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

Tropical storm leaves families homeless amid pandemic

Tropical storm leaves families homeless amid pandemic

Wednesday, 01 July 2020 — Compassion International

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic in El Salvador, many families lost their houses in flooding and landslides when Tropical Storm Amanda hit on May 31. After being evacuated, vulnerable families were hosted inside Compassion child development centres, which provided supplies and protection from the virus.  
 

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What our partners have been doing globally during Covid-19

What our partners have been doing globally during Covid-19

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 — Rachel Vince

In New Zealand we are fortunate to have the healthcare we need to get through a pandemic like Covid-19. Other places around the globe are not. Because of the generous support of Kiwis like you we've been able to reach hundreds and thousands of vulnerable people. 
 

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Meet the woman changing the lives of thousands of war victims

Meet the woman changing the lives of thousands of war victims

Friday, 26 June 2020 — Grace Stanton

Selina nearly died five times during a brutal civil war that ravaged Sri Lanka. But she survived and went onto create something sustainable that would help her community for years.

 

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Radios help children without technology access lessons during Covid-19

Radios help children without technology access lessons during Covid-19

Wednesday, 24 June 2020 — Compassion International

When the government closed schools in Ethiopia, they told students to follow their daily lessons via the radio and TV. Yet children without the technology, like Yodranos and Kidist, missed out. It made them feel inferior and frustrated. The gift of a radio from Tearfund’s partner Compassion not only helped them catch up with schoolwork, but it also showed them that they mattered. 
 

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My experience living in a refugee camp – “I still get nightmares”

My experience living in a refugee camp – “I still get nightmares”

Monday, 22 June 2020 — Rafique-Rohingya Refugee

Read the first-hand account of a former Rohingya refugee who lived in a refugee camp for 18 years. In 1991, Rafique, his parents and his baby sister, fled Myanmar with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They now live peacefully in New Zealand but his experience still haunts him.
 

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Hygiene supplies overcome water scarcity in Indonesia

Hygiene supplies overcome water scarcity in Indonesia

Wednesday, 17 June 2020 — Compassion International

Mother of three Hana walks 2km dragging a cart loaded with 17 water containers to the nearest borehole every day. Water scarcity is always challenging, increasingly so in a pandemic when handwashing is critical. Compassion's church partner provided vital hygiene supplies and education to overcome the water shortage and protect their health. 

 

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A day in the life of a female human trafficking investigator

A day in the life of a female human trafficking investigator

Friday, 12 June 2020 — LIFT International

What's it really like to be a female human trafficking investigator? “I feel like I read the emotions and body language of other women well and that helps us collect evidence and be sensitive to trafficking survivors,” says a human trafficking investigator, as a female, working on the frontlines. Tearfund’s partner LIFT sat down with an investigator from their team to ask her what her job is like and why she does this work. 
 

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