The Ambassadors of Good Hope Endowment Fund

The Democratic Republic of Congo 

The Ambassadors of Good Hope Endowment Fund was established in 2019 at the request of Dr. Eyamba Georges Bokamba, and Mrs. Molingo Virginie Bokamba, of Champaign, Illinois. They establish this permanent fund in gratitude to Dr. Bokamba’s parents, Mr. David A. Eyamba and Mrs. Marthe Nsengela, as well as extended family in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and a group of individuals who played a pivotal role as parent/mentor in shaping his life, education, and career trajectories in the DRC and the United States.

As a child, Mr. Bokamba’s life was in perpetual motion due to family circumstances and quest for western education in colonial Belgian Congo. After the death of his mother, he was raised by his uncle and began elementary education in a village Disciples of Christ school at the age of seven. Later he was selected to continue his studies in Mbandaka, where the headquarters of the Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) is located.

In 1961, Eyamba Bokamba was selected to participate in a six-week international youth camp sponsored by the YMCA in Pittsburgh, PA. The following year (1962) he earned an International Christian Youth Exchange (ICYE) scholarship to continue his studies in the U.S.  He began this new educational journey in Bowling Green, Ohio, as a junior in high school, and proceeded to Phillips University, Enid, Oklahoma, and Kansas University, Lawrence, for his college training.  As an exchange student throughout his high school and college education, Eyamba Georges lived with host families that belonged to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), while being welcomed and cared for by many others. He developed close family bonds with many of these families who continued to shower him with love even after he moved away to pursue graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison for his M.A. and Indiana University in Bloomington for his Ph.D. Dr. Bokamba obtained an appointment in 1974 in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois where he and his wife, Molingo Virginie Bokamba, settled down for their careers and raised their children. At the time of the establishment of The Ambassadors of Good Hope Endowment Fund, Dr. Bokamba was Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and African Languages at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

It is these experiences that Prof. Bokamba describes fondly and gratefully, as having been carried on the shoulders of giants in a global village consisting of a rainbow family without whose support I would certainly not have become whom I am today. The gifts from all these giant ambassadors of good hope … have compelled me to continue the tradition. I hope that the creation of The Ambassadors of Good Hope Endowment Fund, to which others will contribute, will serve as a liberating token of my personal and of other contributors’ gratitude to them.

The Ambassadors in whose honor the Fund is established are:

Mr. Ashel G. and Mrs. Dorothy U. Bryan

Prof. Emerson and Mrs. Martha Erb

Rev. Dr. Ben C. and Mrs. Betsy Hobgood

Profs. Braj B. and Yamuna Kachru

Mrs. Mathel Martin

Mrs. Ruth Milner

Rev. Dr. Robert G. and Mrs. June Nelson

Mrs. Patricia Sanborn

Rev. Jerry M. and Mrs. Lucille G. Sullivan

Grandma Eura Terrill

Dr. Robert S. and Mrs. Marjorie Terrill

Prof. Victor C. Uchendu

Rev. Tom C. and Mrs. Lois Underwood

 

A December 2012 extended summary of The Ambassadors Fund story by Dr. Bokamba, is available upon request from the Global Ministries Office of Resource Development, gifts@dom.disciples.org or P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis IN 46206.

Fund distributions from The Ambassadors of Good Hope Endowment Fund will be used by Global Ministries Africa Office to provide support for capacity building in transformative education for self-reliance through the Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Additional contributions may be made to the principal of The Ambassadors of Good Hope Endowment Fund at any time by check written to the Division of Overseas Ministries and sent to:

Division of Overseas Ministries/Global Ministries

P.O. Box 1986

Indianapolis IN  46206

 

Questions regarding The Ambassadors of Good Hope Endowment Fund are welcome at the Global Ministries Resource Development Office at gifts@dom.disciples.org or (317) 713-2555.

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