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Wonderful, Exciting Progress.

As most of our regular readers will know Christian House Sitters donates 100% of our income to TLC Children’s Trust a registered charity that runs a Children’s Home in Kenya for really needy children.

Here is a brief video showing how far this home has progressed.

If you would like more information please look at the latest newsletter which can be found on the TLC website www.TLC-Childrenstrust.org/update.htm

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

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Making a Noise. My strange life.

I have lived what many consider a rather strange life.

When I tell people about the jobs I have held they often ask how I managed to fit all that into a single lifetime. Well the answer is really simple. For the majority of my working life I held 2 and often 3 different jobs at the same time.

Why? Because God called me to do work for Him and usually all our salary and savings went to support the work. Often a single salary was not enough so I would take on a second or third job to enable me to do what we both felt called by God to do.

I mention this because I was thinking back to the later 1970’s early 1980’s when we were still in South Africa and we got involved with Civil Defence as volunteer ambulance crew. ambulanceIt involved intensive First Aid training ( I eventually qualified as a paramedic) and one night a week we would meet at the local Fire and Ambulance station for training and at least once a week we would be on duty manning an emergency ambulance. We were naturally also on call should there ever be a major emergency (yes there were a few).

When we got called out to an emergency we would have the siren blasting and the emergency lights flashing and off we would rush to try to save a life.
I am sure that there were times when the siren noise disturbed some people. It may even have woken a few sleeping children. That was not our intentnoiseion but a side effect of our frantic rush to get to the emergency before it was too late to save a life and as a result I never felt any guilt for making a noise under those circumstances.

Many years have passed. I no longer do that type of duty but as most of you will know we are retired and run Christian House Sitters which brings great blessing to people all over the world enabling them to enjoy vacations that they could otherwise not have afforded. We also run TLC Children’s Trust a registered charity that supports really vulnerable children in Kenya through a children’s home that we run. (All income from Christian house Sitters goes to the children via our charity).

Recently we have had some major needs at the Children’s Home and as a result I have found myself making a noise. Contacting people, writing blog posts, sending out newsletter, etc. All asking people to help us save the lives of these children. I started to feel embarrassed embarrassedand guilty for disturbing people but God reminded me of my time on the ambulances. It felt as if He was saying you used a siren to save lives. Now you are trying to save not one but dozens of children’s lives and if in the process you need to make a noise and disturb a few people then so be it. These children matter. They are not to blame for their predicament. They did not ask to have parents who died due to AIDS or to be abandoned. They deserve to have somewhere to sleep in safety, to eat a good meal, to have clothes to wear and to get an education and if in order to do that I need to disturb a couple of comfortable people well that is just how it has to be.

When we took over  running the home after I visited there some years ago the children were living in very poor conditions. Using a field as a toilet, sleeping on the floor, no real facilities. That was part of the reason we stepped in. We wanted to upgrade everything to a decent standard, create decent facilities, provide good governance and strong Christian standards. We have been working really hard to bring things up to a decent standard so we could get the home officially registered.
So far we have:

  • * Built 2 toilet blocks with wash rooms. Prior to this the children used a local field. This has had a significant positive impact on their health.
    * Built and equipped a nursery room for the young children.
    * Erected a security fence around the property to protect them from predators (human and animal).
    * Provided beds, bedding, mosquito nets etc. for all the children.
    * Erected a temporary kitchen. (Now replaced with a permanent kitchen see below)
    * Provided all the children who are of school going age with school fees, exam fees, uniforms, text books, note books etc.
    * Repainted and repaired the dormitories
    * Replaced the floor in their church which the children use as a meeting place every day
    * Established a first-aid system which has reduced the money spent sending children to the local medical clinic for minor injuries.
    * Established good working relationships with the local authorities.
    * Arranged a number of unannounced visits to check on the home.
    * Installed solar electricity in the Home
    * We have just finished putting up a permanent kitchen for the Home.
    * Appointed a fully qualified Social Worker and Children’s Home Manager

NOTE. All supplies etc. are purchased locally. We do not waste money shipping out things that they can obtain from a local supplier. This saves money and benefits the local community. We insist on detailed, official receipts and for items such as beds, uniforms etc. photographs showing these items on site.

However the Kenyan authorities have recently changed their regulations. They have decided to flex their muscles and we have been informed that our dormitories are too small for the number of children thus not providing adequate ventilation.

They are correct but we had to prioritize the needs with our very limited funds.
The authorities have now given us 2 months to either build 2 new dormitories or they will remove all except 30 of the children. ChildrenWhen asked what would happen to these children we were told that they will be taken back to their home village and dropped off there. Or to paraphrase it they will end up back on the streets begging and starving.

