Christian Chefs International Testimony: Minge Pointer, Christian Baker Bakers on Wheels
My name is Minge Pointer, and I thank you for letting me come here today to speak with you! I want to share with you the story of how I ended up living a life dedicated to service to the Lord.
Let me begin by saying that I was raised in a Christian home, attended church every Sunday, was heavily involved in all youth activities around the state as a teenager, but did not have a relationship with Jesus in my heart. But as I have aged, my interest has increased. My faith was rekindled about 5 or 6 years ago, and I began a serious journey of faith that kept bringing me closer and closer to a committed relationship with Christ. I attended church regularly, and for the right reasons – because I wanted to be with others to pray together and praise together, and learn together.
My health had been bad for many many years, and I had been told in 2000 that I had probably about 6 months to live. But that stretched on and on, until the spring of 2002 when I fell into a coma from which they never expected me to awake. Daily, even hourly reports were grim. But I did wake up after a little over a month, and gradually regained some strength, enough to walk around in an apartment, to a car, in a grocery, but my health never fully normalized. I went to church, had a healthy prayer life, but devoted little time to anything other than being extremely ill. Again it was the 6 months left routine, over and over. I stayed in bed from Christmas of 2003 until the 2nd of May 2004, all that while, feeling so bad I almost wished I had died either when they first started saying I would, or at least while I had been in the coma. But on the 2nd of May, I was taken to the hospital and before I remember even being talked to in the ER, I fell into another coma.
This time my health was even worse during the coma, if that was possible. Hourly, or more frequently, my parents were being told that this was the last moment of my life. Over and over, on and on, I was on this death watch until I woke up at the end of May 2004. When I woke up I couldn’t move anything. And comas have some pretty weird affects on your brain too. But I spent 3 months in a nursing home, and at the very end of that period, I had finally learned to sit up so I got a wheelchair and I went home.
There was still very little I could do with my body, but I was determined to do whatever I could to use the rest of my life in service to the Lord. It was not a decision based on being saved from the brink of death, but on the knowledge that I want to be working for God every minute until my last day in this life because I don’t want to miss a single moment of the joy you get from a Christ-centered life. I live on Social Security Disability, unable to work at all for years, as the history I’ve just given you demonstrates. But when I decided to devote myself full time to God and whatever He wanted me to do, I found myself being more and more able to do things. I prayed and prayed for Him to lead me to a way I could serve Him, according to His will. And that’s where the current part of the story picks up.
I started and now run a bread ministry named Bakers On Wheels, which has two purposes – the first is to demonstrate Christian love, and share that love though the giving of the gift of home-baked bread.
The second is to empower other adults with disabilities, through mentoring them in the art of baking, which may lead to earning a wage through their own effort and ability, and most importantly, hopefully increase their self-esteem by gaining what society prizes so much – a purpose in life. But currently it’s just me. And here’s the bottom line - I bake bread and give it away – it can’t be any simpler than that!
I wanted to share the love I have for God, and the love He has for me, and I chose giving the gift of bread as my way to demonstrate the concept of Christian love. The gift of love and grace given to each of us by Jesus Christ was and is given freely. Bakers On Wheels gives our gift of bread freely, and we hope that in addition to satisfying a physical hunger, it may also feed the spirit.
The question is often asked: “Why bread”? Well, bread has meaning on so many levels:
from the Old Testament story of God’s providing manna to Moses and the Jews on their 40-year journey to the promised land,
to Jesus declaring both that He is the Bread of Life, and that He is the Bread that came down from Heaven,
to those of us who, when we smell and taste home-baked bread, remember a warm and loving kitchen from our youth,
to the meaning bread has to a starving man;
and on to the most important ongoing meaning that bread has for me - the use of bread in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, as Christ Himself taught us at the Last Supper and asked us to continue in remembrance of Him.
Let me tell you a little more about Bakers On Wheels. Since currently it is only me, beside the board of directors, I try to concentrate my time and effort on what I know how to do – bake bread that is out-of-this-world good! About half of the bread I bake goes to outreach programs run by faith-based organizations – they already have the distribution network in place. The other half goes to individuals, families, groups, or businesses, that for one reason or another I have felt led to, without regard to the usual parameters, such as income level. Bakers on Wheels sees need in a different way – we all need a reminder that we are loved by Jesus and our neighbors from time to time, and I let God lead me to those people, carrying bread, which I joyfully hand over, with nothing more than a quiet “God loves you and so do I”. Now bear in mind that what I am trying to do is to touch the heart of someone who may feel distanced from God today, or lonely, or frustrated, or abandoned– we’ve all felt something like this. I try to leave myself as open as I can to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit and feel the gentle nudge of the will of God as I am led to those people I just described. I am more than pleased to fill an empty belly, but I feel more led to feed that hungry soul.
A quick explanation of how Bakers On Wheels operates. We are a non-profit organization (incorporated) that exists SOLELY on private donations and donations from my Social Security Disability check when needed. 100% of the donations are used in the production of the bread. Individuals as well as churches an organizations that support our mission make contributions, which are used to buy the ingredients necessary to bake bread; the bread is baked and then given to those God sends my way. If you feel led to join me in this mission to spread God’s love through gifts of home-baked bread, please make a donation in the amount your heart tells you to. We need your contributions to continue this work, this good work.
The last few years have been, hands down, the BEST years of my life, even though these years have included some pretty scary physical situations, and learning to use this delightful wheelchair to get around, but these are so minor in the scheme of things that I rarely think of them at all. God has rained unbelievable blessings on me and I praise Him endlessly. But sometimes praise alone doesn’t feel like enough. I encourage you to find a way to let God use you as He has used me.
If you have any doubt as to my choice of bread for my ministry, remember that Jesus, the “Bread of Life”, the “bread of Heaven”, was born in Bethlehem, the “City of Bread”, and that what He asked us to do in remembrance of Him, was to break bread together.
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