Emmanuel was born in Nigeria to a Nigerian father and French mother. His grandfather was one of the first ordained pastors in northeastern Nigeria where Danish missionaries first came to that part of Africa in 1913. Emmanuel’s parents served in Christian radio broadcasting ministry in Ethiopia and Nigeria.
While growing up, Emmanuel attended Hillcrest School, a Christian missionary school in Jos, Nigeria where he committed his life to serving Jesus Christ. Soon after, he decided to apply his interest in aviation and technology to serve in mission aviation. He continued on to attend Moody Bible Institute where he received training as a pilot and airplane mechanic and earned a B.S. in Mission Aviation Technology. Emmanuel speaks English, French, and Hausa fluently.
Kahindo was born in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to Congolese missionary parents. Her grandfather became the first Congolese pastor in his village, Nyankunde, and started the first church there. This legacy continued as Kahindo’s parents became missionaries with Agape (CRU). 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 pour Christ in Cameroon where Kahindo attended Rainforest International, a Wycliffe Bible Translators school in Yaounde, Cameroon. Having been active in her church youth group in the US, Kahindo quickly noticed the absence of vibrant Christian youth ministries for young people in Africa. She began to envision a youth ministry in Africa to teach young people the Word of God while providing wholesome recreational activities and opportunities for knowledge and skills training. In 1997, Kahindo returned to the US where she earned a B.A. in Educational Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. Kahindo speaks English, French, and Swahili fluently, and understands Lingala.
Emmanuel and Kahindo met at Moody Bible Institute 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 before moving to southern France in 2008. There, Emmanuel worked as an aviation maintenance technician at the Marseille-Provence airport for several years and then in the technical support department for Airbus Helicopters.
The Mbodwams are part of the leadership team at their local church, 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 speak both English and French fluently.
The Mbodwams are on-loan from MAF-France to MAF-US.