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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

Comments from Sitters and Owners

We all love receiving positive comments.

Since we started Christian House Sitters we have been thrilled to receive loads of emails from both home owners and sitters. I am reproducing a few below to help potential house sitters know how it worked out for others.

Quill Pen

Our first time with CHS was a great success and we’ll be in touch again for sure.
God bless and thanks for your help.
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Hi Ray,

We are now on our 6th Housesit!

We certainly have been spreading the word about your wonderful site and continue to do so….its a marvellous service you provide…thank you.

Best wishes

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Dear Ray,

We had a wonderful time house sitting in France, and had the pleasure of meeting the house owners before they left on their trip. It made the trip very special, to meet such nice people, and we found the whole area of France to be very friendly and interesting. The house we were in was beautiful, and we thoroughly enjoyed looking after it and the garden and watching the veg. we were watering grow! I cannot recommend this site highly enough, and we are now in our second year of house-sitting, with more sits this year to look forward to. I love going to other churches, and feeling part of the community where possible. God bless all involved in this project.

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Thank you Ray & Marilyn for your website. During our 1st year as members, we have had 6 1/2 months of house-sits – Monmouth (Wales) St Antonin Noble Val (France) and Highfields (Aust). Each of the homes we sat were unique and special times for us. We have enjoyed our 12 months travelling since selling our home and we look forward to settling down again when our new home is completed. Next time we can make our home available for sitters!

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Our christian housesitters were absolutely wonderful. Our little old poodle took about three days to warm up to us after four and half months of spoiling! ___ and ___ found a local home group and church and are now building in our area! The neighbours became friends and they shared food, papers, citrus fruit and watched a football match together! The house was spotless, the fridge full of food which helps when you are jet lagged after a 37 hour journey. The linen cupboard was neater than when I left!
We had regular email contact and everything regarding the dog and the use of our cars to give them a run was recorded. We were truly blessed!

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Dear Ray,

Had a wonderful time at a beautiful home. So pleased to have located such a creative and practical concept. Do trust that an increasing number of folk will use it. I found the whole procedure worked well with excellent communication from the folk whose home I visited.

Thanks for all the work your are investing in this project.

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Hello Ray and Marilyn

Just a note to thank you for your helpful website.

It was wonderful to be able to plan a holiday to the other side of the world from home and to see God’s hand in fitting it all together.

We obtained the places to go through your website.

Our first place at the end of June was in Exeter where we bought a car. We loved that part of the UK and maybe started off with the best first.

We then went across to Brittany to a rural village near Auray. The folk there are coming to our place in Auckland in February.

Driving on the other side of the road was a bit scarey at first and not knowing any French also was a challenge, but it was a great adventure and much fun. After that we left the car at East Preston and caught the train to London where we rented a flat for three weeks. ( We did try to get a sit or swap but none was available so we advertised on Gumtree and found this Christian Kenyan lady who was going back to Kenya for the exact time we needed a place in London) With the high cost of transport as well, London was the most expensive part, but well worth the time there.

Back at East Preston we picked up the car and had three weeks at a house there. We had hoped to get to see you while we were nearby but didn’t manage to find the time.

Our last sit was in Cleveleys and we made good friends with the lady there, having met her earlier while we were in London and then kept in touch while she did her house sit in Wales. From there we visited missionary friends in Glasgow for a few days and had various trips around, and also to the Lake District, although six weeks was a bit long in one place especially as winter was coming on.

Finally we stayed two days in Manchester with missionary friends who work amongst the Arabic speaking immigrants there. We had been wondering how we would sell the car at the end of our trip but when we found out they had no car we offered it to them and they gladly accepted it.

Back home in New Zealand now we are coming into our third summer this year but already talking about where we can go next!

Anyway, thanks again for your website; without it our trip of a lifetime wouldn’t have been possible. Blessings on you.

Yours in Christ

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We have just returned from our first house-sit, which was exactly where I have been longing to re-visit for years-in Wales.

