Home – Midnight Saturday – Thanks for Praying!

Africa [internet slow] would not let me upload videos so here are a few for you to enjoy. Plus a few new pics.

Great trip. Great time in Makeni, Sierra Leone, teaching the story of the Bible. Students are progressing very well. I’m ready to return in March.

Reciting the story of the Bible and how each book fits. It’s perfect. And from Moses!

Avi, who travels from Ivory Coast for our training with his appeal and mine.

They cook breakfast for four of us, then lunch for forty, then dinner for four. With a smile.

Singing at 8:30am as they come to morning devotions.

Drummers in church! The only instruments. They are good!!

Straight from the market. Paper or plastic? Plastic.

Morlai, the lead elder at the church in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We hope to begin training in March, 2023. Below is the school building.

That’s it for now. Thank you for praying and asking and giving and reading.

Bob and Vickie Burris

Third Week in Africa – Makeni, Sierra Leone – The Story of the Bible

We have 30 pastors, leaders and student in our classes this week. Here is our summary sentence for Course Two, the story of the Bible: For His glory, God is reconciling the world to himself under King Jesus, and God has revealed His plan and work from Genesis to Revelation.

That sentence sums up 5 days of teaching. There are no words available to describe the privilege of presenting, discussing, and teaching skills to interpret and apply the story of the Bible to church leaders who have never heard this approach to Scripture.

Thank you for praying, encouraging, and giving so that these men and women can be more effective as church leaders in Africa.

Late Saturday night on the 3 hour trip from the airport in Freetown to Makeni.

55 lbs. bags of rice for a struggling city where most live at a subsistence level. The Bridge of Hope brings the light of the Gospel, schools, medicine, and hope for the hungry. TheBridgeofHope.us

Life is lived-out, outside.

In a remote village the tire toy bring hours of good play.

Sunday is washing day.


In this church the men are with their kids!! The “lonely” ladies are on the other side.

I preached for 40 minutes and then saw this: my 20 minute time slot.

Our energetic breakfast lady delivers with style.

It’s Thursday evening. We’ve had a great week teaching and interacting with the students. We’ve fielded a multitude of questions and pushed through 9 lessons. We will finish tomorrow morning and begin the trek home. Thanks again for praying,


Week Two in Liberia Teaching Poetry: Imagery, Sets, Laments, Pairing, Imprecations, Flow of Thought, Parallels…

On the way to preach at a new church. Sunday is laundry day.

It is a day of “rest” with many chores. Hauling water, cooking over coal, washing, taking care of children… it never ends.

Church at “Sevens”. That’s the name of the town.


Morning preparation. Electricity was fairly spotty. My rechargeable lamp and fan worked well.

Morning reading moves outside when the sun comes up. You can see, look closely, I share the space with my termite friends.

She keeps the floors clean! Vital. Sweet, sweet lady.

Seventh grade history lesson on how Liberia was founded. On a ship from Georgia and Virginia.

The school kids are always excited to see us.

Group work.

Lesson summaries by one of my fellow teachers.

Building materials. The work is progressing but stops when we come. Too much racket.

Apocalyptic sunset.

And lastly, my grandson practicing on his equine friend.

This week I’m in Sierra Leone. Teaching the story of the Bible. Thanks for looking, reading, praying and giving.


2 Days Traveling, 5 Days of Major Prophets in Liberia

After a long trip (including 11 hours in the D.C. United Airlines lounge watching the World Cup with other enthusiasts) I arrived safely to my comfy home digs in Liberia late Sunday night.

Progress is being made on the second story of the education wing! Plastering is continuing on the walls, the front gate is almost built, air-conditioners are installed on the first floor and materials are being gathered for more work.

Below: students bringing chairs upstairs to unfinished classrooms.

Monday morning, with 25 eager students, we jumped into the messages of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. Five days, five hours a day we looked at world history, biblical history, the drama of redemption and the unique messages of each of the books. The students are growing in their understanding and are very open to new truths. They come from Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Liberia. They will stay another week to learn how to interpret and communicate poetry in the Psalms.

Please pray for Africa. The church is inundated with false prophets, health, wealth, prosperity teaching, and immorality. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel warn of all these in stark terms.

The items shown below are essential in Liberia: rechargeable battery lantern/bug-zapper, instant coffee, and drinking water.

Monday we will begin teaching Understanding and Communicating Poetry. My two teaching team members arrived safely last night.

Commuting ( is there room for one more?), classroom photo, and laundry day. Notice the air conditioner on the wall in the classroom. Total. Game. Changer!! And! The rug. And the lights!

