The inspiration of motherhood

Luisa Llampa

Luisa Llampa shows how hard work has paid off for her family.

With Mother’s Day barreling toward us, I’m reflecting on the topic of motherhood.

We all have our favorite mom stories—tales of how our mothers nurtured us into the people we are today. My own mom taught me I could do whatever I wanted to put the time and energy into learning and achieving. She banished the words, “I can’t,” from our home. She often indulged my voracious curiosity by taking me to see what was on the other side of the next hill. She shepherded my penchant for storytelling.

But today I’m thinking of the resilient women that I meet and read about through my work at Food for the Hungry (FH). These mothers live in remote villages in developing countries where they lack electricity, clean water, medical care and most other amenities that many Americans take for granted.

Like us, they want the best for their children, but circumstances conspire to thwart their efforts every single day.

Luisa Llampa and one of her children

Luisa Llampa and one of her children

Luisa Llampa in Bolivia is one of those women.

She has four sons and two daughters. In spite of the best efforts of Luisa and her husband, Agustin, Luisa’s heart broke each night when she put her children to bed with empty stomachs. The only crop they could get to grow on their infertile land was potatoes.

When her children were sick, Luisa feared they could die from the simplest of things—even the common cold—because they were so malnourished.

Agustin Llampa with his high-production cow

Agustin Llampa with his high-production cow

Then Luisa and Agustin participated in FH water and agriculture projects—part of our efforts to help people create sustainable livelihoods.

Luisa put into practice the same concept that my mother taught me: she overcame challenges by working tirelessly to accomplish the arduous feat of nourishing her children by improving crop yields.

In the process, the family went from barely subsisting to providing enough food to keep the family healthy. In addition to potatoes, their garden and greenhouse provide the family with wheat and a variety of vegetables. They’ve also expanded into dairy farming.

Luisa and Agustin now sell milk and produce in the local market, and they’re considering exporting to other communities. They have built a house that boasts electricity, a latrine for sanitation and clean drinking water. They send their children to school and know they have a bright future ahead of them.

That’s what all of us mothers want … healthy children with optimistic futures. I’m proud to be part of an organization that inspires mothers like Luisa to dare to hope for that kind of future for their children, and then walks with them as they journey toward realizing their dream to end poverty in their lives.

What an amazing Mother’s Day gift for people like Luisa. On behalf of mothers everywhere, I’d like to thank the faithful FH partners who help make these stories a reality.

You can help even more mothers by giving a Mother’s Day gift of farming tools through the FH gift catalog and by praying for God’s provision and grace as FH inspires hope, walks with communities, and works toward our vision of ending poverty worldwide.

Please use the comments section below to share your favorite Mother’s Day story.

About Karen Randau

A native of the southwestern U.S., Karen uses her blog posts to put into action her passion for helping people be all that God intended them to be. She is able to do this through her role in the Food for the Hungry communications department of the Global Service Center in Phoenix in two ways. First, she helps people understand the plight faced by impoverished people in developing nations. Second, she brings light to the successful ways Food for the Hungry is helping people.

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