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

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Eradicating racism in our own lives to create a better future

Friday, 25 September 2020 — Sean du Toit

Racism is not an event or a belief. God can and does change us to view people as those whom he loves and we must love. In the future we are called to create, and which God is creating now through his people, there is a celebration of diversity and no racism.

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Why Tearfund

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Tuesday, 22 September 2020 — Keith Ramsay

Tearfund’s approach is to work through trusted faith-based partners who are part of the communities they serve. Because poverty is complex, we believe that local experts are best placed to find local solutions which will bring lasting change. So we come alongside our local partners, joining them in the work they are doing, and supporting them to deliver the best aid and development programmes possible.
 

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Your 5 most common ethical fashion questions for 2020 answered!

Your 5 most common ethical fashion questions for 2020 answered!

Monday, 21 September 2020 — Tearfund New Zealand

The landscape of the fashion industry has changed dramatically over the course of the pandemic. Every single part, process and person within the trade has been affected. Because of the change in landscape, we’ve also had to adapt, by creating a new Ethical Fashion Guide and report.
 

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Hi, I'm Annie and I’m speaking at The Justice Conference next month on October 31st! Be sure to tune in and hear me unpack the topic of ethical fashion! For now though, keep reading for a little taste of what I’ll be sharing and how you can take some practical steps to make fashion better for all of us, including vulnerable garment workers. Let’s create change through fashion together!
 

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How a single cow helped an entire family break free from poverty

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Monday, 07 September 2020 — Kate Kardol

Nalayini and Chinniah have overcome more obstacles than most couples do in a lifetime. When a brutal civil war turned their world upside down, they worked hard to rebuild their lives and find a way out of poverty. Now, they are breaking the chains of poverty for the next generation.
 

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Meet Lisa, named after her father’s sponsor

Meet Lisa, named after her father’s sponsor

Wednesday, 02 September 2020 — Compassion International

A Compassion graduate named his daughter after his former sponsor. He vowed to work hard as a way of thanking her for the great role she played in his life. His five-year-old daughter Lisa is extremely proud of her unusual name.
 

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Four huge numbers showing the impact of child sponsorship amid Covid-19

Four huge numbers showing the impact of child sponsorship amid Covid-19

Tuesday, 01 September 2020 — Compassion International

Between April to June 2020, Tearfund’s church partners distributed millions of food parcels and hygiene kits, delivered hundreds of thousands of cash transfers and medical assistance. See how generous supporters are making a difference and meet some of the children behind the astonishing numbers.
 

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