March 2022: Sierra Leone, Liberia

Entry requirement

After a busy and fruitful 2021, almost 5 months in Africa, it’s time to return to my second home. I leave Friday.

Week One, March 4-13 Makeni, Sierra Leone. I will be teaching Course One of TLI’s curriculum, “Knowing God, Knowing Scripture, Knowing Ourselves,” to a new group of pastors and church leaders. Joining us will be staff members from The Bridge of Hope, Makeni, Sierra Leone. This site has huge potential for impacting Sierra Leone in the future – please pray for our students! Here’s their website if you’d like to know more,

Week Two, March 13-18 Freetown, Sierra Leone. I will be team teaching the Gospel according to 1 Timothy to a group of approximately 50 pastors and church leaders. This will be a three-day conference similar to the one on Colossians in December of 2021. We are bringing copies of Conrad Mbewe’s book, “God’s Design for the Church: A Guide for African Pastors and Ministry Leaders,” for each of the pastors. Pray that they read it!

Current student’s shower facility in Liberia

Week Three, March 18-25 Monrovia, Liberia. I join four TLI trainers and we will be teaching Course Three of our curriculum, “Understanding and Communicating Narrative and Law: Genesis and Exodus.” This course is one of the more difficult ones, but it also has great potential for spiritual fruit.

Week Four, March 26-April 2 – I will teach the book of Romans to a group of Bible College students at our training site in Monrovia, GraceLife Church. I am very excited about teaching Romans. It’s been a few years, but my first time teaching through the book changed me in significant ways.

Transformer installation.

NEWS!! Some generous donors have contributed to the construction of the second floor of the education building at GraceLife Church and schools. When the project is completed the students will have a place to sleep and bathroom facilities. There will also be additional classrooms and 2 small apartments for a couple of families to stay at GraceLife for pastoral internships. The picture shows the first stage in the construction process: electricity! Please pray for the remainder of the funds to be donated and for the students as they come.

Update: Burris extended family

We were all together for Christmas, a Christmas that didn’t disappoint. Our youngest daughter and her husband, Andrew and Katie, right, announced that they are expecting identical twins in August. We will transition from four grandchildren to six!! And Ryan, back left, has snagged a job in Southern California, which will begin in August also.


I’ll send another update next week in Sierra Leone. Thanks for reading.


Happy times

A few Pics from a few days in Sierra Leone

Tomorrow we begin three days of sermons/lessons on the book of Colossians. I met a wonderful group of eager students Monday when we arrived in Freetown and made arrangements for 50+ pastors and church leaders. Please pray for a profitable time and that we will be able to begin a TLI non-formal training center here and in Makeni.

Crossing the boarder from Liberia to Sierra Leone. It was a little hot.

On the right is a funeral procession.

No caption needed here.

Eleven of us in a Toyota Land Cruiser for 3 hours. Three in the front, three in the middle, five in the back, luggage on top.

Wedding pics at our hotel in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

First ever six branched palm tree for me.

Leaving for Sierra Leone in the Morning

We have had a great week of teaching Course Two in our curriculum, “The Story of the Bible.” As you can see from the pictures we teach the epochs of biblical history and each book’s contribution using pictures. Tomorrow morning Dyonah and I will spend a long day in the car traveling to Sierra Leone to scout out two potential training sites. Please pray for safety and for stamina to speak all day for three days, December 14-16.

On the left you can see the students arranging the biblical epochs and books with the descriptions and pictures.

Seven of my nine students.


They met in small groups to plan a sermon on each epoch,

Using sticks for her math lesson.
Muting the drums in church with a Bible!
Traveling machete sharpening business.
Kindergarten teacher in the elementary school

One of my fellow teachers.

I cannot imagine a more profitable use of time and ministry effort. Our students are eager and every day there are great moments of discovery.

One particular student, who was sold out to the property gospel, came this week with a testimony of how he saw his error and has changed dramatically. It was a pleasure to have him in class and see him grow.

I will try to send an update before I leave for home December 20th. Thanks for praying.

On the way to do the laundry.


Liberia and Sierra Leone December 1-21, 2021

On December 1 I’m headed back to Liberia to teach Course Two in Training Leaders International’s non-formal curriculum – “Knowing the Story of the Bible”. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is one unified story. Every book contributes uniquely and profoundly to the narrative/message of the Bible, “For His glory, God is reconciling the world to Himself under King Jesus”.

The family, Oct. 2021, with Vickie’s mom.

I leave Wednesday, December 1, and spend a few days at the TLI office in Minneapolis, join four other trainers at the airport, board an Air France Airbus, and arrive Saturday evening in Monrovia. After speaking in a local Liberian church on Sunday, we begin our training on Monday morning. We will teach six hours every day for five days.

Three of our four grandchildren. Pretty cool cats!

Early Friday morning, December, 10th, our partner in Liberia, Dyonah Thomas, Mike Evans, A TLI International Trainer, and I will travel by car to Makeni, Sierra Leone to scout a promising training site. I’ve included a video below of the site which is already heavily invested in education and mercy work.

We will be there until Sunday when we will drive to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and conduct a three-day Pastor’s Conference, Tuesday – Thursday, December 14-16, teaching the book of Colossians. The plan is to speak for 45 minutes, break the pastor’s into groups of 5-7, answer some questions about the biblical text and the message, then return and have a large group discussion. We will repeat this pattern three times a day for three days.

We will return to Liberia, on Friday, get our COVID tests on Saturday morning, preach and teach on Sunday, board the plane on Monday evening and arrive homeTuesday afternoon, December 21.

Please pray for:

Our Students – almost everything we teach new students is new to them. They have been fed health/wealth/prosperity/deliverance ministry non-stop for most of their lives. This doctrine infects every aspect of the church, Christian living, and pastoral ministry. Pray for the Spirit of God to open their eyes.

Safe travel – 3 full days in the car. Crossing borders, good and bad roads, hot hot hot.

Here is a video from the potential site in Makeni, Sierra Leone.

New training sites – We hope to open two sites in Sierra Leone in 2022. This will be a new country for TLI.

Below is a testimony from one of our students. He travels from Ivory Coast to Liberia to attend classes.