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You Can’t Change the Whole World, But You Can Love One Person Today

CP enewsletter

My South African friend, Annelien, took this photo the first day that we went to the Maubane Community Centre on our recent trip to South Africa. I think it aptly captures how much I love this place.

I came here in January 2015 and fell in love with these kids — many who come from child-headed households. When I’m back at the Maubane Community Centre, my heart feels like it just might burst.

Hungry for Love


To see that hope and life that is springing up amongst this community. To be surrounded by children who just want to hold my hands, hug me, and sit on my lap. To see how God is raising up leaders from this community who are completely transforming lives.

It’s beautiful. It’s inspiring. It’s heart-warming. And standing on this red, dusty plot of ground among all these children makes me come alive like almost nowhere else on earth. I love this place and I can never get enough of it!

Hungry for Love

I especially can’t get enough of the babies and little kids. Be still my heart.

I held so many babies and little kids on our trip. My heart was broken again over how hungry they are for love.

More than food (which is scarce), more than water (which there is a desperate need for), the kids just want to be held and loved on.

Hungry for Love

To be in South Africa, to see the babies and children, to see how overwhelming the needs are, reminds me afresh of why I blog.

I can’t meet all the needs, hug all the babies, or feed all the children, but I want to be faithful with what God has given me and be obedient to what He has called me to. Most importantly, I want to live my life with arms wide open.

Because, as our trip reminded me again, the seemingly little things really do make a big difference.

You can’t change the whole world, but you can love one person today.

Hungry for Love

Read the Rest of My South Africa Posts Here:

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  • Mary says:

    Thank you for posting this. It made me cry for those kids! I think it is really wonderful what you are doing and posting about it.

  • Diane says:

    My mom said the same thing regarding the refuge crisis – do for one what you wish you could for everyone. It can be overwhelming to see all the needs and want to sponsor many wells and other big needs. Have you read A Long Walk to Water? I just read it and I’m sure you are more aware than I was about the reality of not having clean water nearby. Welcome home! Thanks for sharing about your trip and the beautiful people you are helping and loving.

  • Kerry says:

    I love what you’re doing and how you are sharing it will so many people! My daughter has been to Jamaica twice to work with the kids and help build facilities. It has made a permanent imprint on her heart. I hope to follow in her-and your-footsteps when the timing is right.

  • Marsha says:

    I want to tell you that reading this story, really hit home. I’m having trouble finding where God is wanting me. Am I doing what he put me here for. I was lost trying to figure out my purpose. Right now I’m living with my brother, his wife and 9 yr old grand daughter. His wife cancer has come back with a vengeance and I offered my help. Moved 1400 miles to be here. My brother also is awaiting a liver transplant due to Hepatits C from an old tattoo . Then the 9 yr old grand daughter has had enough trama in her life watching her dad try to choke her mom to death at the age of 5. After reading that you can’t change the world but you can love one person, I found why I’m here. I need to be here. God has put me here. We know my sister in law is dying and my brother is living as he hasn’t finished his purpose. And I’m needed here for all of them to be able to relax and not worry about cleaning the house, dishes, taking grand daughter to school and back. They can relax and we can all enjoy what life is left for all of us. Thanks so much for sharing your stories, I love them all.

  • Rosanna says:

    Beautiful! My biggest revelation this year is realizing that we are all put on this earth to touch the lives of those around us. I used to think that only happened to famous people (like you, Crystal), but now I know that we all have a purpose, that God is no respector of persons-that we are all special in his eyes. I have a purpose. That’s a life changing concept.

  • Anja says:

    So happy you’ve had an amazing experience!

    Where exactly in South Africa were you? It’s quite a large country   This looks like a very rural area… and I hope that everyone realises that this is not what all of South Africa looks like!

  • Maryalene says:

    Such great photos — thank you for sharing your journey with us! Are the kids at the centre orphans or is it a school/day care? Regardless, it sounds like a great resource and blessing for the kids who are there.

  • SK Bell says:

    I love this mentality. It’s like that starfish story, where the man tells the boy he’s wasting his time and he’ll never be able to throw enough starfish back into the water to make a difference, and then the boy says “It made a difference to THAT one.” It’s so very true. Maybe you can change things for everyone, but what a beautiful change we can make for one person!!

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