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

Panit

Panit's story of surviving childhood abuse

Thursday, 20 February 2020 — LIFT International

Panit* has a round face and an easy smile. His skin has faded tattoos that a neighbour gave him when he was 10 or 11. After school, he sings in a choral group and even enters competitions. Panit spends perhaps too much time playing video games, staying up late at night, but he goes to church on Sunday and then comes home to do chores. He’s living the life of a typical, busy teenager. Panit is also a survivor of childhood abuse.
 

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“They came suddenly, at night. It was a Friday.”

“They came suddenly, at night. It was a Friday.”

Thursday, 13 February 2020 — Medair

Rahim* always dreamt of becoming a doctor. As a child growing up in a small village in Rakhine State, in western Myanmar, he observed his uncle – a doctor – and decided he wanted to follow in his footsteps. However, Rahim and his family were forced to flee, leaving all their possessions behind due to the Rohingya crisis, and it seemed his dream of becoming a doctor was far from ever coming true.

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The Extreme Jobs Of People Living In Poverty

The Extreme Jobs Of People Living In Poverty

Thursday, 06 February 2020 — Compassion International

Meet four people in Asia who do extreme jobs to feed their families. Though their occupations are harsh, they can teach us the dignity of work and the beauty of sacrificing to care for your loved ones.

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The Boy Trafficked onto the Lake

The Boy Trafficked onto the Lake

Wednesday, 05 February 2020 — Compassion International

Ebenezer was exploited at just 8 years old. He was offered a job to work as a fisherboy on Lake Volta in Ghana. He accepted this offer because he and his grandma were desperate for money. But what he received was not what he was promised.

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One person helped change the lives of three families

One person helped change the lives of three families

Thursday, 23 January 2020 — Grace Stanton

Imagine if you could talk to your child sponsor in their language. Imagine sponsoring not one, but three girls, and meeting them all for the first time after two years of sponsorship. Imagine what it would be like realising how much of an impact you were having on a family. The gratitude, the joy, the peace, and the freedom families experience through one person deciding to care for another young person’s life. This is Ly-Ly’s story.
 

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What it means for a child to be known: Five-year-old cheats death twice

What it means for a child to be known: Five-year-old cheats death twice

Thursday, 16 January 2020 — Caroline Mwinemwesigwa

After escaping death as a child sacrifice, young Amuza from Uganda became a sponsored child through Compassion. His life was saved a second time when Compassion provided assistance with medical treatment for tuberculosis.

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What it means for a child to be known: Soccer, more than a game

What it means for a child to be known: Soccer, more than a game

Tuesday, 14 January 2020 — Isaac Ogila

Growing up was not easy for Ciku. At an early age, her father died, and her mother turned to alcohol to deal with the grief and the stress of having to provide for five children. For Ciku, soccer was more than just a game, it gave her a purpose.  

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