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! We are praising the Lord for so many of you folks that have kindly sent us birthday and anniversary cards, letters, and even emails. They encourage our spirits so much, especially over the last two years here in Victoria, Australia. My wife is especially appreciative of all the prayers represented by signatures and good wishes. We have been trying to combat the negative and oppressive spirit that is here in our country. In the last two months, we were free from lockdown for almost two weeks. We are currently in a lockdown where we are not allowed to leave the house except for five reasons: food, vaccinations, medical help, exercise for one hour within 5 km (3 miles) from home, and caregiving. During our free week and a half, I pushed myself to give out almost 500 tracts, and then the next day, the door again slammed shut. Please pray, as there is no end date in sight for this lockdown, and the government has spoken about possibly locking us down for the rest of the year. They have shut down both state and federal parliament meetings, so the people making the laws now are our premiers (governors). I was laughing when I found Tucker Carlson having a go at the Australian government for the severe totalitarian mindset and abusive control of the people here in Victoria.
But, praise the Lord, the food bank is a legitimate reason to leave the house. Because of that, we have had two more people saved! A couple living only a block from the church, struggling with all the issues of a lifetime of sin, have come to the Lord and are making baby steps out of the world. Please pray for them because they still need to be baptized, and we need actual church services to help them grow.
We are very proud to announce that our son, Ron Jr, is courting a young Australian lady named Laura Sampson-James. They have been trying to see each other as much as they can since June. She attends Brother Abrell’s, church and we have known her for years. My son has been praying for the last few years to find the right young lady. He has been seeking God’s direction for a possible wife and partner to serve the Lord with for the rest of their lives. God has directed him at least three times back to Laura, and it was so sweet to watch him, even though he is 24 years old, be so shy and timid to ask her if she would be willing to enter a courtship with the intent to marry. It has taken her a month to realize that my son is not trying to manipulate her or play with her emotions. He sincerely loves her, and she has started to love him. It is exciting to see young love grow in a biblical way. Both are dedicated not to kiss or have any physical contact until their wedding day.
Please pray for our freedom to win souls, to preach the Gospel, and to see fruit come to the Lord. Please also pray for our son and his Laura.