The Evangelical Alliance Relief (TEAR) fund committee began in the UK in 1968. Its aim was to unite Christian compassion with practical action around the world. Tearfund USA remains a part of the global Tearfund family.
We are different from many other relief and development organizations because:
- Our development approach accelerates resilience, not dependency. It enables communities to lift themselves out of poverty rather than relying on continuous outside resources.
- Our humanitarian relief supports crisis and conflict response in some of the most fragile contexts in the world.
- We partner with indigenous organizations to advance work through local networks rather than duplicating infrastructure.
- Our staff are usually from the country in which they serve, not expats.
- We openly name and influence actions to address the systems that perpetuate poverty and injustice.
- We walk with individuals who know that poverty and injustice are complex and require more than simple solutions. And we help them find their place in the story of overcoming.
In simplest terms, we follow Jesus. Our corporate statement of faith aligns well to the Apostles' Creed.
We are nondenominational and unaffiliated with national church networks. Our organization comes from Protestant tradition. Our board, staff and partners include Catholics. And our program work engages interfaith groups.
We are nonpartisan. Our hope is in biblical truth, not politics, as we address issues of poverty and injustice.
For us, advocacy is influencing policy and systems change. It is not advocating for our organization or to gain followership.
We use the term justice to refer to biblical justice. That is to make relationships right or whole. Advancing justice makes it possible for all of God’s creation to flourish.
We focus on the Church - the global community of believers, not limited to buildings or certain doctrine - because we follow Jesus. He left a clear mission for his followers and sent the Holy Spirit to help. His mission is to teach others everything he taught directly. To proclaim the good news of his work to redeem and restore all of creation, with actions as much as words.
Churches also play a strategic and practical role in community development. In many places around the world, churches remain key cultural and social institutions, strategically poised to influence change. They are proximate to the needs and often more permanent than government. They are in place before, during and after crises, and are one of the first support networks people of all faiths seek when in need.
We educate on and address issues that compound the impacts of poverty. Environmental degradation, gender inequality and racial disparities are injustices that disproportionately impact those experiencing poverty. Mitigating or solving them enables sustainable and holistic change.
Our funding presently comes from individuals, churches, foundations and strategic partnerships.
While we partner mainly with churches and Christian organizations, those who participate and benefit from programs are interfaith. We seek to serve those who have the most needs in their context, without discrimination.