Update on Roberta Edwards
Roberta Edwards, missionary to Haiti and administrator of the Son Light Children's Home in Port au Prince, was featured in the January / February 2010 issue of Christian Woman magazine (see below). Roberta is sponsored by the Estes Church of Christ in Henderson, Tenn. Please see their website for regular updates on Roberta, her family and the children's home in light of the recent earthquake in Haiti (www.estes.tn.org).
Roberta was not in Haiti when the earthquake struck, but returned home to Port au Prince on Jan 18, 2010 and had been reunited with her children. We will post updates on the situation in Haiti as they are available.
April 25, 2010 - From Jesse Robertson and the Estes Church of Christ - Haiti Relief Update.
Over the last month our relief effort in Haiti has begun to take on a more sustainable form. Plans have been made which we hope will allow us to not only meet current urgent needs, but also build for a better future for the church in and around Port au Prince.
In mid-March our annual spring break medical campaign was restructured to provide a major medical clinic and Bible School at our group house in Santo. Hundreds of people were transported in from other congregations, and over 2,000 were treated in the clinic. Everyone who came through the clinic participated in a basic Bible class, and dozens attended VBS each evening for all ages, including adults. The Santo congregation had over 300 in attendance while our group was there, which has been consistently the case since the earthquake.
In order to relieve Roberta of the strain of receiving and distributing tons of food, we have asked a committee of church leaders to accept the responsibility of purchasing and distributing food in bulk. These brothers have agreed to provide accounting for all that they do, and they believe that they will be able to distribute about $32,000 worth of food each month. This will not only provide food, but will provide opportunities for these men to learn accountability and cooperation.
We have also offered to help several congregations either rebuild or purchase suitable property for the churches. We are suggesting to them that these properties could be used not only for worship, but also as Christian schools. Many of the preachers and church members already make their living as teachers or school administrators. We are hopeful that this will create jobs as well as make contacts for the churches. Healing Hands International has offered to drill wells at these sites in order to further enhance public relations.
Many bottlenecks have been removed over the last month, and we hope that a month from now our capacity to help is even greater. Over 2,000 people or congregations have sent funds to Estes for earthquake relief. We are working on a formal, quarterly financial report to be released in the next few weeks. (An external auditor will review this report.) In brief, however, I will mention that we have distributed about $370,000 in aid thus far. 74% of that went for food, medicine, tarps, and other forms of temporary aid. 13% has been spent sending in strategic teams of emergency workers. The remaining 13% has been spent on reconstruction and equipment (such as a heavier truck for handling supplies). Over $2.3M has been received, leaving almost $2M on hand. This generosity will allow us to help for at least a year longer, possibly two, as well as providing for some capital purchases as described above.
A large number of people have volunteered to go and work in Haiti. We are concerned, however, about the workload that this places on Roberta. Therefore, we are trying to match personnel with needs so that we provide the right kind of support. The show of love and support has been very encouraging to us and to Roberta. We ask everyone to be patient as we continue to find the best ways to help. Please pray for Roberta and her children, as well as the preachers, their families, and the Christians in Haiti. If you have questions, please let us know.