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3 Good Reasons

I have allowed this blog to slip and I apologize for not posting anything for a while.
I could make a lot of excuses but the simple fact is even though life has been hectic I should post more often. Sorry.

Instead of just talking about Christian House Sitters I  thought that I would try and show you why we run this ministry. It has a 3-fold purpose.

1. It provides free accommodation to Christian’s who need a vacation.

2. It provides peace of mind to Christian’s who need someone to look after their home and pets (free of charge) while they are away. For example this morning I received the following email from one of our registered homeowners.

We recently had a great 3 weeks in the Deep South of USA – our much-needed break was made all the more enjoyable because of the peace of mind that two wonderful couples who were house sitting and caring or our two dogs. We even got regular email/text updates from them during our time away – so reassuring.

3. The funds provided by people paying £25 per year to register as House Sitters go to a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya. Yes, 100% of the funds. We do not hold back anything, the cost of running the site is covered personally by my wife and I. This is a ministry, not a business.

Here is something that we put on the Home of Peace Children’s Home Facebook page yesterday.

We recently faced a dilemma. We were visited by the Department of Children’s Services with a lovely young boy who needed urgent placement. I will not go into the details of why he needed the placement.
He arrived with just the clothes he was wearing. Nothing else!
Our dilemma. Do we accept him even though we don’t have any extra funds to look after him or do we send him away to live on the streets and probably die? To us the answer was obvious!
He is now living happily and safely at Home of Peace. Here is a picture of him feeling excited that he has a safe place to live, clothes, food and loving people to look after him.

Child with new clothes

Thank you for caring for me.

If you are thinking of a vacation 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 vacation 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

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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September Already

Its September

Yes it’s true. We are already 9 months into the year.

Christmas and New Year will be here almost before we have time to catch our breath.

So if you are planning to get away for a break please remember that we can help you save a lot of money by finding you a suitable person or family to look after your home and pets FREE of charge while you are away

In the same way if you are interested in having a RENT-FREE vacation why not register with us as a House Sitter.

We have sitters and houses available all over the world.

PalmThe sooner you register the better the chance of finding the ideal sitter for your home and your pets or of finding you that ideal place to get away and relax without the expense of renting a home or a hotel room.

Have a look at our website for more details. We are a Christian Ministry NOT a business.

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

 

A Great Idea. Feel free to share it.

I received an email from one of our members telling me that he has just been appointed as editor of their church magazine. For his next edition he wants to include an article about Christian House Sitters and he therefore asked me to send him something suitable.

I have never claimed to be an author (although I have had 2 books published. One is on Stress and the other on Christian Discipleship) so I produced a draft article and sent it to him with permission to edit it, re write it or even dump it as he sees fit.

Now I am by nature happy to work hard but I am also more than willing to relax when it seem appropriate so I decided to use the article I sent him as my new blog post.

I hope that you find it interesting, informative and useful.

Feel free to use it in your own church magazine or to share it with anyone.

 Help for Christian Families During The Recession Piggy Bank

The world is going through a period of serious international financial crisis. Recently the UK chancellor announced an austerity budget in an attempt to keep the UK from slipping further into deficit. As a result of the financial problems naturally many people are finding it increasingly difficult to afford a holiday. This is a problem as research has clearly shown that during times of severe stress holidays can be more important than ever and can help prevent many stress related health problems.

Probably the best evidence of the effects of vacations can be found in the Framingham Heart Study, which scientists have been plumbing for years to understand what contributes to our well-being. More than 12,000 men who were at risk of heart disease were followed over nine years to see if there were ways to improve their longevity. Among the questions they were asked annually was about vacations.

The more frequent the vacations, the longer the men lived,” says Karen Matthews of the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center, who analyzed the data to assess the benefits of holidays.

Christian House Sitters is a non-profit ministry that provides a worldwide service to enable members of recognized Christian churches to enjoy a rent free vacations.

It also enables home owners to have a reliable person to look after their home and pets free of charge whilst they are away.

This can save both parties a great deal of money and therefore enable them to benefit form a much-needed break that they may otherwise have been unable to afford.

Out of interest I spent some time today looking at the average cost of a reasonable (3 star) hotel in the UK for a couple with 2 children. The average was around £85  ($136)per night without food.

