Our superwoman for the month of October is a lady of many impact! A superwoman indeed! Enjoyyyy…..
* Can we meet you?
– My name is Chichi Ogbonnaya. I am a Social Worker, Girl-Child Advocate and Entrepreneur with a mission to inspire teenagers and young adults to live a Chaste, Focused and Purposeful life. I am passionate about counselling and educating youths, particularly sexually abused teenage girls.
I currently work as the Project Manager at WARIF(Women At Risk International Foundation) and also organise different youth development programmes under the umbrella of an initiative I founded as an undergraduate.
I studied Communication and Language Arts at the prestigious University of Ibadan and in progress to being a certified counsellor at the Institute of Counselling, Glasgow, Scotland.
I am a citizen of Heaven, sent to planet earth through an Igbo mother and Togolese father to fulfil a Divine Purpose and I am head-of-over-heels in love with Jesus Christ.
* What are your hobbies and interests?
– Meditating, talking, reading, travelling and sleeping(😂)
* What is your source of inspiration?
– I get my inspiration from God through His Word!
My late mum was and still is a source of inspiration. As a single parent, she worked hard and priotised my education and that of my siblings. She taught me the importance of being hard-working as a woman and believing in your ability to achieve anything you set your heart to. Seeing and reading stories of successful women inspires me as well.
* What experiences triggered the discovery of your purpose?
– *smiles* I discovered my purpose 2 years after I gave my life to Christ.
Before I gave my life to Christ I was a damaged young woman. I grew up in a very abusive environment and this affected my teenage years and early adult hood.
I was unruly and overly rude. I was also ill-tempered and would immediately snap at anyone who tried to correct me for being wrong. Although I had friends who thought I was confident at the time, I knew my biggest challenge was self-doubt and lack of confidence. I also lacked self love as I settled for anything just to feel loved and acceptance.I made wrong relationship choices too.
Then I met Christ! As I grew older in age and my faith, I began to detest my disposition to certain issues and my refusal to take the lead in places where I had the capacity to, simply because I was afraid. I hated the depression, terrible mood swings, sleepless nights and days I cried myself to sleep.
I got curious and started asking questions. I also wondered why God permitted all the horrible experiences I had gone through and terrible decisions I made before He came to my rescue. I needed answers. I wanted to know the Genesis of my lamentations.
One beautiful day, I had a counselling session with the Holy Spirit. He revealed to me that the root cause was “a case of child abuse that was unattended to” and that was how my journey to being HEALED began.
He (the Holy Spirit) introduced me to the ministry of Joyce Meyer and this was confirmed when a friend(Segun) also told me that Holy Spirit said to him that I should understudy Joyce Meyer.
Fastforword to 2012, Hossana Service, Winners Campus Fellowship, University of Ibadan. All I remember from that encounter was a charged atmosphere of praise and worship and the voice came gently “You’re a force to reckon with”. It was my first time of hearing that. Then I was further instructed to read Isaiah 58:12 when I was done reading, I had a conviction that that was my purpose. I wasn’t confused about it, but I also didn’t understand it completely.
I remember running out of the service to call my mum and sister, I said to them that day “make una dey call me Isaiah 58:12 now. NA my new name be that” I’m not sure my sister can still recall, but I am certain if my mum were to be alive she’ll affirm this.
It took me 1 year to fully understand that verse and almost 3 years to yield COMPLETELY to what God wanted me to do because I felt unworthy and unqualified for the assignment. But it turns out that the experiences I feel disqualifies me, are same reason He qualified me. Now I understand better, God often qualifies people who either disqualifies themselves or have been disqualified by people.
* What significant change would you say you have noticed in your life since you gave your life to Christ?
– I’m no longer living in sin. I live above sin!
First will be my detest for alcohol. I used to be an “abusive drinker” due to the friends I had. I honestly don’t know how God took that habit from me, but He did.
Another significant change would be the fact that I no longer walk around with the guilt and shame of my past because whoever Christ sets free is free indeed!
* What inspired the fight against sexual harassment?
– The issue of sexual abuse, harassment and rape isn’t alien to anyone around the world; even in places where the people don’t know what it’s called. 2 Samuel 13, narrates the story of a perpetrator and the victim of his perversion.
While so much attention is given to the act, very little is or no cognisance is given to the effect of this wicked act on the victim/survivor.
From my personal experience and engaging survivors of sexual assault, I have discovered that an abused child suffers depression, the loss of confidence and ultimately develops a low self-esteem and this leaves them prone to being further abused as they lack the courage to speak up for themselves or seek help from close relatives and friends. Some of these abused children/teenagers later grow up to be abusive adults who not only abuse themselves through sex and substances, they often times, end up abusing people close to them.
My life’s goal is to be a go-to person for the counselling/rehabilitation of these girls (or boys) till they are confident in themselves and their self worth. For now, it’s one girl at a time.
* What’s your favorite bible passage and why?
– Matthew 6:33. I had earlier mentioned, however briefly, how messed up my life was before I met Christ.
