Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Botany and Ormiston Times Thursday October 15 2015
■■ By Marianne Kelly Alocal youth pastor is reflecting on the contrasts he experienced when he spent seven weeks on the USA’s Pine Ridge Reservation. The American Indian reservation is among the USA’s largest, and the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe people that live on it are regarded as among the country’s most poor, with more than 90 per cent below the poverty line. Ben Dowdeswell is currently working as a youth pastor at East City Wesleyan Church in Burswood. The former Howick Intermediate and Pakuranga College student recently graduated from Auckland University with a BA in German and BSc in chemistry. When he finished his studies in June last year, he harboured an ambition to find out how mission work operated in a different environment and, with plans to eventually study for a Masters degree in linguistics, he wanted to learn another language. The opportunity came when a friend introduced him to Emily Clark, the assistant pastor at the Church of God in the US town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. He describes the seven weeks he spent with her at the church as being “like an apprenticeship”. The people on the reservation speak the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota dialects, and Mr Dowdeswell has compiled a database of the language learning. “I also went there to see how a mission works in a different context compared with our living standards,” he says. “I learned how privileged we are. I learned more about American Indian history and it opened my eyes to how bad it was and how they are still treated.” “It was an inspiring experience,” Mr Dowdeswell says, “to see just how humble the American Indians can be. So much has been taken away from them, but they still show love and compassion, along of course with the grudges.” Wounded Knee’s population is only about 200 people. The Church of God is a different denomination but has some things in common with the Wesleyan movement. “ The church saw a need and wanted it to be run by American Indians,” Mr Dowdeswell says. ■➤ Mr Dowdeswell runs the youth group SURGE at 7 to 9pm every Friday night at the East City Wesleyan Church, 219 Burswood Drive, Burswood. I t ’s for ages 11 to 18, and all are welcome. www.times.co.nz Botany and Ormiston Times, Thursday, October 15, 2015 — 9 CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL 2016 AUT SOUTH CAMPUS ACHIEVER SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS Kerryn Higham, Botany Downs Secondary College Matthew Apuda, De La Salle College Vernel Sarmago, De La Salle College Caitlin O’Neill, Howick College Lukey Zhou, Manurewa High School San Chung, Otahuhu College Valerie Chong, Pakuranga College Phoenix Pule’anga, Papakura High School Georgia Kendall, Waiuku College Awhina Shortcliffe, Waiuku College Well done for all your hard work in 2015, and we look forward to having you on campus in 2016. AUT.AC.NZ/SOUTH scholarships2015-113x400mm.indd 1 9/10/2015 6:46:41 p.m. PS0645 Labour Weekend Bed Sale 500 Ti Rakau Drive Next to Harvey Norman P 274 3695 www.dreambeds.co.nz to Starts this weekend 20 60% off storewide Missionary worK Indian reservation delivers culture shock Youth pastor Ben Dowdeswell with one of his American Indian protégés.
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