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Africa Community creativity Hospitality Ministry Travel

reverie guesthouse


In the beginning of last year, I started a new little venture in the world of guesthouse businesses. I never really aspired to do something like this, but I’m so glad I did. I realized how much I love creating inviting spaces filled with beautiful things that make people smile. One of my favorite things is to see people’s reaction as they walk in and {positively} comment on the space.

January 2016, I listed BEAUTIFUL ARTSY AFRICAN RETREAT on Airbnb. I was ready for business! We didn’t get a booking until March. I wondered if this was a good idea after all. I didn’t get into this for my own sake.

I did it to provide an income for others while at the same time teaching business skills and imparting my high standard for excellence in everything you do.


I did it to invite people of all walks of life to come to this place where we invite Jesus to abide. Our strict policy from the beginning has been that we don’t discriminate against ANYONE.

And, unashamedly, I did it to make money. Is a business successful if it doesn’t make any money? We have a beautiful property here in S. Africa. It’s a win win to use our space to make a little extra rands for running costs.

I guess all we needed was a booking to get the momentum going.

By July, because of the number of trips we had hosted and our excellent ratings, we had risen to Superhost status (and have maintained it since).


In October, we added our second listing, BEAUTIFUL OASIS IN THE AFRICAN BUSH (these photos are a glimpse of that space).

Sometime, in the last quarter of 2016, our two listings made it to the top two spots when you google top White River Airbnb accommodations.

By December 31st, 2016, we had hosted 130 guests from 20 nations!

As I review my reasons for getting into this, I’m pleased that I’m right on track as we enter our second year. I’m so glad I get to do this guesthouse thing with this lovely lady who constantly makes me laugh and amazes me with her growth posture and shared drive to make a space that is clean, clean, clean.


We’ve certainly hosted people from all walks of life! One night we had a husband and wife Muslim couple staying with us who said one of the best things they loved about staying at our place was the people (we do have a pretty spectacular bunch) and how it’s always great to meet people like us. The very next night we had a gay Jewish couple stay with us who thanked us for our warm hospitality. I believe Jesus calls us to be a lover of people, and I’m so glad that people who meet us for the first time feel that when they sleep in our beds.

And we did make money! It’s always nice to recoup your startup costs AND make money on top of that.

Here’s to a successful 2016 and an even better 2017!

creativity Hospitality Travel

our beautiful african artsy apartment

One thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that, if I don’t have some kind of fun, creative project going on, I feel like I’m suffocating inside. The ability to create and think outside the box, to make something beautiful, just feels so good. 



The end of last year I found myself in the middle of a creative project that was just plain fun. An apartment opened up on our property, and we decided to turn it into really nice guest housing that we could profit fun. It was already quite beautiful. A little paint on the walls to lighten it up and some tasteful decor to complement was all it needed to create a comfortable place for guests to stay.



I sewed the shower curtains, the window curtain, bed pillow covers, and new covers for the chairs. I also got to work plotting and planning artwork that I (or someone else) could make without breaking the bank. My favorite piece is the kudu head. While I wish I could take credit for that one, the only thing I did was put the boards together and communicate what I wanted on it. My talented friend, Phoebe, did the beautiful part. She also painted the 3 piece scene of Cape Town above the bed.


living room

I painted an old bunkbed ladder and hung Masai blankets from my recent travels to Kenya. I also took a branch I dried out and screwed that into the wall for FREE art! While the walls still need more (a map, for one, because I sure do love maps), I’m so happy with the way this space turned out. I’ll be sharing more later this week about the simple and inexpensive art projects I did to create eye candy for these walls.

living room view 2

living room view 1

In the meantime, do check out our listing on Airbnb and visit the article I wrote on making travel affordable at Petit Elefant. Not only has this project been incredibly fun, but we’ve met some great people traveling through on their way to Kruger and it has provided income for others and Ten Thousand Homes. Win, win!

Please feel free to come stay with us when you’re in South Africa and please pin, tweet, and promote our listing to your little heart’s delight! That’s my shameless plug!

Africa Community Fun Hospitality

it’s a feast of love

the table

We have a tradition around here. Every October/November we don our best threads and our staff sit down to a feast served by our leadership team here at Ten Thousand Homes (aka Jeremy, myself, and a couple of others). We end the evening by celebrating each other’s talent in the form of a show. It’s fabulous and fun and we leave with full bellies and hearts.

place setting

Every time we put on a gathering, I am reminded just how important these times are. They aren’t optional. They are necessary. They bring us together in a light hearted way to celebrate and laugh, both necessary things when most days feel like your hand is to the plow, and though progress is being made, there’s still always so much to do.

my hot husband

We have a lot of parties here, but we must celebrate together. Come on! {Sorry, felt a little song burgeoning there.}

Family Fun Hospitality

independence day celebrations

happy 4th

We had a great, relaxed time on Saturday celebrating American Independence Day in South Africa! We started with some patriotic pancakes, cooked by moi, designed by Emma G. A bring and bbq in the late afternoon provided an assortment of cuisine the complimented our desserts, berries on skewers and fruit tart made with homemade lemon curd!

Card playing was part of the entertainment while waiting for the meat to finish. Other entertainment included some Hell’s Fury fireworks. You take what you can get when fireworks aren’t in season. Sparklers were enjoyed by every age. We ended the evening with a game of Capture the Flag, organized by my very own Emma Grace. Our team won, not that I’m competitive or anything.

star pancakes


fruit tart


cards women

cards men

hell's fury


sparkler magic

lighting a sparkler

If you celebrated, I hope your fourth was as festive as ours!

Family Hospitality

Our Humble Abode

humble abode

So we did get moved on Monday. Our friends were a huge help in getting us out of our house. Our temporary place is a little on the small side – all 4 of us sleeping in one room BUT we do have our own bathroom! We will be here another few days until our students leave for outreach. Then we’ll move to the house they’ve been living in. Despite our short stay in this room, I always desire to make it feel homey. Even if only for a few days. To walk in and feel welcomed is always my goal. That’s why pictures, plants, and a proper bin for loose toys is always a must!

hanging plant


proud artwork

We’ve already thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with staff and students. Yes, despite the transitional housing, this was the best decision.