Below: drying laundry on the grass before it rains. Almost every day we have several hours of good hard rain. And notice the razor wire that now sits atop the fence around our compound.

More essentials: Story of the Bible review cards (I will be teaching this at church in January to introduce the book of Jeremiah), TLI pens as classroom motivation, ditto with the candy, rechargeable battery fan for hot days, 220v to 110v converter, CPAP back-up battery for power outages.

I will send another update next week. Thanks for praying.


Note my world famous grandsons.

Liberia, Sierra Leone, December 2022

Here’s the latest on my next trip: three weeks in Africa.

I leave Friday, Nov. 25, at 7pm, for LAX and arrive in Liberia 54 hours later, Sunday evening. The high cost of airline tickets is to blame for this one.

One week in Liberia teaching the prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel.

Grandkids below. First responders!

The following week will also be in Liberia teaching skills for interpreting Psalms and Proverbs: Course 5 in TLI’s 9 course curriculum. I will be joined by two other seasoned teachers from the U.S. Our classes will be fairly large: 20 students each. 

Week three will be in Sierra Leone teaching the Story of the Bible: Course 2.

Below: Early morning hours in India from about 10 years ago.

I will also be meeting with our partner in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and finalizing preparations for a new training site.

Please pray for the students. They are giving up much to come to the training. Pray also that they will be able to grasp the concepts and that it will affect their teaching and preaching. 


Bob and Vickie

P.S. Our account balance is in need of some generous giving. If you are able to give a one time gift, or begin a monthly commitment, go to the GIVE tab on our website and follow the prompts. Thanks.

79 Reasons to Pray. Why pray? Let me count the ways.

Read this first.

In the Bible, prayer is asking God to keep His covenant promises.

“Initially the focus will be on showing how ‘calling on the name of Yahweh’, or prayer that asks God to deliver on his covenantal promises, is the foundation for all that the Old Testament says about prayer. On moving to the New Testament it will become apparent how calling on the name of Yahweh is redefined by Jesus himself, and how, after his death and resurrection, the apostles understood praying in the name of Jesus to be the new covenant expression of calling on the name of Yahweh. Prayer throughout the Bible, it will be argued, is to be primarily understood as asking God to come through on what he has already promised; as Calvin expressed it, ‘through the Gospel our hearts are trained to call on God’s name’.” Gary Millar, Calling on the name of the Lord: A BIBLICAL THEOLOGY OF PRAYER.

1. The Holy Spirit sanctifies your prayers (changes them), so that God answers them for your good, Romans 8:26.

2.              God loves to answer the prayers of his people, Proverbs 15:8; Psalm 17:6; 65:2.

3.              Apart from Christ and prayer, you can do nothing, John 15:5, 7.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4.              God acts when you pray, Daniel 9:20-23; 10:12.

5.              Prayer keeps you from temptation and sin, Matthew 6:13; 26:41.

6.              Jesus prayed, Hebrews 5:7; Luke 6:12.

7.              God gives you peace when you pray, Philippians 4:4-6.

8.              God healed Miriam’s physical sickness when Moses prayed, Numbers 12:13.

9.              God sent rain when Elijah prayed, James 5:15.

10.           God gives you daily sustenance when you pray, Matthew 6:11; James 5:18.

11.           Spiritual growth happens in others when you pray for them, Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 4:12.

12.           Prayer is how we thank God, Philippians 1:3-5.

13.           God gave Ezra safety on his journey when he prayed, Ezra 8:21-23. 

14.           Prayer is necessary to know spiritual truth in the Bible, Psalm 119:18; Ephesians 1:15-19.

15.           It takes supernatural ability, that only comes through prayer, to know the love of God, Ephesians 3:14-21.

16.           Prayer keeps Christians in His name, John 17:11.

17.           Paul asked for prayer so that his evangelistic efforts would be effective, Ephesians 6:17-20.

18.           To have opportunities for sharing the gospel, you must pray, Colossians 4:2-4.

19.           Christ told us to pray for more believers to be fishers of men, Matthew 9:37-38.

20.           Prayer is necessary to repent, Daniel 9; 2 Chronicles 6:37.

21.           In prayer you praise God, Psalm 66.

22.           Prayer is needed to sustain your resolve to live for Christ, 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

