Marilyn and I are exhausted. We are thankful that we will be going on a short vacation at the end of this week.
This led me to thinking about the importance of taking time out.
Having a vacation is really very important for many different reasons.
It benefits your health, protects relationships, improves work productivity, and can even save lives. I will not cover these in detail as I have done that previously but have a look at the following if you need a reminder.
So I looked at how countries around the world care for their workers.
I got my information from Wikipedia They list over 2000 countries annual leave details. I made very interesting reading.
Here is a very short extract showing the countries I believe most of our readers will live in or be interested in. For the full list visit the link above to the article.
With only one exception (more about that later) every country listed has a legal requirement to give workers paid leave every year plus paid leave on public holidays (although sometimes this is taken as extra work and an increased pay instead of a day off.
The one exception is not some backward 3rd world country as one may have expected. Even 3rd world countries have a legal requirement to give staff paid leave.
No, the only exception is the United States of America where there is no legal requirement to give staff any time off.
Wherever you live and however many of few days you get take them!
Benefit from them it could transform your life.
Worried about the cost?
Worried about your pets?
Worried about leaving your home empty and in danger?
We can help!
If you are going away and concerned about leaving your home uninhabited and vulnerable, we can arrange for people to stay, free of charge, in your home while you are away. They will look after your home and your pets.
If you are finding it difficult to afford a vacation, we invite you to join as a sitter and we will keep you up to date with RENT FREE vacations all over the world
Firstly as a way of blessing and helping Christians all over the world to have a vacation that they may otherwise have found it difficult to afford. For details see www.Christian-housesitters.com
Secondly 100% of the income we get from Sitters, who pay just £25 per year for their membership , goes through our UK Registered Charity to support the Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya. See https://www.TLC-Childrenstrust.org Note Home Owners who want a sitter do not pay anything.
Below is a copy of the latest newsletter about the work in Kenya.
Newsletter May to August 2021
This has been an odd year. Covid continued causing chaos but we thank God none of our staff or children have been infected.
Our Health Dept Manager Erick Jafeth Ochieng has done an excellent job. In his latest report received this week he wrote: We are all observing covid 19 protocols with regular hand washing and sanitizing prioritized…… Environmental hygiene has been maintained; the toilets are always cleaned and washed on daily basis with the flushing of water available sufficiently….. the kitchen, is above average standards of personal and environmental hygiene.
May The academic year in Kenya resumed in May instead of starting their new year in January. They will now finish last year’s studies and start their new academic year at the end of July this was due to Covid.
Our secondary school and technical college students are all supplied with a bike so that they can cycle to and from school as it is too far to walk. One day as they cycled, a dangerously driven car hit one of our girls. He failed to stop. The other students cycling with her helped her and contacted Home of Peace. The bike is a mess but thank God she was not badly injured.
Also during June our Social Worker, Faith, who served us well for many years suffered an emotional breakdown. We gave her sick leave and she returned to stay with her parents. She also decided to resign so we needed to find a replacement.
Under the Kenyan Education System children need to graduate from ECD (Early Childhood Development) before they are allowed to start primary school. At Home of Peace we employ a qualified ECD teacher to prepare our children. They need to study how to read, write do basic maths, some language skills and creative skills.
The latest group have graduated in July. The teacher loaned them gowns etc. for their graduation ceremony.
Sharon Odhiambo became our new Social Worker. She is well qualified and has a lot of very valuable experience. We welcomed her to the team and she is already proving to be a great blessing.
Also during July
Our amazing trustees Val & Keith Norton once again did a wonderful job arranging a fun garden party and games, at their home, to help raise funds for the children at Home of Peace.
They raised over £1,400! Thank you Val, Keith and all who helped you!
AUGUST 6 new children were committed to Home of Peace last Friday. 5 will go to Primary School and one to ECD.
About two years ago, whilst visiting a church he helped plant in the town of Homa Bay, which is about a four-hour drive from Home of Peace. Erick was presented with five young children who had been found homeless and suffering. Erick did the right thing and reported this to the area chief and also to the local Department of Children services and as a temporary measure, with their permission, he placed 3 of them with a member of the church and he personally started sending money to help provide food for them whilst waiting for the children’s department to do the right thing. With the permission of the area chief he took two of the children back with him to his own home where he was able to look after them.
When nothing was done by the children’s department we wrote to them and suggested that these children should be placed in Home of Peace where they could be looked after.
Once again nothing was done. Meanwhile one of the children that had come back and was staying with Erick, a young boy of eight years old, had been complaining of an inability to see. Naturally we arranged for him to be checked by the hospital and they decided that he had cataracts in both eyes and if nothing was done he could lose his sight. They referred him to the eye hospital (the only eye hospital in Western Kenya) who confirmed that he urgently needed two cataract operations but that because he has not been committed to Home of Peace he could not be covered under the Home of Peace children’s medical insurance scheme and the operations would have to be paid for privately. They quoted 36,000 Kenya shillings which translates to £250. Erick told them that he did not have this amount of money and they got back to him and said that they had found someone who would sponsor the majority of the cost and he would only have to pay 15,000 shillings which is about £100. We managed to raise this money and the child has had both operations.