So I was in church that day (my boyfriend as at then invited me to his church), and the pastor’s message revolved around this chapter. While he preached it was as if I was in a debate with God because at that point I was already tired of my life and didn’t see the essence of my being alive.
I went into that church, depressed, frustrated, confused, broken, lost and empty. All I wanted and needed at that time of my life was PEACE and LOVE. My relationship with my mum and siblings had gone sour, I remember leaving the house several times (I used to run a lot😂😂) and I felt like an outcast. I desired peace and love.
Then I asked Him, “if I started afresh with You are YOU saying YOU will give me peace? Will I love and feel loved again?” He said “Seek He first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things and much more will be added unto you.”
I suddenly felt chills all over me and began to cry profusely. I don’t know how I got to the altar, but I left that service a changed person.
* How have you being able to achieve work-life balance?
– This is one area of my life that I don’t believe I have been able to manage 100%. I am still a work in progress.
However, I am from the school of thought that says “work is work and play is play”. I don’t mistake work time for play time, but I have learnt how to infuse a little play while working. All work and no play makes Chichi a dull girl.
I work Monday through Friday and sometimes weekends. When I’m not working, I’m either in church, a group meeting, surfing the net, sleeping, or meditating. One thing I’ve been able to do is identify for core values and that has helped me put things in perspective. If it’s not on my priority list (values), I don’t give it my attention.
* Can you tell us some acts of service you have been involved in for the Kingdom?
– One of the inspirations I got when I discovered purpose was to start an initiative – JOIN Value (Jewels Of Inestimable Value)- and as an undergraduate with the support of my friends then, we organised developmental programmes for secondary school students and gave support to orphans. During my final days on campus, I started seeking the face of God for the next steps and what He wanted me to do with JOIN Value, then the Total Woman Conference was birthed. It is an annual event with the aim of inspiring young women and girls to live a chaste, focused and purposeful life. The first edition was in 2014 and this year, we had the third edition held in May.
Another project He inspired me to carry out this year is the JOTS (Jewels On The Streets). This is focused on witnessing Jesus Christ on the Streets and we’ve been going out to Oshodi in Lagos to preach to the children and youths living under the bridge. We visit them every 3rd Saturday of the month, share the gospel with them and give them refreshments as well.
We’ve recorded exciting testimonies since we started this and the most beautiful for me is one of the girls we met amidst these boys, she’s been living on the streets for a while and to the glory of God, we recently reconnected her back with her father and also put her in school.
This year also, we were able to reach out to 200 students through our Students Development Outreach and also raised funds to purchase books for them.
We also organise Christmas party to orphanages/less privilege homes annually. I don’t have a complete picture of where all these is going, but I’ve decided to follow God’s leading and obey every of His instructions.
* How do you think the message of relationship and sexual purity can be spread efficiently?
– When young people see very few people practising what they preach, it becomes hard to make them conform to what is being preached. It is even more difficult, when the “preacher” continuously falls short of their preaching.
The disciples didn’t have to announce that they were Christians in Antioch, their character and attitude spoke louder. If as Christians we can maintain godly standards privately and publicly, we won’t have to say so much, our results will speak for us and life style will preach the message and ultimately change someone’s life.
If as a Christian I cheat and fornicate, how can I witness Christ to an unbelieving friend? How do I tell can I preach sexual purity in relationships when?
It is not only about TELLING people to be sexually pure, it is about SHOWING them how they can be sexually pure by being a model of sexual purity.
Jesus didn’t only TELL us the how, He SHOWED us.
As Christians let’s raise the banner of sexual purity and godly relationship by being examples. We are the Bible someone is ever going to read, what are we saying?
* What advice do you have for young ladies especially under 30 who are still struggling to locate their purpose?
– I’ll say congratulations to ladies in this category who are still single. I strongly believe the best time for self/purpose discovery is during singlehood as it will also inform your choice of a life partner. For those who are married already and are yet to locate theirs, it is never too late. Finding one’s purpose is in doing everything in Matthew 6:33.
First, Identify who you are in Christ. I saw something in an article recently and it read, “Understanding our identity in Christ gives us purpose. God has a specific purpose for each of us, a unique calling for every individual. Our shared and primary purpose is to become disciples of Jesus Christ. Our secondary callings are unique and birthed out of our submission to the primary calling.”
Secondly, ask God to show you. He said in His word “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” So ask Him to show that specific assignment He has set you apart for. As children of God, we already know that God’s plan for us is to prosper us and not to harm, to give us a hope and a future. Our role is to CONSCIOUSLY find out that purpose by TRUSTING, God with all our heart, refusing to lean on our own understanding and ACKNOWLEDGING Him in all our ways to direct our step.
Lastly, identify those things you do effortlessly and joyfully. Our purpose is often embedded in our gifts/skills and talents. While you wait to discover what God wants you to do with you have, volunteer those gifts as a service to God and man.
* Any parting words….
– There is NOTHING you desire that God can’t give; especially when they’re in accordance to His will for your life, follow God. Choose your friends, you can’t grow beyond the company you keep. Pray about EVERYTHING!!! You can reach me on:
Facebook: Chichi Ogbonnaya
Facebook: Vertopia Publize