God's Providence for a Doctor and a Street Thug!


What do a former drug dealer and a missionary doctor have in common?

JJ Ramirez got into the drug scene in Bryan/College Station, Texas when he was only 13 years old. "I was looking for identity," he explains, "because in the 1960s, being a child born out of wedlock or through an adulterous relationship was just unheard of."

JJ and his brother became the top drug dealers in the community. But soon JJ wanted out. He longed for a wife and a family. He wanted the American dream. He got married, the couple had their first child and then his wife became pregnant again. But things were not good. When JJ turned to crack cocaine, his wife threatened to leave unless he saw a counselor. But the secular counselor robbed him of hope, saying, "You are a drug addict. And you are always going to be a drug addict."

Now in the pit of despair, JJ cried out to God. "I didn't want to do this drug. I didn't know how to pray but I would say, 'God, I don't want to do this today.'"

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One of JJ's friends came by soon after and gave him a Bible, telling JJ how God's Word had changed him. In anger, JJ threw the Bible on the porch but later felt compelled to pick it up. The Bible opened to John 8:36 (NIV): "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." That Scripture gave JJ hope and started him on the journey of becoming a new creation. He now leads SOS Ministries, which reaches out to the at-risk in College Station from all walks of life through after-school programs, college outreaches, a men's home and more.

Meanwhile, Dr. Stuart Quartemont was living in Africa and serving as a medical missionary when He heard the Holy Spirit directing him to return to the US. "I really had to wrestle with that," he says. "Why would God call me back to America when I've given my life and my future for Africa and all the needs here? But God made it very clear that I needed to come back."

In faith, Dr. Quartemont obeyed and, as Providence would have it, ended up just 15 minutes from College Station. He began going to the same church as JJ. They connected and, through their mutual friendship with me, opened up the Somebody Cares Medical Clinic as part of the SOS Ministries outreaches.

Only God, in His sovereign providence, could connect JJ and Dr. Quartemont for His glory. God takes multiple seen and unseen factors — every experience and every relationship — and He pulls them together, connecting us with people and situations that ultimately cause us to fulfill His calling on our lives.

For more of this fascinating story of God's divine connections, listen to A Word in Season with Doug Stringer & Friends.

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