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An Exciting Start to 2016

An Exciting Start to 2016

And a brief look at what God did during 2015

Christian House Sitters has 2 aims.
1. We want to help people all over the world enjoy vacations that they may not otherwise have been able to afford
2. We are part of the Registered Charity TLC Children’s Trust and 100% of our income goes to running a Children’s Home in Kenya.

Last year was often difficult BUT it has been a year with lots of blessings.

We helped hundreds of people to enjoy rent-free vacations.
We provided hundreds of people with someone to look after their home and pets free of charge while they were away.
We made amazing progress with the Children’s Home.

So as we begin 2016 I would like to share extracts from our New Year Newsletter that we sent to all our supporters. If you are interested in receiving these mailings in the future (we normally send about 4 a year) I will tell you how to get on the mailing list.

Here is a copy of our newsletter. You will see it was written by my wife, Marilyn.

Happy New Year.

Praise God Home of Peace is now an officially registered children’s home with the Kenyan Government Department of Children’s Services!

Our Girls in their new clothes

Some of our Girls in their new clothes

The past couple of months have been exciting, hectic, challenging and life changing for the children and staff at Home of Peace Children’s Home and for us back here in the UK.

You will no doubt remember that the authorities suddenly gave us a very short deadline to comply with all their requirements and apply for registration. At the time the task seamed impossible but with God nothing is impossible.

Since then we have built a dining room / study and equipped it with tables and chairs, built an additional 2 washrooms for the children so 10 children can wash at a time, installed a 3000 liter water storage tank and provided the home with 60 chickens so that the children can have a better diet with eggs included. But the really big challenges were having additional new dormitories built and equipped.

Thank you to all who have so faithfully prayed and given to enable this to happen.

There were so many things that we had put in place before we could even apply for registration but God answered our prayers. To refresh your memories here are some of the project that we asked you to pray for and give towards over the past year.

We needed:
To have a qualified Children’s Home Manager. Edward Wata became our manager and works for us three days a week.
We needed 2 new dormitories with staff rooms, a first aid room/ sickbay and a manager’s office/ counselling room. These have now been built and in order to save money they were built as a single complex.
We were required to build a new dining room/study. Once again God provided and this has been built and fitted with tables and chairs.
The authorities required 2 new large washrooms to be built. This has been done.
We had to install a water pump with pipes laid underground from the river to the property which is about 500 meters up to Home of Peace and into a 3000 Lit re water tank. Again God provided and the tank was purchased, the pump was purchased, the pipes were purchased and everything is working beautifully.
We were told that we had to install mains electricity and as we explained in our previous newsletter God miraculously made this possible and we are paying it off in monthly installments.
In the last year we have also had to establish a farm growing vegetables for the home and we had to get 50 laying hens to provide fresh eggs for the children. This has been done and we have employed a farm worker.
We had to have all the buildings and the old toilets repainted. Once again this has been done.
We had to purchase beds, mattresses, blankets, sheets and a single wardrobe for each child as this was a requirement of children services before we could be registered. Yet again God has provided.
We were told that we needed to have a full-time, live in, qualified social worker and a live in house mother. Two weeks ago we employed 2 ladies who are now on trial.

Last week the children and staff had a wonderful Christmas celebration.

Our Boys in their new clothes

Some of our Boys in their new clothes

Thank you to all those you who gave to make this possible and also to the members of Christian house Sitters who we normally approach only once a year with a request to give towards Home of Peace.

As a result of our appeal every child got new clothes.

The staff got new uniforms, and we were able to buy two footballs, two basketballs and also some toys for the youngest children.

In addition we were able to get them some balloons and nice food so they could have a good celebratory Christmas meal.

Showing off their new balls

Some of the younger children

 

As we move into 2016 we do need more sponsors to cover our monthly costs.

 

Prices have gone up steeply in Kenya and this has particularly affected our budget when purchasing food and medical care.

We also need to buy all of our children new school uniforms for their new academic year which begins early in January. A gift from one of our supporters which has gone a long way towards this but prices have gone up so steeply since last year and also now that we are a registered children’s home the children are required to have black leather lace up shoes for school. They used to wear sandals. As result the price of their uniforms for this coming year is double what we expected.

We will also need to pay school fees for our children as we do every January and this is going to cost us approximately £700 which we do not have.

This all does seem rather overwhelming as we are a very small charity and we do not have reserves of funds that we can draw from. Every penny we receive goes to Home of Peace. The trustees cover the cost of running the charity themselves.

The last couple of months we have been short of the amount needed each month to pay for food, wages, etc. and Ray and I had to cut down on our personal living expenses, just buying the essentials, so that we could take this money and give it to the children. We would not normally share this but we feel that the Lord wants us to share with you as our supporters and Christian friends.

If you would like to support the work please CLICK HERE and you’ll be taken to the page on our TLC Children’s Trust charity website where you will be able to make the necessary arrangements.

From that page there is also a link in the menu to be added to the mailing list

If you can’t give and you can’t promote the work amongst your friends or your church please will you at least pray. We believe God honours prayer. We know that He in control and we believe that He will once again provide what is needed as His children faithfully trust in Him.

Ray and I are exhausted. It’s been about four years since we had a real holiday but once again God has provided and we will be housesitting (through Christian House Sitters) in Southern Spain from the 4th of January until the 7th of February. This is a wonderful answer to prayer as house sitters we will get the use of this home, which looks beautiful from the photographs, rent-free and the owners have kindly made their car available for us to use whilst we are there. We are really looking forward to this. Thank you once again for your love, support and prayers.

God bless you,
Love in Jesus,
Marilyn.

 

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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

LUNDY. Something different

Something Different.