It was wonderful, restful, beautiful, peaceful and like a Christian retreat as the cottage was packed with amazing books which I devoured.

What a wonderful gracious gift of the owners, since letting strangers into your home to stay is not the natural way of the world.

Despite rain, we have been refreshed and replenished!

It would be wonderful if this site was joined by every church everywhere wouldn’t it – we could experience each others way of life!

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Hi Ray! Hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits. I keep forgetting to email you,I’ve been so busy!

My hosts here in Norwich have been awesome-they have been so kind and hospitable. I have met most of their friends/neighbours and family. There is no shortage of people to take me about,should I need things from the shop or to attend church.

Thank the Lord for your organization and I wish you many blessings-now and for the future.       Take care and God bless.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My, how that 12 months has flown! We will renew our membership on your website – we have really enjoyed the two house-sits we did this year.

We have recommended your site to numbers of people we have met during our 6 months trip and wish you well.

Best wishes,

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Hello Ray

  I had been waiting to tell you how delighted we were with —- and —- who sat house for us for a month .

We could not have asked for more considerate and kind people.

We will certainly be contacting you again  in the future .

Thank you very much

With seasonal greetings

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We would like to thank you for putting us into contact with your organisation. ___ and ____ house-sat our place and helped with the running of our welfare ministry while we were on a weeks break last week. They were a great help.

Thank you for putting us into contact with them. We hope that we will be able to connect again in the future.

God’s richest blessings on your work.

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I am house sitting at present on the beautiful Coiromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. I am here until the end of August. The owners are Wycliffe Bible translators and are on a long visit to their supporting churches in USA and UK (mainly), though they are also going to visit church plants and meet up with family!

I am writing this because the website and the idea of Christians house sitting and helping one another in this way is truly amazing.

These lovely people would have had a very difficult time finding someone for five months to look after house and animals (including an aviary, three cats and some ‘chooks’).

And I feel privileged and helpful to be doing something for the work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

People in New Zealand are friendly on the whole and very helpful to visitors. I have enjoyed my visit here immensely and would probably not have been able to come and stay as long as I have without the assistance of your website, so please keep it going.

If you would like to use any of this message in your advertising on your web site, please feel free to do so.

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I’m so excited about this “discovery”. Funny how you think of a “thing”, you talk about it with God (feeling silly sometimes)and he leads you to the “thing”. Christian house sitting! Who’d have thought? Fantastic idea. I can’t wait for my stint….

Luv & blessings,

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Dear Ray

Thank you for your e-mail.

I am forwarding it to all our ministers for their information.

I trust you are keeping well and that God continues to bless you in your personal witness.

With best wishes

Frank

Revd Frank Retief

Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa (CESA)

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Christian House Sitters is a wonderful idea. It frees a person’s resources for other Christian activities and also reminds us that there are Christians all over the world. I’m glad I came across the website.

Keep up the good work.

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I have signed up to be a sitter on this new great website and want to encourage others to do the same as well as list their houses. I was very encouraged when I first e-mailed Ray and he said “you just sign up and we pray with you that a house will be added to meet your needs”. This is how we should all live our lives- trusting God that we will be walking in His will and in that He will provide for our needs. Don’t wait, sign up now so that God can meet your needs and use you to meet others needs.

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Hi Ray!

Been meaning to write for quite awhile. Just wanted to let you know that everything is a “go” to do a housesit in England. I will be there Jan.Feb.and March and am staying another month to visit family.

I’m so excited and the people that I’m going to housesit for sound just great. They haven’t even met me yet and have been so generous(finding someone to drive me to church etc.)

I know that the Lord put me in touch with these people-and only He knows why. I am truly blessed.

God bless you and yours with your wonderful ministry. 

Take care. 

Have a Sunshine Day!

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Extract from a message received from the Isle of Man

Dear House Sitters

We pay on average £45 / day for professional dog at home help here in the Isle of Man.

Many dogs do not do well with stress in Kennels.

It is a win win situation in helping man’s best friend.

Regards

To find out more please visit www.Christian-housesitters.com

Ray