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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

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Visiting Medieval English Towns

Medieval England

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

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

A UNIQUE ADVENTURE – HOUSESITTING IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND
By Joyce Hilton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~

kitty

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

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

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

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

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

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

http://www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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

Please help us. It will not cost you anything.

Help Us PleaseAs regular readers of this blog will know Christian House Sitters has two aims.

Naturally we exist as a ministry to help people all over the world enjoy rent-free vacations.

But we are also part of T.L.C. Children’s Trust who run a home, called Home of Peace, for 55 vulnerable children in rural Kenya.

This is a very simple request and it will not cost you anything!

Home of Peace has just launched a Facebook page and we would love to spread the word far and wide. The more people who know about this fantastic ministry the more people who will join us in praying and some may even be guided by God to help us with the costs of running the home. Either by sponsoring a child or by making a donation. 100% of all money received goes to the home in Kenya and Marilyn, my wife, is in a position to monitor exactly where every penny is spent. She is Chair of their board of trustees and on the management team of the home and is in daily contact.

So how can you help?

Easy! Visit the Facebook page, Like the page and share it with your friends. It is as simple as that.

To visit the Facebook page CLICK HERE

To find out more about Christian House Sitters go to www.christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

Christian House Sitters is part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

Featured in Sight Magazine

Posted on

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

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

6th July, 2016

DAVID ADAMS

Sight Magazine Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sightmag2

The profile of the house-sitters varies widely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

www.christian-housesitters.com

~ www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

 

End of the article.

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

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

http://www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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

Visit to a new church.

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org 

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

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

Please can I ask you to pray for these ministries.

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

Thanks,
Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

http://www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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

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

Why did you do it??

Why did the chicken cross the road
Motives Matter .

As I was thinking and praying about what to put in my blog post this week I felt strongly that I needed to talk about our motives.

I resisted after all this blog is supposed to be about our ministry called Christian House Sitters where we help people all over the world to enjoy vacations that they could not otherwise afford.

But the more I resisted the stronger the urge to tackle the topic. So I am hopefully being obedient in writing this post and I trust it will be a blessing to you.

Some time ago I wrote a book called Balancing Your Life Effectively which looks at how God wants to be in control of all the different areas of our lives. The Physical, the Emotional, the Social and the Spiritual. My aim was to make it really practical and simple to follow. No heavy theology.

One of the chapters deals with the question of our motives so I am going to quote an extract.

You go to church every Sunday, in fact you not only attend the Sunday services you also go along to the mid-week prayer meeting and the bible study group. Good!

But may I be so bold as to ask you to examine your motives. Why do you attend all those services? Is your attendance due to a sincere desire to have fellowship with the family of God and a heartfelt yearning to know God better, or could it be that you go for purely social reasons? You have no other friends and if you miss a meeting you feel lonely. Could it be that last time you missed a service the pastor phoned or called to find out what was wrong and as a result you are too embarrassed to ever miss again? What are your real motives?

What about your bible study? You may have a strictly disciplined programme of personal bible study. Good!

But once again what are your motives? Is it because you believe the bible to be the inspired word of Almighty God and as a result you are studying to learn how He wants you to live. Is it that you want to learn more about Him in order to please him? Or could it be that you are motivated by something else? I know many people who study the bible in order to show off. In order to be able to boast of their bible knowledge. In order to be able to quote verses and thereby demonstrate their ‘super spirituality.’ What are your motives?

Do you witness to your faith in Christ? I sincerely hope that you do.
We are clearly and specifically commanded to go and tell what the
Lord has done. But why do you witness? Is it out of obedience to the Lord? Out of a heart filled with gratitude to God for His blessings to you? Are you motivated by a realisation that without Jesus there is no hope for a lost mankind? Or are you possibly motivated by pride?
You want people to know that YOU are a ‘soul winner.’ Could your motivation be a desire to ‘notch up another spiritual scalp?’

In 1st Samuel chapter 16 verse 7 we are told that The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. Jeremiah chapter 17 verse 10 puts the same thought this way I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind.

Obviously God is interested in what you do but infinitely more important to Him is the motivation behind your actions.God sees your motives

Pause for a while. Examine your life. Think about the ‘good’ things in which you are involved. Ask yourself honestly why you are involved.
Examine your true motives and as the Lord reveals impure motives confess them to Him and ask Him to give you those motives which will enable Him to say Well done good and faithful servant.
Book Cover
If you are interested the book is available to download or to purchase a copy from any branch of Amazon. NOTE All profits will go to support the Children’s Home in Kenya through our charity TLC Children’s Trust. “Balancing Your Life Effectively” The ISBN number is 978-1503209718

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

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