“Why is that?” you might ask. “I would think that this would be encouraging for you.”
Sometimes it is, but at other times (much more often than you might guess), that is the last I hear of this promise.
Likewise, I have had people tell me personally that they “plan on” giving me $100 or $500 for the orphans. But then months go by and no money has come.
Now... couple the unfulfillment of those words with some words that I received from Pastor Joel yesterday: “Dad, kindly we request your help. The children have cried the whole night for not taking anything. Surely help your family in Kenya.”
I knew the orphanage had been without food for a few days already. This was not the first night this time that the children had gone to bed without taking any meals during the day.
The kids had also been sent home from school because we could not pay the school fees for this term. We were caught at a difficult time because we had to get the dormitory finished before the rains made other sleeping situations unhealthy again, but all of these other things were also coming up at the same time.
It is especially in times such as these when I remember unfulfilled vows that had been spoken to me. I know that kind words do not put food the bellies of the orphans, and, based upon my past experiences, I try not to count too much on what people tell me. Nevertheless, what I have been told comes back to me in times such as these.
I think of some words of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, “It is better to make no vow at all than to make a vow and not fulfill it.”
I can see what the writer means, especially when it comes down to whether or not children have food to eat. It is surprising to me that we can be so cavalier with our words when we hold the lives of children in our hands.
Am I trying to make you feel guilty? Honestly, at this point I am not concerned about feelings and I only want you to feel guilty if you are guilty. If you have told God that you are going to do something and then do not do it, you are already guilty.
This is not my sentiment only, it is the sentiment that is given often in the Bible:
“If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to keep it, because He will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin” (Deuteronomy 23:21).
“When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it, because He takes no pleasure in fools. Fulfill your vow” (Ecclesiastes 5:4)
Is it not better to read words like this?
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful give” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
So you see, I am not trying to lay a guilt trip upon you in order to entice you to do something. I am only asking that if you have told me that you would be giving, or if God has been telling you that you should give, please delay no longer. Frankly, we need it now. Every nickel of your gift goes for the feeding, clothing and schooling of the orphans. NONE of it is put to other uses.
Are you ready to fulfill your vow? Don’t delay—the kids really need it.
Want to help but don’t know how? Write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org