For Elden Ramirez, mission work isn’t just his job, it's in his name. “My mom named me after Edlen Ford, an Adventist missionary,” he chuckled. Now as the director of volunteer ministries for the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, he helps students find ways to experience mission service for themselves.
Ramirez will speak for Union College’s Power Pac weekend Thursday, Oct. 3, through Saturday, Oct. 5. With messages centered on God’s grace, Pastor Ramirez hopes to help the Union College community better understand God and claim the amazing grace and mercy that God offers them. He will also be discussing opportunities to get involved in the volunteer mission field and the importance of this calling.
Pastor Ramirez is a great believer in missionary work, specifically in student missions. When he watched Mission Spotlight short films as a child he always saw it as a promotion to “go there and be a missionary” rather than to donate towards the cause. In his current position, Ramirez feels it important to encourage students to play their part in what he terms “a life-changing experience” spending time volunteering overseas.
When asked why a student should consider volunteering, Ramirez answered, “it is because we find great joy following the great commission found in Mathew 28:19 where Jesus said, ‘go therefore and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’” As he has already done with other Christian colleges, Ramirez will continue encouraging students to get involved in ministry by being student missionaries. Ramirez stated that through the student mission experience, students can “see the world, experience God and fulfill [their] mission.”
Originally from El Salvador, Ramirez is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. He completed a BA in theology and accepted became a pastor in 1996, later serving as academy chaplain, youth pastor, senior pastor, church planter and conference youth and summer camp director. Most recently Ramirez served as director of youth ministries for the Central California Conference and as a Youth Civic Leader in San Francisco City Hall. He and his wife, Jenny, a registered nurse, have two daughters.
The services will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3; 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4; and 9:15 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Oct. 5, in the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church on the campus of Union College. The church is located at the corner of 48th and Prescott and the events are all free and open to the public.
Each talk will also be webcast live at uclive.ucollege.edu.