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

Human Trafficking in NZ: Hidden in Plain Sight

Human Trafficking in NZ: Hidden in Plain Sight

Friday, 22 January 2021 — Keith Ramsay

Often victims of human trafficking go unnoticed, and even the things we buy have a story of human misery behind them. During Human Trafficking awareness month (January), we wanted to alert you to how you can make a difference in New Zealand for modern slaves overseas, and how to identify those being exploited here in New Zealand.

 

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How can you pray for those affected by Covid-19?

How can you pray for those affected by Covid-19?

Monday, 18 January 2021 — Compassion International

Whether you pray on your own or with a group, the prayers of God’s people are powerful! But sometimes, what we’re praying for seems so out of reach, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Here are 10 prayer points to get you started.

 

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Our 10 favourite moments with sponsored children that’ll make you smile!

Our 10 favourite moments with sponsored children that’ll make you smile!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 — Compassion International

2020 will be remembered as the year the world stood still. With pandemic lockdowns, quarantines and facemasks—Covid-19 was on everyone’s lips. It was a year of heartache, pain, frustration and anxiety. But to start 2021, we want to share with you 10 sweet, funny and beautiful moments featuring sponsored children from around the world.

 

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What you need to know about our partners part 4: Farming and Enterprise

What you need to know about our partners part 4: Farming and Enterprise

Tuesday, 22 December 2020 — Kevin Riddell

Although I was born and bred in New Zealand, for nearly all of my adult life I have lived and worked in conflict or disaster zones, around the globe. Most people living in the world today have little control of their future. I think this is both unfair and an injustice. I believe I have a responsibility to offer a hand of support to those in need. But not to just feed them for a day, but to offer long-term support.


 

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Looking for a meaningful gift this Christmas? We can help with that!

Looking for a meaningful gift this Christmas? We can help with that!

Tuesday, 15 December 2020 — Kate Kardol

Tearfund's annual feel-good gift guide—Gift for Life—is chock-full of impactful gift ideas, sure to touch every heart this Christmas. Here's our five most popular gifts!


 

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Faith, Love and Hope Amidst COVID-19

Faith, Love and Hope Amidst COVID-19

Friday, 11 December 2020 — Sean du Toit

The world seems different. The world is different. Various, organisations and communities have had to quickly adapt to various situations changing so fast our plans seem to be in constant flux. And yet, amidst all the uncertainty and chaos, these three remain: faith, love and hope.  

 

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From gang leader to teen preacher

From gang leader to teen preacher

Friday, 04 December 2020 — Compassion International

Oscar’s life had a rough start. He was abandoned by his parents at a young age and was left alone most days with his uncles, who didn’t feed him. He started to get angry and aggressive and when he grew older, he formed a gang with his friends and began stealing. But something happened that turned his life on its head. 


 

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