• Tasha Butler

Regal Lady Spotlight: Chinelo Ezeka

“There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.”

― Nikki Giovanni

When that voice on the inside is telling you something….LISTEN to it! Have you ever had a gut feeling about something, yet had no clue where it came from or why it even came to you? Well luckily my Soror Chinelo has been listening that voice inside of her. Within the last year, Chi-Chi has interned with Windows, received her bachelor's degree in computer science, and started a career with Ellucian...and did I mention she is currently tutoring on the side to help raise money for her mission trip to Uganda. To find out more about Chinelo and her motivation behind this mission trip continue reading.

Recently you moved away from home and your family to pursue your career in the IT field? Have you been met with any challenges while being away? More specifically have you faced any challenges being a minority in this field? If so, how have you overcame these challenges?

Yes! I moved to Orlando Florida to pursue an awesome opportunity! I am a technical consultant for a software company that caters to higher ed! I absolutely loveeee my job! When I walked into the room on my first day, I was indeed the only black woman in the room! Then noticed I was the only black woman on my team! Double Whammy!! While I haven't faced any challenges per se yet, I do feel the extra pressure to ensure that no one can ever discredit me for who I am and what I have the capability to do. Naturally I am a driven, ambitious, hard working woman, however, being a minority, you naturally feel like you need to do above and beyond everyone else, which is fine for me, because I came to be the best.

What is your motivation to travel to Gulu, Uganda for missionary work?

I went on my first missions trip to Uganda when I was 16 and it literally changed my life. The faces of the children that I met my first two times going were engraved in my memory. (I rarely remember things!) When I came back to America I tried my best for years to do charity work in the states with hopes that it will make me feel as though I am still completing my calling, but I always felt like I was not doing enough. Every birthday since about 22, I started to do charity work as a means to celebrate my birthday, but yet, I still felt this conviction that more needed to be done to help people around the world. For my 24th birthday I tried to begin a fundraiser to try and raise money for my missions trip, but I only raised about 250.00. This year, there was literally like this tugging in my soul, that was like "Chinelo you must go", I truly believe that was God telling me get off my high horse and serve Him. So here I am, raising money so I can following His call.

How did your first trip to Uganda change you? What things did you see? Culture? Role of women? Living conditions?

Ahh, my first trip. Sheesh, God really did a number on me during that trip. For where I was in life, I have absolutely NO CLUE why God would use someone like that in ANY capacity. What's crazy is, I didn't realize the effects until later on. People who "knew" me when I was 16, didn't really KNOWWWWWWWW me, you know? They didn't know what internal battles I was dealing with, but God knew. I randomly told my parents and my uncle, oh I want to go on a missions trip, and that's how it started. I didn't feel a calling, I kinda just went. And BOYYYY did it open my eyes. I've never seen so many people happy to simply be alive, simply see a brand new day, simply be able to laugh, walk, dance, and praise! They were happy DESPITE their circumstances. You see, Northern Uganda was victim to genocide by Stephen Kony and the Lords Resistance Army. Thousands of people were killed, kidnapped, raped, and separated from their families. Thus, many children became orphans, many small children became the head of their households. I remember visiting the Jesus Village orphanage which was in Kampala but had orphans from Gulu, there was one girl who was 12 years old, leading all 30 kids who lived in the orphanage with her. I'm the oldest of 5 children and at 12 I can assure you I did not have that type of clout with my siblings let alone the siblings of others. When we finally reached Gulu, we visited some of the displaced camps that were filled with a lot of women, children, and households led by children. Still, despite their circumstances you saw the joy of God in them and literally I'm a crybaby so I was just so touched. One lady had a baby who was maybe a week old and hadn't named him. So , I tell her about the story Daniel in the bible. The interpreter tells me to name the child and I name him Daniel after Daniel in the Bible and after my brother. I was so touched by her willingness to trust me more than I trusted myself, love me more than I loved myself at that time. Interacting with them truly showed me the love of God!

What is your goal for this missionary trip? What is your expected outcome or hope for this trip?

I don't have any goals per se but to follow the calling of God. The first trip, I kinda just went and it changed my life, whereas with this trip, I truly believe God is calling me to go and spread the gospel.

What are some lessons that you have learned about yourself throughout this process thus far? Are there any self lessons you hope to gain from this experience?

Haha. There is always a lesson in everything and a blessing in every lesson. Fundraising is no joke, it's uncomfortable, it's annoying, borderline harassing, and the lost can literally go on. I'm not a fan of that aspect whatsoever!!!! However, if someone was to tell me that I had to knock on every door to see Jesus, guess what, I'm about to be knocking and looking crazy to do so! I've learned not to care what other people think as it relates to being a servant of my God. I think I skipped that lesson growing up because I've always been a people pleaser and quite frankly I'm over it lol! This process has also taught me to completely trust in God! I have absolutely nooooo clue why God gave me such supportive people to share this life with! But my family, friends, colleagues, associates, everyone has been soooo supportive financially and in prayers!!! That is nothing but God!! Had I not learned to just trust Him and get off my high horse and simply ask people, I would have been depressed trying to figure out How to please God without losing my reputation. But what's a reputation when you're following the call of God? I truly hope to continue falling in love with God not just for what He's done, (even though He's clearly done amazing things in my life) but for who He is!!!

What makes you a Regal Lady?

You know in a logical person, so let's look at this logistically by breaking down the two words that make up this brand! Regal - Webster defined being regal as "of notable excellence or magnificence" - perfect description ! We live in a society where women call themselves excellent but that's not we see. What we see on the exterior of a woman is a reflection of what is in the interior. Thus the way we carry ourselves is indicative of our regality. You can't be regal if you're busy being ratchet

Now lady - once again Webster defines the word lady as a woman of a high social position and a woman who behaves in a polite way. To be a lady is not just a term, it's a lifestyle.

Thus to be a Regal Lady is to be a woman who carries herself with such grace, elegance, and excellence so much that she is highly regarded by her those she comes in contact with.