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ACU community unites during Chapel for tsunami relief

For immediate release
Jan. 12, 2004

Members of the Abilene Christian University community came together Wednesday morning during Chapel to remember and financially respond to Southern Asia’s tsunami disaster.

With the first week of classes in session, this was the first formal opportunity for ACU students to join together to remember the tragedy half-way around the world and to respond with donations for the tsunami relief. The ACU community gave $3,860.01 within two hours of the Chapel assembly and more funds are expected to follow.

Susanne Drehsel, senior political science major from Germany and chief communications officer for the Student’s Association, said they expect several hundred additional dollars in the next several days.

ACU students also heard a first-hand account of the situation directly from Thailand. Brent Pennington, ACU alumnus and missionary in Bangkok, Thailand, spoke to the ACU crowd via teleconference. He shared his experience in helping parts of Thailand recover from the damaging blow and devastation and how the community is pulling together to aid in relieving the affected areas.

"It is clear that the Lord is moving and giving an opportunity for people around the world to pull together," Pennington said.

Wayne Barnard, dean of campus life and associate provost for student development, opened Chapel by explaining ACU’s role in the disaster and then called the community to respond to this need, as the international community aided the United States after the 9-11 tragedy. He spoke of the partnership ACU has with Healing Hands International as well as with many missionaries in Southern Asia.

Larry Henderson, missions coordinator for Asia in ACU’s Institute for Missions, showed maps of the affected areas and discussed the geography of the disaster. He expressed thankfulness for the safety and protection of ACU students returning from Phuket, Thailand as well as the families of many international students.

Additional donations and monetary support for this relief can be taken to the Campus Life office at the west end of McKenzie Hall.


If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, director of public relations.

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