Small Hotel Room

A small hotel room

For this you get to stay in an impersonal often small hotel room.

An average 2 week break would therefore cost approximately £1190  ($1912) Add to this that if you are a home owner with a dog my research today showed that it will cost you about £600  to have someone pop in once a day for the 2 weeks and feed / walk you dog. The rest of the time the dog is left alone and the house is unoccupied.

A recent listing on Christian House Sitters website

A recent listing on Christian House Sitters website

But by registering as a House Sitter you could stay in a lovely spacious house rather than a hotel room and it would cost you no rent at all. An immediate saving of about  £1190  and if you also register as a home owner (you do not need to register as both. You can register as either a sitter or an owner only if you prefer) you save another £600 ($963)  bringing your savings to around £1790  ($2875)

This service has already helped many people from around the world and it is expected that as the credit crunch bites many more will benefit from this facility.

The service is free for home owners and costs just a nominal £25 per year for sitters. All income from the site goes towards running a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya that provides accommodation, food, clothing, education and medical expenses for 80 children who would otherwise be left to either starve, beg or steal in order to stay alive.

Some of the children enjoying Christmas Dinner

Some of the children enjoying Christmas Dinner

Christian House Sitters is their sole means of support and all money is very carefully monitored.

Full details can be found on the Christian House Sitters website http://www.christian-housesitters.com

 

God bless you,

Ray

 

 

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Advice to Home Owners looking for a Housesitters

AdviceIn my last blog post I gave some top tips for House Sitters and promised to follow-up with advice for those who are wanting a sitter.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to be very clear about what you are offering and what you want in return before agreeing a house sit.

We advise you to give at least the following basic information to your House Sitters. A description of the  available accommodation including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the kitchen facilities such as microwave, cooker etc, any heating facilities such as central heating, open fire etc., your laundry facilities, the availability of a phone, computer access and TV.

Make sure that the sitter knows exactly what you are expecting from them If you have animals be sure that they are used to and comfortable with animals. Tell them what is needed such as not leaving the animals for longer than a certain period, walking dogs etc.

Always check references before agreeing to accept a sitter.

At Christian House Sitters we strongly advise that all arrangements are put down in writing and signed by both parties. Our website contains a general draft agreement that you can adapt.

When the sitter arrives please leave them with information about local facilities such as your church, your doctor, the nearest hospital, public transport and your emergency contact number. If they will be looking after your pets don’t forget to leave the details about your vet.

If you leave food please make it very clear to the Sitters if you expect them to use it or to use and then replace it.

We highly recommend that House Sitters arrive at least a day before the Home Owner departs in order to get to know the home and animals.

House sitting is a real blessing to both owners and sitters when it is planned and arranged correctly. If you have any questions you can probably find the answer on our website. See the FAQ page, The House Sitting Explained page, The Suggested Agreement page, and the Advice to Sitters page. You can also contact us via the contact page and we will always do our best to reply promptly and to answer your questions.

God bless you,
Ray

www.christian-housesitters.com

TOP TIPS FOR HOUSE SITTERS

Tips

NOTE: We will be posting tips for Owners in a few days time so don’t feel left out

Running Christian House Sitters I have noticed that some of our sitters get loads of house sits while others do not seem to get any or at best very few. This started me wondering why.  I believe the following tips will help you become a successful house sitter.

Your Profile is probably the most important factor. We all know how important first impressions are in every area of life. When you apply for a house sit the first thing the owner receives is a copy of your profile. If it looks interesting you have a chance but if it is empty or lacking good information they are much more likely to consider another applicant.

So what should be in your profile?

First tell the truth! This may sound obvious but, for example, pretending to love animals when you are not keen on them is unfair to you, the owner and the pets. You may get this house sit but you will never get a decent reference from the owner for your future sits.

Tell the owners about yourself, your interests, your experience as a  house sitter (if you have any) how you feel about looking after animals etc. This information helps the owner to decide which potential sitter will fit in best with their needs.

Be ready to provide good references. We advise our owners to ask for 2 references and we suggest that one of those should be from a leader in your church. Tell the people you have given as a reference that you have used their name. It is very unlikely that you will get the house if your references do not reply to the owner.

