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The long spoon………

I am blessed to receive numerous uplifting, encouraging and challenging email most days. One that often helps me is from a man called Pastor Tim Burt who writes a blog called Fresh Manna. You can see it at https://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

This morning I received the following from him. (Note he has previously granted me permission to reproduce his posts as long as I link back to his blog and acknowledge him as the source.)

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The Spoon That Feeds… (Author Unknown)

Long spoon

A man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, “Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”

The Lord led the man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, “You have seen Hell.”

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the man’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The man said, “I don’t understand.”

“It is simple” said the Lord, “it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. While the greedy think only of themselves.”

Galations 5:13
Gal 5:13 “For you have been called to live in freedom–not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.”

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This in many ways is the philosophy behind Christian House Sitters.
Christians blessing each other and being blessed at the same time.

Those who are going on vacation get the blessing of having someone look after their home and pets free of charge

Those wanting a vacation get a rent-free house to live in.

Both parties are also blessed by knowing that they are helping another Christian.

For more information have a look at our website. CLICK HERE

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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2 Tips for a Better 2017

A new you for the new year

Phew 2016 was some year!

I am sure there have been many more difficult and stressful years but understandably 2016 is fresh in my memory.

Just a brief recap. It was the year of

  • UK Referendum on the EU
  • The American Presidential Campaign
  • The Rio Olympics
  • Multiple Terrorist attacks around the world
  • Hurricane Matthew killed 900 people
  • There are so many more but that will suffice.

Here is the GOOD NEWS.

2016 is finished. It is now 2017 and we enter a new year that holds to many unknowns. Exciting prospects, scary potentials and things that at the moment we can’t even really imagine.

Jump from 2016 to 2017
As you prepare for 2017 may I suggest that you consider doing 2 things that will help make your year better.

First surrender your life and your plans to God. I go forward in confidence because God knows what is in store and He remains in control no matter how bleak the circumstances may at times appear. He who gave His only son for you will never leave you.

You can trust Him. He really does love you and want what is best for you.

Second consider a vacation. A break from your normal daily grind. Time to get away, relax, renew relationships, rest, have fun and generally recharge your inner batteries.

We can help.

We offer rent-free vacations all over the world and, if necessary, we can also arrange for someone reliable to look after your home and pets free-of-charge while you are away

If you would like to benefit from our service please have a look at the website. CLICK HERE.

God bless you,
Ray

Christian House Sitters
is part of the registered charity
TLC Children’s Trust
UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

Visiting Medieval English Towns

Medieval England

I posted this article in my blog a few years ago but felt an urge to re-post it as we now have so many new readers.

I love it when our members take the iniative and write about their experiences. This is an extract from an article that was written by a Canadian house sitter who visited England and was printed in Cathedral Connections.  St Peter’s London Ontario

A UNIQUE ADVENTURE – HOUSESITTING IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND
By Joyce Hilton

At some point we all think about a dream vacation, especially one that costs little and allows you to enhance your love of Christianity and its history and architecture.

My dream vacation and journey began when I stumbled across a website that promised just that. It was called Christian House Sitters, an Internet based service that brought Christian home owners and Christian house sitters together.

Christians home owners who wanted to take a holiday and needed some one to look after their home and! or their pets while away could apply. The other side of the service accommodated persons who could not afford a holiday but would now be enabled to take a break and see other countries. Their only expense would be the cost of travel and their food.

It was totally Christian based and required everyone involved to have a reference from their church.
The registration cost was twenty dollars Canadian for the year which allowed me access to information about various properties in different countries that required a house sitter.

A couple in Norwich, England advertised for a sitter for three months. I was born in England and wanted to experience the atmosphere of its medieval history and churches. Norwich seemed like a perfect fit! It is a church enthusiast’s paradise. It possesses more medieval churches than any other English City. There is an old saying in Norwich that there are 52 churches for every week of the year and 365 pubs for every day of the day. (My interest was in the former.)

In addition to its great cathedral and the ruins of three other buildings, there are thirty-one other parishes in Norwich that have survived.

I arrived in England in early January of this year and met my awesome hosts who were leaving in the next few days for New Zealand.

