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

A year on from the Beirut explosion, the effects are still being felt

A year on from the Beirut explosion, the effects are still being felt

Wednesday, 04 August 2021 — Tearfund New Zealand

Today marks one year since the devastating explosion at Beirut’s port in Lebanon killed more than 180 people. As one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded, it left hundreds injured and hundreds of thousands of people homeless and unemployed. Your support enabled our local partner MERATH, a Christian NGO in Lebanon, to help thousands of vulnerable individuals and families. Here’s what we were able to do with your donation.
 

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My three top tips to becoming an ethical fashion consumer

My three top tips to becoming an ethical fashion consumer

Monday, 02 August 2021 — Juliette Epstein

When it comes to ethical fashion, there’s always a bigger picture. Here are three things I have learnt since being an ethical fashion intern at Tearfund. I hope these tips will help you think about how and what you're consuming and that my journey will help yours!
 

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Out of a mother’s nightmare comes hope after toddler falls from a second-storey window

Out of a mother’s nightmare comes hope after toddler falls from a second-storey window

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 — Compassion International

When three-year-old Brisaida fell from the second storey of her house, her mother couldn’t utter a word. How was her daughter going to receive the urgent help that she needed in a country where health services are inadequate? Read on to find out how this story ends. 
 

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Sponsor gives the gift of space to sleep

Sponsor gives the gift of space to sleep

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 — Compassion International

Paulin and his siblings used to spend their nights barely fitting in their small house. But Paulin's family received a financial gift that allowed them to build a house. Now they have space to spread out at night. 
 

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Ten photos that bring to life our Empowher women

Ten photos that bring to life our Empowher women's events

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 — Grace Ellis

Tearfund hosted two Empowher women's events, one at Eastgate Christian Centre and one at The Upper Room. The events were a great opportunity to bring women together, be encouraged and do something powerful in the lives of mothers and babies in Indonesia through our new Mums and Bubs project. Take a look at ten photos that bring to life the events!
 

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New Zealand fails to fully meet minimum standards to eliminate trafficking

New Zealand fails to fully meet minimum standards to eliminate trafficking

Monday, 26 July 2021 — Morgan Theakston

On July 30, it is World Trafficking in Persons Day and we're shedding light on why the recent US TIP Report has downgraded New Zealand to Tier 2. When it comes to government efforts to prosecute and prevent human trafficking, New Zealand is falling behind the UK, US, Australia, France and many other countries.
 

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Siblings are top achievers despite their struggles

Siblings are top achievers despite their struggles

Monday, 26 July 2021 — Compassion International

Although they were found struggling to survive, educating their children has always remained a priority for Nitsuha and Amanuel’s parents living in Ethiopia. With support from Compassion, the siblings scored the highest grades in their classes.

 

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