UPDATE – Statement on missionary Roberta Edwards

HENDERSON, Oct. 23 – A memorial service for Roberta Edwards will be held on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7:00 p.m. at Estes Church of Christ, 3505 U.S. Highway 45, Henderson, TN 38340. All are invited to attend.

HENDERSON, Oct. 13 – Estes has received messages from around the world in the past three days, highlighting the far-reaching impact of Roberta Edward’s life and ministry. Edwards was killed Saturday evening, Oct. 10, when gunmen attacked the vehicle she was driving near her home in the Haitian city of Port-au-Prince. A four-year-old foster child was traveling with her and has not been located since the attack.

Edwards was director of SonLight Children’s Home, a foster home and nutrition center that provided full time care to 20 children and served another 160 two meals a day. Following an earthquake in 2010, her work in Haiti expanded to other development projects including education and skills training.

“Roberta was remarkable. She had an unwavering love of God, her children and the people of Haiti,” says Dr. Jesse Robertson, minister at Estes Church of Christ and long-time friend of Roberta. “We are absolutely devastated by her loss.”

An Estes team in Haiti was escorted to the airport on Monday morning, Oct. 12. Photo by Carrie Sells.

An Estes team in Haiti was escorted to the airport on Monday morning, Oct. 12. Photo by Carrie Sells.

A team of 29 Americans, including 18 from Estes, arrived in Port-au-Prince on Friday, Oct. 9, for a week long medical mission trip coordinated by Edwards. They were at the orphanage at the time of the attack. The mission team returned to America on Monday, Oct. 12.

The Estes church is committed to continue the work in Haiti. A small team that includes an elder from Estes and a mental health professional are returning to Haiti this week to spend time with the children at the orphanage. “The needs in Haiti are great,” says Robertson. “We have an obligation to Roberta and her children to see that the work continues.”

Condolences may be addressed to Roberta’s parents, Bob and Laura Edwards, at P.O. Box 1568, Burgaw, NC, 28425.

A memorial service for Edwards will be scheduled in Henderson, Tenn., in the coming weeks. Details about the service and the ongoing work in Haiti will be posted here.


Roberta Edwards

Roberta Edwards

HENDERSON, Oct. 11 – Our hearts are saddened to report the death of our missionary Roberta Edwards. On Saturday evening, Oct. 10, witnesses report that Roberta’s car was stopped by another vehicle which intentionally blocked her path. Armed gunmen emerged from the vehicle and fired into Roberta’s car, causing her death. Haitian authorities are investigating, and the identity of the perpetrators and the motive are not known at this time. She is survived by her parents, Robert and Laura Edwards.

Roberta was the administrator and “Mom” at SonLight Children’s Home in Port au Prince, Haiti, where dozens of children have received foster care over the years. Roberta also directed a nutrition center that feeds 160 children two meals a day, five days a week, in addition to providing funds for these children to attend school. At the time of her death, she was providing care for 20 children at her home. Her work has been overseen by the Estes Church of Christ since 2002. The facility where the children’s home operates is provided by Manna Global Ministries, and supporters of Roberta’s work in Haiti include individuals and congregations across the U.S. and beyond.

Roberta was a light to those in the community and dedicated to bringing hope to the hopeless. She knew that she worked in a dangerous setting, but had committed herself to care for children in Haiti despite these risks. Roberta has received her reward for her dedication to serving the Lord in Haiti. She will be missed in Haiti by her children, the community and friends. She will be missed here in the States as an encouragement and inspiration to us all. It is our intention to honor her memory by continuing the battle against Satan in Haiti and pressing on in the work of God’s kingdom.

Memorial services and funeral arrangements are pending, and we will provide updates as those become available. If you would like to honor Roberta with a memorial gift for the work in Haiti, those may be sent to the Estes Church of Christ, P.O. Box 191, Henderson, TN, 38340, and her family will be notified of your tribute. Please be praying for her parents, her children at SonLight Children’s home and the many Haitian brothers and sisters who are deeply grieved by this loss.