The children have been crying and begging us to do something. This is their home. The only safe home that they have ever known. A place where they are loved, looked after and given a chance to grow into productive adult members of the community.

Building costs are far lower than here in the UK and it will cost us approx. £6,000 to build the required dormitories and a further £2,000 to equip them with bunk beds, bedding, mosquito nets, etc.

We were working towards reaching all the required standards within the next year we now just have a few weeks.

I am therefore making a noise!
I am writing to companies asking for donations. But to get what is needed in the time will take a miracle.
I am writing to friends asking for prayer.
I am asking you to do whatever you feel able to do.

  • Pray.
    Tell Others.
    Give (even a little.)

Full details are on 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

 

 

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Frustrated …….but Trusting God

FrustratedI was feeling frustrated when a friend sent me the following Christian poem by Bryan Miles.

Why was I frustrated?

I will tell you after you have read the poem. I trust it will bless you as it blessed me.

 

Frustrated by Bryan Miles

When the words don’t flow out smoothly
And I fumble for a line
When I tap my fingers on my desk
Like a rhymed pantomime
When I scratch my head till my scalp gets sore
Gnaw my pencil to the lead
I take another dose of Your Word
And nibble on daily bread
There’s so much gold on every page
But it takes some digging in
I find myself deep in thought
In scripture up to my chin
So much to learn, so much to chew
So much to peck and glean
From Your Word to my heart
From my heart to pen
And the treasure in between
In between each written word
There’s a bright and shiny gem
I try to convey the wisdom I’ve learned
And share it all with them

Sometimes it seems so easy
The words pour out so fast
And other times much like today
My brain is at half-mast
Frustrated, I come to Your throne
I bow my head and pray
I could never do this on my own
Without Your guidance there’s no way

Some people call it writer’s block
If so, it’s there for a reason
But nothing blocks Your presence from me
You’re here for every season
Every season of my life
Has taught me quite a bit
I can thump my pen again and again
But I’m never going to quit

Frustrated, so I seek Your face
It causes me to think
Your Word flows true
When I dwell on You
It fills my pen with ink…

So why was I frustrated?

Because of our work with the Children’s Home in Kenya.
These children rely on us for all their food, clothing, education, accommodation and medical expenses. These are children who would otherwise be homeless, living on the streets, stealing, begging and often starving to death.
We know God called us to this work.
We know He is in charge.
We give 100% of the income from Christian House Sitters to this work.
We give every spare penny of our own rather limited income to this work.
But there are simply never enough funds for the actual basic needs let alone the extra things we would like to do. Not lavish extra things just simple things like a new dormitory and some extra blankets for the children, etc. But before we can even look at those we need the basics such as money for food, school fees etc.

But as I said there is just never enough.

I feel frustrated when I look around and see people spending vast amounts on things that are really not essential. Often wasting money. Yet when we make an appeal hardly anyone seems able to afford to do anything to help.

We are blessed by having some wonderful people sponsoring a child at £20 per month.

We are blessed by 2 people who can’t afford that amount but regularly give £5 per month. God bless them.

We are blessed by occasional large gifts.

But the grind goes on and on. The home is at a critical point right now as we explained in our last newsletter (Click here) and we need God to touch hearts.

 Please join us in praying.god-provides

Please ask God if He wants you to give (No gift is ever too small) or if He wants you to ask your church, friends or family to help. All the details can be found on our website (Click Here)

I may be frustrated but I know God is in control and He will provide even though at times it seems many of His children are not willing to hear His prompting.

He will never fail?

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

 

 

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Mother Teresa

On this blog you never know what to expect. We have articles to make you laugh, articles to challenge you, information about Christian House Sitters, book reviews and a load of other stuff. I pray before I write each post and I trust God to use them as He sees fit.

Today I want us to have a very brief look at a famous lady.

Quote from Mother TeresaI have often seen quotes attributed to Mother Teresa and have found many of them really challenging but I realised that I know very little about her. Oh I know she was a Roman Catholic who worked with the poor in India but to be honest not much else.  So I decided to do a little background reading and I discovered that  she was born on the 26th of  August 1910  and died on the 5th of September 1997 at the age of 87 and that she was originally of Kosovo Albanian origin although she lived for most of her life in India.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 was active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children’s and family counselling programmes; orphanages; and schools. Members of the institute must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”. She was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

She was a controversial figure both during her life and after her death.

I am not going to make any comment about her theology, her views on contraception or even the reports that some of her homes were of a low standard. She was a person and as such, like all of us, she must have made mistakes. Nobody can achieve what she did without making some mistakes along the way.

