Most of us are familiar with internet scammers looking to target gullible people from hundreds if not thousands of miles away. Usually, these scammers send as many people as they can messages to increase their chances of finding someone gullible enough to respond.
The following story serves as an example of what can happen if we give someone a chance. While most of the time, they may prove us wrong, sometimes, they can surprise us in the most incredible way…
Mysterious Message On Facebook
A man named Joel who lives in Liberia, West Africa, sent a message to a YouTube personality asking him to send him expensive electronic devices so he could sell them on the Liberian market and to his family. He also said he would split the profits with the man 50/50.
Taylor, 33, was about to delete the online plea as spam, but something kept him from writing it off. While most people would ignore or block Joel, Taylor decided to answer and see where it went. He also knew that the more of time of Joel’s he can waste, the less time he would have to spend ripping other people off.
What Are Your Skills?
Taylor wrote back and asked, “How can I help?” Joel told him that he needed some business or financial empowerment. So Taylor told him that he lives in the U.S. and he asked what skills he can provide to him.
Joel responded that he wanted to be a journalist and that he teaches English. Taylor thought if he likes journalism, he may like photojournalism. He asked Joel if he was communicating with him on a phone or a computer. Taylor needed to know if he had access to a camera or scanner and can send him pictures…
The Liberian Sunset
He replied that he had a camera phone but he was unsure why Taylor was asking. Taylor told him that he loved good photography and he asked Joel to take a picture of the Liberian sunset tonight. Taylor even agreed to pay him for it.
Name Your Price
Joel said that it can only be done with a good digital camera and that camera costs $20 at the store. After encouraging him to not let his lack of resources limit him, Taylor told him if that he got him that photo of the sunset and it was good, he would buy him the digital camera.
Impressed With His Effort
The next day, Taylor received some of the most terrible photos he had ever seen. The quality of the photos was so low that Taylor wouldn’t be able to print them. They had to be from an old flip phone or worse, but Taylor was surprised to see Joel actually try.
Was Taylor The Answer To Joel’s Prayers?
Joel mentioned repeatedly that he was looking for God’s favor through someone and that he believed that person was Taylor. So Taylor decided to invest a little bit of money in Joel to see if he was scamming him or if he was seriously trying to improve his situation.
Practice Makes Perfect
Taylor sent him a $30 camera and told him to take some more pictures with it. The pictures turned out to be better than the sunsets, but the quality was still poor. Taylor told him that if he wanted to make money taking pictures, he needed to practice. He needed to hold the camera still and make sure his subject had plenty of light.
Life In Liberia
To Taylor’s surprise, Joel actually improved. Some of the pictures were stunning and they really showed the beauty and the difficulty of living in Liberia. Then, Taylor had to figure out how he was going to compensate Joel for his work…
“By D Grace of God”
Taylor decided to put together a photobook of Joel’s best pictures and launched an Indiegogo campaign and he was blown away by the response. People from all over the world came to support Joel and purchase his book. In total, they sold more than 1,000 copies in 40 different countries!
Taylor made a promise to Joel that he’d split the profits 50/50 and that his half would go to charity. So, he wrote to Joel saying that he wanted to give his portion to the people of Liberia. He asked if there was anything in his community that he could help with…
Joel said that there were a lot of children in need because their parents were so poor. He said the kids needed school materials like stationery, bookbags, and chairs and that these are the things children suffer for the most. He told Taylor they should start by targeting the youngest 100 kids and that it would cost Taylor about $500.
The Moment Of Truth
Taylor figured that this was the moment he would find out what Joel was made out of. Either he’s going to use that money for the kids or he’s going to keep it for himself. But Taylor still owed him money so he decided to move forward and see…
Taylor got back on the Western Union Website to transfer the money and the payment was declined. The bank thought someone hacked into his account and was sending all of his money to Liberia. Taylor called the bank to tell them that it was in fact him, but they were closed for Columbus Day.
Taylor instead went to an ATM and removed $500 cash. He then walked to the nearest Western Union teller to wire the $500 the old-fashioned way. He described what happened next as “one of the strangest moments of my life.”
“One Of The Strangest Moments Of My Life”
Taylor was standing at a crowded Rite Aid Western Union kiosk trying to wire $500 to a guy named Joel in Liberia. Putting aside how strange it felt to him, Taylor was pleased to know that the money did go through and that Joel was able to pick it up.
What Happened Next Was Incredible
To Taylor’s surprise, Joel took a trip down to the local market and bought notebooks, bookbags, and other supplies for the children in 5 local schools. He had to hire a taxi just to hold everything…
Always Have Faith
Taylor made sure to tell Joel to bring his camera along, but not just to prove that he did it. Taylor wanted him to show everyone what was possible with a little hard work and a lot of faith.
The Answer To His Prayers
When you give someone a chance, sometimes you learn they weren’t who you thought they were. Taylor wound up being the answer to Joel’s prayers.