Monday, July 20, 2015

A Little Bit of Comfort

One of the most common questions I've gotten leading up to the move is "where will you live?" Anna and I are blessed enough to have an incredibly nice Mission Center that will house us for the next year. In August of last year, Kingdom Cares International finished building and held the grand opening for the beautiful center. The mission center provides a home in Ghana where vulnerable, neglected, voiceless, orphaned children can be cared for, educated, and given opportunities they otherwise would not receive. Anna and I will be staying in bedrooms designated for long term visitors. 
Outside of Mission Center


Since it's opening, the mission center has housed a wide range of kids and served in some capacity many, many others. None of this would be possible without the incredible housemother who lives and breathes to help and support these kids. We would like to introduce you the one who make this all possible, meet Comfort! 

Comfort Aveyo is an amazing woman! She is a loving, caring mother of two and serves as the housemoth­er of our children in the Asikuma Mission Center. Comfort has received training and been awarded a certificate through the Department of Social Welfare in Ghana. We were first connected to Comfort when the Sullivan family pursued the adoption of their now two daughters. With over eight years of social work experience and a personal mission similar to that of Kingdom Cares International, we knew that having Comfort on our international team was a necessity. Proverbs 31:25-26 describes her perfectly; “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tounge”. Being with children can be intimidating sometimes, especially if they are not of your bloodline. The rejected, the outcast, and the vulnerable are sent to Comfort and she nourishes them to be a good instrument for the society. Every­ one who knows Comfort can testify she is a blessing to both the children and the Kingdom Cares Mission Center. 

Anna and I are looking forward to getting to know Comfort as well as the approximate 20 orphan children that will also be living in the center while we're there. Although our main focus will remain on the school, teachers, and students, we both know ourselves well enough to know that we will be spending copious amounts of time with our newest roommates! I cannot wait to read to these kids, play with these kids, and love these kids. 

 Thanks for your continued love and support!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How Can I Help?

It's impossible to express just how overwhelmed we have been with the amount of love and support we have received from family, friends, and strangers. We truly are blessed to be surrounded by such an incredible support system and for that we are incredibly grateful!

With that being said, we have a long way to go to reach our fundraising goal. We are working hard so that when we arrive in Asikuma in 5 weeks we have funds to fully furnish the school, as well as, ensure all of the children have the necessary uniform and school supplies. Additionally, we will be working to guarantee that all of the children are receiving at least one meal at school per day. We will also will be using funds to work with the existing teachers at the school to promote effective and sustainable teaching. Our needs range from small to large and therefore every donation, no matter the size, can have a huge impact on the children of Asikuma. It's incredible to think that $30 dollars can make sure a child has at one meal every day at school. For many of them, it's the only meal they'll get all day.

We are doing everything we can on our end, but need your help! Please consider helping in a way that works best for you.

1. Buy A T-Shirt

For the next two weeks, we will be selling t-shirts with all proceeds going toward education development at the Kingdom Cares Community School. Visit the link below to get one of these one of a kind t-shirts!

2. Buy A Bag

Thanks to a very generous donation we have authentic Ghana should bags that we are selling for $20 a piece. All of the profit will be put directly toward the school. Please email, comment, or message us if you are interested in a bag. Supplies are limited.

3. Make a Donation 

Even after three trips to Africa, it blows my mind how far the American dollar can go. What I can spend in one night out to dinner, can feed a kid for an entire month. A single cup of coffee at Starbucks can provide an entire classroom with pencils. Please consider making a tax deductible donation that we can put toward developing the KCC school. 

4. Share Our Story 

Our friends and family are incredible, but our circles are only so big. Please don't underestimate the power of word of mouth. Share our links on your social media accounts. Wear your new shirt with pride and share our story when people ask about it. Send us the name of contacts that you think would be helpful. Tell your friends and families. Follow our blog. The more people that know about what we are doing, the more of an impact we'll be able to make on this village.   

5. Keep Us In Your Thoughts & Prayers

Although, we are both confident in the commitment we have made there are still plenty of unknowns and challenges that we will face. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Help give us courage, strength, and knowledge to get through the hard times and find joy in the good times!

There are truly no words to convey how much we appreciate everything that everyone has done and continues to do! This is not something that we could do alone and for everyone who has supported us in any way we will forever be grateful to you!

With love,

*Anna & Mary *

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

There's Something About Mary

It's hard to believe but Anna and I are only six weeks away from leaving for Ghana.  As the preparations continue we are working hard to fundraise and spread awareness for the school and work we will be doing.  With that being said, not everyone reading the blog may know both of us. Therefore, Anna and I are going to take the opportunity to introduce ourselves and share a little bit about why this is what we have chosen to dedicate the next year of our life to.  

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Mary Stang. 

I am from Sycamore, IL and just graduated from Drake University with a degree in elementary education and endorsements in special education, English as a second language, reading and math. While at Drake I had the privilege of studying abroad five different times in Uganda, Ghana (twice), Northern Ireland, and Finland. The summer after my freshman year I spent three weeks studying sustainable development in Uganda. This really sparked my love for not only traveling, but also spending time in third world countries. The following January my life was forever changed as I embarked on a 10 day J-term trip to Ghana. It was during this trip that I absolutely fell in love with the community of Asikuma and my life was forever changed. A year later I returned to Ghana on another Drake led trip and confirmed that this was something I wanted to pursue. 

If you had told me three years ago that this would be what I was doing with my life after graduation, I would have looked at you like you had three heads. I had no intention of traveling to or falling in love with Africa. I lived in my bubble, first Sycamore then Drake, and was unaware of what was going on in the world around me.  This didn’t bother me. I didn’t know any different. The thought of teaching abroad was not even in the back of my mind, but once I started traveling and started thinking about it I couldn’t stop. 

I don’t know why my mind constantly wanders to the red dirt roads. I don’t know why when other people think about their families my thoughts are somewhere in the village thinking about all the families who fight day in and day out to stay together as a family. I don’t know why when people complain about going to school I think about the kids who are fighting for the right to go to school and those who never had the right to an education. I don’t know why when people complain about cafeteria food I think about all the people who would do just about anything for a chicken bone let alone a full plate of subpar food. I don’t know why when people complain about how hot it is I think about those who walk miles to have water regardless if it’s clean. I don’t know why when people talk about being home sick I think about all those who don’t have a place to call home or a family who loves them. I don’t know why it’s the last place I think about before going to sleep at night and the first thing that crosses my mind in the morning.

But what I do know is that regardless of how hard of a decision it was to make and the sacrifices I will be making, I am truly looking forward to this next journey and seeing what is in store for me. I'm looking forward to growing as an educator and a person. I'm looking forward to getting to know the incredible kids and watch them make a difference in my life. And I'm looking forward to watching all of you make a difference in the lives of these incredible kids.

Please continue to follow us on this journey and share what we are doing. We are always more than willing to answer questions or give more information. If you feel compelled to make a donation or support the school in some other capacity please either email us at or visit Kingdom Cares International.