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

#2 Consumption and Our Neighbours

#2 Consumption and Our Neighbours

Monday, 09 December 2019 — Anastasia Ramenska

Last week we considered how our consumption could affect our commitment to Jesus and how Paul encourages Christians to be transformed by the renewing of their minds so that we can discern the will of God. This week we consider how our consumption affects our neighbours, locally and globally. 

Reading 

Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your life, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ 

Read more

She has hope for the future

She has hope for the future

Friday, 06 December 2019 — Rosie Paterson-Lima

Chimini got married at the age of 17 as a second wife. Her and her husband have five kids to support. Life was incredibly hard and living was a daily worry. She heard about the opportunity to work abroad, and desperate to support her children, she made arrangements to leave Nepal. She went believing she would receive enough wages to send home to support her family, but she returned with only bitter experiences. Chimini, now 32 years old, is a survivor from exploitation and slavery in the Middle East. Read her story of hopelessness to hopefulness.

Read more

#1 Consumption and Jesus

#1 Consumption and Jesus

Monday, 02 December 2019 — Anastasia Ramenska

This week we begin by reflecting on consumption as it relates to our commitment to God. 

Reading 

Romans 12:1-2 I summon you therefore, family, based on the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, which is holy and acceptable to God – which is your logical act of worship. Also, do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of the mind, so that you may discern what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God is.

Read more

Generational Giving

Generational Giving

Wednesday, 30 October 2019 — Olga Oosthuizen

Creating a Legacy of Gratitude and Generosity

When Evan and Rach asked their daughter AJ why their family sponsored a child, her response was simple but spot-on; "because we can!"

At first, this sort of wisdom from one so young seems unexpectedly profound; but when you’ve grown up in a family centred on giving, it makes sense. For AJ, there has never been a time when, Mary her family's sponsor child from Ecuador, hasn't been a part of her life. "She thinks of her like a cousin who lives overseas," said her mother Rach, "someone who has always been there, but we've gotten to know through letters."

Read more

How to Write a Great Christmas Letter to Your Sponsored Child

How to Write a Great Christmas Letter to Your Sponsored Child

Thursday, 17 October 2019 — Ellyse McCallum

It’s that exciting time of year again: time to write a Christmas message to your sponsored child! Before the panic sets in over what to say, here are three helpful suggestions on what to include in your Christmas letter.

Read more

What a Tearfund Supporter Looks Like

What a Tearfund Supporter Looks Like

Thursday, 10 October 2019 — Olga Oosthuizen

There are some people who help to change a child's life every month. A child who is not their own and who, often, they have never met. These people give a little of what they earn to provide this child with an education, food, and a chance to enjoy childhood without worrying about poverty. So, who are these people? Well, they aren't celebrities or altruistic millionaires. They don't hold high positions of power. In fact, they're people just like you and me.

Read more

The Experience Our Family Will Never Forget

The Experience Our Family Will Never Forget

Monday, 30 September 2019 — Tina Bargh

When my family and I made the decision to go to Uganda on a “mission’s exploration” trip we had a limited idea of what we were letting ourselves in for. For instance, we knew we were in for a looooong flight, some food we weren’t used to and being conscious of the needs of our fellow travellers.

We did not know that, despite sponsoring children for many years as a family, we would realise how vital and life-changing child sponsorship is.

Read more

Show more