Blyth's Royall hopes to work for Uganda's Hope Land - Feb. 1, 2018
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Carly Royall may have just taken her first step towards long-term employment working to bring a better life to the children of Uganda.
Royall, the daughter of Huron Chapel Pastor Mark Royall and his wife Glenda of Blyth, returned last week from her first trip to Africa. She spent several weeks there as part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) where she learned the ropes of working at its school in Uganda (the organization has schools all over the world).
While she had initially thought the trip would involve mission work, she soon realized that its goal was more to acclimatize her to Uganda and the school’s work, and those who run the school to her. With the potential of a long-term work placement there (one year of training and two years of work) it is essential that she learned as much as she could about the school.
What that meant for Royall was that she was able to spend much of her time getting to know the country and its people. What Royall did learn about the country, she loved and she does hope to return to work and fulfil what she feels is God’s calling for her to work at the centre.
How she made her way to the program in the first place was also through what she felt was God’s calling. She spoke to the Huron Chapel congregation about it just before Christmas, saying that it was her interest in a young man who had experience with the centre and a friend who was planning a similar trip that would eventually convince her to travel to Africa.
Royall has been on mission trips before, twice to El Salvador, but travelling to Uganda, she said, was a completely different experience.
She said she was completely overwhelmed by Uganda. Whether it was taking a drive into town or shopping at the local markets, she said she was overloaded with images and information and it was nothing like she had ever seen before.
Living at YWAM’s Hope Land, she bunked with her fellow staff members, where there was no running water. This led her to, when she returned home, take a nice long bath and enjoy warm water for the first time in weeks.
Royall also spent time at the school when it wasn’t in session. That left her with time to explore the country and the community and really learn about the Ugandans she hopes to help in the coming years.
“I was really able to experience the culture,” she said, adding that not all mission work has to be building a house or preparing food for the hungry. She said that one of her fondest memories was playing the card game Uno with some children on the streets. Reaching out and engaging the youth of Uganda, she said, is just as important as some of the other mission work being done in countries in need.
The trip gave Royall an opportunity to build relationships with the staff members and it has really made her want to go back and continue on the path that she feels God has laid out for her.
While there, Royall was able to work with the community’s children, preach to the staff and attend some of the staff meetings, as well as plenty of other activities.
Mark, Carly’s father, admits that he was skeptical of the idea at first. He and Glenda were naturally a little concerned for Carly’s safety, spending weeks in a country they knew very little about.
However, Carly said she never felt unsafe in Uganda. She was always with fellow staff members and was never put in harm’s way, so she is excited to return whenever that is possible.
With student debt incurred from her education at Redeemer College and the realities of the YWAM job (there is very little pay involved, beyond free room and board and a small per diem), Carly said she’s not sure when she’d be able to return, but she hopes it’s soon.
Mark jokes that YWAM has a location in Hawaii that would no doubt be much safer for Carly, but also be more fun for him and Glenda to visit, but he understands his daughter feeling God’s call to serve in Uganda and wants to support her in any way possible.
Carly is now back in Canada, but hopes to work towards returning to Uganda to begin her long-term work there as soon as possible.
For more information on the program, visit ywamhopeland.org.