Why does it matter that Tearfund is a Christian organisation? Our supporters share their thoughts and open their hearts.
At the end of 2018 Tearfund sent an email to our supporters, and it drew a remarkable response...
We asked 'what does our Christian identity and ethos mean to you?' Reading through the 1,257 replies, a few clear themes stood out.
Our supporters said they feel they can trust Tearfund. Supporters commented that we were ultimately answerable to God in our use of financial gifts:
‘I know I can trust Tearfund to use the money donated wisely, as they recognise they are God's stewards.’
‘To me it's run not only to The Charity Commission standards but to God’s standards of compassion and truth.’
'Tearfund follows Jesus... caring for the whole person.’
Who we work with
It’s not just Tearfund itself that our supporters said they trust. A number of people felt our close partnership with local churches – supporting them as they worked within their communities – was a big plus.
‘Many people are concerned about wanting to know how much of their gift reaches the point of need. Delivery through local churches, at least to me, looks like one of the most trustworthy ways of ensuring that.’
‘We love the way that you harness the incredible resource of local Christian churches. That network of willing volunteers, who are motivated by their love of Christ and who understand the local issues, represents an amazing opportunity for reaching needs quickly and effectively.’
A spiritual response to poverty
A number of people said they appreciated that we were responding to other needs, as well as material poverty:
‘Jesus showed deep, practical compassion for people's material needs but didn't stop there. He cared for their spiritual needs for forgiveness and love. Tearfund follows Jesus in this way, caring for the whole person.’
‘The charity is an extension of the love we have been shown by Christ to others.’
‘I don't see Tearfund as just a charity that I support, but as a group of people I'm in partnership with.'
Anne Sixsmith, supporter
Tearfund: a way to follow Jesus
Some people said that supporting Tearfund is helping them follow Jesus more closely.
'I don't see Tearfund as just a charity that I support, but as a group of people I'm in partnership with. They help me get a little closer to walking with Jesus the way I want to. They are engaged all over the world, in places where my heart can go but my feet can't.’
Here is one last response that struck a chord with us at Tearfund, courtesy of supporter Andrew Davies...
‘I donate to Tearfund because it puts the Christian faith at the heart of its activities and isn't ashamed to do so. Too often, secular people view Christianity as an odd, diminishing part of our society. Tearfund challenges that view and demonstrates that modern Christianity is very real, essential and thriving.’
These are just a few of the many inspiring and insightful responses we received. Thank you to everyone who responded.
To mark our 50th anniversary, Tearfund commissioned a special report to find the practical difference our faith makes around the world. Faith in Action is available to read and download for free.