INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Angela Smiley of Saratoga UMC in the East District received a 2012 Bread and Basin Award during the Indiana Annual Conference session in Indianapolis June 7. The Bread and Basin Award is given to a person who has demonstrated outstanding Christian leadership either in the church or in the community.
Smiley, with the support of her family, took into her home a young man out of prison for heroin use. They helped him secure work as well. This young man lived with them multiple months while he stayed clean, and upon a relapse into prescription drug use, the Smiley family found him a place at a half-way house.
Through this experience, Smiley was put in contact with the Randolph County Prosecuting attorney, Dave Daly. Daly is a member of Winchester United Methodist Church where he serves as lay leader. Together she and Daly began putting together a convocation for schools to educate youth about drug addiction. This convocation took place February 29, and three school systems brought their students from 5th grade through seniors. Smiley also organized a public meeting to educate adults, and a prayer service before the convocation. She has drawn television stations in Dayton and Indianapolis, newspapers in Muncie, and local radio stations to the drug problem and the need for community initiative.
Smiley has begun a new ministry in Randolph County: Broken Road Ministries. The goals of this ministry are to provide prevention, education and intervention in drug addictions among our youth. They have begun reaching these goals by providing convocations to two more school systems, forming a board and business plan, and working with the schools to provide a ministry representative in the local school. Broken Road Ministries also met in April with local agencies to develop a continuum of care for addicts from prevention to rehabilitation.
This ministry has opened the doors in the community to honest examination of a drug culture that has reached beyond stereotypes and destroyed families.
Without Smiley’s voice and Daly’s support, Randolph County would continue to be torn apart student by student, family by family. But because of their faithfulness, families are reaching out for help and finding it. These disciples of Jesus Christ truly are transforming our world!