Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Jesus "Jess" Ramos: Master Swindler Revival

Jesus “Jess” Ramos serves as the president and spiritual director of Hope Churches International Ministries. He is commissioned Ambassador of Goodwill by the State of Arkansas, USA. He is coordinator for Philippines for Jesus Movement.

His Father was a farmer and at the same time, operated a lumber business and a small sawmill. His mother just stayed at home and managed a small store. His father migrated from Pangasinan to South Cotabato. He was third from the eldest from a brood of 12 but only nine were alived. At about thirteen years old and in high school, he joined the so-called Ilonggo Land Grabbing Association (ILAGA). This group was fighting for the rights of the people to protect and preserve ownership of their properties and at the same time fighting against the Muslim rebels.

In 1973 he moved to Manila to pursue a law degree, however his cousin enrolled him instead at the Philippine Maritime Institute for a course in Marine Transportation. During those times he experienced brutality particularly in ROTC. He dropped out his course at PMI and continue his studies at Far Eastern University taking up Hotel and Restaurant Manager. To support his studies he had no other options but to join an illegal syndicate. He started doing white collar jobs. Their swindling operations works this way: They would buy goods from businessmen and to gain their trust , they would pay in cash for the first and second deals. On the third deal, having already gained the businessmen’s confidence, they would issue a manager’s check with a falsified amount as payment for the purchased goods. With the goods in their possession they would disappear into thin air. He mastered the tricks of the trade and also learned to forge signatures and falsify documents. He became so good at it and eventually became the head of the syndicate. He was popularly known as Goldfinger. He even earned a million in just one day. He drove flashy cars, lived an extravagant lifestyle and spent on expensive things.

Jess success eventually encountered downfall in 1977 when one of his trusted men was caught by authorities and pointed him out as the mastermind. He was arrested and put behind bars. He was tortured but the police could not extract from him any substantial information regarding the operations.
Although he was in prison but he really never experienced much of a true prison life because he was incarcerated only for a while for he has exerted his influence, so he was just enjoying his life in prison. Those things that he had experienced in prison never had an impact in him and no repentance occurred. But on October 31, 1982, he heard a small voice the keeps on bothering him and finally on November 1, 1982, as he went to the bathroom for sponge bath, he noticed that he was sweating profusely and his heart was pounding loudly. He then saw his body violently shaking and swaying but could not move from where he was standing. He cried to God in prayer, “Dear GOD, if I am going to die, save me!” Immediately after that prayer something black which appeared to be a strong man full of muscles came out to his stomach. He heard a voice that say “That is the spirit, the power that wants to control and kill you.” At last he had been freed from spirit that had for a long time keep him in bondage. That was the starting point of Goldfinger turning to God’s Word. He was a living testimony of God’s goodness to mankind. God’s birthed a church in two weeks’ time right within the prison compound. When he was transferred to Muntinlupa he had put up a fellowship of believers at Muntinlupa Reservation Area. By God’s grace his sentence of 25-53 years had been reduced to 7 years and 5 months in prison. After his released God prompted him to go into fulltime Christian Ministry. They went back to Mindanao. God also opened doors for them to minister in other places such as General Santos and Bohol. God continue to display His power as He causes miracles, shows signs and performs wonders in our midst. His story of revival was indeed an inspiration for all of us…

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