Why would God give me a gift but not let me use it? The question kept nipping at me, and in response I opened the throttle wider on my Kawasaki dirt bike. My wife and I were headed home following a church service in one of the small villages near our mission station in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I had never felt such frustration, and I expressed it by rapidly dodging rocks and gullies on the dirt road until my wife begged, "Please, slow down."

Growing up in a pastor's home, I had learned early the importance of giving myself to the ministry. Like my father, I felt the call to preach. But now I was handcuffed in exercising that gift.

One frustration was the general confusion in an African village service: mothers move in and out to check on children playing outside, men walk to the window to spit, an occasional dog wanders in for a look around, the ever-present crowd of noisy children wait outside for a closer look at the white man. Sometimes in the hubbub I'd lose my concentration and forget ...

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