Note: A youth team from Austin New Church just returned from a Help One Now trip to Haiti. This post is from Rebekah Vashus, one of the members of that team. Photo by

My trip to Haiti was a very eventful one.

Every thing I saw and experienced has left a permanent mark on my life but if I had to choose my favorite part it was meeting my sponsored child, Ruth.

At first, I was wary. I thought that the language barrier would make things awkward. Not only that but I couldn’t help but think, “If I was a 12-year-old girl meeting someone of a different nationality for the first time and they were saying they were my family, what would I think?” I would definitely feel out-of-place and on the spot.

I didn’t want her to feel that way so I went into the orphanage with a troubled heart.

I went and asked the translators to find Ruth. I told them she is about 12 and had the most beautiful smile, it didn’t take them long to find her. My first thought was oh crap, here it comes.

But after the awkward introductions were over I found myself at ease. It was like I was talking to a friend. Even though I knew nothing about her all I wanted was to get to know her more. I found out she liked rap, cooking, and playing with dolls.

Towards the end of our first visit she asked me if she could call me her sister. At that simple request I almost broke down. Of course, I told her there was nothing I would want more.

Leaving the first day was hard but not as hard as the second.

She drew me pictures that I took home that displayed saying like, “I love my beautiful sister” and “You are my heart, my sister”.

When it was time for us to go, for good, I looked her straight in the eyes and said (in French because we both knew the basics of the language) “I don’t want to go.” Her response to me was to hug me tightly, as though she wasn’t going to let go, and said, “I will always love my sister.”

I walked away in tears and with a broken heart.

I will never forget her. Meeting her was one of the most impressionable events in my life. I left with a love for the orphan and the unfortunate. I definitely want to go back and see how she progresses through life as a young woman in Haiti.

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