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“A Diary of House-Sitting Tails”

A diary of house-sitting tails

I am naturally always interested to read about House Sitting so when I found out about a book called “A Diary of House-Sitting Tails” by Carolyn Slingsby I downloaded a copy from Amazon.

I was thrilled to read about our ministry in this book!

Here is an extract from the first couple of pages:

At the end of November 2008, after living and working in Spain for six years, my husband and I suddenly and devastatingly lost everything, and had no choice but to head back to the UK.

Brian and I had gone to Spain six years previously in 2002, knowing nobody there at all, and we began totally from scratch. I knew I had to find my feet, so I quickly became resourceful in finding jobs, mainly in the property market. At one time, I helped a company to sell villas and apartments, focusing mainly on marketing, but I had other duties, too. Once, I had to do a complete ‘makeover’ on a property, which turned out to be a total full cleaning and fumigation exercise. The property in question was in a terrible condition, covered in excrement and filth which stank to high heaven; he had kept five dogs there, and hadn’t done much in the way of cleaning! Eventually –after hours of cleaning and sorting –I managed to find a buyer, but it still smelled if you were downwind! It was only months later that I realised why I was so ill after that experience.

We loved Spain and its people, and it was our fantastic church community who helped us through the very traumatic ending to our lifestyle there, when –due to the economic climate –we lost our villa and all our money, and had only forty-eight hours to leave and hand the keys back to the bank.

Our compassionate congregation bought all our furniture, including the wood burning stove and very large satellite dish (which went off on the roof of an estate car!), to raise us enough money for petrol to drive back to the UK. We stored ten boxes, containing our various small everyday goods, in the under-house storage of one of those kind church folk, where it ended up staying for two years!

So, back in the UK and having to start again from scratch, we knew we had to survive and get a roof over our heads whilst we worked out what direction life was taking us in.

This was when God led us to The Christian House Sitters website! We found two separate house sits in France on our way back to the UK in December and January 2008-2009, and so began our ‘Tails of House Sitting’ –adventures and experiences we would have missed out on if not for the traumatic ending of our life in Spain!

The book is a lot of fun and well worth reading.

If you have interesting stories about House Sitting please share them with me.

Would you like a break from your normal daily grind. Time to getaway, relax, renew relationships, rest, have fun and generally recharge your inner batteries.

We can help.

We offer rent-free vacations all over the world and, if necessary, we can also arrange for someone reliable to look after your home and pets free-of-charge while you are away

If you would like to benefit from our service please have a look at the website. CLICK HERE.

God bless you,
Ray

 

Christian House Sitters
is part of the registered charity
TLC Children’s Trust
UK Charity number 1156786
www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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Crazy, funny, international laws

There is a lovely quote in Oliver Twist when Mr. Bumble, the unhappy spouse of a domineering wife, is told in court that “…the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction”, replies: “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass – a idiot”.

I enjoy finding old laws that are a bit odd or unusual.

With Christian House Sitters offering people rent-free accommodation all over the world may I suggest that you brush up on local laws before you travel.

Although to be honest most of the following are not enforced. I have gleaned them from a range of different sources.

Enjoy and laugh

Warning Sign

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In Tennessee, shooting at an animal from your car is forbidden, with one exception: it is not illegal to draw your weapon on a whale. Good luck finding one in that part of the world…

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Kansas. If two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has passed.

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A law in Nevada forbids anyone from placing a park bench in the middle of the road.

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In England dying is illegal in the Houses of Parliaments – This has been voted as the most ridiculous law by the British citizens.

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Do not read this sign

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A law in Alaska forbids motorists from driving around with a dog attached to the roof.

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If you’re taking a drive in South Berwick, Maine, it’s important to note that parking in front of a Dunkin Donuts is against the law.

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Imagine you’re in Florida, and you fancy a ride on the back of an elephant. Well, don’t forget that you’re still required to pay for your parking.

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PolicemanIt is Illegal to Wear a Bullet Proof Vest While Committing Murder in NJ. For those of you planning violent crimes in New Jersey, according to New Jersey statute 2C:39-13, a person has committed a crime if “he uses or wears a body vest while engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit murder, manslaughter, robbery, sexual assault, burglary, kidnapping, criminal escape or assault.” In other words, the vest could bump your offense from third to second degree.

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Did you know that if you take your life into your hands getting behind the wheel in China, and more specifically in Beijing, you must under no circumstances stop for pedestrians? You could be arrested.

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In Missouri it is illegal to drive with an uncaged bear.

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A Californian law forbids women from driving a car dressed in a bathrobe.

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Judge

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In Oklahoma, it is against the law to have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7pm

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In Ohio, you can be fined if you’re caught going around a traffic circle more than 100 times.

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Do you fancy a Sunday drive around Denver, Colorado? If you’re unlucky enough to own a black car, you’ll have to go on foot. Driving in a black vehicle on Sundays is not permitted.

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No mooring crocodiles

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Are you planning some time away?

Would you like rent-free accommodation?

Would you like someone to look after your home and pets while you are away. Free of charge.

Have a look at our website. www.christian-housesitters.com

If you have any other questions that are not answered on the website please use the contact page and I will do my best to answer you promptly.

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.

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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

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

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Frustrated …….but Trusting God

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

Why was I frustrated?

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

 

Frustrated by Bryan Miles

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

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

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

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

So why was I frustrated?

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

But as I said there is just never enough.

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

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

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

We are blessed by occasional large gifts.

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

 Please join us in praying.god-provides

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

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

He will never fail?

