Football player brings Guatemala mindset back to UWA

Griffin Ricketson said that when Chris Mills came to First Baptist Church, Livingston, and did a presentation on summer missions opportunities, Ricketson didn’t know what he was doing for the summer yet.

And then Mills, Alabama’s student missions strategist, mentioned the Guatemala trip.

“It’s like God smacked me in the face with it,” said Ricketson, a student and football player at the University of West Alabama. “It sounded like me. I knew God was calling me to it.”

It was his first time out of the country — and he says it changed his life.

While he was there, he went door to door sharing the gospel. He preached a number of times at youth meetings. And he delivered supplies and helped to meet needs in areas affected by the volcano eruption earlier in the summer.

“When I was on the trip, I felt this responsibility to be missions minded and gospel minded and on guard, well-equipped and in prayer. I felt a responsibility to the people I was going to reach out to — if I wasn’t where I needed to be, I couldn’t effectively share,” Ricketson said.

‘Inspiring to me’

While in Guatemala, he was around people who lived that way all the time, he said. “They were selfless and spent every second furthering the kingdom of God. It was very inspiring to me and convicting.”

He said he wanted to bring that feeling home with him.

“I want to feel like I’m a missionary every day,” he said. “As a college football player, it can be an environment that’s tough. I want to take what God taught me in Guatemala and apply it. I know God can be glorified through that.” (Grace Thornton)

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