Before you agree to the house sit it is very important that you have conversation is with the owners during which you find out exactly what they are expecting from you and what they are offering. That way, there are no nasty surprises either party. Hopefully the owners will have listed all their requirements and the details of the property accurately when they joined but it is still worth confirming everything.

If you are going to be looking after animals please find out from the owners what they expect you to do. For example it may be important not to leave the animals alone for more than a set number of hours. You do not want to find this out after you have arrived. It is far better to know before you agree to the house sit.

We strongly recommend that you ask the owners to write down exactly what is expected of you. This may include things such as looking after animals, watering the pot plants, taking in the mail or taking telephone messages, etc.

Please make a point of arranging your arrival and departure time with the owners before the house sit. Plan your journey carefully as it is obviously important to the owners to be able to leave for their holiday on time and it is very inconvenient if you arrive late.

Remember the owners have been kind enough to allow you the use of their property while they are away so treat it with respect. When they come back, they will expect to find that the house is clean and well looked after.

Sadly, accidents do happen, and occasionally there may be a breakage. When that happens, it is your responsibility. And we would expect you to inform the owners as soon as possible and to arrange to either repair or replace the damaged item.

It is always thoughtful and appreciated when a house sitter prepares a meal for the returning family. Remember they have no doubt had a long journey and the last thing they feel like doing on arriving home is preparing a meal.

Discuss with the owners how they feel about you using any supplies that they have left in the house. Do not simply assume that they have been there for your benefit. The owners may will be expecting to use those products when they return. If you do use anything naturally, it is good manners to replace it. In the same way you are expected to cover the cost of telephone calls which you make during their absence.

When you are sitting do a good job. These small things make an enormous difference and will be remembered when you use that owner as a reference for future sits. There is no better reference than a satisfied owner.

Housesitting is a wonderful way to enjoy your holiday without having the expense of renting accommodation but it is important to prepare correctly.

That will mean that you have the very best holiday and your home owners benefit from having you there as well.

If you have any questions or comments please either leave them here or contact me via the contact form on www.Christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

www.christian-housesitters.com

A Letter of Thanks

Posted on

This email I have just received is typical of messages we receive at Christian House Sitters but every one is such an encouragement.

Dear Ray

I just wanted to thank you for putting us in touch with [ name removed]. We returned from our holiday yesterday to find our home and more importantly our pets loved and well cared for. This has been the first time we have been away when I have not worried about our pets and that made our holiday much more relaxing.  

She left us today to continue her travels around the country, but has promised to keep in touch. If she should ever need a reference, please don’t hesitate in asking us.

I have contacted the Church we belonged to before our recent move to Dorset and they are going to put your information on their pew sheet, which will help get your name known in South Gloucestershire. I shall try to something similar here in Dorset.

Once again thank you and God bless.

If you would like to find out more please contact us through

www.Christian-housesitters.com

Vacations. A Real Health Benefit

Posted on

Palm Tree

I was reading some articles in the NPR (National Public Radio) publication today.

One of the articles was entitled Vacations Are Good For Your Health
by Brenda Wilson

Naturally with my interest in Christian House Sitters this grabbed my attention. It is an excellent article and you can read it in full at http://n.pr/kSFnp but here what I consider the key finding.

Probably the best evidence of the effects of vacations can be found in the Framingham Heart Study, which scientists have been plumbing for years to understand what contributes to our well-being. More than 12,000 men who were at risk of heart disease were followed over nine years to see if there were ways to improve their longevity. Among the questions they were asked annually was about vacations.

“The more frequent the vacations, the longer the men lived,” says says Karen Matthews of the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center, who analyzed the data to assess the benefits of vacations.

With Christian House Sitters we can help you get this benefit. Our sitters can enjoy  rent-free vacations all over the world and our home owners can enjoy their break knowing that their home and pets are all in safe hands  and that this is not costing them anything The money they would have had to spend on putting their dogs in a kennel, their cats in a cattery can be used to improve their vacation. And they can feel secure that their home is not being broken into while they are away.

Find out more by visiting www.Christian-housesitters.com

 

Ray

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