This is a question we’re asked most around the holiday season and it’s a worthy one because there are people in need in New Zealand and they should absolutely be helped.

As Christians we see it as ‘both’ rather than ‘either or’ when it comes to giving.

Jesus asks us to love our neighbour, and in the parable of the Good Samaritan he demonstrates that our neighbour is anyone in need, regardless of boundaries and barriers.

We therefore believe we should absolutely help people in New Zealand, and we can and should help people overseas.

To gain some perspective around why Tearfund’s core mission is helping people overseas and why that’s important, let’s go back more than forty years to revisit Tearfund’s roots…

The first Tearfund was established in the UK in 1968 as coverage of worldwide suffering beamed into living rooms, sparking an outpouring of compassion among Christians. At the time 40 million refugees had been displaced by conflict and natural disasters. This generated a growing awareness and recognition of vulnerable communities and individuals living in extreme poverty in low-income countries further down the Human Development Index, with less access to support and resources from their government and local community.

Tearfund (originally The Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund) was established to be the international aid and development arm of the Church and meet the needs of those suffering. This married Christian compassion with practical outcomes; what Tearfund New Zealand now calls ‘Faith in Action’.

Tearfunds in other countries such as the Netherlands and Australia were established, including Tearfund New Zealand in 1975 with the mission of encouraging Kiwis to act for justice to relieve poverty among the world’s most vulnerable people. One of our foundational verses is found in Isaiah:

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow."

Fast-forward forty years and our mission is just as important as ever: natural disasters are striking with increasing frequency and intensity and this coupled with war and conflict is creating more refugees than ever before. We’re faced with an estimated 24.9 million people trapped in modern day slavery, with human traffickers luring and coercing the poor into lives of exploitation. Finally, oppressive and unjust structures and ideologies continue to oppress people and perpetuate injustice in our world.

We’ll never give up trying to right the wrongs in our world and we invite you to join us!

Learn more about our work and how you can love a neighbour overseas today.


Recent posts

The Kiwi man pioneering a life changing post war dairy project

The Kiwi man pioneering a life changing post war dairy project

Saturday, 28 March 2020 — Grace Stanton

After the Sri Lankan war many farming families lost everything. Including their main source of income, rice. Traditionally, locals had only milked their cows for personal use, but Tearfund helped add to their traditional dairy farming knowledge and linked them to a supply chain where they could sell it. Many farmers that were in debt or below the poverty line now have a regular monthly income!

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5 Top Tips for talking to your little kids about Covid-19

5 Top Tips for talking to your little kids about Covid-19

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 — Tearfund New Zealand

Talking to our kids about Covid-19 is an important and delicate thing most Kiwi parents are doing this week. As we all head into lockdown from midnight tonight, our team has scoured the best advice globally and distilled it into the Top 5 tips below for kids under 13. 

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Living with a Pandemic

Living with a Pandemic

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 — Sean du Toit

Help is what we need right now. In times like this, it is easy to focus so much on the problem that we get overwhelmed with the size and complexity of it. We tend to forget that our God is more than able to help and guide us through these troubling times. The psalmist was facing great difficulty, but he knew where help would ultimately be found. Of course we should listen to the government and health officials and take note of best practices to ensure the safety of all. But ultimately, we need to lean on the God who is faithful and able to provide a help that goes beyond what the government and health agencies can do.  

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#4 Do you consent to be content?

#4 Do you consent to be content?

Monday, 16 March 2020 — Sean du Toit

Last week was tough as we looked at the idea of greed and how that can be destructive in people’s lives. This week we focus on the virtue of contentment.
 

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More Than Just Milk

More Than Just Milk

Wednesday, 11 March 2020 — Grace Stanton

Meet the Waikato dairy farmer that didn’t always want to be a dairy farmer but ended up helping change thousands of lives in northern Sri Lanka through dairy farming.
 

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#3 Take Care!

#3 Take Care!

Monday, 09 March 2020 — Sean du Toit

Having looked at the virtue of gratitude last week, today we look at the vice of greed. It is difficult to have a positive discussion of a vice. So imagine this is leg day at the gym. You know it is going to be tough, but if you do the work, it will pay off and be beneficial later on.
 

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#2 An Attitude of Gratitude

#2 An Attitude of Gratitude

Monday, 02 March 2020 — Sean du Toit

Last week we looked at the creation story and how that can shape us. Now, we begin our reflections on virtue with gratitude, a powerful virtue that shapes our experience of life.

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