missions personal

Benefit for Missionaries to Sudan

Local Austinites – please consider supporting my friends Jonathan and Lauren Ramirez as they pursue God’s call to work with the Didinga people in Sudan!


Ramirez Sudan Benefit Night @ Dominican Joe

Friday, September 11th, 2009, 7:00 – 11:00PM

Music Performances by: Aaron Ivey and Aaron Peace

Armed with wide eyes and a desire to learn more about worldwide injustice, Jonathan Ramirez made his first trip to Sudan in the Spring of 2006. He had found an American missionary who knew about a Sudanese pastor and his wife that were church planting in the remote hills of Southern Sudan among the Didinga tribe. Told to bring a tent and a head lamp, Jonathan trekked to Sudan to meet pastor William Laku and his pioneering wife, Eunice. The purity of the land and the people captured Jonathan’s heart as he witnessed God’s Spirit moving among a people group that had been ravaged by 50 years of civil war. He knew the only reason he wanted to come home was to get married before returning to the Didinga long term. So, he boldly wrote an email home to Lauren declaring his intentions to marry her and serve in Sudan as missionaries. The two were married in November 2006 and took a belated honeymoon to East Africa in the Spring of 2007 so that Lauren could see the land she would one day call home.

The past three years have been an important time for the Ramirez’s as they have established their marriage, found a sending church community in Austin, joined the Africa Inland Mission long term team, attended missionary training and raised support. They had the privilege of leading a team to Sudan last summer in order to reproduce themselves as advocates for Sudan back in the States and cast a vision to friends and family for the future. A new home and new family await them among the Didinga tribe as they look forward to serving alongside of William and Eunice Laku as church planters in South Sudan.

Please join the Ramirez’s Friday, September 11th as they raise awareness about the country of Sudan and seek support for their call to the Didinga people. The night will highlight the call on Jonathan and Lauren, the town of Nagishot, the country of Sudan, missions opportunities, photography, music by Aaron Ivey and Aaron Peace, and more… all to benefit Jonathan and Lauren as they prepare to depart on September 22nd as long term missionaries in Nagishot, South Sudan.

For more on the event, click here.

For more information on Jonathan and Lauren, check out their blog.

By Todd Engstrom

Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth.

God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

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