skip to Main Content

One Mother’s Mission

Parenting is not an easy job.

This is true whether you live in a nice, suburban neighborhood in Southern California or in a mud hut in rural Rwanda. Whether you have support or you’re doing it alone. Whether you have one child or many.

Phionah is a widowed mother of six boys, living in Kageyo, Rwanda, and this is her story.

Kageyo sits about a three-hour drive east of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. During the genocide in 1959, thousands of Rwandans fled the country. Many of these people went to neighboring Tanzania. In 2007, the government of Tanzania ordered all Rwandan refugees to return home.

The Rwandan government set aside land near Akagera National Park for these returning refugees. Over 450 families settled in Kageyo with little more than what they were able to pack and carry with them.

Phionah and her husband—along with a toddler and infant—were among those who settled in Kageyo. Fifteen years, four more children, and the death of her husband later, Phionah was in a much different situation. She had no one to provide for the family and, while educated, had no way to earn a sufficient income to both provide for her children and send them to school.

About a year ago, Phionah met Pastor Butare of New Life Bible Church, a partner of Children’s Hunger Fund. In the months that followed, Pastor Butare began regularly visiting Phionah and her family, bringing Food Paks and sharing the gospel.

Today, things look very different for Phionah and her boys.

Two of Phionah’s sons are receiving sponsorship through Africa New Life Ministries, CHF’s partners in Rwanda, meaning she only needs to provide tuition for the other boys. The Food Paks have also made a huge difference.

“Food assistance allows some money for other things,” Phionah shared. “I was able to buy two goats and send my children to school. Food assistance gives us comfort at home and relieves us from stress.”

Phionah was also able to do some much-needed repairs on her house.

Pastor Butare noticed that the more he visited, the more the family opened up, and their relationship grew. Phionah and her eldest son, Marcel, have both made professions of faith. Phionah and her son are both involved in the church’s worship ministry.

The relationship between Phionah’s family and the church has grown to the point that Phionah considers the people from the church her friends.

“God can use even people you don’t know—you have never met—to impact your life,” Phionah shared. “I never thought of being helped with food after my husband passed away.”

Phionah is grateful for the help from the church and has plans to continue with her own schooling so that she can also support her mother. She is a beautiful example of a godly woman, doing her best to care for her children and raise them to love the Lord.

Remy, Phionah’s eight-year-old son, shared that he loves it when people from the church come to visit. He sees how Pastor Butare loves his family. He enjoys going to church and doing fellowship with other children. Although, Remy hasn’t made a declaration of faith yet, he is learning about God’s love for His people.


“I’ve learned that God hears Mom when she prays,” Remy shared.


This month, we have the opportunity to celebrate mothers everywhere. At Children’s Hunger Fund, we hear the stories of mothers in rural Rwanda, hilltribes in Thailand, war-torn towns in Ukraine, remote villages in Peru, and hundreds of places in-between, who struggle every day to care for their children.

This Mother’s Day, as you think about the mothers in your life, we hope you’ll also think of these mothers and keep them in your prayers. Parenting isn’t easy; it’s even harder for mothers facing food insecurity. Your prayers and your support make an incredible difference.


Give a gift in honor of a mom in your life

Back To Top