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If money was no issue?

Where do you want to go?

I love travelling. Seeing new places, meeting new people and experiencing new and different cultures.

The only real problem is paying for it.

Through Christian House Sitters people all over the world are enjoying the pleasures of travelling without having to pay any rent for their accommodation and in addition, if needed, having someone who will look after their home and pets free of charge while they are away.

Membership lasts a year so I have just looked back at the past 12 months and I see that we have been able to provide lovely, rent-free accommodation in the following countries.

Spinning Earth

Scotland

Germany

South Africa

England

Australia

Spain

Wales

Ireland

Mexico

France

New Zealand

USA

Do you know anyone who may benefit from this wonderful opportunity?

What about you?Have a look at our website and contact me if you have any questions. CLICK HERE

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dog at computer
Have you got any interesting, funny or heart warming vacation stories that you would like to share on this blog?

If so please let me know using the contact form. Especially if they involve House Sitting!

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

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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Free Service for Christians Everywhere.

I love saving moneyI have news about a genuinely free service.

Not like the spam messages I get every day with things that look good on the surface but are there just as bait to get you to spend money. No this is a service that will not cost you anything. Not now and not in the future.

We have just passed Easter and many people are now starting to think about their vacation later in the year.

Vacations are wonderful, benefit our mental and physical health and build up relationships within the family but they can also create tremendous stress because of the cost.

If you have any pets they will need to be looked after while you are away.  I am quoting UK prices where you live the prices may vary but this is to illustrate the point and I can’t, in a blog post, put prices for every country in the world. The average price in the UK Dog and leadfor having a pet minder to pop in for a few minutes every day in order to ‘look after’ your pet is around £200 per week.  More if you have more than one pet. All that money and the pets are still left alone for about 23 hours a day and your house is left unprotected. If you want someone to stay in your house and look after your property as well you can expect the cost to be significantly higher.

The majority of us can’t afford that.

On top of that if you hire a someone through an agency they select the person. You have no idea who you are letting into your home. They may have no criminal record but are they really the type of person you feel happy giving the run of you home unsupervised while they know you are away?
Oh yes it's free

Using our service it is FREE. You know that the people will be Christians, you will have references from a leader in their church and you are able to make contact with potential sitters and prayerfully select the right person or persons.

Christian House Sitters will provide the service FREE OF CHARGE. No catch, no small print, no hidden cost. FREE.

Our service is available all over the world. Right now we have members in:

Canada,
America,
England,
Scotland,
Ireland,
Wales,
France,
Spain,
Germany,
Holland,
Italy,
South Africa,
Australia and
New Zealand.

How can you get this free service?

Easy. Visit our website and register as a Home Owner. Yes, it is free and only takes a few minutes.

The  other big vacation expense is renting somewhere to stay. A cottage, hotel room, or even just a camp site. If you chose to register as a Sitter then you can have Rent-Free accommodation. Registering as a sitter is also very quick and easy but this will cost you the tiny sum of £25 per year. Note all the income goes to look after children at a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya. Children who would otherwise be homeless, living on the streets, begging, stealing and often dying. Your annual £25 will allow you to apply for as many vacations as you like during the year for yourself and your family. You will stay in a home not an impersonal room and save a fortune. The annual cost is way less than one night in a very modest hotel room. We have had members who have enjoyed many months of rent free accommodation during their year. Others are content with just a week or two. But even at a week you are probably saving in excess of £200 to £300 per week even if you do not have children.

Have a look at www.Christian-housesitters.com

Do your friends a favour. 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

 

 

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What’s in a word? Travel

I enjoy writing these blogs but at times my brain runs dry (no rude comments please) and so when someone kindly sends me a guest post I am grateful. My sincere thanks to Lesley Roberts for today’s blog.

