Every day I receive communications asking that I contribute "to make a difference." It has gotten to the point that I don't answer the phone unless I know who is calling. Every day, I throw away several pieces of mail without opening them. A high percentage of my emails are requests for donations. To a large extent, I have become deaf to the requests for donations.
Last Sunday, our pastor's sermon was on the "Rich Young Ruler." It caused me to think about the possibility that among all of those requests for donations, there might be some opportunities to make a positive difference.
I went back to my inbox and noticed that more than a week ago I had received an email from Africa. There was something about the email that had caused me to mark it for "follow up" instead of deleting it.
Yesterday, when I took the time to read it, I learned that Nazarene pastors in Africa can earn a degree from NTS South Africa's distance learning program. The tuition is the local equivilant of $100 per course. The pastor who contacted me needs 15 more courses to complete his degree. A scholarship of $1,800 will cover all of the tuition and fees for him to complete his degree. I had a strong feeling that Linda and I should sponsor his studies. I contacted NTS and arranged for him to enroll immediately.
My point is simply this -- social media has made it so easy for those with organized efforts to raise money that some of the true opportunites to make a positive difference get drowned out. I pray that God will open my eyes to opportunities, like this one, to make a lasting difference.