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It is always lovely when someone else says nice things about you. 

I was therefore delighted to receive a copy of the following article written by Rev Dr Ali Green and published in the Holy Trinity Church. Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. March 2017 news.

Here is a copy:

Home of Peace

Each time I go on holiday I have a house sitter to care for pets and plants – and the sitter gets a holiday, too, in lovely Bradford on Avon. A modest amount of money is generated from this scheme by the organizing charity, Christian House Sitters, run by Ray and Marilyn White. All the funds raised go to a very special family in Kenya.

A Caring Home

This is the Home of Peace, an interdenominational children’s home in which a dedicated team looks after 53 children. The staff of 14 includes the Manager, the Administrator and a Qualified Social Worker. They are overseen by Marilyn on a daily basis. Ray and Marilyn are responsible for all the financial needs of the Home of Peace and oversee the work, monitoring where every penny is spent, under the UK Registered Charity TLC Children’s Trust, and are closely monitored by the Trustees.

Many of the youngsters’ parents have died from AIDS, typhoid, malaria or other diseases and as a result they were left homeless and to had fend for themselves because their home village was too poor to take on an extra hungry child. Some children, as young as three or four years old, were taken from their tiny villages in the bush and dumped in the town of Siaya because the family could no longer look after them. Once in Siaya they were simply left and had to beg or steal to survive.

Thanks to the Home of Peace these children now have a home, medical care and clothing, and they attend a local school. The manager recently purchased two sewing machines and employed a qualified seamstress to make all the children’s play clothes, church clothes, school uniforms and the staff uniforms. She also repairs any damaged clothing – a big longterm money-saver.

Following a major storm last year the home had to undertake a major building project. This resulted in two new boys’ dormitories, two staff bedrooms, a laundry, additional toilets and washing facilities, a new water storage tank and the conversion of a temporary dining room into a permanent structure.

Showing their new shoes

Happy Feet: The children show off their new Christmas shoes

Last Christmas the Home of Peace sent out an appeal to all members of Christian House Sitters and their response allowed the children to get new shoes and underwear and to celebrate Christmas with a special meal. Residents invited local boys and girls to join them for Christmas dinner. These were children who would otherwise not have had a special meal at Christmas.

Help for a Needy Family

A few weeks ago the Home of Peace Social Worker reported coming across a local household that captured her attention. She took a picture of their house and wrote: “It is a nuclear family with five children. Both parents are alive but are living from hand to mouth. My concern was the fourth born girl, ten years old. I was shocked. The mother said she has not been going to school because of lack of food. She seems weak and febrile.

Their homestead is a one-roomed thatched house with a small table sketchily structured at the centre of the room. Nothing to sit on, a papyrus mat spread at the corner as the family bed. They are indeed in abject poverty.”

Her home

Home of Peace arranged some emergency food for the family and contacted Children’s Services to see what else could be done.

Shortly after Christmas I received a message from Ray: “I am delighted to say that we have managed to sort out all the red tape and this young girl is now living safely at Home of Peace, getting nutritious meals, having good health care, getting an education and is happy. Her parents are also thrilled.”

You can find out more about the Home of Peace and Christian House Sitters at www.christianhousesitters.com

Rev Dr Ali Green

Our sincere thanks to Rev Dr Green for the article.

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

“A Diary of House-Sitting Tails”

A diary of house-sitting tails

I am naturally always interested to read about House Sitting so when I found out about a book called “A Diary of House-Sitting Tails” by Carolyn Slingsby I downloaded a copy from Amazon.

I was thrilled to read about our ministry in this book!

Here is an extract from the first couple of pages:

At the end of November 2008, after living and working in Spain for six years, my husband and I suddenly and devastatingly lost everything, and had no choice but to head back to the UK.