TRAVEL
By Lesley Roberts

 I once read a Christian book, in fact it was a Lenten Study, called “What’s in a Word?”
Excited
TRAVEL:  What does the word conjure up for you? Some of the words that come to mind are: anticipation, excitement, planning, studying maps, reading up on the area, etc.  I think anticipation and planning the holiday are part of the fun of the holiday, especially as once the holiday begins, time flies, and before one knows it, it’s all over!
Perhaps the word Travel conjures up memories of travelling overseas, exciting plane or boat trips to exotic destinations?
Perhaps for some of us, who are elderly or unable to afford to travel,  travel entails “Armchair Travelling”, paging through Getaway Magazine or Country Life,  going down memory lane.

We once had a book put out by the AA, called “En Route in SA”, and that was our travelling companion for many years when we took off on holiday.  When our children were small we mainly headed to the South Coast of Natal.  Being in the Methodist Ministry we couldn’t afford fancy hotels, except once we stayed at the famous Four Seasons Hotel in Durban.  (Our holiday was funded by a congregation member).  We hired many a holiday cottage up and down the South Coast of Natal, the South Coast being ideal for families with small children.

My late husband and I once planned a barge holiday in the UK, I remember I was reading a devotional book at the time, written by Eddie Askew of the Leprosy Mission.  He described his holiday on the canals where the “butterflies flew faster than the barge”.

UK Canal Barge

UK Canal Barge

That appealed to me – slowing down to that pace, drifting along, being one with nature, to the point where butterflies flew faster than the barge was moving.  Sadly, we never got to take that holiday as Mike became too ill with cancer.  It’s still on my bucket list.

As we approach the Lenten Season, the picture of those disciples on the Emmaus Road comes to mind.  Sad and discouraged, they were plodding along, talking amongst themselves about the happenings of the last few days, when Jesus came alongside them….. This is still one of my favourite readings in the Bible, and became very meaningful after my late Mike’s death.    When we travel the grief journey, according to Joyce Rupp, we need to carry the following in our suitcase : “Faith and Courage”  from a book by Joyce Rupp called “Praying our Goodbyes”  She suggests that instead of asking the question “Why” when we embark on the Grief Journey we ask “With Whom” am I going to go on this journey ?

Stilbaai

Stilbaai

Tomorrow I start a new chapter in my life, I am going to travel down the coast from Sedgefield to a little town called Stilbaai (Afrikaans for Still Bay), to live with a family that need a Caregiver for their father.  Being single, I am able to do this kind of thing, and I see it as an adventure.  I am testing myself, and if I cope, I would like to do some Caregiving in the UK to make up for lost capital spent on my own operations and ill health.

I hope to explore the surrounding area in my free time.  My patient says he gets cabin fever, and has asked that I drive him to visit friends in surrounding towns.  This is going to be fun.  So here I go, with Jesus by my side, travelling into unknown waters…..

I look forward to exploring parts of the Western Cape that I have not travelled to before, the famous Route 62¸  and to travelling off the beaten track in my trusty little Suzuki Jimny.

Lesley Roberts

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Would you like to travel more?
Are you being held back by the cost?
Are you worried about leaving your home and pets?
Christian House Sitters can help wherever you live. Our worldwide service offers rent-free accommodation and also provides reliable people who will look after your home and pets while you are away. They will do it free of charge.
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

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The Adventure Continues. South Africa

I have been running an occasional mini-series reproducing media articles about the wonderful work of Christian House Sitters from all over the world.

So far we have reproduced an article from Canada Click here

One from the UK  Click here

Two from the USA  Click here   and Click here

Today I will share one from South Africa.

Note this is now a couple of years old so at the end I will update the details.

Joy Magazine Article

Let me update this article.

We now give 100% of all income from Christian House Sitters to this Children’s Home. Yes that is right 100% of all income not of all profits. We personally cover all overheads.

We are now a registered Charity and God has blessed the work at the Children’s Home.

