I felt empty like an empty bottle. There was no fire, revival or passion. I sought for a cure. 

Then one Yule Tide season, I came across Benny Hinn's book: 'Good Morning, Holy Spirit'. Reluctantly I picked it up to read because I had already read it before...but I was desperate. While reading, He said something that struck me:
"What  happens  to  a  marriage  when  one  partner  ignores the  other?  After  a  short  period  of  time  bitterness  begins  to enter  the  heart.  Words  begin  to  cut  like  a  sharp  knife.  Soon the  animosity  turns  to  anger,  jealousy,  and  even  worse.  For many  it  results  in  separation,  divorce,  and  hatred.  But  the rift  can  so  easily  be  mended.  All  it  takes  is  a  fresh  surrender that  comes  from  your  very  soul.  And  a  renewing  of  the  vow to "love,  honor, and cherish." The  same  thing  will  happen  if  you  neglect  the  Lord. You  will  develop  bitterness  and  anger.  Suddenly  you  will be  out  of  fellowship  with  the  Lord.  That's  what  happened  to the  children  of  Israel  in  the  wilderness.  They  began  to complain,  "If  only  we  had  died  in  the  land  of  Egypt!  Or  if only  we  had  died  in  this  wilderness!  Why  has  the  LORD brought  us  to  this  land  to  fall  by  the  sword?"  (Num. 14:2-3).  And  the  Lord  said  to  Moses  and  Aaron,  "How  long shall  I  bear  with  this  evil  congregation  who  murmur  against Me?" (v. 27). The  children  of  Israel  went  from  saying,  "The  Lord  is God,"  to  complaining,  "Wouldn't  it  be  better  to  return  to Egypt?"  What  caused  the  change?  They  stopped  seeking Him,  and  their  hearts  became  hardened.  And  before  they understood what  was  happening,  they had  forsaken  Him. Don't  let  a  day  go  by  without  a  fresh  surrender  to  the Lord.   Paul  wrote,  "Even  though  our  outward  man  is perishing,  yet  the  inward  man  is  being  renewed  day by  day" (2  Cor.  4:16).  Surrender  must  be  continual,  a  never-ending emptying  of  self  to  the  Lord.  And  once  you  make  it  a  habit, you'll   begin  to  experience  God's  perfect  union,  perfect fellowship, perfect  understanding,  and  perfect  love. I  believe  it  is  God's  will  for  you  to  be  continually  filled with  the  Holy  Spirit.."

Then it dawned on me. All these while I had been feeling empty, it was because I had neglected my relationship with the Holy Spirit. For me to be always filled, I had to constantly be in His presence. From that moment on, I decided that I had to start my relationship with the Holy Spirit, all over again. It was like I had become born again, again. Talking to Him seemed new. It was like talking with some one you meet for the fist time. You would talk cautiously until you're free enough around the person to be yourself and talk about anything. Gradually, I began to feel revived once again. I began to ask Him questions about different things and He answered me. When I felt down, He comforted me. He reminded me about my purpose and began guiding me. 
Gradually, the revival fire flickered and began burning again; I began to pray for souls as before. I began to feel happy, purposeful and complete once again...slowly but surely. Like a child, I was growing....again.

     So if I may ask, do you sometimes have symptoms like: sadness/depression, feelings of emptiness like something is missing in your life, feelings of purposelessness, having lots of questions about the circumstances surrounding you, feeling that serving God is a chore, spiritual laziness/emptiness/shallowness, Martha's Syndrome. If you have most or all of these symptoms, the most likely diagnosis is that: your bottle (spirit) is empty of oil (the Holy Spirit/revival). Don't worry, the prognosis is good. The treatment I would recommend is that you start developing a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Dosage: At least once daily, preferably during your prayer/quiet time. Prayer time shouldn't just be a time we go and pour out our requests to God and run off in faith. It should also be a time we talk to God, especially the Holy Spirit. Discuss with Him, ask Him questions, worship Him, spend time with Him as long as you like and also importantly, listen to Him. He would answer your questions, help, teach,guide and comfort you when you're broken; that's why He's called the Comforter. 

Hopefully, as you begin this treatment regimen and never stop, your bottle would always be filled.

Leviticus 6:12a: "The fire on that altar shall be kept burning...It shall not go out...."