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.


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I regularly give to Tearfund, so what?

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Tearfund’s ministry is about creating positive impacts in people’s lives but this would not be possible without the generous support of Kiwis.  Your donation is not just about how much money gets to where it is needed, but the level of positive change it creates.  I want to present impact through the lens of stewardship, and asking the question: “so what?”

 

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Why I decided to break up with fast-fashion and quit shopping for a year.

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