Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – September 7th – Update 1

Daniel Centre

The new resident with severe psychiatric continues to be a challenge but Ionuz has benefitted greatly from his time in the Centre but still struggles with money management.  They have now lost 3 lads within a few weeks but are expecting two more coming in.

One of Blythswood’s partners in the Ukraine has dropped out since they have other sources of funding who require less accountability than Christian Aid.  Negotiations continue for funding of Ukrainians still in Romania.

Balazs’ wife Agnes is coming on Blythswood staff to deal with contractual negotiations for their depot in Cluj.  A potential tenant would like to lease the whole depot.

Blythswood are still looking for a Ukrainian in Cluj to be responsible for what they are doing in the Ukraine.

Talita Kum

Adi has still not found replacements for the two teachers he has lost and may have to take a more active role in TK2 himself.

He already has 8 older children who have graduated to high school and therefore has them in a fledgling TK3.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – August 23rd – Update 2

Daniel Centre

Another resident has been expelled for drug use and a new resident has arrived with severe psychiatric problems at the request of the local psychiatric hospital.  So, challenges continue, particularly for the night staffers, Sergiu and Avram.

Balazs has a significant load of paperwork with Christian Aid increasing their requests for accountability from Blythswood’s partners in the Ukraine over the next year’s funds.  Negotiations are also going on for the funding of the Ukrainians still living in Blythswood premises in Cluj.

Because of other paperwork commitments, Balazs has fallen behind with contractual negotiations for letting the Blythswood depot in Cluj.

Blythswood are also looking to take on a suitable Romanian who speaks Ukrainian to be responsible for what they are doing in the Ukraine.

Talita Kum

Adi’s summer camps have all gone well and the Blythswood shops in Jimbolia continue to be a major contributor to the running costs of the afterschool TK1 and TK2 activities.

Having lost the Head Teacher for TK2, Adi has now reported the loss of a key teacher in TK1 – both because of the recent salary increases in the public sector.

Despite these setbacks, Adi has not given up his dream of launching TK3 for older children.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – June 14th – Update 2

Daniel Centre

The lad who was pepper-sprayed is reluctant to attend a programme on drug issues as he claims he doesn’t have a problem, so he may still be sent away.

The carer in danger of emotional burnt-out is on 2 weeks’ holiday.  The professional counsellor doesn’t see him as fit for the job and Balazs wrestles with this opinion.

The electricians have disappeared again and  Balazs may have to take them to court for breach of contract.

A Ukrainian lady has been appointed as Christian Aid’s representative for the Ukraine and wants to sideline Blythswood from CA’s operation, much to the dismay of her more experience Christian Aid colleagues.

Blythswood’s Ukrainian partner Heritage has been greatly affected by the dam destruction in their area but has still run very successful 2 one-day Bible camps for 50 children and their parents.

Balazs’s daughter Ilka has her exams next week to decide which high school she can attend.

Talita Kum

Adi’s Talita Kum Children’s Day Show in Jimboliya’s main square and their year-end celebration on June 6th were very successful.

They are still on course for taking the 35 TK1 children to camp in late June and the 45 TK2 kids with young helpers from Inverness in August, both camps in the Southern Carpathian mountains.

The Romanian teachers’ strike has ended and now puts financial pressure on Adi to find enough teachers.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – May 31st – Update 1

Daniel Centre

Drugs have loomed large with one of the lads having to be sent away for pepper-spraying another of the lads.  He had stolen the pepper spray from his security work at the airport and also lost his work there because of his attitude.  The lad who was pepper-sprayed is also in danger of being sent away.

One of the carers, himself a former resident of the Daniel Centre, is in danger of emotional burnt-out.  Iva, who works with their sister organisation, Bonus Pastors as a professional counsellor, acts as a back-up for the staff.

The electricians finally came this week for the Depot.  Every delay prevents the potential renters from concluding contracts with Blythswood.

Balazs has now had his initial assessment with James Campbell after taking over foreign operations from Finlay MacKenzie and the assessment was very positive.

Balazs’s daughter Ilka has a stressful exam in 3 weeks’ time to decide which high school she can attend.

Talita Kum

Ending the school year, Adi’s Talita Kum will have their Children’s Day Show in Jimboliya’s main square and their year-end celebration on June 6th after a very positive past school year.

Adi will take the 35 TK1 children to camp in the Southern Carpathian mountains in late June and the 45 TK2 kids to a new location with a group of young helpers from a Free Church in Inverness in August.

The Romanian teachers’ strike for higher pay could put financial pressure on Adi to find enough teachers.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – May 17th – Update 2

Daniel Centre

On Tuesday this past week, Balazs took the visiting Blythswood trustees to see the student ministry (Puluz) and the Christian Publishing and Café ministry (Koinonia) in Cluj and then the Elpis Christian Kindergarten facility and hour away before returning to the Daniel Centre for dinner with 13 lads, half of them ex-residents of the Centre.

On Wednesday they visited the Bonus Pastors therapy centre for recovering addicts with its 17 residents, mainly 18-50 year olds, before spending the night at Jimboliya to spend Thursday seeing around Adi’s ministry at Talita Kum.

On Friday they drove into Serbia to first see the Jovica church plant which faces a lot of opposition from the Belgrade Orthodox Church.  Saturday was for visiting the work of Dragisa and attending a service with about 30 present, mainly young people who had come out of an Orthodox background.

On Sunday, they were in Nis for a service led by a father and son team, Cedo and Emmanuel, from the Balkan Theology Faculty and visited an up-market gypsy encampment there before the trustees flew back to Scotland and Balazs to Cluj from Belgrade.