So when you join Christian House Sitters you get the benefit of rent-free vacations, you can also have someone look after your home and pets free of charge while you are away and your full membership fee helps feed, cloth and educate vulnerable children.

To find out more about Christian House Sitters please Click Here

To find out about the charity and how you can get involved even if you are not part of Christian House Sitters please Click Here

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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

Faith Filled Family

We are continuing our mini-series reproducing articles about Christian House Sitters that have appeared in the press around the world. This week we feature another article from America.

The following article appeared in the American Magazine Faith Filled Family on the 26th of January 2012Magazine Cover

 

Christian House Sitters by Jan O'kane

******

 

Ray White was born in South Africa. His wife, Marilyn, moved to South Africa from England at eleven months of age.

They now live in England but they have seen the needs of the people in this region, and their heart is to help Christian work in Africa. .

Their organization, Christian House Sitters enables them to support a children’s home in Kenya with proceeds going towards this charity.

Faith Filled Family: How did you come up with the idea for Christian House Sitters?

Ray: When we retired, we had very little money as it had all gone into the work of the Christian Counselling Ministry so in order to be able to have a good vacation we needed to find an alternative to paying full price. We heard about a Secular House Sitting organization and registered and ended up in a house in France for 3 months. It was a wonderful experience but we found it a bit lonely as we knew nobody and could not find a church. Also the home owners who were not Christians left some statues and things around the house that made us feel uncomfortable. Marilyn said that the next time we should use a Christian organization 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.

Faith Filled Family: It is my understanding that you two started this ministry on your own. Would you please explain what the CHS does?

Ray: We seek to help home owners and house sitters find each other. People can register as a Sitter, an Owner or as both. If you register as a home owner we help you to find a house sitter to move into your home while you are away on vacation. They 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.

If you register as a house sitter you get to travel and stay rent-free in lovely homes all over the world rather than in expensive and often characterless hotel rooms.

How does this work in practice? When you register as an owner we list your house details (without the specific address) on the restricted section of our website that can only be viewed by registered sitters.

We also email all registered sitters drawing their attention to the listing.

Sitters then decide which houses they are interested in and click an enquiry button. That automatically sends the owners their details and their profile info. Then it is over to the owner to make contact and decide which application they like best, check references and arrange the sit.

Faith Filled Family: How can someone sign up for either being as an owner or sitter?

Ray: It is really very easy. All they need to do is visit our website www.Christian-housesitters.com and click on the link to register. They will be asked for their name, the name of their church and minister and for some information about themselves. As long as they are members of a recognized Christian Church we will accept them as members. We also write to the named minister informing him or her that these members of the church have joined CHS.

Faith Filled Family: Can I be an owner and a sitter? What about paying, if I am both would I still pay the sitter fee?

Ray: You can register as a sitter, as an owner or as both. Registration as an owner is FREE. Registration as a Sitter is £25 per year.

Faith Filled Family: How does a sitter gain access to the houses available and the timetables?

Ray: When a sitter registers they select a password. This enables them to login to the members section of the website and see details of all available houses. From here they can also notify home owners of their interest in a house. Also whenever any new house is listed with us we send an email to all registered sitters giving them the details and reminding them that if they are interested they should login and contact the owner.

Faith Filled Family: What advice do you provide for both parties?

Ray: On the website we have a number of sections to help people. These include:

Tell Your Sitter, Advice to Sitters, Suggested Agreement and also more general info under “House Sitting Explained” and under FAQ

Faith Filled Family: How many countries has your ministry been extended into?

Ray: At the moment we have active members in Canada, USA, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales

We are also looking into expanding into other areas as well.

Faith Filled Family: I would think this is a fluid ministry in that owners and sitters are changing. Is this true?

Ray: Yes and no. Many owners remain with us and use our service every time they have a vacation.

There is no limit on how often they can ask for a sitter. We also have many sitters who renew their membership every year. But naturally there are some owners and sitters who do not remain with us and there are also always new people joining.

