Bobby (Latvia) Update – March and April 2024

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Dear Friends in Christ,


The renowned Italian painter Caravaggio painted a scene from John 20 back in 1601. It depicts Jesus after His resurrection confronting Thomas’ unbelief. The painting is typically referred to as “The Incredulity of Thomas.”


If I could name this painting, however, I wouldn’t name it after Thomas’ stubborn unbelief. Instead, I would name it after Thomas’ wonderful confession. Jesus takes Thomas’ hand and places it in His wounded side, and Thomas exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). And that’s what I would title the painting: “My Lord and my God!”

When you look at Caravaggio’s painting, part of what is so engaging about it is how it captures Thomas’ astonishment. Thomas is astonished that His Lord is alive. Thomas is astonished that God’s Word could be trusted. Thomas is astonished that death no longer has the victory. Thomas is astonished that God has accomplished this incredible work through His Son even though nobody deserved it.


Thomas is astonished, and I too am astonished. I am astonished at how gracious our Lord is. He continues to pour out upon us His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation.


I am astonished at how faithful our Lord is, how consistent He is in renewing us, preserving us, and strengthening us by His Word and Spirit.


I am astonished also at how desperately the world needs to hear this good news of Jesus and how fervently our Lord desires all people to know and experience His grace.


I am astonished that He entrusts this task to sinners like you and me.


I am astonished at you, His faithful saints, along with the efforts of those at Mission Central, the Office of International Mission, the South Dakota and Nebraska Districts, and so many wonderful churches! I am astonished at how God raises up people to support the work of the Gospel here in Latvia and throughout the world.


What can a person say to such an overwhelming salvation but “my Lord and my God!”

We at Luther Academy are busy finishing up this semester and getting ready for in-person intensive classes in Wittenburg this June. We are also preparing our students for their summer vicarages. I will be the person coordinating the activities of the mentor, student, and the congregation in which they will be serving. The first-year students will focus on leading worship. Second-year students will focus on preaching. Third-year students will focus on teaching, while fourth-year students continue to hone their practical skills for life in the congregation. It is a joy to help prepare these young men to serve in their vicarage congregations. They will learn and grow as Christ uses their mentors and congregations to form them into capable, Christ-centered pastors.


My family and I are continually grateful (and astonished!) at your prayers and support. In the summer of 2025,we will be returning to the states to give presentations and updates on the Lord’s work here. We look forward to being able to see everyone in person and share with you in the joy of the work Christ has entrusted to us!


In Christ,


Pastor Bobby, Erica, Judah, August, Benjamin, Simon, and Pax

Bobby Family News



The Bobbys are plugging along. The top picture here is from International Day at the boys’ school. Parents from each country set up a table displaying different food and cultural artifacts representing their country. Erica helped with the American table. I’m not sure how excited August was to take a picture with his mom dressed as the Statue of Liberty!





The next picture is when the family and I went to visit the Ghetto Museum here in Riga. During Germany’s occupation of Latvia (WW II), many Jews were shipped to Riga and confined to ghettos before being sent off to death camps. Also, virtually all Latvian Jews were exterminated. It was a very sobering trip. The wall next to which Simon is standing lists all the names of the Latvian Jews whom the Nazis killed.



This last picture is August’s seventeenth birthday. Erica made him a special brownie cake along with his requested meal of pancakes and eggs. Erica always was a good cook, but she has really stepped up her game since moving here!

You may support us through Mission Central and the work of Gary Thies.

Mission Central


You may support us through the LCMS website.

You may support us through Mission Central and the work of Gary Thies.

Mission Central


You may support us through the LCMS website.

Bobby Family News

Everyone in the Bobby household is doing well and says hello. School is good. The kids are on break until the middle of January. Benjamin and August are taking Latvian and Spanish. Simon and Pax are taking French. They have made some good friends from all over the world at their international school. In the top picture, we went on a night walk in what is called in Latvian Mezaparks. The boys in this picture were pretending to be on hunting expedition. Erica and I though it looked like a photograph from the 1800s (serious with nobody smiling!), so we put it in black and white. The second picture is Simon and I at a wooden church from the mid-1700s that was moved to an outdoor museum outside Riga. The museum is like some museums we have in South Dakota, where all the old buildings are still standing, and you can pretend you are walking around an old West town from 100 years ago. It was the same thing, except is was much older and larger. Erica has been busy keeping us all going. With a husband and four boys to take care of, her job never ends!


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