Latvia is the middle of the three Baltic states just west of Russia. During the last century the people of Latvia suffered greatly: first the two world wars, and then under Soviet communism. Historically Lutheran following the Reformation, there are but few remnants of the historical Reformed presence in Latvia. The first Reformed church was replanted only in 1990. However, despite the smallness of this group, it is a delight to see how, in their own words, they are convinced that “the Word ministry (teaching and preaching of Bible) is the front line of Christian mission”. Come Over and Help seeks to promote and support the young Latvian reformed community in several meaningful ways.
Pastor Training – Baltic Reformed Theological Seminary
Baltic Reformed Theological Seminary is located on rented premises on the second floor of an old building in the capital city of Riga. BRTS was founded in 1998 to provide evangelical theological education for students in the Baltic states, inviting qualified instructors from the US, Canada and Europe's leading Reformed Theological Seminary and universities. For example, Dr. Beeke has taught here in the past. Alvis Sauka is the President of the seminary, and has been a catalyst for bringing many to a reformed understanding of Scripture and theology. Artis Celmins is the rector of the seminary.
Several graduates of BRTS are laboring as pastors in and around Riga. Alvis Sauka and Ungars Gulbis both pastor established congregations. Martins Martinsons, a BRTS graduate, is seeking to plant a church in the university sector of Riga. The church plant has 25-30 people in regular attendance.
These churches are very focused on outreach, using 1-to-1 Bible reading as a means of bring God’s Word to others.
One of the pastors supported by COAH, Ungars Gulbis, is engaged in radio ministry. His Sunday sermons are formatted for radio and broadcast each week. There have been expressions of interest from many, and some have visited the reformed churches. As a result of this ministry, Pastor Gulbis has also been invited to participate in several on-air forums, and to broadcast meditations on the Christian radio station.