Kostas is a Cypriot gentleman in his late 50’s, who until recently lived in Cyprus with his wife and 2 children. In search of employment he was flown to the UK to take up a job that was promised to him, but on arrival he was surprised to find that the job no longer existed, and he was turned away. With no money and no promise of an income he found himself on the streets and unable to purchase a ticket home. His mobile phone and bag were stolen, but thankfully he had kept his passport on his person. Not being a UK resident, he had no recourse to public funds, and found himself sleeping rough. He was given food to eat by volunteers serving with the Edinburgh City Mission and Bethany Christian Trust Care Van. The Care Van takes emergency food supplies and a listening ear to the streets 363 nights of the year and four lunchtimes per week. The volunteer team pointed Kostas in the direction of our office in Polwarth. He had been sleeping on a bench in our local park before knocking on our door last week.
Our office administrator, Fiona, offered Kostas a listening ear and a hot drink before praying with him and giving him a day ticket to get to our Newington Basics Bank. After leaving our offices Kostas was helped by a local university lecturer to find the Basics Bank. We discovered that really, Kostas just wanted to return home to his family. The pastor of Community Church Edinburgh decided that he would bless Kostas with an airplane ticket back to Cyprus. Kostas was over the moon and completely shocked by the generosity. One of the Basics Bank Volunteers serving that day is a flight attendant, but due to her working schedule hadn’t been able to attend in many months. That day she was there, and was able to get Kostas a flight home for just £23. Community Church Edinburgh were able to bless Kostas with money for his flight home and a hostel for a few days, while the Basics Bank was able to provide food for him to eat.
This is what our Basics Banks are all about. We are creating opportunities for churches to bless vulnerable people, and to provide a way out of difficult situations. We are a light in a difficult and often dark world.