It started with a Facebook message but it changed his life.
We’ve all received those scam messages to our email or Facebook accounts, but what would happen if you didn’t just delete them? When Ben Taylor received a suspicious message from a man called Joel in Liberia, he was confident that he was being scammed but he responded to the message anyway, hoping to waste the scammer’s time for a while.
Instead of sending him any money, he proposed that Joel send him photos and, if they were any good, Ben would buy them. Though the first batch were terrible, Joel gave him a second chance by shipping him a proper camera and providing a couple of photography tips.
“I thought I would waste his time by giving him these menial tasks of taking pictures around his village, but it turns out that he was willing to put in the work,” Ben explains. “He was really just a guy that was down on his luck and looking for work.”
The new photos Joel sent were beautiful. True to his word, Ben bought them and collected them into a book — a book that sold 1,000 copies in 40 countries. “When you give someone a chance, sometimes they’re not who you thought they were,” Ben says. “Sometimes they surprise you, and sometimes you end up being the answer to their prayers.”
Ben could have simply deleted the message and moved on, but his decision to respond to Joel ended up turning his life around. And his persistence in accompanying Joel through to the end was well rewarded.
You can hear more from Ben in the video below.