Nearly 500 people gathered in the Hansen Conference Center at Comcast Arena in Everett for the 53rd annual Community Prayer Breakfast sponsored by the YMCA of Snohomish County and Everett's Trinity Lutheran College.
Kitna, who now teaches math and coaches football at his alma mater, Lincoln High School in Tacoma, recounted a few stories from his 16 years in the National Football League, playing with the Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys.
The keynote speaker talked about watching the athleticism of such players as Joey Galloway and DeMarcus Ware.
"I got to see some amazing athletic feats when I played football," Kitna said. "It wasn't physically normal, these people were complete freaks."
As much as he enjoys talking about football, Kitna said he can't wait to tell people about Jesus Christ.
"Because of the radical work of Jesus, my world was turned upside down," Kitna said. "I love to talk about Jesus in my life."
Kitna graduated from Central Washington University in 1996 with a degree in secondary math education, intending to teach and coach. He never expected to play professional football, so it was good to get back to Tacoma to help students at Lincoln High, where about 75 percent of students come from families that exist below the poverty level.
That was the plan all along. The calling from God.
Kitna told his audience that one of the common threads among the millions of teens nationwide who won't graduate from high school and who get into drugs and gang violence is that they don't have fathers at home.
"Maybe you raised your children and they are doing well," Kitna said. "That's great, but consider finding somebody who doesn't have a dad and make a difference for them."
He encouraged people to ACT, as in abide, confess and teach. Abide in Christ and follow God's plan. Confess your stumbles and falls to friends who walk along side you. Teach and train young people.
"Right now society is out of control," Kitna said. "We need men who are willing to step up and have an impact."
During the breakfast, longtime organizer Lorrie Hermanson from the YMCA was recognized for her work to put on the event. The Trinity Lutheran College chamber choir performed.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; email@example.com.
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