Before they left, they drove me to Great Yarmouth, a city on the east coast of England situated about fifty miles away. Along the way, we stopped to look at the ruins of a thirteenth century Augustinian Priory. Even though the walls had eroded to half their size and roofs had long disappeared, you sensed that this was once a holy place and the likely home of earlier saints.

It was the first step in my quest to visit ancient holy places.  I left realizing that I was a part of a much larger faith community, one that transcends countries and history.

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kitty

So if you are thinking of going on vacation let me briefly remind you how we can help you. Remember we operate worldwide. So wherever you are this applies to you.

You can register as a Home Owner and that means we will make your house details known to our large list of sitters all over the world and they will then be able to contact you and offer to look after your house and your pets free of charge. Registration as a home owner is free. There are no charges.

You can register with us as a House Sitter. That will mean that you get access to all the houses that are made available, all over the world, for 12 months. If you like what you see you can contact the owner and apply for the house. All houses are rent free. registration as a Sitter will cost £25 per year. All the money will go through our registered Charity to support needy children at Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya. For details about the home CLICK HERE. Note 100% of income goes to the Children’s Home Marilyn and I personally cover the cost of running Christian House Sitters.

You can register as both a Sitter and as a Owner.

TO REGISTER VISIT OUR WEBSITE: CLICK HERE  (www.Christian-Housesitters.com)

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

http://www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

Featured in Sight Magazine

Posted on

The following is an article that appeared in SIGHT MAGAZINE AUSTRALIA on the 6th of July 2016

MY MISSION: A CHRISTIAN ALTERNATIVE TO FINDING A HOME AWAY FROM HOME (AND SUPPORTING CHILDREN IN KENYA AS YOU DO SO)

6th July, 2016

DAVID ADAMS

Sight Magazine Australia

Ray and Marilyn White, former owners of a Christian counseling centre in the UK, didn’t have the money to go on expensive holidays when they retired, meaning they had to find a way to do so – without paying full price.

Hearing about a house-sitting organisation which offered people the chance to look after someone’s else’s home while they were away, they registered and ended up living in a property in France for three months. While Dr White says it was a “wonderful experience”, they did have times of loneliness and couldn’t find a church. There were also some statues and other things left around the house which he says, as Christians, made them feel uncomfortable.
sightmag1
“Marilyn said that next time we should use a Christian organisation,” the South-African born 69-year-old recalls. “So we searched and could not find one anywhere. Marilyn therefore suggested we start one, which we did, and the result is Christian House Sitters.”

The organisation, which is based out of their home in Somerset, aims to bring together Christian home-owners and house-sitters by providing a website and email service which they can use to find each other.

“If you register as a home-owner, we help you find a house-sitter to move into your home while you are away on vacation,” says Dr White, who has previously worked in business, for Youth For Christ and as a pastor, and who still, as well as writing books, runs an “active preaching ministry” and takes seminars on subjects such as stress management for church groups.

“(The house-sitter) will look after your home and pets for you free-of-charge and in return they receive a rent-free vacation in your home. So, as an owner you save money by not having to pay anyone to look after your home and pets. You also have the security of knowing that your home and pets are being looked after by a responsible Christian.”
The benefits for those who register as house-sitters is also somewhat obvious – they “get to travel and stay rent-free in lovely homes all over the world rather than in expensive and, often characterless, hotel rooms”.
People wanting to advertise their house will have its details, excluding the exact address, listed on a protected area of the organisation’s website where registered would-be house-sitters can find them. All registered sitters are also emailed about the listing. Sitters can then register their interest with a particular property and their details are sent on to the home-owner. It’s then up to the home-owner to make contact, check references and arrange the ‘sit’ (a draft agreement is provided on the website).

Dr White says he and his wife insist that all who apply must be a member of a Christian church.

“We then email the pastor of their church and say that they have registered with us and given him as a reference,” he says. “We tell him that he can expect to be contacted by home-owners seeking a reference from him about these people. If he indicates that this is all satisfactory we register them. If they can’t supply these details or if the pastor is not willing to vouch for them, membership is refused.”

Properties listed range from apartments to large family houses with the length of time they are available anywhere from a week to a year, although between two to four weeks is more typical.
wds2

sightmag2

The profile of the house-sitters varies widely.

“We have families with children, single people, missionaries on furlough, ministers wanting a holiday that they can afford, retired people,” Dr White says.