It was an altogether encouraging visit for all concerned as even Balazs himself had not been to all of these places himself.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – May 3rd – Update 1

Daniel Centre

Balazs, because of his increased commitments for the overseas work of Blythswood, has given up much of the financial responsibilities of Blythswood Romania to Christina.  Agnes, Balazs’ wife, who currently runs a project for 30 impoverished Romanian families and also helps administer the aid being funnelled into Ukraine for Christian Aid, is also being considered for beginning a safeguarding project for Blythswood’s partners in the Ukraine.

There have been two new arrivals at the Daniel Centre, with one of them having spent a year independently in Bucharest after leaving the orphanage of his upbringing.  This year has obviously affected his attitude negatively.  There is also internal debate in the Daniel Centre as to whether Cosmin should be asked to leave because of his ongoing drug influence.

Blythswood board and trustee members visit Romania and Serbia next week to become more acquainted with the work there, only one of them having visited that region before.

Talita Kum

The trustees will spend a day in Jimboliya, acquainting themselves with the work of Talita Kum.  The owners of the land behind the Talita Kum houses, which Adi hoped to get for a sports area for the children, have given no indication of reducing their asking price for the land.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – Update 2 – April 23rd

Daniel Centre

A mixed bag from the Daniel Centre.  Cosmin and Alex are on a final warning.  Though still on drugs, they are at least not using in the home and both have been more positive in helping and keeping their rooms tidy.  Alex now has a scholarship for free driving lessons.  Ionuz, who had been away for 6 months and returned in February , was fired from his Casino job for stealing.

Danut, with a slight disability, has become very polite and keeps his room tidy.  Damian, the delivery lad with three bikes, has become more negative and late with his various payments.  He is on notice to leave the Centre at the end of April.  André, very impertinent, is constantly losing jobs and blaming the employers for firing him.  He must find a job and stick with it by the end of April.

New arrival Emil is well behaved with a positive attitude and found a job within 2 days of arriving.  Another new arrival, Rares, is becoming less positive but has already paid a year’s rent for his room at the Centre.

Almost none of the lads attend the fellowship meetings with Danny and Sergiu but Sergiu takes some of them to his lively Pentecostal church with him every fortnight.  Sergiu himself is a university graduate and an ex-Daniel Centre resident who has a real heart for the lads.

Blythswood board members visit Romania and Serbia for a week this coming month.

Talita Kum

No updates from Adi this time.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – April Update 1

March 28th

Daniel Centre

Blythswood have now received an additional £240,000 from the Scottish Government through Christian Aid to add to the second half of this year’s Ukraine support up to the end of August. 

Balazs had a successful trip to the school that Blythswood supports in Kenya including a meeting with the Hungarian ambassador there.  The Hungary government is unfortunately scaling down its support in the country.

Julien and Cipri continue well in their apartment and Damian and André have become positive influences in the Daniel Centre.   Drug abuse has become a bigger issue among the lads, however, and Balazs feels that a stronger stance is needed than the other staff members are comfortable with. 

Work at the depot is now complete and contractual negotiations with potential renters are taking place so that the depot can begin to generate income for the Daniel Centre.

 Talita Kum

Blythswood have had talks with the owner of the land that Adi would like to buy adjacent to Talita Kum as a sports area for the Talita Kum children.  The owner, however, is asking for much more than Blythswood are currently willing to pay.

Talitha Kum is currently running at capacity, mainly with children from the Roma community.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – March 7th 2023 – Update

Daniel Centre

Balazs has been completing his 6-monthly report for Christian Aid on handling the winterisation money for the Ukraine.  He leaves for a week in Kenya on Friday 10th, having arranged to meet the Hungarian ambassador to Kenya in Nairobi to discuss the future of Hungarian aid to the Christian school there and its efforts to be accredited.

Julien and Cipri are doing well in their apartment, Damian continues with his rental delivery scooter.   Two of the lads have been sent out of the Daniel Centre because of drug abuse and a third is on a warning.  7 places are currently filled, with one vacancy, and 6 of the 7 lads in residence have work.  The 7th, recently sacked by his supermarket, is actively pursuing other work. 

Work at the depot continues and only the tarring of the yard remains to complete.

The Daniel Centre team – Danny, Louisa and Agnes – are all doing well.

Talita Kum

Adi had a very successful day trip to Hungary with a group of children and the elderly, and another very successful skiing trip for 18 children in early March.

As I spoke to Balazs, Adi was on his way to meet the owners of the land adjacent to Talita Kum to see if it could be purchased by Blythswood for use as a sports area for the Talita Kum children.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood – February 15th 2023 Update

Daniel Centre

The Chief Executive Officers of Christian Aid and the UK Disaster Emergency Committee visited Odessa in the Eastern Ukraine at the beginning of February and were very positive in commending Blythswood’s role in administering the funds they had collected.  The Disaster Emergency Fund had had their best ever fund-raising campaign of over £400 million for the Ukraine but now have to move on to other disaster areas.

Balazs hopes to visit Kenya in mid-March where Blythswood sponsors a primary school.  The Kenyan government, however, have now moved towards the American system and given small schools for the poor almost impossible conditions to meet in order to be accredited.  This means that grades 7 and 8 pupils will have to move to public schools in order to continue their education.

Talita Kum

Adi (who runs the Talita Kum project for mainly Roma or gypsy children to give them a meal, games and help with their homework after school) is taking a group of the children and also elderly people for a day trip to Hungary and about 20 children on a skiing trip in early March.