On the 6th of August Erick and Sharon, our new social worker travelled to Homa Bay for the children’s court there to finally make a decision what to do about these children and, praise God, they have been committed to Home of Peace. The court also asked us to take an additional child. So, we needed to provide for 6 new children who will needed everything. Clothes, basics like toothbrushes, enrolment in school, school supplies, uniforms, etc.
That same evening we had a fire at Home of Peace. A Brave Young Man At Home of Peace we have a generator because mains electricity often fails for days at a time. On Friday 6th August the generator caught alight and there was a real danger of it exploding and hurting or killing people and destroying the buildings. Our Assistant Head Boy, John Charles, bravely grabbed the fire extinguisher and ran into the generator room and extinguished the fire. The generator needed to be re-wired, fitted with a new coil and a new battery but had he not acted so quickly I dread to think what may have happened.
We presented him with a Certificate of Bravery and a small gift of money.
MARILYN & RAY Your ongoing prayers would be greatly appreciated as Marilyn has continued to struggle with health problems and to add to that on Monday she was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes which may need surgery. She will be having further tests on the 2nd of September
ONGOING Please continue to pray for this ministry, for the staff at Home of Peace, for the children and students, and for us. It is a tremendous blessing and privilege to be involved but at times it can be really hard work and emotionally draining. Please continue to tell others, (Friends, family, church) about this and encourage them to get involved. Please join us in thanking God for His provision and pray that through faithful people, like you, He will continue to meet the needs. It does cost a lot but it is saving and transforming lives. All gifts, no matter how small will be greatly appreciated CLICK HERE
May God richly bless you Love in Jesus Marilyn & Ray
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I am sure we are all tired of Covid. It seems to have taken over every area lives for such a long time. So many new words. So many new restrictions. So many false dawns.
As I read and watch the news my heart breaks for those who have suffered as a result of this awful virus and their loved ones.
I also feel sad for the vast number of people who have lost their income because businesses have had to shut.
Being involved in Christian House Sitters, I am also naturally aware what a problem this has been for people desperately needing to get away and have a vacation. The travel rules keep changing. Trips are booked and then cancelled. People are losing vast amounts of money. In the end instead of the vacation easing the stress it seems to add to the pressure.
I genuinely believe the situation has made the ministry of Christian House Sitters even more valuable.
Christians dealing with Christians. Individuals dealing with individuals.
I have seen a number of examples where sitters and owners have booked and then due to changing government regulations have had to ‘put it on ice’ but they have worked together so as things improve they quickly rearrange their dates and nobody loses out.
We still have far less houses available than normal because so many members are afraid to book anything in case the rules change. So, if you need someone to look after your home and if necessary your pets FREE of any charge register with us now.
But what if the rules change again?
My advice. We need to be pragmatic. Work within the rules and make you house available if that is allowed where you live. But when potential sitters contact you say if the law changes you will naturally have to rearrange the dates. Then keep in contact with the sitter and discuss when or if anything changes.
Have a look at the website for the details. CLICK HERE
Covid has caused chaos with House Sitting all over the world.
As a result of Covid 19 (Coronavirus) we have had less houses than usual. Frustrating. But God knows what He is doing. Please be patient. I am sure that as life in most countries is starting to return to normal we will have a flood of houses becoming available as home owners and sitters will be delighted to get away for a break. We will continue as normal through this pandemic so as and when houses become available we will notify all registered sitters
Home owners this is a very good time to list your available dates.
PLEASE NOTE: We will not be posting any further blogs until this situation is more settled. But as you know our ministry of Christian House Sitters gives 100% of our income to a Christian Children’s Home that we run in Kenya called
When you’re planning a holiday, one of the main points to consider is how long you’ll be going away for.
Reading the news this morning I came upon an article from Country Living asking the question.
How long do you need to go on holiday for to feel really relaxed?
I can’t reproduce the whole article but below are some of the key points and findings. If you want to read the original there is a link below.
NOTE: American readers the word holiday in this article is used with the UK meaning. In the USA you would replace it with vacation.
When you’re planning a holiday, one of the main points to consider is how long you’ll be going away for.
Do you go for a long weekend, a whole week, or perhaps even longer?
According to scientific research, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, there is a perfect length of holiday time which has the maximum beneficial effect on your health and wellbeing.
Researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, set out to explore the effects of holiday length on health and wellbeing, and its relationship to positive aftereffects.
So what’s the perfect length? Longer than eight days. But there’s an interesting point to be made about the frequency of our holidays, too. Here’s why…
The experiment found that health and wellbeing increased rapidly during holiday time, peaking on the eighth day.
How long should you holiday for?
So, if you want to get the most from your holiday and feel truly rested and rejuvenated, try to have a break for longer than eight days, and fill your time with pleasurable and relaxing experiences to boost your health and wellbeing.
And, as the authors suggest, it may be more beneficial to take more frequent shorter breaks, rather than one long respite from work.
We can help you achieve this goal.
Through Christian House Sitters you can enjoy rent-free holidays all over the world.
