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Our Faith

Our faith compels us to address the whole person: Mind, body and spirit. We assist children and families affected by conflict and oppression and now living in displaced persons’ camps in Myanmar/Burma’s conflict zones, and refugee camps and migrant communities along the Thai-Myanmar border.

Missions With Integrity
Statement Of Faith
The Bible On Poverty

Missions With Integrity

Partners aims to work with integrity, to have our words and deeds match and to be holistic in our understanding and action related to God’s mission to the world.

When we talk of mission with integrity we mean that holistic transformation is both the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. It is not simply that evangelism and social involvement are to be done alongside each other. Rather, in mission with integrity our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life. And our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.

We call one another back to the centrality of Jesus Christ. His life of sacrificial service is the pattern for Christian discipleship. In his life and through his death Jesus modelled identification with the poor, the oppressed and the innocent who are treated unjustly. On the cross God shows us how seriously he takes justice, reconciling both rich and poor, both the oppressor and the oppressed to himself as he meets the demands of his justice. We serve by the power of the risen Lord through the Spirit as we journey with the poor and the oppressed, finding our hope in the Lordship of Christ and the final defeat of evil.

God by his grace has given local churches the task of mission with integrity. The future of such mission is in planting and enabling local churches to transform the communities of which they are part. Churches as caring and reconciling communities are at the heart of what it means to do mission with integrity. People are often attracted to the Christian community when those Christians live out the message of Jesus of a kingdom of justice and reconciliation. The church is not merely an institution or organisation, but communities of Jesus that embody the values of the kingdom. The involvement of the poor and oppressed in the life of the church is forcing us to find new ways of being church within the context of our cultures. Our message has credibility to the extent that we adopt an incarnational approach and are actively involved in bringing love and peace to communities ravaged by hate and war. We need one another. The church can best address poverty and oppression by working with the poor and oppressed themselves as we as other stakeholders like civil society, government and the private sector with mutual respect and a recognition of the distinctive role of each partner.

In a world of conflict and ethnic tension we have often failed to build bridges. We are called to work for reconciliation between ethnically divided communities, between rich and poor, between the oppressors and the oppressed. We acknowledge the command to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute in a world that has given “money rights” greater priority than human rights. We recognise the need for advocacy both to address structural injustice and to rescue needy neighbours. We recognise this will influence our own lifestyle and choices and so we chose to speak truth to power and to share our resources with those who, by war and misuse of power, have little.

We respect the rights and choices of the poor and oppressed. We will not use inducement, manipulation or any kind of pressure to make people change their faith community. Rather, we will show the love of God in Christ through our own incarnational actions and will answer the questions about our motivation for action pointing all who ask to Jesus and the kingdom he proclaimed.

Statement of Faith

Partners Relief & Development is a Christian relief and development organization called to reflect the biblical unity of faith and life, of history and eternity, and of the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. Our statement of faith is adopted from the UK TEAR Fund and the UK Evangelical Alliance:

1. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ we bear witness to the one living God, revealed through the Bible as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God’s plan for the universe is to bring about, through Jesus Christ, a transformed creation wholly governed by God, from which all evil and suffering will be banished and in which God will live with redeemed humanity for ever. The presence and hope of the kingdom of God shape and motivate our mission through evangelism, compassionate service, active pursuit of justice and peace, and care for creation.

2. We bear witness to the following truths of the historic Christian faith as the pillars of our world-view, the motivation for our mission and the foundation for our commitment:

The Bible as the Word of God.

The Bible tells the universal story of creation, fall, redemption and new creation, and thereby shapes our worldview. We receive it as the word of God spoken through human authors and believe it to be true and trustworthy in all it affirms. We depend upon it as the revelation of God’s identity, character, purposes and actions and submit to it as supremely and uniquely authoritative for our belief and behaviour.

God as Creator.

The universe is the good creation of the one living God and reveals God’s existence, power and glory. Human beings are created in the image of God, male and female, in order to love, worship and obey God, to relate to one another in love, justice and compassion, and to care for creation.

Human sin.

Humans have sinned by rebelling against God, rejecting God’s authority and disobeying God’s word and so are alienated from God, one another and the created order. Sin deserves God’s judgment and leads to eternal separation from God. The effects of sin and the power of evil have permeated the fabric of cultural, economic, social, political and religious life, causing poverty and damaging the creation.

Human worth.

Though distorted by sin, the image of God remains the basis of the uniqueness, dignity, sanctity and equality of all persons without distinction. God loves and cares for all people in their cultural and ethnic diversity and has reached out in grace to save them through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Messiah uniquely appointed by God to bring the blessing of salvation to the world. God took our human nature in Jesus Christ, who taught and modelled the new life of the kingdom of God to which he calls his disciples. In his death on the cross he took upon himself the sin of the world, bearing its full cost and penalty so that we are put right with God through his grace by faith in Christ alone. On the cross Jesus also entered into our suffering, defeated the powers of evil and accomplished the reconciliation of all creation. In his bodily resurrection he defeated death and became the forerunner of redeemed humanity. Through his ascension he is exalted as reigning Lord, and at his return he will execute God’s judgment, destroy Satan, evil and death, and establish the universal reign of God.