Faith Filled Family: I understand that the benefits from the sitters’ fee go towards a particular charity. Where does it go?

Ray: 100% of this money goes to support homeless children at a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya.

The cost of running the site is covered by us so all income goes to these needy children. You can read more about the children’s home at www.christian-housesitters.com/kenya.htm

Faith Filled Family: Please explain how and why you chose your beneficiary?

Ray: When we first started we decided that we wanted to support Christian work in Africa because of our personal experience there. Initially this money went to a Christian Organization in South Africa.

Meanwhile our church had been helping a Children’s Home in Kenya. For various reasons the church could no longer afford to continue this financial support and after much prayer we decided to take it on as our project. The work had not been run very efficiently in Kenya so Marilyn, who is experienced in business management, set up a strong accountability structure with herself as the leader. She appointed local Christians to run the home on a day-to-day basis under a local leadership team.

But all major decisions need to be approved by her and she also makes certain that the money is properly accounted for and used wisely. She has had contact with local officials and the home has been inspected by both the area Chief and the District Commissioner who expressed their delight in how well it is being run.

Faith Filled Family: The Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya; how many children are cared for at the home?

Ray: This varies slightly but we normally have between 80 and 85 children who would otherwise be living on the streets, begging or stealing to stay alive. We provide them with accommodation, food, clothing, medical care and pay for their schooling. This is all done in a strong Christian atmosphere. As a result we are seeing lives transformed.

Faith Filled Family: You have explained that Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya Is supported by the CHS. Does the ministry cover all expenses?

Ray: At this stage we are their only financial support. Over the past 12 months we have built them 2 toilet blocks (before this they had to use a field which we felt was not satisfactory), we have built a nursery room for the younger children, and we have got additional beds for the children. They now all have bedding and mosquito nets and we have been able to keep them in food, medicine and clothing. It is often really difficult and each time we send out money it is an adventure in faith asking God to supply but He has never failed. If we had additional funds we would love to improve the facilities, build some more dormitories, turn our temporary kitchen into a real kitchen, etc.

Faith Filled Family: If someone desires to donate to the Children’s Home, how would they go about doing so?

Ray: They can do that from our site by clicking the donate button or by sponsoring a child. Full details are at www.TLC-childrenstrust.org

NOTE FROM RAY. Some information in the article about the children’s home is now naturally out of date but the current information can be found at www.tlc-childrenstrust.org/update.htm

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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Overcoming Prejudice.

Immigrants

I saw the picture above on a friend’s Facebook page and it really appealed to me.

I grew up in a very small rural community of farmers in South Africa and did not travel abroad until after I was married and we had children.  Unknown to me I was forming mental pictures of national stereotypes that encouraged prejudice.

Stereotypes

 

Since then I have lived in England for many years, spent a year in France, months in Italy and visited about 20 countries for prolonged periods. The result is that I now have a far better understanding of people from different cultures and I have friends all over the world.

In my opinion the best way to get to know people from other cultures is to spend some time living with them. A vacation staying in a hotel catering for tourists is great but no substitute for living with the locals.

But, I hear you object, it costs so much I can’t afford to travel all over the world.

Neither can I but that has not stopped me and hopefully my travelling days are far from over. There are still so many places I want to visit, so many people I want to meet and even places I want to re-visit.

The only way I have been able to afford it is by House Sitting. That means my only expense is getting there and my food. My accommodation is free of charge. What a blessing. It also means I stay in lovely homes rather than a hotel room, I meet real local people, I can visit the home owners local church if I wish and be assured of a good welcome and I have a wonderful time and make new friends.

Why don’t you give it a try?

Christian House Sitters can help you enjoy  rent free vacations all over the world. We can also help you find reliable people who will look after your home and pets free of charge while you are away.

Have a look at the website for more details. CLICK HERE

God bless you

Ray

 

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Celebrating Christmas around the world.

