Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – December 6th 2022

Daniel Centre

In his new Blythswood capacity, Balazs has been visiting the Divine Grace University in Moldova, a Blythswood partner there, and also to meet up with Ukrainian partners since the Christian Aid security advisor has told him not to visit Ukraine directly for the time being.  The University also functions as a mission school and training college for nurses and social workers with many students from the Stans of the former USSR.

Julien and Cipri prepare to leave the Centre later this month to share an apartment.  Damian has been back in the Centre for a week but his attitude has not improved and he may be expelled again. 

Blythswood has received a further “winterisation” £450,000 from Christian Aid which has to be spent before the end of February for generators, fuel, wood-burning stoves etc.  The communities themselves have to decide how to use the money under the SCLR initiative (Survivor Community-Led Response).

Talita Kum

Adi has paid the final bill to the Romanian body of EU funding for cancelling the TK3 and TK4 project for the time being but was able to do it without having to pay a fine, thus leaving open the relaunching of the project at a future date.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – November 9th 2022

Daniel Centre

There were concerns from their night supervisor Sergiu that he had detected the smell of marijuana when some of the lads were having a party downstairs but the boys have categorically denied this.  The day supervisor Danny has also admitted to the occasional joint.  A recent addition to the residents, Darian, evidences an addiction to slot machines and perhaps to drugs and there is concern that he is funding his ‘hobbies’ through shoplifting.

Louisa continues to profit from regular counselling and a Christian Aid guru will do a safeguarding and accountability course with her when she visits Romania next week.  Louisa feels she needs more excitement and challenge in her work.

James Campbell, the head of Blythswood, has recently visited Balazs to see their projects in the Ukraine and Romania.  Overseas funding has dropped for the Blythswood projects, probably war-weariness in the West, and they plan a new appeal in the New Year.  In the meantime, they will be cutting down the number of projects they can support from 14 to 6.  Most of the shoe-box distribution will now have to devolve to local groups and churches which receive the bulk of the shoeboxes in Romania and the Ukraine.

Talita Kum

Adi will keep TK1 and TK2 separate till the end of the year with 84 mostly Roma primary school and 4 high school children and then relocate the TK1 children to the TK2 building because of heating and lighting costs.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – October 19th 2022

Daniel Centre

Cipri and Julian have been preparing to ease into independent living but Cipri is perhaps beginning to have cold feet.  Damien has returned to the Daniel Centre but his attitude is not good.  He has called the police to complain about two of the other lads but the police have fortunately seen through his scheming.

Louisa has been profiting from more regular counselling over her expectations of her colleagues.

The older Ukrainian lady in the Centre apartment has found a new calling as a cook for the Daniel Centre and prepares two meals a week for the lads.  An interesting chemistry is developing between herself and the lads as they enjoy and react to her angry Russian language outbursts which they don’t understand.

Balazs has completed his report on how the first phase of Christian Aid money was used in the Ukraine and the second year of Christian Aid money for the Ukraine has now been granted.

Talita Kum

Adi is seriously considering having to close the TK2 building and the Talita Kum project for 2 months in the winter because the cost of heating and lighting the building is expected to rise from £1500 to £9000 a month.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – September 14th 2022

Daniel Centre

All the Daniel Centre lads are hanging it at work and they will possibly re-open their transit apartment to ease Cipri into independent living and move Julian there with him as Julian has been having his own problems in the Centre.  Damien, who had to leave a year ago because of issues with his dog, is now begging to return.

Louisa has begun to struggle over the lack of progress in the young men, her expectations of her colleagues and the honeymoon period now being over.  She has been considering resigning but  Balazs hopes that time with their team psychologist will help Louisa get through this rough patch.

The older Ukrainian lady in the Centre apartment had to be hospitalised and operated on as she was losing blood.  Her two daughters in the Ukraine and a third daughter and her sister in Romania sadly show no interest in her.

Balazs has been slowed down in wrapping up his report on how the first phase of Christian Aid money was used in the Ukraine because the four partners in the Ukraine have been slow and problematic in the way they have reported to him.

Talita Kum

Adi is still seriously considering having to relocate the TK1 children to the TK2 building because of the anticipated costs when the heating and lighting of the buildings have to be ramped up at the beginning of October.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – August 31st 2022

Daniel Centre

Danutz has now found work, so all the Daniel Centre lads are employed. 

The Renovation of the Depot is still being delayed by lack of people on the work force.  Many workers still leave Romania to seek their fortunes in Western Europe.

Only one older Ukrainian lady is left in the Daniel Centre apartment and she speaks only Ukrainian.

Balazs now begins his intense fortnight of wrapping up his report on how the first phase of Christian Aid money was used in the Ukraine.  Most of the internally displaced people (IDPs) have been housed in schools over the summer months.  Now that these schools are re-opening for the new academic year, all of these IDPs will become homeless and the challenge is now on how to best channel the Christian Aid money to help them.