God the Holy Spirit.

The Bible testifies to the Holy Spirit’s activity both in creation and history, empowering action for liberation and justice. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and judgment, leads to faith and repentance and unites believers to Christ, making real in them what Jesus has accomplished. Through Christ, God’s Spirit is poured out on all believers enabling them to live in unity and to bear the fruit of holiness, Christ-likeness and practical obedience. The Spirit gives gifts and power to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel, discern truth, pray effectively and prevail over the forces of darkness.

The church and God’s mission.

The church stands in continuity with God’s people in the Old Testament, called through Abraham to be a light to the nations, shaped and taught through the law and the prophets to be a community of holiness, compassion and justice, and redeemed through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The church exists to worship and glorify God for all eternity and is commissioned by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to participate in the transforming mission of God within history.

3. God commands us to love him with all our heart and soul and strength and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Therefore we commit ourselves through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit and in joyful obedience:

  • to live as the community of reconciled sinners in unity, humility and sacrificial Christian love.
  • to make known to all nations the gospel of God’s grace through his forgiveness in Christ, calling people to faith, repentance and discipleship.
  • to demonstrate the values and the power of the kingdom of God, participating through suffering in Christ’s triumph over evil.
  • to serve the needy with compassion, pursue justice and peace, and care for God’s creation.

Biblical Perspective on Poverty

Breaking the impact of poverty is an issue that is important to the heart of God. The Bible illustrates clearly to us that God’s Kingdom is one where poverty does not exist and his intention is for his followers to work to see freedom and fullness in the lives of the poor and oppressed on the earth. Below is a collection of Scriptures that speak to us of the importance of seeing an end to poverty and demonstrating God’s love in tangible ways to the most vulnerable.

"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up."

- Romans 15:1-2

"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

- Romans 12:13

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

- Acts 20:35

"You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

- John 12:8

"Then Jesus said to his host, 'When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.'"

- Luke 14:12-14

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

- Luke 6:36

"Looking at his disciples he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

- Luke 6:20

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed."

- Luke 4:18

"The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me."

- Mark 14:7

"The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me."

- Matthew 26:11

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

- Matthew 25:34-40

"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

- Matthew 6:3-4

"This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'"

- Zechariah 7:9-10

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

- Micah 6:8

"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."

- Ezekiel 16:49

"Because of thirst the infant's tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth; the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them."

- Lamentations 4:4

"He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the Lord."

- Jeremiah 22:16

"This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place."

- Jeremiah 22:3

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."

- Isaiah 61:1-3

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

- Isaiah 58:6-11

"The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs."

- Isaiah 41:17-18

"You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat."

- Isaiah 25:4

"The poorest of the poor will find pasture, and the needy will lie down in safety."

- Isaiah 14:30

"Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?"

- Isaiah 10:1-3

"Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."

- Isaiah 1:17

"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy."

- Proverbs 31:20

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

- Proverbs 31:8-9

"He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses."

- Proverbs 28:27

"Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them."

- Proverbs 22:22-23

"He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty."

- Proverbs 22:16

"A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor."

- Proverbs 22:9

"He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done."

- Proverbs 19:17

"He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God."

- Proverbs 14:31

"The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy."

- Proverbs 14:20-21

"One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

- Proverbs 11:24-25

"The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry but he thwarts the craving of the wicked."

- Proverbs 10:3

"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" — when you now have it with you."

- Proverbs 3:27-28

"He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked."

- Psalm 146:7-9

"The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."

- Psalm 145:14-18

"I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy."

- Psalm 140:12

"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap."

- Psalm 113:7

"For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him."

- Psalm 109:31

"...for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things."

- Psalm 107:9

"He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea."

- Psalm 102:17

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."

- Psalm 82:3-4

"For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight."

- Psalm 72:12-14

"He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor."

- Psalm 72:4

"I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread."

- Psalm 37:25

"You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them."

- Psalm 35:10

"The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the Lord will praise him."

- Psalm 22:26

"You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children."

- Psalm 17:14

"Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the Lord. "Then I will protect them from those who malign them."

- Psalm 12:15

"But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish."

- Psalm 9:18

"The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble."

- Psalm 9:9

"Like wild donkeys in the desert, the poor go about their labor foraging their food; the wasteland provides food for their children."

- Job 24:5

"He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth."

- Job 5:15-16

"But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies."

- Nehemiah 9:15

"The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor."

- 1 Samuel 2:7-8

"...You are to help your brothers until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you..."

- Joshua 1:14-15

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

- 1 John 3:17-18

"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing."

- Deuteronomy 10:18

"At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LordD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands."

- Deuteronomy 14:28-29

"If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs."

- Deuteronomy 15:7-8

"Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others."

- 1 Corinthians 10:24

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

"Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.

But just as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us — see that you also excel in this grace of giving."

- 2 Corinthians 8:2-4, 7

"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

"As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." Now he who supplies seed to the shower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity wil result in thanksgiving to God."

"This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else."

-2 Corinthians 9:6-13

"If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs."

- Deuteronomy 15:7-8

"Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need."

- 1 Timothy 5:3

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

- James 1:27

"Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"

- James 2:5

"Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

- James 2:15-17