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! Thank you for praying. I am still recovering from my surgery, still a bit sore, but my mobility is coming back well. Mary and her baby are continuing to do well, with no complications in sight. We want to shout and praise the Lord for this.
COVID restrictions here seem to get crazier every day. They will loosen up restrictions one week, and during that week, they seem to tighten them back up. At this point, people seem not to know what to do. Oh, the Australian Open went ahead, with 3,000 attending one day and none the next with total lockdown—but still tennis. Crazy!
We were able to have our annual Sweetheart Banquet, with nine couples attending. It was nice to see the young people serving the married people in the church. We even had live music, with violin and piano beautifully played by church family.
So far this year, we have also seen four people profess Christ through the Food Bank Ministry. We are having a hard time reaching people, but the Lord saw fit to bring these to us. We had a local tradesman come to the house, and I was praising the Lord that I was able to give him a tract and give him the Gospel. He didn’t receive Christ as his Saviour, but he took the tract and told me he would read it and possibly visit the church. It is surprising to me how that even when people are facing losing their freedoms and their way of life, they still refuse to look to Christ and accept God’s Word as true. Please pray for Dave (or Dav-o) to receive Christ as his Saviour.
We have had several people visit Calvary Baptist Church, and some have even come back. So, we know people are still looking for the Lord, and our efforts need to continue seeking them. We had one family join the church last month; they have been attending for over a year. Please pray for the Molesworths, as their family struggles during these times.
Please pray for us, as there is a total ban on international travel for us here in Australia. They also passed the legislation for conversion therapy; i.e., reading your Bible to, praying for, or encouraging a homosexual to cease from being gay. In ten months, it will be full law, with a penalty of 10 years or $10,000. Please pray for us to continue to do as we have done in the past—preach God’s Word fully.