More than 1,000 people have registered on the site since it commenced and current members live in 15 countries, mostly in Europe but also including Australia and New Zealand, the US and Canada.

While home-owners pay no fee to register on the site, sitters pay £25 (or equivalent) a year. All of this money is used to support a Christian children’s home in Kenya – The Home of Peace Children’s Home – which Mrs White took over the responsibility for raising funds for in 2010 after the UK church which had supported the organisation decided they could no longer continue to do so.

The Whites have since set up a registered charity – the TLC Children’s Trust – to raise funds for the home which is officially registered with the Kenyan Government.

Asked what they love most about running Christian House Sitters, Dr White says it’s the connections they make all across the globe.

“We love getting email from people all over the world telling us how God has used Christian House Sitters to enable them to have a holiday that they really needed but could not afford. Knowing we have made a real difference gives us a thrill.”

 

www.christian-housesitters.com

~ www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

 

End of the article.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE: CLICK HERE  (www.Christian-Housesitters.com)
God bless you,
Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

http://www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

Visit to a new church.

Posted on

PreachingOn Sunday I had the privilege of preaching at a church I have never visited before. Lovely people and a really warm reception.

As I introduced myself I naturally mentioned that although Marilyn and I are officially retired we are kept busy with:
Christian House Sitters,
TLC Children’s Trust,
Home of Peace Children’s Home in  Kenya
and my preaching engagements. Handshake

After the service as we enjoyed tea and coffee the church secretary and the church treasurer both started asking me a lot of questions about the work of TLC Children’s Trust and our involvement in the Home of Peace.

I explained how we got involved in Home of Peace almost 7 years ago and how Marilyn felt God leading her to take on the responsibility of managing the home and finding the funds to support the children and staff. This was a real step of faith as we live on a state pension and needed to trust God to supply the needs for these dear children.

I told them that at the time we already ran Christian House Sitters but took the decision to give 100% of all income from that ministry to the work at Home of Peace Children’s Home.

We also set up a registered charity (T.L.C. Children’s Trust) to raise the funds to keep the home running.

It was great being able to share briefly how God has blesses this ministry. It is really exciting to see what God has done.

If you are interested you can read about it on the TLC website.

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org 

The home is now officially registered with the Kenyan government. We have been able to make amazing changes to the structure. The home now has a qualified live-in social worker, a farm, electricity, good accommodation and the children are doing really well at school.

One of the people that I was chatting to asked me what percentage of donations we receive are held back to cover our running and local admin costs. I delighted in being able to say ZERO. Marilyn and I together with our Trustees take responsibility for those expenses. All gifts are used in Kenya. But we closely monitor how every penny sent out is used. We get detailed receipts, photographs of items purchased etc and Marilyn or I are in daily contact (at our own expense) with the home.

Please can I ask you to pray for these ministries.

  • Pray for Christian House Sitters that we will get the right sitters and the right houses listed. This is a fantastic ministry to people all over the world enabling them to enjoy vacations that they may otherwise have found difficult to afford. www.christian-housesitters.com
  • Pray for TLC Children’s Trust that God will continue to give us wisdom and to provide the necessary funds. It is often a real test of our faith as we send out money on the 8th and 22nd of every month and we simply do not have enough sponsors to provide what is needed. www.tlc-childrenstrust.org
  • Pray for our 55 children at the home, for the staff and for God’s protection on them.

Thanks,
Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

http://www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

Where would you like to go? Rent-Free

I am often asked what sort of houses are available through Christian House Sitters and where they are located.

It is a really hard question to answer as the list changes all the time but to give an idea here is a selection of SOME of the houses available today on the site. Remember these are all offered Rent-Free.

NOTE I am not listing all the details for each house just some key points.

House in ClivedenENGLAND
The house is situated near Cliveden, Near to Burnham Bucks but on the border of Berkshire near Maidenhead and Windsor

The house is large and has 6 Bedrooms,.

Downstairs rooms including lounge, dining room, playroom, breakfast room and kitchen. The breakfast room is equipped with an Aga and usual kitchen appliances including Microwave, Washing machine and Dishwasher.

 

GUILDFORDGuildford
It is a large detached house set in a very quiet part of Guildford on the edge of a large area of countryside, but within easy access of the town and train station. The Guildford to London train takes just 40 minutes.

