Three Videos: Betty, George, Abraham

Betty tells it best. Gotta love Betty! She is a star pupil and teaches women’s ministries at her church. (You may need to click on the Picture-in-Picture icon at the bottom of the video to see Betty’s full face. WordPress glitch). George is from Sierra Leone and is a wonderful man! Abraham, a committed student, came to class the morning his wife gave birth to their daughter Abigail. These men and women who sacrifice to come and learn are the true heroes of Africa. I pray for them every day.


Here is a quick trip update.

My proposed schedule was roughly: 1 week in Minneapolis at the TLI office.

2 weeks in Liberia: teaching Course 4 on the gospel of Mark and one week teaching the Major Old Testament Prophets.

2 Weeks in Sierra Leone at two training sites.

Five weeks away and then home to Orange.

Things did not materialize that way: violent, deadly riots in the two cities in Sierra Leone necessitated cancelling the last two scheduled weeks of my trip.

However, the first week at the TLI office in Minneapolis was great- plenty of talk and connections.

The first week in Liberia I led a fabulous, amazing, incredible (more raving needed but I think you get my point) team from William Tennent School of Theology. Five of the best teachers ever!! I highly recommend William Tennent if you are thinking about a theological education, especially for vocational pastors. In my next life I will definitely enroll there. Their model is different than traditional seminaries. Here’s the link.

In Liberia there were logistical difficulties concerning water, food, and electricity. These problems necessitated the cancelling of the second week of classes. A huge disappointed for the students and for me, especially for the students who sacrificed much to come to class. Very sad.

All the men from Sierra Leone have happy wives! Especially George.

However, I was able to stay in Monrovia for two more weeks to help our full-time TLI staff member, Ryan, with administrative tasks and problem solving. They were hard weeks but necessary ones.

Please continue to pray fervently for the students and the ministry in Liberia. There is no doubt in my mind that the enemy does not like what we are doing there.

I’m home now, gathering my thoughts, preparing for my next trip and heading to Minneapolis the first part of October for our bi-annual staff meeting.

Thanks for praying and giving.

Bob and Vickie Burris


Great Week, Great Students, a Full Heart

Morning devotions.
Find your name and come to class – on time.
My students figuring it out.
Abraham and Phil. Very bright!
Evening recap of the day. There were 5 of us from the U.S.
Friday. Ryan (beard on the left) lives in Liberia full time with his family. This is most of the class.
The following pictures are of the second floor construction. The first floor is mostly completed and in full use. The second floor will provide more classrooms, dorm rooms with beds, showers, bathrooms, a library, and apartments for families who come for an internship.
They make their own blocks. Stronger.
Behind the building staircase and beginnings of a fence.
Current shower
Future apartments for interns and families
Liberian dinosaur
Our gardeners at home. They work hard and cheap.
This is Pastor Margaret’s song. She pulled this one out of the hat after hearing Mike’s sermon on Gideon to the inmates in prison!! She is in the pic below.
Born in Sierra Leone, she works as an RN in Texas and runs a Christian ministry, in Makeni, to out-of-wedlock mothers and rape victims to save children from abortion. She knows Margaret (see above). We met her at the hotel while eating breakfast. That’s Mike on the right. He is TLI’s Africa director. He taught in Makeni and shared the teaching at the conference.

Help for African Pastors –

Growing their own cassava on the north side of the school. It is used for seasoning, making tapioca (who knew), flour, assorted dishes, and snacks.

African pastors need resources. The apostle Paul asked for parchments/books at the end of 2 Timothy and so we too need resources to help us with the book of books – the Bible.

Our beliefs come only from the text. We ask repeatedly, “where is that in the text?”

On this trip we brought a handbook on church/pastoring for African pastors, written by an African pastor. Every single attendee wanted one. But in the absence of books there are some great online sites. I’ve listed them here.

Cassava tuber

And these are not just for African pastors. They are for pastors, church members, churches in the United States, and around the world.

Looking from the school building. Photo credit Mike Rudolph His name is Tim Challies – a Canadian. He has a web site and a daily blog with links to Kindle deals, somewhat uneven in their quality, but some very good books at hugely reduced prices. I have reverted to Kindle books because of my travel. He also has links to other sites every day. Hardly a day passes that I don’t read something he has posted with great benefit.

The Gospel Coalition. A warehouse of great articles, sermons, and blogs. Trustworthy.

Sierra Leone is 60% Muslim

Desiring God. A treasure: sermons, articles and free PDF books. John Piper and others. An all purpose site with Bible study materials.

Breakfast. A ministry founded out of Capital Hill Baptist in Washington D.C. Great resources and handy 9Marks books on the church.

I watched him and hopped right in, gracefully. Not. Train wreck.
The ladies shared freely, and proved to be great additions to our meetings.

World Magazine. The news from a solid Christian worldview.

School building for 120 students.

The Berean Test. A Christian song review site. Give it a try. I like it. Everything from a gentler Reformed perspective. You’ll enjoy the material. R.C. Sproul was the founder.

Future classroom in Freetown.

Gospel Coalition Africa! Yes. A great resource for African pastors and churches. There’s a link below that I’m requiring my students to read and write about. The prosperity gospel, not really the gospel, has invaded the continent like a hoard of locusts. Brought from the U.S. and syncretized with ancestor worship and witchcraft, it has taken on an existence that will move you to your knees. I pray daily for God to open eyes to see the error. They have taken the Holy Spirit, put him in a Trojan Horse, and now they’ve let him loose so they can play with him. That’s one of the reasons I’m here now.

Happy students. Many/most? are Muslim. Pray for them and their teachers from the church.
Last but not least. Grandson!

Fabulous week in Freetown

Possibly the only one in Sierra Leone!! At my hotel.
These are great men who lead this little church in the middle of Freetown.
Two happy pastor wives and kids.
A police officer at our training conference being presented with a book on the African church by an African pastor, Conrad Mbewe. Everyone received a book.
The church has a school for the neighborhood children. I counted 120.
The new classrooms. They build as the church has the funds. There is progress from when I was there in December!
We teach. They break into groups and discuss with open Bibles.
No words.
Happy pastor who loves and serves his wife as Christ loves the church.
Seven women came to our conference on 1 Timothy. We had some lively discussions on why God calls men to be pastors. And they came back!! for all three days.
My friend, Pastor Francis, one of the elders at the Freetown church. They cared for us well.
Animated teaching to some who may have never read 1 Timothy or preached a verse by verse exposition. We try to teach simply, phrase by phrase, verse by verse, paragraph by paragraph, through a book, hopefully in a way they will emulate.
He joined us on the small craft across the bay to the airport. It was an ADVENTURE!! We arrived on the airport side fully acquainted with the taste and feel of the Atlantic. Today I leave for two weeks in Liberia.
Sympathy for the disciples as Jesus slept.
My grandkid pic as usual.