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

Here is what she wrote:

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

All best wishes and thanks for all you do

God bless

Ali

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

Here are the details she sent to me:

~~~~~~

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~

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

If you are going on this trip or indeed any vacation and we can help you find someone to look after your home and pets while you are away remember it is free. Have a look at our website www.Christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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

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

Be blessed and be a blessing

I get a lot of emails and most are trying to sell me something so end up in the spam folder. But one I get almost every day is from a man I have never met. His name is Pastor Tim Burt and he sends out a daily email called Fresh Manna.

Today’s was a real blessing so I emailed him and he gave me permission to reproduce it in my blog.

I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.

Fresh Manna from Pastor Tim Burt
As Christians, we are given a life-long assignment which is described in 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT that says, “And God has given us the task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message He has given us to tell others.”

2 Corinthians 5:19

God’s Word also teaches us that we should all use our God-given gifts and abilities—not only to help people to come to know Jesus, but to also serve others in His behalf. The Apostle Paul in speaking to people who have financial affluence wrote: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
 1 Peter 4:10
Paul teaches the affluent that when they are using their gift of financial affluence that God has given them to help promote the gospel and as a means to build the church, they are serving God and others and building a reward— “Laying up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

 

This exhortation isn’t just to financially affluent people. This truth and exhortation is for all Christians at all times. When we use whatever God has given us in gifts, talents, and abilities to serve others from a pure heart and motivation of love, will be building our future—“a firm foundation in the coming age.” We do have another life to live in the world to come. It sincerely will be the life God intended for us to have. It will be without the curse of sin and defilement that sin has brought to this world. When we help others know Jesus and when we serve them, we lay up rewards for the next life. We also help them come to really know what life on earth here is about—the love of Jesus to redeem mankind—“…that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

 

One last thing to think about. Our personal character runs deep (good or bad) and is rarely changed until someone makes a life-style change in their thinking and actions. That is most often motivated by God, or the threat of something such as health issues or financial problems. When someone does make that change and stick with it, it changes their character over time. This is how God helps us experience true life transformation. He motivates us through His Word and asks us to make it a core value we live daily. When you take up the attitude of serving others as a life-style because the Lord tells us to, it will bless your life in more ways than you could have ever imagined—and produce eternal rewards!

 

Never give up serving God and reaching others with His love. It is “…taking hold of the life that truly is life.”

 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

 

May I suggest a couple of really simple ways in which you can bless others?
As you know we run 2 ministries.
TLC Children’s Trust provides for all the needs (accommodation, food, clothes, education, medical care, etc. ) for 52 very vulnerable children in rural Kenya. You can read more about it on our website CLICK HERE.
You could pray for us and for the work
You could tell your friends, family and church.
You could consider sponsoring a child.

 

Christian House Sitters is our other ministry and makes it possible for Christians all over the world to enjoy vacations that they could otherwise not afford. You can read more about it on our website CLICK HERE.
You could consider becoming a member and allowing us to bless you while you bless others.
For example:
When you next go away from home why not let us arrange for a Christian family to stay in your home looking after your home and your pets free of charge
You could also register as a Sitter and bless others by looking after their home and pets while at the same time enjoying a lovely rent-free vacation. We have houses all over the world.

 

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

Who is your role model?

Last week my post was very long. But thanks for those who said you appreciated it.

To keep the balance this week it is really short.
2 Pastors disagree

If you agree with the second pastor then remember God said we need to take time out to recharge our batteries. That is why we have a ‘day of rest’

Research shows that missing vacations can lower productivity, increase stress, harm the immune system and do a whole lot of damage. In previous posts I have given details about some of these problems and the research.

So plan a break. Plan it now while you are thinking about it.

Remember we can arrange for someone to look after your home and your pets FREE of charge.

We can also help you find rent FREE accommodation all over the world.

Have a look at www.Christian-housesitters.com

Share this opportunity with your friends, your family, your church and be a blessing to 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

 

A Christmas Blessing

Real menaing of ChristmasIt is almost Christmas.

Life is hectic.

Shops are crammed with people spending money that they often can’t afford.

It is good to pause and reflect on the real meaning of Christmas and I am thankful to Gateway church for producing this video and making it freely available.

May it be a blessing to you.

 

God bless you,

Ray

 

P.S. Still looking for a present? Book Cover
What about my latest book which is available worldwide from Amazon or as a Kindle download

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

The Chicken & the Pig

 

The preacher was an impressive looking man with a deep booming voice. Everyone had told me what a great speaker he was, and I was certainly not disappointed. When he spoke he conveyed a feeling of power and authority.

Near the end of his sermon he turned to the congregation and said; ‘One day a Chicken and a Pig were strolling down the road together when they noticed a small boy sitting at the roadside. He was dressed in rags and was sobbing. The Chicken and the Pig felt sorry for him so they wDrawing of a Pig and Chickenent over and asked him why he was so sad. The young lad tearfully explained, “I’m hungry, you see my Dad is out of work and so there is no money at home and with no money there is no food. I am crying because I am hungry.”

The Chicken and the Pig drew aside and the Chicken said; “We must
DO something. But what can we do”?

They thought for a while then the chicken turned to the pig and said, “I know let us pool our resources and give the kid a meal of bacon and eggs.”

“Just a moment”, replied the Pig,” That’s all very well for you. All you would be doing is making a token contribution but for me it would mean total commitment.”

The preacher thundered ‘God is not interested in our token contributions, He demands total commitment!’

I left that meeting feeling guilty. I knew that I’d not given God total commitment.  How, I wondered does one even begin?

The above is the beginning of my newly released book Balancing Your Life Effectively. A practical workbook on Christian Commitment. In the book you can read all about my search for the answer.

Available worldwide from Amazon. ISBN Number 13: 978-1503209718 

It is also available as a Kindle download.

God bless you,Book Cover

 

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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

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