I am so sad to have to share that a very dear friend of ours, Roberta Edwards age 55, was shot and killed in Port au Prince on Saturday night, October 10. Reports are that her vehicle was blocked and gunmen fired killing her. There were 3 children in the vehicle with her and one of them is missing. I don’t know if he was taken by the people that killed her. Roberta was from North Carolina originally. Her home church now was Estes Church of Christ in Henderson, Tennessee.
How do I describe Roberta? She was such a blessing to so many. Her ministry here in Haiti was amazing. She had an orphanage and at her death there were 20 kids living with her. She had a passion for educating children and wanted them to learn and be the future leaders of Haiti. She loved the Lord and taught all her children about Jesus. She had a feeding program for the community that fed over a 150 children twice a day. She gave expectant mothers milk to drink. She started a sewing ministry to help women in her area learn to sew and make a living so they could feed their families. She raised tilapia and had laying chickens in a hen house. With the eggs she was able to provide protein for her children plus sell eggs to make a little money. Roberta was always helping someone and thinking up new ways to help.
I met Roberta about 2 years ago and our friendship had continued to grow. We laughed, cried and prayed together. It was such fun getting to visit with each other. She has lived here for almost 20 years so she was such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. Right now Ernie is building desks that Roberta had received money to build for a school she supports. I had been texting Roberta on Saturday night around 6 pm and imagine my disbelief when I started getting text on Sunday asking if I had heard Roberta had been shot and killed that same evening just a few hours after we had been visiting by text. Such a surreal feeling. My heart hurts for the children and people that she left and my heart hurts for the friendship I have lost. Selfishly I want to continue to be able to visit with Roberta and joke and laugh together. I want to be able to talk with her about my concerns and pray together.
Not long ago Roberta and I had been talking about the dangers there are here and everywhere and how you just can’t live your life in fear. We discussed how as Christians there are no downsides. As Paul said, “to live is Christ to die is gain”. Philippians 1:21 If we live we live for the Lord, when we die we are with him! Praise God, Roberta is with him now! That is the joy I must focus on.
I have had so many people contacting me and say they are praying for us. Many also ask if we are afraid. I have to say no I still have God’s peace about living here. “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know to God. And the PEACE that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
This world has lots of evil in it. Not just in Haiti but everywhere. We should all live as if today is our last day here on earth. None of us know, just like Roberta didn’t know that Saturday was her last day. But she was ready. I guess my question to you is “Are you ready if today is your last day?” I pray that if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal savior that today would be the day you do. I do believe when we die we either go the Hell or to Heaven. Make no mistake Hell is a place of burning where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. I can’t imagine spending eternity in such pain and misery. There is also Heaven where you can spend eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ. Where we will praise God for ever and ever. The bible says there will be no more pain and no more sorrow. Revelation 21:4
The bible says, “We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in the same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standards.” Romans 3:22-23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
If you have never confessed to God that you are a sinner and asked for His forgiveness and believed that Jesus came to offer you that forgiveness, by His death on the cross, his burial and his resurrection, I pray that today is the day of your salvation. I pray that today you will come to the realization of your own sinful nature and your need of Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
In everything Roberta did she gave all the glory to God. She was a true inspiration to me. I will miss my beloved friend. But I am so thankful that Roberta had made a decision to follow Jesus and was ready for her last day on earth and her first day of the rest of eternity with her heavenly Father. Let this be a reminder to all of us that we don’t know when our last day is on this earth and we need to be ready.