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The 700 Club

Cuban Freedom Flights to Doorway of Salvation 

Nashville, TN

“I’m like, man, I’ve been shot in the head, I’ve been run over by a truck, and I’m still here,” says Eddie. “Maybe God does have a plan in my life.”

When he was a young child, Eddie Ramirez came to America on the freedom flights from Cuba in 1967. His father came a year later and was aggressive and angry. They never formed a bond.

Eddie remembers how hard it was, “I was cheated. I was cheated because I needed a father in my life, and he wasn’t there. He wasn’t there for me,” says Eddie.

When he was 13, his parents divorced. Eddie took out his anger fighting kids in the neighborhood. Some older boys noticed how tough he was and pulled him into their drug trafficking ring.

Eddie finally got the attention he craved.

“I needed somebody to accept me,” says Eddie. “Because, like I said before, I was cheated. I-I-I needed somebody that was older than me to accept me and embrace me and-and say, ‘Okay, you know, you’re part of this.’”

That sense of belonging still didn’t fill Eddie’s ultimate longing.

“There’s something missing,” says Eddie. “So, then what-what is the next thing? Well, let me have-let me get some drugs. Let me start doing drugs.”

He eventually became a drug dealer to high profile clients and the sense of power took him further down a dark path of drug addiction.

“You’re always chasing that first high,” says Eddie. “It got me to the point of no return that I was like—I can’t stop, there’s no way of me stopping,” laments Eddie. “I had power, you know, I had power. I had money. People were looking for me. People needed my merchandise, you know, and-and-and I was ruthless. So, I felt like I was in control,” says Eddie.

In reality, Eddie’s life was out of control and reckless. He crashed his motorcycle and was run over by a truck, nearly killing him.

When he recovered, his best friend, who had become a Christian, took Eddie to church.

“Once I was there in church, I was like, uh, what’s here, there’s nothing here for me, you know,” says Eddie. “I’m not making no money here or nothing. There’s--what’s-what’s the church about? There’s--I-I need to go out there and make money,” says Eddie.

He continued selling drugs and living a life of violence. He even survived a gunshot to the head.

Cocaine fueled his emptiness and he felt like there was no escape. “I felt disgusted, the way that-that I would like just stay up all night and-and-and do drugs and my nose was like falling apart,” says Eddie. “Cocaine is not a drug that—that you want to start doing. Because once you start doing it, there is no—there is no turning back.”

Desperate for a way out of his addiction, he turned to his mom for help. She checked him in to a rehab facility, where Eddie had a life-changing encounter.

“I remember one night I’m there in my room I get a-a visitation from a—from what I believe was the Lord Jesus,” says Eddie.

“And He comes into the—into my dream, into my vision, and He tells me, ‘Look, you-you really want to change your life?’ And I—and I’m like inside of me, ‘Yes, I want to change my life, cause I can’t live like this anymore,’” says Eddie. “And He tells me, ‘All you have to do is walk through this door. And if you walk through the door, your life will be changed.’ And I look and the door was a real thin door with a light behind it. You know, and I’m like, I’m willing to walk through this door,” says Eddie.

Eddie gave his life to Christ and was immediately set free from drugs.

He passionately declares, “I didn’t have the desire to do cocaine, to do marijuana, to do nothing else. I didn’t want to do nothing,” says Eddie. “It was like God literally took it out of my life, completely. Like-like some people they tell me, ‘No, you know, God is working on me.’ God wasn’t working on me. He did the work right away,” says Eddie

With tears in his eyes, Eddie says, “You know, I couldn’t believe that God would save somebody like me. Like I was such a bad person that He would really literally come and save me. Like I couldn’t wrap my mind around that uh, I was like, you know, ‘Why, God, why? Why would you save me? You know, what-what—why would you do that?’” says Eddie. “And Lord, you took care of me when I needed somebody, when I needed a father, you came up, you showed up.” Eddie continues, “And that’s what He does. That’s what He does. And that’s what He does to many people out there. When we don’t have that father, when we don’t have that person in our lives, He shows up and He becomes that father of the fatherless. And that’s what He did to me, and till today, I believe that.”

Eddie’s been clean for 28 years and now pastors a church in Florida. The joy of his new life overflows to everyone he meets.

With an infectious laugh, Eddie says, “I’m grateful for everything that He has given me. My family, my children, my grandkids. I’m very grateful for everything that He has given me. All I need is Him. Everything else, I could lose. Everything else I could lose. But He makes me whole.”

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