Missionary Rev. Dr. John Bombaro is a Theological Educator for the LCMS Office of International Mission in the Eurasia region. He, and fellow missionary partner Rev. Dr. Charles Cortright, conduct an online seminary program called the Livonian Lutheran Project. The program is held in conjunction with the Rīga Luther Academy in Latvia. The Curriculum building for the Livonian Lutheran Project is being done in a collaborative effort with Concordia University Irvine (CA) and Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne (CTSFW). Through this program Bombaro and Cortright train, catechize, and mentor future pastors and church-workers, as well as new converts to the Christian faith.
This semester the two missionaries are co-teaching an online course titled “Introduction to Theology.” More than forty-five students throughout Eurasia (with a few auditing from the US), participate each week over a three-hour Zoom class. Both Bombaro and Cortright have also undertaken private mentoring of several of the participating students, with Bombaro providing catechetical instruction for Holy Baptism and First Holy Communion.
Bombaro visited Concordia University Irvine this summer to assemble course materials for the online seminary program. While there, one of the catechesis students he is mentoring via the Rīga Luther Academy, a mother of three young children, professed Christ as her Lord and savior and confessed to him, “we want to be baptized.” In preparation for Holy Baptism, Bombaro offered them training in Luther’s Small Catechism. Two months of online catechesis ensued.
The instruction was completed at the end of October. Bombaro traveled to the student’s home to administer the Rite of Holy Baptism. Following all of the required COVID protocols, the mother and her three children were baptized in their own backyard.
Baptism is a miraculous means of grace through which God bestows the gift of regeneration through the forgiveness of sins and grants and strengthens faith in a Christian’s heart.
This miracle of rebirth was attended by approximately twenty-five witnesses.
The student is continuing with classes at the Rīga Luther Academy, and has just added a new course to her studies with Dr. Bombaro; an examination of That I May Be His Own: An Overview of Luther’s Catechisms by Charles Arand (Concordia Publishing House, 2000).
The mother and her children have also just begun private instruction in preparation for their First Holy Communion. To God be the glory!
Baptism is the visible Gospel
by Rev. Dr. John Bombaro