Daily Point of Light # 2557 Nov 24, 2003

Darren and Tonja Myles have been involved in ministry work together for the past 12 years. Darren is an ordained minister and he and Tonja also own their own plumbing business. The work they perform is done out of concern for their community. It has been consistent throughout the years without either one of them being salaried.

Ten years ago, the Myles set up a ministry called Set Free Indeed whose purpose is to reach out to others in their community who suffer from addictions such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc. It has become so successful that President Bush recognized it in his State of the Union Address. The Myles are now called upon to go to other churches to help set up this faith-based initiative program.

The Myles family has been going to the local Salvation Army in Baton Rouge for the past 12 years sharing God’s word and reaching out to those in need. They have also been involved in prison ministry in Louisiana at both Hunt Correctional and Louisiana and Dixon Correctional Institution. For the past eight years, they have visited the centers to reach out to people who otherwise may not hear a message about a higher power. Some of the inmates have begun attending Set Free Indeed on Friday nights after being released from prison.

About five years ago, the couple started a Day of Celebration. It is an event that is held at a local park in the highest crime area in the city. They provide fun activities, food for needy families, counseling for addictions, motivational speakers and gospel music. This event has grown so much that the Governor’s office, the Mayor-President’s office, area businesses and local law enforcement have partnered with Darren and Tonja for this event.

The Myles family has also been serving at the O’Brien House, which is a halfway house for recovering addictive disorders. Darren and Tonja have been volunteering there for the past several years. Tonja made a vow 17 years ago when she was freed from her addiction. She promised that she would spend the rest of her life reaching as many people as possible in order to help them secure their personal freedom from addiction.

The Myles family is doing as much as possible to make changes in their community. They do not shy away from drug-infested streets or high crime areas because they believe their mission is to reach those in need.