What I am convinced is that God would prefer the way she lived her belief over the way most of us just talk about it.

No doubt because Christian House Sitters provides the funding for a Children’s Home in Kenya I have found a number of her quotes very pertinent.
May I suggest that you do the following:
Read them. Quote from Mother Teresa
Pray about them.
Then ask God if He wants you to do anything about it.
Finally act on what you feel God is saying.

One way you could make a real difference is by helping us support this children’s home. We are a registered charity but we are very small and we do need support. Nothing is taken to cover our overheads. Marilyn & I cover them ourselves. So everything you give will go to the home.

Will your money be wasted? No we are in almost daily contact with the home and we monitor everything very carefully.

Have a look at our website for more information. CLICK HERE

Here is an extract from a blog post I put up about 4 years ago.

Officially I am retired but I am working hard every day, without any financial reward, running Christian House Sitters.

We have members all over the world  so we receive emails throughout the day and night because of the different time zones. I have a policy of never letting anyone wait more that 12 hours for a reply. Most get a reply far sooner. As a result I monitor the site for about 18 hours a day. Not constantly but checking on things.

I also spend a lot of time and energy promoting our ministry. As I said we do not make money from this ministry, rather than making me money costs us money.

Am I crazy? No I do not think I am I believe there are very good reasons to do what we are doing.

So why do we do it?

There are 2 reasons.

Christian House Sitters has blessed many Christians around the world who could not otherwise have afforded a vacation. We believe that in itself is a great ministry to the people of God.

But there is also a vital second reason.

There is a Children’s Home in Kenya run by a Christian team. These wonderful people have dedicated their lives to looking after the children. They do not get a salary just food and somewhere to sleep and we give them each a gift of about £10 per month.

Marilyn, my wife, is in regular contact with the home and guides them in every decision. She also keeps an eagle eye on how they use the money that is donated.

I have just been looking through their financial report for last month. All the staff donated back at least half of their personal (very small gift) to help buy food for the children.

In the local community people are very poor. But I found my heart deeply touched by the following entries:
Gift of a small fishQuopte from Mother Teresa
Gift of beans (Value about 50p)
Gift of a vegetable (Value about 35p)
Etc, etc.

This is sacrificial giving.

When I look at that my own small gift of time and money it seems insignificant. These people have so little yet gladly share what they have.

Please will you prayerfully consider helping us to support these hungry children.

The income from Christian House Sitters only provides about 25% of their minimum requirements. We have a few regular sponsors and also receive occasional gifts.

Somehow God stretches the money and the basic needs are covered. But every month is an adventure in faith.

You can help by sponsoring a child, by making an occassional gift, by telling your church, friends and contacts and naturally by praying for us.

We would like to do so much more. When our income is sufficient to cover the basics we will need to buy them more beds. At present the children sleep 2 to a bed. They need a kitchen as at present cooking is done on an open fire under a tree, they need additional dormitories, etc.

These are God’s children. Please help us to help them!

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

Orphan elephant adopted by family of buffalo

Posted on

A friend of mine posted an article to Facebook about an elephant that has lived as a buffalo for over 40 years.

Elephant with Buffalo
If you want to read the full article you can do so by simply clicking here. But briefly it seems this elephant was orphaned in 1970 and adopted by a heard of buffalo. She has lived with the herd of buffalo ever since and has no interest in being reintroduced to elephant herds. She has become a buffalo.

The story touched my heart.

It also brought to mind the children that we provide for at Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya. Many are orphans. Often because of the effects of AIDS, malaria and other local health problems. These children have been ‘adopted’ into the home. Not a heard of buffalo but a family of other children, adults who love and care for them, an opportunity for an education, clothing, medical care and a strong Christian environment.

Our Administrator at the Home is Erick Owino who was himself an orphan living on the streets as a young child, frequently hungry, always in danger before he was taken into a Christian Children’s Home. Now as an educated adult he helps look after the next generation of struggling children.

Please help us to help these children.

Their only income is from Christian House Sitters. (All our income goes to the home) and from people who choose to either sponsor a child or to make an occasional donation.

All funds are passed through our charity arm T.L.C. Children’s Trust (Registered Charity Number 1156786) and we carefully monitor where it is used. We are in contact with the home a few times every week and know exactly where the money is used.

Please also join us in praying as we urgently need £6,000 to build 2 more dormitories as our facilities are simply not sufficient for the number of children.

If you or your church can help even in a very small way please get in touch.

If you would like to know more about the home or the charitable trust please click here.

To find out more about Christian House Sitters click here

God bless you,

Ray

 

 

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Warning. This post is Different!