Brian and I had gone to Spain six years previously in 2002, knowing nobody there at all, and we began totally from scratch. I knew I had to find my feet, so I quickly became resourceful in finding jobs, mainly in the property market. At one time, I helped a company to sell villas and apartments, focusing mainly on marketing, but I had other duties, too. Once, I had to do a complete ‘makeover’ on a property, which turned out to be a total full cleaning and fumigation exercise. The property in question was in a terrible condition, covered in excrement and filth which stank to high heaven; he had kept five dogs there, and hadn’t done much in the way of cleaning! Eventually –after hours of cleaning and sorting –I managed to find a buyer, but it still smelled if you were downwind! It was only months later that I realised why I was so ill after that experience.

We loved Spain and its people, and it was our fantastic church community who helped us through the very traumatic ending to our lifestyle there, when –due to the economic climate –we lost our villa and all our money, and had only forty-eight hours to leave and hand the keys back to the bank.

Our compassionate congregation bought all our furniture, including the wood burning stove and very large satellite dish (which went off on the roof of an estate car!), to raise us enough money for petrol to drive back to the UK. We stored ten boxes, containing our various small everyday goods, in the under-house storage of one of those kind church folk, where it ended up staying for two years!

So, back in the UK and having to start again from scratch, we knew we had to survive and get a roof over our heads whilst we worked out what direction life was taking us in.

This was when God led us to The Christian House Sitters website! We found two separate house sits in France on our way back to the UK in December and January 2008-2009, and so began our ‘Tails of House Sitting’ –adventures and experiences we would have missed out on if not for the traumatic ending of our life in Spain!

The book is a lot of fun and well worth reading.

If you have interesting stories about House Sitting please share them with me.

Would you like a break from your normal daily grind. Time to getaway, 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

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

8 Important Questions

Questions

I get asked a lot of questions about House Sitting as it is a very new concept to many people (Although it has actually been available for many years) so I decided to devote this blog post to answering some common questions.

 

WHAT IS IT?

In essence it is very simple. A House Sitter moves into your home while you are away on vacation. They look after your home and pets for you and in return they receive a rent free vacation in your home.
The house owner saves money by not having to pay anyone to look after their home and pets. They have the security of knowing that their home and pets are being looked after by a responsible Christian.
The House Sitter gets to travel and stay in lovely homes rather than an expensive and often characterless hotel room.

Another questionWHAT HAPPENS?
When you register as an owner we list your house details (without the specific address) on the restricted section of our website that can only be viewed by registered sitters. We also email all registered sitters drawing their attention to the listing.
Sitters then decide which houses they are interested in and click an enquiry button. That automatically sends the owners their details and their profile info. Then it is over to the owner to make contact and decide which application they like best, check references and arrange the sit.

IS IT SAFE?
Naturally one has to take precautions. We strongly advise all home owners to get two references before entering into any agreement. As this is a Christian site and all members must list their church connection we suggest one of the reference should be obtained from their church leaders. We also include a general outline of an agreement for both parties to sign.

PuzzledWHO CAN JOIN?
Any Christian who belongs to a recognised Christian Church. People can register as a House Sitters, a Home Owners or as Both.

CAN YOU GUARANTEE US A SUITABLE HOUSE SIT?
Sadly not. The list of available properties is constantly changing. New houses are added and existing properties find sitters. We are facilitators and have no idea what houses or sitters are going to become available in the future. We never know from one day to the next what is coming and what is going to be removed. For example we had a message from someone asking about a house in Florida. We wrote back saying that we did not have any. The very next day we got a house 5 minutes from Disney World available for 2 months. God is in control. We trust that He will provide the right match between owners and sitters.

