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 Day in the Life of a Programmes Specialist

A Day in the Life of a Programmes Specialist

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 — Joanne Wieland

Join me for a few days in the life of a devkid (aka Tearfund Development Specialist). A role that is different each day, where connections are made across oceans and learning goes both ways. A few days visiting those who are running the projects that Tearfund supports, doing what they do best, bringing care and change to local communities.

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How do you grasp hope in the midst of a disaster?

How do you grasp hope in the midst of a disaster?

Thursday, 13 December 2018 — Sophie Rice

Over the few years I’ve worked at Tearfund, I’ve seen us respond to numerous disasters. And over time, I’ve found a weight of hopelessness can grow in you over the destruction that injustice and poverty inflict on people. But hearing Kevin Riddell, one of our senior Programmes Specialists, talk about disaster response as the first step on a journey from disaster to community development; from hopelessness to hope, from devastated communities to ones that are flourishing, helped to give me hope.

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Do you actually send goats? Gift for Life Q&A

Do you actually send goats? Gift for Life Q&A

Friday, 07 December 2018 — Laura Brookes

Every year without fail, we're asked a bunch of honest, raw and sometimes downright hilarious questions about Gift for Life — our catalogue filled with unique and meaningful gifts that can be purchased for someone in the developing world. But there’s one question that comes up repeatedly. Do we actually send goats from New Zealand to families overseas? Read on to find out!

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The Lebanese Church shining a light in the darkness

The Lebanese Church shining a light in the darkness

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 — Kerrie Palma

The church in action is truly an inspirational thing. When communities of Christians unite over a common cause and focus their energy and care and prayers in an outward direction, God moves in power - this is the situation in Lebanon as the local church responds to the Syrian refugee crisis.

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The Man I

The Man I'll Never Forget

Friday, 16 November 2018 — Helen Manson

You know how you can meet some people and they can have such a profound impact on you that you just know you’ll never forget them? I had one of those experiences when I was in Lebanon recently with a man called Bassam. Pastor Bassam's heart breaks for his former enemies, Syrian refugees. This is his story.

 

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Your Top 6 Questions Answered on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Your Top 6 Questions Answered on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Thursday, 11 October 2018 — Helen Manson

Whether it’s on the phone, on our Facebook page or through email – we’ve been thrilled to see how many of you want to learn and understand more about one of the world’s largest refugee crises. So here’s the Top 6 questions you’ve been asking and the answers to go with them.

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