Christian charity Blythswood Care marked its 50th anniversary with a service of thanksgiving, held in Inverness, on Friday 5 February 2016.
The Blythswood Tract Society was started by the late John Walter (Jackie) Ross, then a student for the ministry, and other young people from the Free Presbyterian Church in Glasgow, with the aim of reaching the unchurched with the gospel.
Following the collapse of communism in Europe in 1990, Blythswood delivered aid to Romania and other countries, becoming Blythswood Care in 1993. Today, it works with Christian partner organisations in Europe, Africa and Asia, supporting social care projects for vulnerable children and adults.
Blythswood’s Christian literature ministry continues, with gospel tracts, Christian books and Bibles distributed in many languages, especially through the annual Shoe Box Appeal.
The thanksgiving service reflected Blythswood’s focus on Romania, with Dr Adrian Popa, director of Blythswood Banat, delivering the keynote message on the raising of Dorcas (Acts 9:36-43).
Referring to Christians imprisoned for their faith during the communist era, Dr Popa identified Dorcas as an entrepreneur who had worked so that she could help others. He likened the ministry of Blythswood to Dorcas’ ministry for powerless widows.
Presented with multiple evidences of Dorcas’ pity, Peter did for her what she had done for widows. Following the example of his Lord, he took her by the hand and helped her to her feet, and so restored blessing to the community. The result was that many came to believe in Christ.
The service at Culduthel Christian Centre included updates on Blythswood’s current activities and an account by local secondary school pupil Lois Hamilton of her experience as a volunteer at children’s camps.
Donald McCuish, one of Blythswood’s original founding group, William Mackenzie, director of Christian Focus Publications, and Lord Mackay of Clashfern, patron of Blythswood Care, led the gathering in prayer.