Christmas all over the worldMarilyn and I have been blessed and have travelled to a lot of different countries. It has been fascinating to see how things that we take for granted in our own country can appear so odd and are experienced so differently by our neighbours around the world.

Because of Christian House Sitters we have been able to enjoy Christmas in France (twice), Italy and the USA. In addition I grew up in South Africa and we now live in England.

In South Africa  Christmas is a summer holiday. In December, the southern summer brings glorious days of sunshine that carry an irresistible invitation to the beaches, the rivers, and the shaded mountain slopes. Then the South African holiday season reaches its height. Schools are closed, and camping is the order of the day. I remember how carollers made their rounds on Christmas Eve. Church services were held on Christmas morning. Christmas Eve celebrations in larger towns often include “Carols by Candlelight”. Homes were decorated with Christmas fir trees (often artificial and covered in fake snow)Roast Turkey Dinner

Many South Africans have a Christmas dinner in the open-air at mid-day, it is usually a traditional dinner of either turkey,  vegetables, and plum pudding, crackers and paper hats.

Often followed by a dip in the swimming pool.

When we moved to England there was hardly any difference except that it was mid-winter not summer so no need for fake snow and certainly no afternoon swim.

The first Christmas we spent in central France we were frustrated. We really battled to find a turkey. Christmas pudding and Christmas cake were unknown to the local supermarket. We did some research and found that the French make a traditional Yule log-shaped cake called the buche de Nol, which means “Christmas Log.” buche de Nol

The cake, among other food in great abundance is served at the grand feast of the season, which is called le reveillon which is a very late supper held after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The menu for the meal apparently varies according to regional culinary tradition. In Alsace, goose is the main course while the Parisians feast upon oysters.

Our Christmas in Italy was far from typical as we were staying high in the mountains and for 10 days could not leave the house because of a severe snow storm. So I read up on their Christmas traditions and discovered that On christmas Eve the dinner is called cenone which is a traditional dish of eel. Christmas lunch is Tortellini in Brodo which is filled pasta parcels in broth, also served is cappone which is boiled capon, or roasts are served in central Italy.Italian Christmas meal

Apparently in Italy the children wait until Epiphany, January 6, for their presents. According to tradition, the presents are delivered by a kind ugly witch called Befana on a broomstick. It was said that she was told by the three kings that the baby Jesus was born, she was busy and delayed visiting the baby. She missed the Star lost her way and has been flying around ever since, leaving presents at every house with children in case he is there. She slides down chimneys, and fills stockings and shoes with good things for good children and it is said leaves coal for children who are not so good.

Our American Christmas was fabulous with the traditional Christmas dinner of roast turkey with vegetables and sauces. For dessert it is rich, fruity Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. Mince pies, pastry cases filled with a mixture of chopped dried fruit. Not unlike what we have back in England.

How do you celebrate your Christmas?

I am really interested to hear from people all over the world.

As you know we run Christian House Sitters for 2 reasons. Firstly it provides Christians all over the world with the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures. Staying in lovely homes rent-free. That is why we have been able to experience so many different international Christmases. Christian House Sitters also finds you someone reliable and responsible to look after your own home and pets while you are away. This is a free service.

The second reason for Christian House Sitters is to provide funds to run the Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya. We not only provide all their funds for food, accommodation, clothing, medical expenses and education but we are in daily contact and Marilyn ensures that the home is run properly and the money is used correctly. To read about it  CLICK HERE

Our involvement with this home brings home a couple of important biblical teachings. In Matthew 25: 41-45 we read “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’  “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

In James 1:27 it says: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress

Kenya 2010 051

As you enjoy your Christmas with the delicious food, exciting gifts and wonderful blessings will you take a moment to prayerfully ask if God would have you share something with these children. You can do so online at the bottom of the  Home of Peace News update webpage page CLICK HERE

God bless you and may your Christmas be filled with His love, peace and joy.

Ray

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