We are close to a number of National Trust properties and just 10 minutes from the famous RHS Wisley gardens.

Guildford is a very picturesque town with its own cathedral castle and many beautiful surrounding places of interest for all tastes.

The house comprises a large lounge, dining room, study, conservatory, kitchen and utility room alongside a double garage.

Upstairs are 4 bedrooms (1 double and 3 single)and 2 bathrooms ( 1 en suite) one of the bathrooms has a bath also.

The kitchen has a microwave, dishwasher and good storage space whilst the utility room houses the washing machine.

The lounge has a TV and the Internet connection is available along with the telephone.

FRANCESt Antonin Noble Val
4 months in a rural situation, it is quiet & clean with no near neighbours.

Near St Antonin Noble Val

There is a large garden, acres of woodland & meadows, fantastic walking from the door & loads of places to explore, local markets, ancient villages, stunning scenery.

 

CANADASaskatoon
Saskatoon
Located just 5 miles west of the city on an acreage.
5 bedrooms
Two baths shower and jet tub.
Kitchen fully equipped with microwave oven stove washer dryer.
We will make available a vehicle.
Wifi
TV and satellite

 

NEW ZEALANDGisborne
Gisborne
Our house is situated in an elevated position about 5 km from the city centre, overlooking the hills and the sea in the distance. The town is about 45 mins brisk walk. We have three beautiful beaches within five minutes drive of the house.

There are one double and one single bedroom, and one bathroom with shower and bath.

The kitchen has hob, oven, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, sandwich toaster, slow cooker, wok, washing machine.

Our car will be available for sitters to use while they are here.

AUSTRALIAMelbourne
Melbourne
We own a beautiful brick attic house, with spectacular landscape gardens, our backyard is a mini tropical paradise, a place for relaxation, reading or just enjoying the ambiance.

We live in sunshine, Melbourne, Vic Australia, in a quiet family orientated pocket of tree lined streets, that connect to a wonderful park, which has a bike, walking trail, and a place all the locals meet up with there canine friends, It is a very friendly community.

Our house is double story with living area on lower level, bedroom with ensuite on the top floor, and fully equipped gym room to use at leisure.

USAMount Rainer
Spanaway, Washington
The House is in Spanaway, Washington (state). By auto: one half hour South of Tacoma, one hour South of Seattle, 45 minutes from SeaTac (SEA, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport). The home is 4 years old. We are 3 minutes from a small shopping area (Safeway supermarket, Starbuck’s, restaurants, etc) and less than 15 minutes from a large mall with hundreds of businesses between here and the mall. We are about an hour from the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. Our church is 2 miles and less than 5 minutes away

You could be enjoying a rent-free vacation in one of these or one of the many other 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.
Have a look at our website www.Christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

An Exciting Start to 2016

An Exciting Start to 2016

And a brief look at what God did during 2015

Christian House Sitters has 2 aims.
1. We want to help people all over the world enjoy vacations that they may not otherwise have been able to afford
2. We are part of the Registered Charity TLC Children’s Trust and 100% of our income goes to running a Children’s Home in Kenya.

Last year was often difficult BUT it has been a year with lots of blessings.

We helped hundreds of people to enjoy rent-free vacations.
We provided hundreds of people with someone to look after their home and pets free of charge while they were away.
We made amazing progress with the Children’s Home.

So as we begin 2016 I would like to share extracts from our New Year Newsletter that we sent to all our supporters. If you are interested in receiving these mailings in the future (we normally send about 4 a year) I will tell you how to get on the mailing list.

Here is a copy of our newsletter. You will see it was written by my wife, Marilyn.

Happy New Year.

Praise God Home of Peace is now an officially registered children’s home with the Kenyan Government Department of Children’s Services!

Our Girls in their new clothes

Some of our Girls in their new clothes

The past couple of months have been exciting, hectic, challenging and life changing for the children and staff at Home of Peace Children’s Home and for us back here in the UK.

You will no doubt remember that the authorities suddenly gave us a very short deadline to comply with all their requirements and apply for registration. At the time the task seamed impossible but with God nothing is impossible.

