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Southwestern Assemblies of God University students raise $24,000 for giving projectWaxahachie, TXDecember 8, 2011 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) students and sponsors have raised $24,105 for the semester giving project, surpassing the set goal of $22,000. All proceeds will go toward the building of a school for the Tukulor people in Matam, Senegal.

SAGU’s Student Missions Association (SMA) partnered with SAGU alumna Amy Farley to raise money for the Matam Project. SMA hosted several events to raise money for the cause, including the 5K Matam Run, Teeter Coffee House, t-shirt sales and the collection of donations from students and various sponsors.

"Once I return to Africa in June, I will be partnering with the national church in Senegal to build a team of Senegalese believers for each church plant,” Farley shared. "Each team will consist of a pastor, school director, and two teachers. We will add teachers as the school grows each year. The school will operate as a community center for the town as well as a meeting place for the church plant.”

Although Senegal has improved education over the years, the illiteracy rate is still high. Sixty percent of the Senegalese over the age of 15 are illiterate (NationMaster). “Even though many of the schools are private, the Senegalese make great sacrifices to see that their children receive an education. School attendance in urban areas is much higher than that of rural areas like Matam, many times because of the lack of resources. The school will be meeting a huge educational need in the town,” said Farley.

The 5K Matam Run took place on October 29, 2011, on the SAGU campus. Students and faculty helped find sponsors and facilitate the run. The event raised a total of $5,000.

Student also donated money during chapel services. The SAGU family alone raised a total of $17,105 to the Matam Project. For one particular chapel service, Dallas First Assembly of God, under the leadership of Pastor Tom McMahan, made a pledge to match the amount that students gave. Students gave $1,487, while the church surpassed their commitment and raised $2,000.

SMA also encouraged a Buddy Barrel competition between dorms and individual halls. Each dorm placed containers throughout the building to collect money during the week. Over $6,000 dollars was raised from the competition; the last pick-up alone raised $3,000.

Teeter Coffee House took place earlier in the semester. SMA raised funds through this venue by allowing students to sell their artwork. Two pieces of student artwork (by Zach Chesnut and Amber Belisle) were auctioned for a total of $315, in addition to another $100 from the pancake and coffee sale.

“This is more than SAGU has given in a single semester to any project,” says Director of Missions Chad Germany.

SMA treasurer Mary Duong notes that on the last pick-up many were worried about reaching the goal. “After the Matam Run we had raised $15,000, which left another $7,000 to be raised in one week.”

“God has brought us to the next level,” says Duong. “This shows how passionate students are about what God is doing in missions.”

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.