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Home » About Us » Meet Ron Elkin
Ron was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home in Philadelphia, PA. His family regularly attended Synagogue and maintained Jewish traditions in their home.
While a teenager, Ron began to consider the reality of God. For a short time he became an atheist, and later he was attracted to occult teachings and Eastern mysticism. Ron traveled to India to study Yoga and Hinduism, became an astrologer, and experimented with drugs and New Age philosophies. He found that none of these spiritual pursuits satisfied his heart's desire to know the meaning of life and to have peace with God.
Ron moved to northern California to live in an alternative rural community. While there he became convicted by the Holy Spirit of his sins. Ron began to learn about the Gospel of Jesus through the witness of many individuals. A gospel tract that was left on his car window had a great impact on him. God was faithful to keep bringing Christians across his path.
However, because of his strong Jewish background, he didn't accept the Gospel as a means to forgiveness but followed a more traditional Jewish method of atonement--good deeds. He organized a community help organization in the Russian River area of California which became funded through the state. Later he co-authored an employment training program for low income people through Sonoma State University in California. This training was funded by the Federal CETA job development program.
In spite of developing these successful help programs, Ron not only continued to feel spiritually disconnected from God, but also felt a lack of peace in his soul and the guilt of his sins.
He read a book called "Autobiography of a Yoga," which taught that Jesus was one of the great masters who had come to earth to instruct us how to return to God. This made him more open to learn about Jesus. He rejected the Christian assertions that Jesus was the only way to God. Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." But Ron did become attracted to Jesus and his moral teachings. This was the crack in the armor around Ron's heart that God used to penetrate his soul with the saving knowledge of Jesus. Through the witness of many people over many years, God drew Ron to faith in the Jewish Messiah.
However, there were two main obstacles to believing the Good News. The first was his Jewish background.The more his interest in Jesus grew, the more guilt he felt. Because of the persecution that happened over centuries against Jewish people in the name of Jesus, by people who called themselves Christians, the Jewish community considers those who believe in Jesus to be traitors. Click here to understand this issue more fully.
The second obstacle was pride. Ron believed he could win God's acceptance through good deeds. However, after he set up the community organizations which helped thousands of people, he was no closer to achieving peace with God. He still felt like he was in a spiritual wasteland.
At the age of 31, convinced of the truthfulness of the Gospel, Ron bowed his knees to the Lord and asked to be saved. Immediately he experienced the burden of his sins being lifted from his soul, and his spirit was brought into the newness of life promised in 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" A true refreshment that only God can give brought joy and fulfillment to Ron.
He began to read through the Bible and came to see what God had done for him. He saw the prophetic connections between the Old and New Testaments, in particular how the New Covenant was a continuation of the plan of salvation by the God of Israel. The reality of Hell and judgment awakened in him a tremendous burden to share the Gospel. He became involved in personal evangelism and outreach programs in his church. At first he thought he would be a missionary to the people in Israel but then developed a burden for his Jewish brethren here in the United States.
Ron returned to Philadelphia. There he met Jackie, a graphic designer and also a Jewish Christian. After he and Jackie were married, Ron began a successful pest control company. However, Ron's burden to bring the Gospel to Jewish people continued to grow. While supervising his business, he founded Ammi Ministry in 1984 at a church in Center City, Philadelphia. Later he graduated from Philadelphia Biblical University's Jewish Missions program. From there he went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies at Biblical Theological Seminary and to study the Russian language at the Graduate School of Columbia International University. In 1993 Ron sold his pest control business to concentrate on full-time mission work with Ammi Ministry. He and his wife are grateful that God is using them to bring the Good News to both Jews and Gentiles.
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