Since then we have built a dining room / study and equipped it with tables and chairs, built an additional 2 washrooms for the children so 10 children can wash at a time, installed a 3000 liter water storage tank and provided the home with 60 chickens so that the children can have a better diet with eggs included. But the really big challenges were having additional new dormitories built and equipped.

Thank you to all who have so faithfully prayed and given to enable this to happen.

There were so many things that we had put in place before we could even apply for registration but God answered our prayers. To refresh your memories here are some of the project that we asked you to pray for and give towards over the past year.

We needed:
To have a qualified Children’s Home Manager. Edward Wata became our manager and works for us three days a week.
We needed 2 new dormitories with staff rooms, a first aid room/ sickbay and a manager’s office/ counselling room. These have now been built and in order to save money they were built as a single complex.
We were required to build a new dining room/study. Once again God provided and this has been built and fitted with tables and chairs.
The authorities required 2 new large washrooms to be built. This has been done.
We had to install a water pump with pipes laid underground from the river to the property which is about 500 meters up to Home of Peace and into a 3000 Lit re water tank. Again God provided and the tank was purchased, the pump was purchased, the pipes were purchased and everything is working beautifully.
We were told that we had to install mains electricity and as we explained in our previous newsletter God miraculously made this possible and we are paying it off in monthly installments.
In the last year we have also had to establish a farm growing vegetables for the home and we had to get 50 laying hens to provide fresh eggs for the children. This has been done and we have employed a farm worker.
We had to have all the buildings and the old toilets repainted. Once again this has been done.
We had to purchase beds, mattresses, blankets, sheets and a single wardrobe for each child as this was a requirement of children services before we could be registered. Yet again God has provided.
We were told that we needed to have a full-time, live in, qualified social worker and a live in house mother. Two weeks ago we employed 2 ladies who are now on trial.

Last week the children and staff had a wonderful Christmas celebration.

Our Boys in their new clothes

Some of our Boys in their new clothes

Thank you to all those you who gave to make this possible and also to the members of Christian house Sitters who we normally approach only once a year with a request to give towards Home of Peace.

As a result of our appeal every child got new clothes.

The staff got new uniforms, and we were able to buy two footballs, two basketballs and also some toys for the youngest children.

In addition we were able to get them some balloons and nice food so they could have a good celebratory Christmas meal.

Showing off their new balls

Some of the younger children

 

As we move into 2016 we do need more sponsors to cover our monthly costs.

 

Prices have gone up steeply in Kenya and this has particularly affected our budget when purchasing food and medical care.

We also need to buy all of our children new school uniforms for their new academic year which begins early in January. A gift from one of our supporters which has gone a long way towards this but prices have gone up so steeply since last year and also now that we are a registered children’s home the children are required to have black leather lace up shoes for school. They used to wear sandals. As result the price of their uniforms for this coming year is double what we expected.

We will also need to pay school fees for our children as we do every January and this is going to cost us approximately £700 which we do not have.

This all does seem rather overwhelming as we are a very small charity and we do not have reserves of funds that we can draw from. Every penny we receive goes to Home of Peace. The trustees cover the cost of running the charity themselves.

The last couple of months we have been short of the amount needed each month to pay for food, wages, etc. and Ray and I had to cut down on our personal living expenses, just buying the essentials, so that we could take this money and give it to the children. We would not normally share this but we feel that the Lord wants us to share with you as our supporters and Christian friends.

If you would like to support the work please CLICK HERE and you’ll be taken to the page on our TLC Children’s Trust charity website where you will be able to make the necessary arrangements.

From that page there is also a link in the menu to be added to the mailing list

If you can’t give and you can’t promote the work amongst your friends or your church please will you at least pray. We believe God honours prayer. We know that He in control and we believe that He will once again provide what is needed as His children faithfully trust in Him.

Ray and I are exhausted. It’s been about four years since we had a real holiday but once again God has provided and we will be housesitting (through Christian House Sitters) in Southern Spain from the 4th of January until the 7th of February. This is a wonderful answer to prayer as house sitters we will get the use of this home, which looks beautiful from the photographs, rent-free and the owners have kindly made their car available for us to use whilst we are there. We are really looking forward to this. Thank you once again for your love, support and prayers.

God bless you,
Love in Jesus,
Marilyn.

 

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

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