Emmanuel was born in Nigeria to a Nigerian father and French mother. His grandfather (Obida Mbodwam) was one of the first elders, evangelists, catechists, and then ordained pastors in north eastern Nigeria where Danish Sudan United Mission (SUM) (today Mission Afrika) missionaries first came to that part of Africa in 1913. Emmanuel’s parents served in Christian radio broadcasting ministry with Radio Voice of the Gospel in Ethiopia and then with Muryar Bishara, a ministry of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria.
While growing up, Emmanuel attended Hillcrest School, a Christian missionary school in Jos, Nigeria where he committed his life to serving Jesus Christ. He continued on to attend Moody Bible Institute Chicago, and Moody Aviation Tennessee in the USA where he received training as a mission pilot and mechanic and earned a B.S. in Mission Aviation Technology. It was also at Moody Bible Institute that Emmanuel met Kahindo. Emmanuel speaks English, French, and Hausa fluently and has Nigerian/French dual nationality.
Kahindo was born in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to Congolese missionary parents. Her great-grandfather worked for an American Christian missionary and then learned to read at a Christian mission station where he became a Christian. Kahindo’s grandfather became the first Congolese pastor in his village and started the first church there. This legacy continued as Kahindo’s own father became a pastor and a leader in the Baptist churches in the Congo. Her parents went on to become missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) and thus Kahindo lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, and Kenya before moving to the USA in 1987.
Kahindo spent the greater part of her middle and high school years in Deerfield and Moline Illinois while her dad completed his PhD studies in Christian Education at Trinity International University. Her parents went on to plant Campus Crusade for Christ in Cameroon. During this time, Kahindo attended Rainforest International School, a Wycliff Bible Translators mission school in Yaounde Cameroon.
In 1997, Kahindo returned to the US where she earned a B.A. in Christian Education with an emphasis in Youth Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. Kahindo speaks English, French, and Swahili fluently and understands Lingala. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kahindo is also a French citizen.
Emmanuel and Kahindo first met at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and got married in Moline, Illinois. After graduating from Moody, they served as teachers at Hillcrest School in Jos, Nigeria for 3 and a half years.
In 2008, they moved to southern France where Emmanuel worked as an aircraft mechanic at the Marseille-Provence airport for several years. He currently authors technical service bulletins for Airbus Helicopters. The Mbodwams are part of the International Christian Community of Marseille (ICCM) where Emmanuel preaches regularly and Kahindo has been involved in several ministries including teaching Sunday school and leading a women’s Bible study.
Their children, Michael, Furaha, Renée, and Emma attend French school and speak both English and French fluently.
The Mbodwams are members of SIM France and are preparing to serve with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.