Tina Marie Burris
United States

Hello everyone!

I lead a simple life with my husband, Jeff, and our many animals. My life was once not so simple and full of the constant battling of demons! Those demons were smoking cigarettes, drinking, unmarried sex, and the list goes on and on. I was so very very lost. I did, however, around the age of 6 or 7, ask Jesus into my heart, with the help of the very loving principal of my private Baptist school I happened to be attending at the time. My time in Baptist school was abruptly stopped when my parents got divorced. I was then thrown into public school and soon was lost to the demons of this world and lost for a long time! I met my husband at the age of 32 and got married about 2 years later. We were actually born just 16 days apart in the same maternity ward of St Joseph’s hospital in Tampa, FL. It took us 32 years to finally meet face to face. God brought us together for a definitive reason! We have both helped each other survive our demons (alcoholism and smoking cigarettes) and overcome tough times. Together, we climbed out of the deep hole of despair.

It was probably around 8 years into our marriage (2-3 years ago) that my mother died, God rest her soul. At this time, I was heavily into politics and my views and ideology drastically differed from my mother’s and my siblings. So much so, that the demons took advantage of this and drew a thick line of division between me and them at the exact time I was trying to be there and help my sister take care of my mom. Ever since this time, my relations with my half sister and half brother have seriously been damaged and I pray to God to help bring us back together again. I have since quit politics for the most part. If I feel God is reaching out to me about someone or a special cause, I may vote, but no matter what side you are on or how valiant you think your cause is, the only one that is going to save all of us is Jesus Christ! Amen and Hallelujah!

As I said previously, I had been lost and blind for a very long time! Imagine that! Lost and blind! One day before I had completely given up on politics, I picked up the Bible with the superficial intentions of studying theology so that I could one day debate people and show them how smart I am. Well, little did I know just how miraculous and powerful God’s good word is! It drew me in. Ever since I started reading, I’ve been wanting to read more and learn more. I’ve been completely enthralled. The light of God was shining on me and he was trying to call out to me! This scared me a little, because Jeff, my husband, was a big time agnostic – not quite sure about God. I was afraid this would ruin our marriage so I did not really speak much about it to him. Well, that did not have to last very long. One day Jeff received a divine sign from God. I’ll save this story for another time. He, too, picked up the Bible and started reading, and our love for God grew together. We have both since acknowledged our sins and have repented to Jesus Christ, our beautiful Lord and Savior and have thanked him for the suffering and death he took on for our salvation.

Quite honestly, I do not know yet what I want to do with this ministry training. I pray to God every day to help guide me in the right direction. My plan is to keep moving forward with this training, God willing, until I receive his word one day on how I should proceed. My husband is also taking the training, so who knows, maybe we will minister together or maybe he will minister and I will be his little helper! Either way, I’ll be serving my Lord and Savior in one capacity or another and that’s the ultimate goal.

I welcome any fellow CLI students to contact me via email, as I am always game for making new Christian friends!

Peace be with all of you!

Tina M. Burris