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

Sustainable agriculture transforming lives in Vanuatu

Sustainable agriculture transforming lives in Vanuatu

Monday, 12 April 2021 — Tearfund New Zealand

The key word is "sustainability". Instead of pouring money and resources into just the emergency needs, Tearfund's Farming and Enterprise partner in Vanuatu invests in a sustainable model that will hopefully outgrow the need for funding. An ambulance on the ground is unquestionably essential, but not nearly as powerful or effective as a fence on top of the cliff.

 

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What are Self Help Groups and how do they transform lives?

What are Self Help Groups and how do they transform lives?

Thursday, 08 April 2021 — Kevin Riddell

Self Help Groups are a simple, yet highly effective way to help lift women and their families out of poverty. They also provide emotional support and teach valuable life skills. They help women access a better future and have a positive impact on generations to come.


 

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Gisele

Gisele's salvation transforms her family

Wednesday, 31 March 2021 — Compassion International

Gisele's family were not Christians when she was registered into the Child Sponsorship Programme. After she gave her heart to the Lord as a young girl, her greatest prayer was that her parents would share her faith. This is a story of how God turned a trial into a testimony and answered her prayer.

*All names have been changed to protect identities


 

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God honours a little boy’s big faith

God honours a little boy’s big faith

Wednesday, 31 March 2021 — Compassion International

Although seven-year-old Elvis wasn't scheduled to receive a Bible at his Compassion centre, he insisted until the staff gave him one. Since then, Elvis, whose persistent prayers for his father's salvation were honoured by God, has become an example of great faith to others.


 

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Local staff in Burkina Faso and Thailand help sponsored children weather Covid-19 storm

Local staff in Burkina Faso and Thailand help sponsored children weather Covid-19 storm

Tuesday, 30 March 2021 — Kelly Burgess

Tearfund’s partner, Compassion, provides sponsorship programmes for vulnerable children in 25 countries. All of these countries have had very different experiences of managing life in a pandemic. It’s in this storm that our Christ-centered, child-focused model has been a safe anchor. Our programmes are facilitated by local church partners. These Christ-centred staff are dedicated to the community they know and love. They are their neighbours. It is this local connection that has been so crucial in enabling them to meet the needs of sponsored children and their families—right where they are.

 

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A Modern Slavery Act for New Zealand, could help you shop guilt-free

A Modern Slavery Act for New Zealand, could help you shop guilt-free

Wednesday, 24 March 2021 — Claire Gray

As history can attest, Modern Slavery isn’t an injustice that any of us can tackle alone. To end modern slavery, we need a collaborative movement that addresses the issue from multiple angles. This is, in part, already being accomplished through our overseas partners and our research in ethical fashion. But, to further the movement toward Modern Slavery Legislation in New Zealand, Kiwis like you can have a significant role.

 

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 Master of Cheese uses her refined palate to help lift Sri Lankan dairy farmers out of poverty

Master of Cheese uses her refined palate to help lift Sri Lankan dairy farmers out of poverty

Thursday, 18 March 2021 — Grace Stanton

Juliet Harbutt, Master of Cheese to celebrities such as Prince Charles, is holding a one-off cheese master class and tasting session in Auckland on Friday, March 26 to raise money for Tearfund's Sri Lankan post-war dairy project. Juliet has one of the most refined palates in the world. While living in Europe, she set up one of London’s finest wine and cheese shops, selling over 150 raw-milk cheeses. She also regularly featured on the BBC food programme, Come Dine With Me, and helped introduce artisan cheeses to supermarket giants Tesco and Marks & Spencer.

 

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