My name is Ron Back. When I was eight years old, a missionary from a local independent Baptist church in Pierceton, Indiana, invited my brothers and me to church. My parents enjoyed the thought of having a break from us boys every Sunday, so they encouraged us to go with the missionary family. Shortly after this first encounter with Bro. and Mrs. Ernie Mason, I received Christ as my Saviour in Junior Church in 1980. I believe, even though I was only eight years old, that God put the desire in my heart to be a missionary, but since my family was not saved nor in a local church, Satan was able to quench that call.
My young adult years were spent out of church. I did not get scripturally baptized until 1994 while I was attending a Baptist church in Rancho Santa Marguerita, California, during my enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. Shortly after I was baptized, God called me a second time to the mission field under a missionary to Australia. I went to the pastor and inquired of him about missions. I thought God wanted me to go build churches physically with hammer and nails, not by preaching. My pastor told me that we did not support missionaries except the kind that go and preach the Gospel and win souls to Christ, building the churches with people, not materials. I was convinced that I was not the missionary type because I did not think I could talk or preach to large groups of people.
When my enlistment in the USMC was up, I chose to be a husband and a father instead of a career soldier. We went back to Warsaw, Indiana, where my family was and decided to start our family there also. Within two weeks of getting back to Warsaw in the spring of 1996, we found Open Bible Baptist Church, pastored by Sam Carns, a Hyles-Anderson College graduate. I thought that I had finally found a home that would be permanent for my whole family.
In May of 1996, Layne Jones, a missionary to the Philippines, preached at my home church of the need for more missionaries. This time I realized God’s call on my life. I immediately responded to the invitation and surrendered to be a missionary. Within just a few months, I understood that God wanted me to go to Australia.
God is so good! Praise the Lord, we have been able to witness to some folks over the last two months. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what is up and what is down with the constant COVID scares globally. The Australian government is looking at not allowing any international travel, besides emergencies and Aussies coming home, until 2024. Recently in the news, a man came from India to Perth, and now they are talking about new restrictions because there have been three cases related to him in Western Australia. Please pray for the folks in India; they have been showing mass cremations in the streets. It is very sad to think that many of these souls have stepped out into eternity without Christ.
In March, the government allowed interstate traveling, so we were able to take a little missions trip to Tasmania to see missionaries Andrew Steers and David Westbrook. While we were there, we were able to minister to Mrs. Laura Steers, as she is continuing to struggle with her breast cancer. Please pray that God would heal her from the cancer. Her spirit is so sweet, and though we were trying to be a blessing to them, they were a huge blessing to us. Mrs. Laura was extremely positive, and every chance she got, all she could do was praise the Lord and talk about how good God has been to her through the cancer and throughout her whole life. They enjoyed showing us the island, the people of Tasmania, and where Bro. Steers was raised.
While we were there, Bro. Westbrook allowed me to preach to their church, and we were able to fellowship and discuss the ministry together. What a blessing it was to be able to share with and talk about Bible doctrines with a fellow laborer in Christ. In Tasmania, they have not had any COVID-19, and they have not had very many restrictions, except for the national level ones. We were also able to witness to a man named Nick and lead him to the Lord. Please pray for Nick; he is a middle-aged man who needs to be baptized and grounded in the faith. Please pray for more laborers in Tasmania, as Bro. Westbrook’s is the only non-Calvinist, independent Baptist work. There are three major cities that need a fundamental Baptist church in them.
Missionary Russel Blanchard is getting ready for his surgery on his two aneurisms on May 11. Please pray that the surgery goes well with no complications. I have been very concerned about his possibly having a stroke, and all this is after his cancer surgeries and recovery. If you would also continue to pray for Mary, as we are just a few weeks away from the birth of our new grandson. Please pray also for more souls to come to Christ.