More questionsWHY DON’T YOU HAVE MORE HOUSES LIKE SOME SECULAR SITES?
There are a couple of reasons. Firstly our pool of potential members is naturally smaller as we only accept people who are members of a recognised Christian church.
But that is not the only reason. I have been doing some research. In fact in order to do the research I ended up having to join a few secular sites. I discovered that most of the houses shown on their sites are not actually available. This is because many of these sites do not remove any listing until the end of the available period. We on the other hand ask our members to inform us as soon as a house is taken and we then immediately remove the listing. his saves our sitters the frustration of applying for houses that are no longer available. To be honest occasionally owners do forget to inform us. But as soon as a sitter lets us know that they are not getting a reply from an owner or that the owner has replied saying the house has been taken we investigate and if the house has been taken we remove that listing.
Finally our houses are made available for vacations purposes. Through my research into some of the secular sites I was astounded to see that a lot are not vacation offers but simply a way of trying to get free labour.
Here are some real examples “Someone with building experience to help with renovation of the house. ” Another said ” Nightwatch the hotel do some gardening, some cleaning, sometimes making breakfast, welcoming clients. Check in clients. In spring and summer we have our own staff which you will be ‘ working’ with. In winter you will be alone, working with us.”
To my way of thinking these are not vacations. They are job opportunities and for jobs with no wages.
Our listings are for a genuine vacation!

Resting on QuestionWHY DO YOU CHARGE and WHAT DOES IT COST?
In addition to providing Free Holidays we also seek to support the work of Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya. 100% of all our income goes to this Christian Children’s Home.
Registration as an owner is free.
Registration as a sitter is only £25 per year. All of which goes to supporting a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya. The cost of running the service is covered by my wife and I as a service.
Answering Questions
HOW DO I JOIN?
Visit our website Click Here and click on Register then follow the simple on screen instructions.

 

If you have any  other questions that are not answered on the website please use the contact page and I will do my best to answer you promptly.

Is this for you?

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

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

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

LUNDY. Something different

Something Different.

I received an email from one of our Registered Home Owners who frequently makes her lovely house available to our sitters. Her request was unusual.

Here is what she wrote:

Just to let you know that last summer I took 12 people for a 4-day retreat on Lundy Island, and this worked so well that I’ve stepped out in faith and booked the same house again for next September.  All I now need is people who’d like to join us there!  It occurred to me that anyone who goes might need a house sitter… so on that basis, I wonder if I could put a notice about the Lundy Experience on your blog? 

All best wishes and thanks for all you do

God bless

Ali

As most readers will know we help people all over the world to enjoy a rent-free vacation and we also help people who need someone to look after their home and animals while they are away. Again free of charge. But this sounded like a lovely idea so although we have never promoted anything like this before I agreed.

Here are the details she sent to me:

~~~~~~

A LUNDY JOURNEYL1
6th-10th September 2016
A special retreat on a unique island
You are invited to experience with us the natural beauty, rich wildlife, quiet and stillness of this remote granite outcrop in the Bristol Channel.

Our 4-night stay will be based in the splendid Millcombe House, built in 1836 for the island’s owner, and overlooking the coast and sea. It is managed by the
Landmark Trust.

We will allow the inspiring features of the island to help us explore an inner path of self-awareness  and personal growth, with opportunities for solitude  and silence, and also for community. Come prepared to walk, meditate, sing, cook and eat
together and enjoy the creativity of a shared retreat, whatever your personal spiritual path.

Lundy is a fairly rugged landscape so you will need to have a good standard of fitness to fully enjoy the retreat.

Cost: £375. (This does not include the cost of transport to and from the island.)
There are 12 places available at Millcombe House.
For further information and an application form, please call Ali on 07855 470069 or email alig9@btinternet.com.
L2
SUE GLANVILLE has many years of experience teaching religion, philosophy ad meditation. She has been a minister of an independent church. She is a qualified life coach and spiritual director and has led various courses and retreats, as well as seeing people individually. Sue loves wild and sacred spaces and has previously led trips to places such as Bardsey Island, Dartmoor and the Himalayas.

ALI GREEN is a priest, educator, author, traveller and spiritual director with many years’ experience in leading retreats, workshops and pilgrimages and in
individually accompanying people on their spiritual journey. A co-founder of a thriving ecological consultancy, she finds inspiration for creative expression in natural history, landscape and wildlife both close to home and across the world.

~~~~~~

So although this is not anything to do with Christian House Sitters I am bringing it to your attention. If you want any further details please contact Ali Green as I do not know anything more.

If you are going on this trip or indeed any vacation and we can help you find someone to look after your home and pets while you are away remember it is free. 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

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