God bless you,
Ray

Christian House Sitters is part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

 

 

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Apology and Exciting News

SorrySorry I have not posted for a couple of weeks. Bad! But my excuse is that life has been really hectic and I genuinely have not had time to write anything worthwhile.
My second apology is that this post is a little long but hopefully it will still be worth a few minutes of your time to read it

InterconnectedAs most of you will know we run have 2 interconnected ministries.

There is Christian House Sitters which provides rent free vacations for Christians all over the world and from which all the income goes to Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya.
Then there is TLC Children’s Trust (www.tlc-childrenstrust.org) a UK registered charity that we run and through which all funds are passed in order to provide total accountability.
Some people join Christian House Sitters and have no interest in supporting the Children’s Home which is perfectly acceptable (but their fees still go there) and others who may have no interest in Christian House Sitters just support the home via TLC Children’s Trust.
Naturally there is a big overlap and most who are involved in one are also involved in the other.

Here is a copy of the latest TLC Newsletter that went out yesterday.

This is a really exciting but challenging time for the work at Home of Peace. A time when your prayers are needed and also a time when we are expecting tremendous positive changes at the home.

The government in Kenya recently made an announcement, and informed us, that all children’s homes must be officially registered by the 7th of June failing which they will be closed down.

There is a sense in which we can understand and agree with their logic as it is important that any home accommodating children must be run properly and therefore registration is sensible however if the home is not registered and is closed down the children who are at present receiving accommodation, food, education, medical expenses and clothing will be sent back to where they came from which in most cases will mean that they will end up begging and sleeping on the streets, turning to crime in order to survive, developing serious health problems and often dying.

Whatever the logic we have no choice but to become registered by the 7th June.

In order to achieve this there were certain criteria which we have to meet.

First and foremost is that we are not allowed to have more than one child per bed. Apparently it is better for children to sleep on the streets without a bed and then to share a bed in a safe and secure environment.

As you know we have been trying desperately to raise funds to build additional dormitories but this has not yet been supplied and we only facilities for 45 beds and as result we have had to move out of the home all except for 45 children. This has now been done. No we have not sent them back onto the streets and we would never do that! What we have done is arranged for them to be accommodated either with family or friends who live near to the home and they come to Home of Peace every day for all their meals, they go to school with the children from Home of Peace, we still take care of all the medical expenses and the cost of the education. The only difference being that they no longer sleep in our dormitories. We believe that this is only a temporary measure and that once God provides the money we will be able to build the additional dormitories and they will be able to move back in and sleep at the home.

The next criteria was that we need to have on the staff a person who is qualified in the area of children’s work and is a qualified social worker. Once again God has provided. For the past three years we have been in close contact with Edward Wata and for the past few months Edward has been visiting the home on a weekly basis to do training for our staff.

He is a remarkable man. He was brought up in a Christian home by a Christian mother and once he had finished his schooling he worked on the roads for four years saving money in order to get himself further education. He now has accredited university qualifications in the area of children’s work and is also accepted by the Kenyan authorities as a qualified social worker.

He has previously worked in children’s homes and has helped two homes to achieve registration but he left that work because he felt that God wanted him to focus on Christian work. He has therefore raised the money to build a small school and he runs a church where he provides a for widows and orphans in his area.

He has worked part-time for the government as an inspector of inspectors for the Department of Education. He was also until relatively recently chair of the Department of Children Services for our area.
As I mentioned we have got to know him well over the past three years and found him to be an honest, reliable man of God.

Praise God Edward has agreed to take on the role of Manager of Home of Peace and Social Worker for Home of Peace. He will work for us three days per week allowing him time to continue his other work at his church and school however on the days he is not there he will still be available should there be a crisis of any sort.

Finding the money to employ somebody with Edward’s qualifications would have been very difficult but he has agreed to work for just £100 per month plus £30 per month to cover his travelling expenses because he does not live where the Home of Peace is located. To get somebody of this calibre at that salary is a miracle! We will need people to sponsor this amount so we can pay him.

The final requirement from Children Services for us to be registered is that we need to be able to show records that we have sufficient sponsors for all of our children and the overheads. We don’t. We send money out to the home on the 8th and the 22nd of every month and each time this is an adventure of faith. Normally the day before the money goes out we do not have sufficient but God somehow provides. Understandably this is not a satisfactory model for the government and we need to be able to demonstrate that we have committed supporters.

As result we are asking God for a further 23 sponsors at £20 per month. It costs us £20 per month for food for each child and if, or should I say when, we have these 23 new sponsors we will be able to meet the government requirements.

Please pray about this as it is an urgent need. £20 per month is not a lot and 23 new people is not much. We know God can do this please ask Him if there’s anyone in your church or amongst your friends or family who may be willing to become at least one of these new sponsors.

The other good news is that we now have a farm.Our farm
Adjacent to Home of Peace is a plot of land that belongs to Erick our faithful administrator and his wife Helen who is our matron, and they have donated this land to Home of Peace so that we can use it to grow food for the home. This will make a significant difference and we praise God for their wonderful generous gift.

We have employed David as a farm worker and he is at present preparing the land and getting it ready for planting. David will be working the land five days a week and over the weekend’s the older children at the home will get involved.

Once the crops start to develop we believe it will save us a great deal of money as well as providing the home with really good fresh food.

So as I said at the beginning this is an exciting yet challenging time and we would greatly appreciate your prayers.

Thank you to all who faithfully support this ministry financially and through prayer.
God bless you,

Ray

Remember to please tell others about these ministries.
They can see everything at the TLC Children’s Trust website. and at the Christian House Sitters website.

 

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

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