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! I would first of all like to thank you for your prayers. They did not do the door-to-door forced testing for COVID, and they are also starting to loosen up on some of the restrictions. We are allowed to walk outside now without a mask. We are also allowed to hold church services indoors. In addition, Russel Blanchard is recovering from his surgeries and doing a lot better.
We just sent out an urgent prayer request to have everyone watch a video about what they are trying to do in our state parliament. I will attach it to our email prayer letters again because what they are trying to push is this: if I preach or teach that homosexuality is wrong, if I even pray for someone to stop being a homosexual, if I preach on abstinence, or if I read Scripture to someone regarding this subject, it is a crime punishable by 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for just hurting someone’s feelings. It is written so that they do not even need a witness; the complaint can be anonymous, and we will have to give account.
My surgery was bumped from November 10 to November 26. This required that I have two separate COVID tests, and it put me in quarantine for two weeks. However, the surgery went well. I am off pain medication and praising the Lord for that, and I am asking prayer for my speedy recovery.
On November 27, we started moving into Calvary Baptist Church’s new home. We were able to purchase a building large enough for all of our needs. We even inherited the ministry of a free food bank for the community. I feel like we are actually fulfilling a wonderful spiritual commandment of taking care of the poor. Three local groceries donate bread and vegetables on a Friday and Saturday for this ministry. We have already had several visitors from the new neighborhood. The town that we moved to is Moe (pronounced MOH-ee), Victoria.
Thank you so much for the seven years we are about to complete here on the field. It truly is an honour that we are able to serve you here in Moe, Victoria. We are looking for and praying for the political climate there in America to straighten up so we are able to come back next year after our daughter Mary has another baby, which is due in July, praise the Lord! She is still struggling with the loss of their son/our grandson Hunter, but God is so good to give her and her husband another little one. When the time gets closer, we will try to finalize plans for next year. We love you all and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.