Magazine article Anglican Journal

From Halifax to New Delhi: An Intern's Story: Three-Month Tour Expands Student's Worldview

Magazine article Anglican Journal

From Halifax to New Delhi: An Intern's Story: Three-Month Tour Expands Student's Worldview

Article excerpt

DAWN DICKIESON, a theology student at Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, had mixed feelings last spring when her application to go abroad as part of The Anglican Church of Canada's international intern program was accepted.

She was glad to be part of the program--that was for sure. However, she'd written in her application essay that "ever since I was young, I have wanted to go to AFrica." Ms. Dickieson, who is 30, named Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a major influence.

But the mission coordinators deciding on placements didn't send her to AFrica. "I called my morn and I said, 'I'm going to India.' Mom said, 'India?' I'd never given any consideration to going to India. We don't have a large Indian population on the East Coast. Initially, I was disappointed," she said in an interview. But a conversation with her brother, Fred, changed her outlook. "He said, 'You want to go to AFrica so much, you will some day. But you wouldn't have thought of going to India on your own,'" she recalled.

The Theological Students' International Intern Program is administered by the Partners In Mission department of the national church office in Toronto. Launched in 1992, it is a three-month summer program that is designed for second- and third-year theological students who want to increase their awareness of global concerns, expand cultural experience and deepen their commitment to the Anglican church's mission and ministry.

After a 16-hour flight, Ms. Dickieson's first impression of India was the climate. "I flew to New Delhi on May 9. It was 10 degrees (Celsius) in Halifax and 35 degrees at 11 p.m. when I walked off the plane," she remembered.

Her cross-cultural experiences started on the plane. "It was full of Indian people and what struck me was the way some of the Indian men looked at me, kind of checking me out. Men have the right to do that and I thought, 'I am a woman in a completely difFerent context.'"

But she was game. "I've always felt ministry is local but also a global task. As part of a global church, it's important to have a sense of us being part of a body of Christ, not just in Canada," she said. Ms. Dickieson, who grew up on Prince Edward Island, holds a B.A. degree in geography from Bishop's University in Quebec and has had a wide range of church experience at several parishes in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia.

She had said in her application that she was interested in HIV/AIDS and visited a number of locations and projects in India that concerned the deadly disease. …

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