Pastor Eunice Iferi-Chukwuemeka is the wife of Apostle Kenneth Chukwuemeka of Winning Power Ministries International. She is also the Founder/Executive Director of Stop Hurting People Foundation, an organization that takes care of victims of unsavoury circumstances. The non-governmental organization rehabilitates young men taken offthe streets and prostitutes. It also cares for orphans and widows and empowers the less privileged. In this interview, she shares the joy in her heart following the birth of her son after waiting for a long time.
How does motherhood feel like after a long time, seeing that you recently gave birth to a son?
I am an everyday mother to my older three children and all the other children I adopted from the street prior to the coming of my little prince. Well, having another baby after a very long time was not initially exciting when I was confirmed pregnant. I had mixed feelings about it because of fear and a kind of interruption to my life as I knew it. But it has turned out to be one of my greatest moments.
How did you feel about the conception?
It came as a surprise because my husband and I planned to have an uninterrupted 70 years of honeymoon.
What are the best and hardest things about parenthood?
One of the best things about parenting is to be awakened to the fact that God trusts you enough to entrust such a tender and vulnerable life into your care. And for me, the hardest thing about parenting is that I am usually selfish with raising my children. I don’t trust nannies for the total sanitation of my baby. Like I want to sterilize the feeders myself, I want to take care of the bibs and handkerchiefs myself. I am very careful when it comes to anything that enters into their mouth and system. I am naturally a finicky person when it comes to tidiness. So, it’s always very demanding for me even if there are 10 nannies around. The only other people I trust completely with my baby are my two elder sisters (the twins), who of course will be in and out, and my husband who incidentally has his limitations as a man.
Since the birth of the baby, how do you feel about your body?
My body? I had done a good work on my body before the baby came. I came back from vacation in Britain a month before I got pregnant with a size-10 stretch jeans my daughter gave to me. You don’t need to be told that I lost all of that during and after pregnancy. I added weight. But I will be back. My husband deceives me that I have not added a lot but I know I have and I will be back.
What lessons have you learnt about life?
I have learnt a lot, but you know life is vast. The major lesson I have learnt is from the Bible which has to do with the principles of sowing and reaping. I have come to understand life to be about sowing and reaping. A lot of people say that I am very lucky; they make it sound as if I have had it all smooth. They believe that I am so favoured but the difference is the way I handle situations. Whatever you do is about perception. I basically don’t allow people run my life. If you are always reacting to what people do or say then you are giving them so much power to rule your life. The seeds I sow are what I am concerned with. The seed you sow would bring your harvest. Everything about life is sowing and reaping. Unfortunately, when people hear about sowing and reaping what comes to their mind is money, especially because I am a pastor. I had an experience with my chef who served someone who visited my home and I didn’t like the way he was about to serve him so I immediately requested that he should treat the person the way we served others. He said to me, ‘Madam, he is just a young person’ but I had to educate him on that. I don’t let people’s attitude affect the way I treat people generally.
How did you ventured into the ministry?
I became a Christian at age nine in the Scripture Union. At 14 years I became a pastor but I was not ordained. I was attending the Assemblies of God at the time. I had a team of people working with me. I finished my secondary education at that age but could not proceed to the university because 16 years was the required age and I had to wait. So, I enrolled at the Institute of Professional Management (IPM), Agbor, Delta State, where I did a diploma programme in Management.
At 16, I went to the university and planted the first branch of Church of God Mission in Akwa Ibom State. When Archbishop Benson Idahosa heard about what little children like us were doing for Christ, he sent pastors to take over the work. Papa Idahosa himself and a spiritual guide appointed for us, Pastor Chris Chima, came to inaugurate the Church of God Mission in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and ordained me a pastor.
Why did you establish an NGO?
When I lost my first husband some years ago, it was as if my world had practically crashed as I groped about in pain and misery. I could not come to terms with the reality and accept the loss. It took me about six years before I got healed from the pain. This led me to start sharing my story and encouraging others who were hurting basically with life issues. I feel happy today seeing the impact and the enormous work going on in the ministry. I can’t but marvel at God’s goodness and wonders.
What was growing up like?
I was born in a Kaduna at 44 Military Hospital. As a child I saw my mum as a wicked woman because she was very harsh to me. I was free with my father because he was more homely to me. He was loving and caring; that was my definition of love because daddy never screamed or even yelled at you. He would calmly present the issue before you whenever I did something wrong that needed to be corrected. But my mum, would use the whip as her correction tool and she would still investigate to find out if you were lying. She normally descended on me. I didn’t like her. Her method of correction, for me, was simply harsh. My father used to dialogue while my mum never hesitated to shout to drive home her message. Though my parents had nine children, my father never joked with the girls. We the girls had equal rights with the boys. I was the last of the daughters and my father made sure we got attention but my mum was just strict and ensured we were brought up with the right principles, imbibed moral behaviour and value. I was a teenager when I traveled to Jacksonville, Florida, the United States of America on holidays with my parents. It was fun for me but there were times as a child that I would not want to see my mum because of her attitude towards me.
What is your most valuable fashionable accessory?
At the moment. I love watches and shoes. Initially I had three valuable fashion accessories – bag, shoe and watch. I just stopped buying bags because I don’t get to carry them. Personal assistants carry my bag so why do I keep buying bags when I don’t actually carry them.
How do you unwind?
By reading books, mainly the bible and other scripture-based books. I play golf and also play with my husband.
Do you have any regrets about life?
I don’t think I have any because God helped me to find purpose early in life. Everything happens according to purpose. I have gained from every pain I have had. I tried to regret but I have seen that there was a reason.