South Africa relief is topic at Sammamish church Sunday

March 11, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 4 p.m. March 11, 2011

Former Issaquah resident Melissa Van Der Wath will give a talk Sunday at Sammamish Presbyterian Church about her experiences in working with the people of South Africa.

The presentation starts at noon. The church is at 22522 N.E. Inglewood Hill Road.

Van Der Wath is in the area this month to spread the word about her work with the Hebron Community Project, an organization started by a family friend in an effort to aid positive change in South African society.

The community of Citrusdal, where she now lives in South Africa, has no electricity, no sewer or drainage, and only three toilets and three taps of running water for about 2,000 people.

Since moving to the area, Van Der Wath said she feels blessed by the support of the people she left behind, especially the involvement of Sammamish Presbyterian Church, where the pastor, Becki Barrett, is a close friend.

Barrett, who refers to the “informal settlements” of Citrusdal as the “politically correct word for squatter camps,” has played a large role in organizing mission trips to South Africa and collecting donations for the Hebron Project.

“For me to know someone and know a credible place where my money goes is valuable,” Barrett said.

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