Reverend Billy Graham tells of a time early in his ministry when he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon. Wanting to post a letter, he asked a young boy where the post office was. When the boy had told him, Dr. Graham thanked him and said, ‘If you’ll come to the Baptist Church this evening, you can hear me telling everyone how to get to heaven.’
The boy replied, ‘I don’t think I’ll be there… You don’t even know your way to the post office.’
Having done a lot of travelling I know how difficult it can be to end up somewhere where you don’t know anyone or anything about the area. Yes one can get travel guides but they don’t always seem to have the information I need. Things like where to find the post office. This is especially true when travelling in another country where you can’t speak the language
Over the past couple of years Marilyn and I have travelled in a different way. We have done House Sitting. Hardly a surprise as we run Christian House Sitters.
Some of the many blessings we have experienced are living in a home instead of an impersonal hotel room and also having contact with local people. The house owners always leave us with a list of local contacts. Usually people from their own church. As a result we arrive in a new place feeling that we already know real people who we can contact with any questions or who can advise us about local facilities. A side effect is that we also often get invited to visit these people. We don’t always accept these invitations but when we do we make new friends and that enriches the experience of being in the new town.
Two years ago we were house sitting up in the Italian Mountains when we were snowed in. Neither of us speak any Italian but all it took was a simple phone call to an English-speaking friend of the owner and we were able to find out how to get groceries and on one occasion what to do when the water pipes leading to the house froze. What could easily have been a difficult time was instead a time of real blessing. The locals rallied round and made sure we were kept supplied and warm until the weather improved.
If you have never tried house sitting why not give it a go? It is a wonderful way to travel all over the world, live rent-free and enjoy a vacation you could otherwise only dream of having.
God bless you