Warning. This blog post is very different to what I usually post. Hopefully nothing to Running Awayoffend anyone but be warned it may challenge you and it could save lives.  If you are not willing to be challenged it may be wise to stop reading now.

I was looking through some news reports on household income for people living in the UK and in the USA and was surprised to find that they are virtually the same. According to a report by the BBC the average British income for a couple is £40,000 per year and according to Finance My Money the US equivalent average income is $60,000 which converts at todays rate to £39,000. So really not a lot of difference.

 Taking the UK figure because it is easier to work with the £40,000 pa works out at £3333 per month and while to some that may sound a lot it is low enough for the BBC to ask Is £40,000 really a livable income for families in the UK?

Yes I do understand statistics and I fully appreciate that an average income means many will earn less but equally many earn more. Some significantly more. I know for a fact that this average amount is more than my family income! Dare I say considerably more. And yet we manage to live a happy and fulfilling life so in my opinion the answer to the BBC question is yes it is enough.

Now let us look a little further afield. As regular readers of this blog will know Christian House Sitters has a duel ministry.

We help Christians all over the world to enjoy rent free vacations and we support a Children’s Home in Kenya.

In order to support this we give 100% of all income that is earned by Christian House Sitters to the home.

We also ask people to sponsor a child and to consider giving a gifts. Finally we hold the occasional fund-raising event.

As a result we are able to send out about £1,000 a month to support the home. This money needs to provide food, clothing, accommodation, schooling, school uniforms, medical expenses etc for just over 80 vulnerable children and 10 members of staff.

It is simply not enough! It works out at around £11 per month per person. The BBC questioned if £3333 per month is enough for a couple with 2 children. That is £833 per person. We are trying to save children’s lives on £11 per month.

Yes I do know that the cost of living is far higher in the UK and the USA but hopefully this will help you to understand why we need to appeal for more sponsors.

Please can I ask you to give this some serious consideration. Mention it to your friends, family and church. We have set the sponsorship at £16 per month but if you can’t afford that anything you can manage will help us to save lives.

If you want any more information please feel free to contact me.

You can read more about Christian House Sitters and how you can save money by having rent-free vacations by going to our website CLICK HERE

You can read more about the Children’s Home by seeing the Kenya page CLICK HERE.

From the Kenya page you can also easily and safely arrange a donation or a sponsorship.

God bless you,

Ray

Am I Crazy?

There are times when I wonder if we are crazy.Crazy

Officially I am retired but I am working hard every day, without any financial reward, running Christian House Sitters.

We have members all over the world  so we receive emails throughout the day and night because of the different time zones. I have a policy of never letting anyone wait more that 12 hours for a reply. Most get a reply far sooner. As a result I monitor the site for about 18 hours a day. Not constantly but checking on things.

I also spend a lot of time and energy promoting our ministry. As I said we do not make money from this ministry, rather than making me money costs us money.

Am I crazy? No I do not think I am I believe there are very good reasons to do what we are doing.

So why do we do it?

There are 2 reasons.

Christian House Sitters has blessed many Christians around the world who could not otherwise have afforded a vacation. We believe that in itself is a great ministry to the people of God.

But there is also a vital second reason.

There is a Children’s Home in Kenya run by a Christian team. These wonderful people have dedicated their lives to looking after the children. They do not get a salary just food and somewhere to sleep and we give them each a gift of about £10 per month.

Marilyn, my wife, is in regular contact with the home and guides them in every decision. She also keeps an eagle eye on how they use the money that is donated.

I have just been looking through their financial report for last month. All the staff donated back at least 80% of their personal (very small gift) to help buy food for the children.

In the local community people are very poor. But I found my heart deeply touched by the following entries:
Gift of a small fish
Gift of beans (Value about 50p)
Gift of a vegetable (Value about 35p)
Etc, etc.

This is sacrificial giving.

When I look at that my own small gift of time and money it seems insignificant. These people have so little yet gladly share what they have.

Please will you prayerfully consider helping us to support these hungry children.

The income from Christian House Sitters only provides about 25% of their minimum requirements. We have a few regular sponsors and also receive occasional gifts.

Somehow God stretches the money and the basic needs are covered. But every month is an adventure in faith.

You can help by sponsoring a child, by making an occassional gift, by telling your church, friends and contacts and naturally by praying for us.

We would like to do so much more. When our income is sufficient to cover the basics we will need to buy them more beds. At present the children sleep 2 to a bed. They need a kitchen as at present cooking is done on an open fire under a tree, they need additional dormitories, etc.

These are God’s children. Please help us to help them!

To find out more about Christian House Sitters please visit our website.
God bless you,
Ray
www.christian-housesitters.com

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