23.           Prayer humbles you, 1 Peter 5:6-7; Philippians 4:6.

24.           Prayer was the early church’s pattern in sending missionaries, Acts 13:3.

25.           Prayer enables sweet fellowship with your Christian friends, Romans 1:10.

26.           Paul prayed for the unsaved to be saved, Romans 10:1.

27.           You can complain to God in prayer, Psalm 64:1.

28.           When you pray, you are being obedient, Romans 12:12.

29.           To live in Christian harmony at your church, you must pray, Romans 15:5.

30.           Paul prayed for believers to abound in joy, peace and hope, Romans 15:13.

31.           Pray deliverers you from harmful people, Romans 15:31.

32.           For your acts of service to be effective you must pray, Romans 15:31.

33.           Prayer is the means by which your fellowship with other Christians will be refreshing, Romans 15:32.

34.           Paul prayed that the God of peace would be with believers, Romans 15:33.

35.           To live a peaceful life, you should pray, 1 Timothy 2:1.

36.           Prayer is war, 1 Timothy 1:18; 2:1.                                                                                                              

37.           Paul prayed that the Word would lead Timothy to live a holy life, 1 Timothy 4:5.

38.           Pray and fast, so that your fasting will not be wasted, Nehemiah 1:4.

39.           You express sorrow in prayer, Nehemiah 1:4.

40.           Prayer is asking that God would be attentive to your prayers, Nehemiah 1:6.

41.           Prayer moves God to remember his promises, Nehemiah 1:9; Isaiah 62:6-7; Moses’ whole life. 

42.           When you pray, you know you are doing God’s work, Isaiah 62:6-7.

43.           In prayer, you can tell God your problems, Psalms 3:1-2.

44.           Prayer gives relief from our enemies, Psalm 5:10.

45.           Prayer is the method which you use to ask God questions, Psalm 10:1.

46.           To bring the judgment of the end times, we pray, Revelation 5:8; 8:4.

47.           Pray because the end is near, 1 Peter 4:7.

48.           Paul prayed to be released from prison, and for others to be released from prison, Philippians 1:19.

49.           The highest privilege is knowing God. When you pray, you can pray to know God, Ephesians 1:17.

50.           God listens when we pray, 1 Peter 3:12.

51.           God gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask for him, Luke 11:13.

52.           The early church prayed, Acts 2:42

53.           Believers, in the Bible, prayed to have children, Luke 1:12; 1 Samuel 1:17; Genesis 25:21.

54.           Failure to pray for others is a sin, 1 Samuel 12:23.

55.           Prayer opens your eyes to that you can see the hand of God at work, 2 Kings 6:18.

56.           In the New Testament, the believers prayed that the gospel would be accompanied by signs and wonders, and the casting out of demons, Acts 4:29-30; Mark 9:29.

57.           When we pray, God delivers miraculously, Acts 12:5, 12.

58.           Pray is needed to have qualified leadership in the church, Acts 14:23.

59.           The church is unified when the church prays for unity, John 17:20-21.

60.           Greater discernment and knowing God’s will is the result of prayer, Philippians 1:9-10.

61.           Greater faith is gained through prayer, Mark 9:24.

62.           God protects us from the evil one when we ask him to do so, Matthew 6:13.

63.           No other religion has a God who hears them when they pray, Deuteronomy 4:7.

64.           Prayer is an awesome privilege, Deuteronomy 4:7; Ecclesiastes 5:1-3.

65.           Prayer is designed so that instead of not having, you have, James 4:2.

66.           Nothing of significance will happen unless you pray. Prayer gives God the glory and that alone is significant, John 15.

67.           When we pray, God gives grace, Hebrews 4:16.

68.           The church was gathered to pray when Peter was led out of prison by the angel, Acts 12:12.

69.           The book of Psalms is a series of prayers to teach us how to pray, Psalm 1-150.

70.           When Hezekiah got a nasty letter from Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, he prayed and the Lord answered and killed 185,000 Assyrians, 2 Kings 19.

71.           Effective self-soul-work is done in prayer, Psalm 139:23-24, Psalm 1-150.

72. Prayer is the necessary response to reading the Bible, Psalm 119.

73. Prayer exposes our utter depency on God.

74. We need the Holy Spirit for evangelism and missions, Luke 11:13.

75. Prayer assures us that God is our Father, Romans 8:14-15.

76. Prayer ushers in final judgment, Revelation 8:1-4.

77. “Paul Miller so helpfully says that ‘Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life.’ And that desperation comes when we see the massive scope of God’s plans for us and our world. When we see our inability to do anything that makes any difference to ourselves or our world.”

— Calling on the Name of the Lord: A Biblical Theology of Prayer (New Studies in Biblical Theology Book 38) by Gary Millar

78. In the Bible, prayer is asking God to keep His covenant promises. And He always keeps His promises, 2 Samuel 7.

79. The health, wealth, prosperity gospel has infected Africa and America for decades. We need to pray that the hold of this false gospel will be broken in Africa and America. Most American Christians have the disease but cannot see it.

Here’s are some good links to help you pray.