Cooker gift puts biker chaplains on fast track
Thu, 14 Jul 2011 - 4:02 PM CST
|AG chaplain missionaries Brenda and David Pantleo cook for motorcycle rallies.|
Assemblies of God U.S. motorcycle chaplain missionaries David and Brenda Pantleo have learned to attract a crowd by appealing to stomachs.
"The best way to open the doors of communication is to minister to people through food," David Pantleo says. "The longer you can get people to sit and eat, the longer you can talk to them."
But when hundreds of thousands of people attend a motorcycle function - such as in Sturgis, South Dakota - the need can be overwhelming. Last fall, AG Southern Missouri District Council Women's Ministry Director Sherry Welch told the Pantleos that district women would provide a cooker and trailer to make their food serving easier.
As a fundraising incentive at the women's district retreat last fall, David Pantleo took Welch on a spin around the campground on his Speed the Light Victory Vision motorcycle. Within 45 minutes, $10,000 worth of pledges had been collected.
Pantleo commissioned C&R Metalworks of Springfield, Missouri, to custom build a stainless steel smoker cooker and trailer to haul it. The project included a stainless steel water tank for cleaning dishes, a 6-foot smoker with a firebox, a 10-gallon cast iron jambalaya pot, a 4-foot griddle for cooking, two propane bottles for heating and an area for two coolers to hold prepared meat. All the equipment is hauled on a 16-foot trailer.
In January, Pantleo picked up the finished product, which ended up carrying a $16,000 price tag. C&R Metalworks donated $6,000 worth of materials and labor.
Now the Pantleos can grill 75 hamburgers at a time. Light for the Lost pays for ministry tracts and Bibles available where the Pantleos cook, as well as for coffee cups that list the ABCs of salvation. Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge provided a portable sound system the Pantleos use to play Christian music.
Welch believes the smoker will contribute to many salvations.
"People have made salvation decisions by drinking free coffee and reading the cup," Welch says. "We know the cooker will be an avenue of feeding people and telling them about Jesus. We know many souls are going to be saved."
"We're humbled that the ladies gave us so much," Pantleo says. "We try to show Jesus' unconditional love. It's all about a relationship with people."
The Pantleos participated in 33 motorcycle outreaches around the country last year. They make their home base in Sturgis, site of the largest gathering of bikers in the country every August.
"With bikers, we look past the outer shell and realize in their heart is hidden treasure," Pantleo says. "It needs to be redeemed by the great treasure hunter, Jesus Christ."
Author: John W. Kennedy, Pentecostal Evangel