Talita Kum

Expecting 77 children for their after-school activities when schools open again on September 5th, Adi is seriously considering having to relocate the TK1 children to the TK2 building because of the anticipated cost increases in heating and lighting the buildings.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – August 17th 2022

Daniel Centre

All of the Daniel Centre young men now have jobs except Danutz who is physically handicapped.  The three young men in prison are inside for 1 year and 9 months but could get 25% off for good behaviour.  Soreen, who has been relocated to another prison at his own request, is still in regular touch with the Daniel Centre and would like to come back there on his release. 

The second phase of Christian Aid money for Ukraine, starting in early September, is to be channelled through Balazs for Blythswood.  Balazs then has an intense fortnight of wrapping up his report on how the first phase of the money was used.  Most of the new money will be distributed to internally displaced people as cash rather than as goods.

Talita Kum

Adi is preparing for the schools going back in at the beginning of September and expecting 77 children for their after-school activities.  They will be keeping 4 girls who now have reached the end of TK2.  About 90% of the children they look after are from the Roma or gypsy community.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – July 20th 2022

Daniel Centre

Robi is not keen to stay long with the supermarket.  Soreen, the most positive of the prison 3, asked to be relocated to another prison to be away from Alex’s negativity.  He is in touch with the Daniel Centre and would like to come back there on his release. 

An older Ukrainian lady and another younger lady and daughter have moved into the Daniel Centre apartment but the older is making life difficult for the younger one.

The first phase of Christian Aid money to three mainly Baptist NGOs in the Carpathia, Odessa and Ternopil areas of the Ukraine is set to finish at the end of August.  The second phase then begins and £1 million of Christian Aid money will be channelled through Balazs for Blythswood over the following 12 months.  The process is becoming less hectic but there is still a lot of pressure on Balazs.  They are adding a new freelance consultant in London with a lot of experience in these areas.

Talita Kum

Adi is preparing for the children’s summer camps but has had a visit from someone responsible for the use of EU funds in Romania who has told him that no funding will be available for TK3 and TK4.  So this project has been terminated by the mutual agreement of Blythswood and the EU funders so that the relationship remains good for possible future funding.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – June 29th 2022

Daniel Centre

Robi has found work at a nearby supermarket, Ionuz is still inactive, had to be put out for a few days and has returned quite chastened.  Dani too moved out with friends for a few days but has now moved back in.

The Ukrainian refugee family in the Daniel Centre apartment are now preparing to return to the Ukraine.

Balazs is very taken up with channelling Christian Aid money to three mainly Baptist NGOs in the Carpathia, Odessa and Ternopil areas of the Ukraine.  The first tranche of money – £420,000 – has already been forwarded, but this is only the beginning of a 3-year programme.  Pray for the NGOs as they handle this amount of money and for Balazs as he is responsible for keeping them accountable.

He has a 10-hour drive from Cluj to the Ukraine to meet with representatives of the NGOs, speaks no Ukrainian and has to rely on a translator.

Talita Kum

Because Balazs has been spending so much time with the Ukraine connection, he has not been in touch with Adi in Jimboliya for an update on his activities there.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – June 21st 2022

Daniel Centre

Robi has successfully found work at the nearby supermarket, but Ionuz is still inactive, had to be put out for a few days and has returned quite chastened.  Dani too moved out with friends for a few days but has now moved back in.

The Ukrainian refugee family in the Daniel Centre apartment are now preparing to return to the Ukraine.

Balazs is very taken up with channelling Christian Aid money to three mainly Baptist NGOs in the Carpathia, Odessa and Ternopil areas of the Ukraine.  The first tranche of money – £420,000 – has already been forwarded but this is only the beginning of a 3-year programme.  Pray for the NGOs as they handle this amount of money and for Balazs as he is responsible for keeping them accountable.

He has a 10-hour drive from Cluj to the Ukraine to meet with representatives of the NGOs, speaks no Ukrainian and has to rely on a translator.

Talita Kum

Because Balazs has been spending so much time with the Ukraine connection , he has not been in touch with Adi in Jimboliya for an update on his activities there.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – June 7th 2022

Daniel Centre

Luisa came online today to be introduced to me and a couple of the Daniel Centre lads are in phone contact with Alex, Soreen & Ovidio in prison.  They will be able to visit them soon and take in food parcels that Luisa is preparing for them.   The expected new arrival has materialised – his name is Robi and he is in the process of applying for work at the nearby supermarket.

The new Ukrainian refugee family in the Daniel Centre apartment show little sign of wanting to learn Romanian or English and have little meaningful contact with Balazs.

Balazs and Finlay MacKenzie were able to visit churches in Ukraine but encountered issues in channelling Christian Aid and Blythswood money through them.  They were put in touch, however, with a Dutch-sponsored Christian NGO in the Ukraine which is eager and available to interact with them.

Talita Kum

Because Balazs has been visiting Scotland recently and also spending a lot of time getting involved in the Ukraine, he has not been in touch with Adi in Jimboliya for an update on his activities there.