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

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.

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.