Family ties strengthened through Evangel University
June 29, 2012 | Chase Replogle
For twin brothers Franck and Francis Hamadachi and their cousin Phine Mulumba, Evangel University is providing the opportunity to connect with family members for the very first time.
Franck and Francis were born in South Africa, where they excelled in academics, soccer and rugby. Four years ago, they moved to Texas to live with an aunt and pursue an American high school education. The brothers quickly adapted to American football thanks to their high school coach, Wesley Arnold, a 2000 Evangel graduate.
Arnold made a big impression on the brothers. “Coach Arnold is the greatest man I’ve ever met in my life,” Francis says. When he offered to drive the twins to Springfield to experience Evangel football, they paid attention.
Phine Mulumba grew up in the Congo, where she fell in love with tennis. Her family moved to the St. Louis area about two years ago, and she worked hard to prepare herself to play at the university level. Through friends, she was introduced to Debbie DeAlmeida, Evangel’s tennis coach.
During the summer of 2011, the Hamadachi brothers and Mulumba met for the first time at a family reunion in St. Louis. There, they discovered all three were considering Evangel University.
The brothers said their first meal together bonded the cousins right away.
“Phine is a great cook,” Franck says emphatically.
Francis agreed: “She got to our hearts real quick. She’s an artist with food.” This first experience solidified their friendship and helped them decide to attend college together.
Now, Franck is a biology major; Francis is a broadcasting major; and both are members of the EU football team. Mulumba is a biology major and a member of the EU tennis team.
The cousins are grateful for that fateful family reunion.
“God puts things in place,” Francis says. “Two years ago we didn’t even know each other. Now we’re here together.”
As for Springfield?
“I love the environment,” Franck says. “It’s calm. We’re a family. We’re meeting new people.”
– Anna Lester, sophomore communication studies major