When I met Ryan Wilson, I assumed he was from Ellis County. He’s such an active member of the community–serving as an intern at The Oaks Church in Red Oak, Texas and volunteering with The Waxahachie Project. Did I mention he’s also entering his final semester at Southwestern Assemblies of God University?
In the midst of submitting final projects, essays and preparing for the last two finals, Ryan is also involved with local theatre. He played the role of Ernest in The Importance of Being Earnest and Bob Crotchet in A Christmas Carol. Admittedly, he’s got a “stressful schedule” but he loves performing and spending time with his friends and family.
I was surprised to learn that Ryan is a sojourner through this community. When he graduates, it’s highly likely that he will return home. Yet, he’s planted deep roots in Ellis County. Why?
According to Ryan, “Wherever you’re planted, that’s where you’re called.” As a server, he took sushi orders while leading coworkers to Jesus. When he found out that a local pastor needed help, he volunteered to fill in the gaps. He’s made so many other contributions to Ellis County, and he’s not done yet.
Ryan Wilson is the next gen, and that’s something to celebrate.
You are involved in so many community projects. How do manage it all? When I get stressed, ultimately, knowing that God can get me through it. He can always provide peace when we need it.
When it comes to time, figuring out what I can say yes to and what I can’t say yes to. Sometimes I say yes to too many things–and maybe I need to work on that–but I feel like a lot of people can relate to that.
And spending time with friends and family. Having that support system–so that when I do feel overwhelmed, I have those people in my life.
Here’s the mandatory question for all college students–What are your long-term dreams? In my senior year of high school, during sixth period, we had to introduce ourselves. I used my time to give my testimony. Two people came up to me afterwards. They told me that their hearts were touched, and that they wanted to get closer to God. In the hallway, I felt the encouragement of the Holy Spirit–this is what I want you to do with the rest of your life…tell other people about Jesus.
In the moment, I thought that I was supposed to become a pastor and go into full-time ministry for the rest of my life. Maybe that thought-process got me to SAGU. But I’ve realized that there are a lot of ways to tell people about Jesus, and in some ways that are even more effective.
Telling people about Jesus–that has been at the center of every one of my dreams.
Recently, I started a small business and I’ve found a drive for entrepreneurship. I want to be involved in the marketplace. I want to be in the business world. But there’s also that love for the church and bringing people together and closer to God.
What inspired your small business? I love to help people and wanted to earn extra income. I knew that my mom had started her own resume business years ago. She has her own recruiting agency now. So, I asked her to teach me. She helped me get some start-up clients. And in my first two months, I had over twenty resumes! We didn’t have to advertise, but through word of mouth, we received a great response. Now, I also do LinkedIn profiles, in addition to the resumes. It’s so important to have a great resume and I love taking time with new clients to ultimately land them a great job!
What is your hope for the next generation? My hope for the next generation of SAGU students is to know this–Wherever you’re planted, that’s where you’re called. Waxahachie isn’t just a waystation or a training ground. It’s not about being sent out. There’s people right here in Waxahachie that need Jesus. There are so many needs. There are so many churches that need help. Don’t waste your talent, be a part of this community.
Photography by Tori Santa Cruz.