Note: A team from Soma Austin Community Church just returned from a Help One Now trip to Haiti. This post is from Rachel Rich, one of the members of that team.

I was on board the first day I heard our pastor, Jacob Vanhorn of Soma Austin, mention the trip to Haiti! I was excited to get out of the country and get more involved with Help One Now. I didn’t know what to expect and when I arrived I wanted to say “Hola” to everyone I saw. I’ve only ever been to Spanish-speaking countries before so I was even more out of my element than normal. This was a good thing, it allowed me to hang back and observe some, figure things out a little, before jumping in thinking I’ve got it.

We covered a lot while in Haiti, met a lot of Help One Now’s partners, and aside from doing a little manual labor to free up some of the local workers to do the skilled labor on a house, we didn’t do all that much physical work. That was weird for me at first, this was my 9th “mission trip” and it really fell into a different class altogether.

We stopped calling it a mission trip and started calling it a learning journey.

That’s what it was. It was a time to learn the beauty and strength that the Haitian people hold, to learn how they do life, and how the gospel applies to them, not how it applies to them filtered through us first.

Chris Marlow and Jacob helped us to not just rush in with our way of doing things, see only the struggle and “fix” things. Had we not slowed down, we would have only been able to see their struggle devoid of their strength and beauty. It wouldn’t be lasting for those we met or for any of us.

Also, I don’t think I would have been open for God to show how terrible I really am at letting people in, at getting down in the mess of life with others to find the beauty in it. This revelation came after spending the morning at Yahve Shamma (and meeting sweet little Anchelo, that I now sponsor through Help One Now), and then visiting God’s Littlest Angels orphanage. Seeing the children GLA took in from the sickening place of neglect they were in just days before was tremendous. I was able to hold little Jacky with his swollen belly and see an overwhelmingly tangible display of the gospel being lived out by the staff there.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. I made lasting friendships, grew and learned about God, myself and the Haitian people. I am brushing up some Haitian Creole to try to be able to communicate more when I go back, because, yeah, I’m definitely going back.

If you would like to sponsor a child in Haiti, please visit our Haiti child sponsorship page at