Posted by: faithtravelfocus | January 4, 2012

Christians Hold Keys to Free Worldwide Housing

 Are you a member in good standing of a Christian church anywhere in the world? If yes, you have the keys to free house stays and/or house and pet care while you are away. In a world of rising vacation or holiday travel expenses, this can be great news. 

At non-profit Christian House Sitters (CHS), you can register as a house sitter  – one who stays rent free in homes around the world and cares for pets and premises – or home owner  – one who provides the premises and receives free caretaking – or both. Member registration in the sitter category costs 25 British pounds a year and all proceeds go to charity. Home owners register for free.

 And there’s more good news besides free vacation stays. CHS founders and managers Ray and Marilyn White donate all membership fees to the Home for Peace ministry in Kenya for orphaned children.

CHS Supports A Kenyan Orphanage

Why Kenya? The couple both have personal and ministry roots inAfrica. Marilyn was born inEnglandbut grew up inZimbabweandSouth Africa. Ray also has roots inSouth Africa, where he grew up.Johannesburgis where they met and married. Now semi-retired in theUK(West Sussex), they manage CHS and continue other ministry endeavors. There’s more about their professional backgrounds and hearts for the Kenyan children on the CHS website. 

Ray and Marilyn founded CHS a few years ago after they did a two-month house sit in France. The Whites advise home owners how to qualify house sitters, but function primarily as a connection site for members. 

A CHS House in Wales

 

“We cannot guarantee to find you a house or a  house sitter, but we can list details for people who choose to join the service,” said Ray White. Privacy is also a hallmark of CHS. White said they do not disclose member information beyond what they receive for publication on the site. One house now on the CHS site is available in St. Antonin, France for three weeks in February. A German Shepherd and three goats come with the four-bedroom property. Houses in Australia, South Africa, England, Wales and Canada are looking for sitters.

Though CHS participation is pretty much on the honor system, the ministry has many satisfied members who have cut costs for their personal travel as either house sitters or home owners who rely on other members to care for their homes and pets while they are away.  

“We live in a ranch style three bedroom house located in Tacoma, Washington and we have one cat,” said John, a CHS home owner member. “We worry about leaving the house unoccupied when we vacation so on finding Ray’s service we decided to give it a try.

“We contacted CHS one week last spring, and in a few days we had received applications from eight families who all wanted the house” he continued. “We chose a Canadian couple. The couple supplied us with two references from their local church fellowship and we checked them out. We then spoke with them a couple of times by telephone and agreed to the details. They did a magnificent job of looking after our home and our cat. We now consider them friends, and later this year we will again be contacting Ray for a sitter so we can go to Calgary and visit with our first sitters, Helen and Roger.”

 CHS can be your ticket to 2012 travel around the world. Check it out as a way to reduce travel expenses for your tours to just about anywhere in the world!


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