We can also arrange for people to look after your home and if necessary your pets while you are away. Again free of charge.
If you are thinking of a holiday and want someone to look after your home please visit our website and register as an owner. It is FREE.
Register as soon as you know your holiday dates, don’t leave it to the last-minute, as that way you will have a much better range of sitters to choose from.
If you want to be a sitter and to enjoy a rent-free vacation then we can also help.
Have a look at the website for the details. CLICK HERE
Reasons To Take A Vacation ASAP, According To Science
By Renee Jacques (Updated Dec 06, 2017)
The most common reason why people weren’t taking a vacation was that they possess what researchers call a “martyr” complex, in which they believe that no one else can do their job as well as they can. Yet more than 20 percent of people who don’t take vacations say they skip out because they are afraid they feel they are easily replaceable.
Whichever is the case, we’re here to tell you to please, please take a vacation. We know you’re afraid. But after you read these reasons why taking a vacation will do amazing things for your wellbeing and your mind, you may reconsider. And more importantly: Taking a vacation could make you even better at your job. Yes, it’s true. Read on, and start booking your next flight or planning a staycation.
1. Your body is literally telling you to take a break. But you keep ignoring it.
Giving employees significant time to take a break will help them be renewed and come back to work even stronger, says Tony Schwartz, the chief executive officer of The Energy Project, in an op-ed in The New York Times. His company offers employees four weeks of vacation starting in their first year. He does this because he believes that “the importance of restoration is rooted in our physiology.” He credits a study done by researchers at Florida State University …..
2. Because when your brain is completely relaxed, it’s still working on improving the skills you have learned.
This all goes back to the science of sleep. Many studies have shown that when the brain is relaxed, it focuses itself on boring but essential tasks, like etching in and memorizing the new skills you may have learned at the office during the week before. So, if you’re struggling to keep up with the new software your company just introduced, right now might be the best time to take a vacation. Let your brain take some time to process the new information, and you might return in tip-top shape!
3. It’s been proven that allowing your brain to day-dream allows you to better solve problems and be more creative.
Your brain operates on two levels: One side is task-focused and the other side is focused on letting your mind wander and daydream. As you can imagine, a hard worker like you is pretty much always in the task-focused mode, overworking your brian to stay engaged on something you must finish for work, all the while taking in an overload of information…
As we mentioned above, taking a break is good for your brain. Because you have got to let your brain daydream. Daniel J. Levitin, the director of the Laboratory for Music, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University and the author of “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload,” told the New York Times that giving our brains time to wind down and think about nothing at all can provide “our moments of greatest creativity and insight.”
4. Fact: The more vacations you take, the happier you’ll be.
As far as vacations go, the more the merrier. A study done at Erasmus University in Rotterdam found that among about 1,500 Dutch adults in which 974 of them took a vacation, those who took time off were happier than those who did not, mostly because they were excited in anticipation for their vacation. They also showed signs of slightly increased happiness for two weeks after they returned from vacation. So, the trick for success, says the study’s leader, Jeroen Nawijn, seems to be taking two or more short breaks spread out in the year rather than one massive vacation. Spread out that happiness!
5. Your performance review this year could be higher if you just go take your vacation.
All that happiness could pay off for you in major ways. An internal study was done by the Ernst & Young accounting firm found that for each additional 10 hours that an employee took for vacation, his or her performance review was 8 percent higher the next year. Who knew that some rest and relaxation could get you your next raise?
7. Bosses who take vacations return to work as more focused business leaders.
A survey by job recruiters at Korn/Ferry International discovered that 84 percent of over 250 executives have canceled a vacation due to pressures at work. That’s shocking. If you’re the head honcho, don’t think it’s impossible for you take a vacation. We know it’s hard to break yourself away from your work, but you make the rules, after all, and it’s proven that you’ll be better and enforcing those rules if you give yourself a little break.
Jennifer Deal, a researcher at the Center for Creative Leadership who has examined the way executives deal with taking vacations, told The Wall Street Journal that when bosses take time off they come back more creative and able to think about the long run future of the company better. If they don’t take a break, she says it’s extremely difficult for them to “see outside of the immediate whirlwind.”
8. Immersing yourself in new cultures and cuisines will give you a whole new array of ideas you can bring back to work.
Think of your vacation as a very relaxing and stress-free way to get some more work done. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine concludes that multicultural experiences help foster creativity and help generate ideas. However, this shouldn’t be working abroad. The study emphasizes that the experience will only promote creativity when the situation doesn’t call for “firm answers or existential concerns.”
BUT I CAN’T AFFORD A VACATION
Do not be caught out!
Instead of paying a company loads of money to pack you like sardines onto one of their charter flights to an overpopulated resort, then being ‘organised’ by their rep throughout your stay in a small hotel room take the DIY approach.
Stay rent-free in a private house with all the home comforts.
Plan your own itinerary.
Go home having rested, enjoyed your time away and having saved a lot of money.
You could be enjoying a rent-free vacation in one of the many houses that we get all over the world.
Also if you need someone honest, reliable and with references to look after your home and if necessary your pets while you are away. Even if you are not in one of our houses. We will help you find someone free-of-charge.