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Former Incarcerated Drug Addict Ministers to Spokane Homeless with Food, Clothing and Jesus


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Former Incarcerated Drug Addict Ministers to Spokane Homeless with Food, Clothing and Jesus

News Story by Cindy Hval | FāVS News

The apostle Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Daniel Aga encountered him in the Spokane County Jail.

The results were similar — transformed lives and a desire to share the Gospel.

Born in Coeur d’Alene and raised in Spokane, Aga began using drugs at 15. By 18, he was in prison.

“I spent from 18 to 28 incarcerated,” he said. “After my release in 2015, I went right back to the lifestyle I’d been living before.”

In 2019, he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge and landed in the county jail. One night, he awoke to a presence in his cell.

Daniel Aga / Contributed

“I knew it was Jesus,” said Aga. “I got down on my knees and started praying to a God I never knew.”

He can’t explain how he knew he’d encountered Christ.

“I grew up with a single mom, never went to church, there was no Bible in our house,” he said. “I only knew Jesus Christ as a swear [word] when I bumped my knee.”

But that night birthed a desire in him to read the Bible.

“It transformed my life,” he said.

‘I felt a fire in my heart’

A friend had gone through the Good Samaritan Rehabilitation program, sponsored by The Altar church in Coeur d’Alene, so Aga decided to go give it a try. But soon, he was using again.

“This time I felt horrible!”

Several years later, he re-entered the program, committed to staying clean and pursuing ministry.

Pastor John Padula, director of Set Apart Discipleship, saw a difference in Aga when he returned. Set Apart is located in Padula’s home and provides a place for men to stay if they are considering Good Samaritan Rehab or going into ministry.

“He came from a place of brokenness,” said Padula. “He went through the program with humility and a desire to do outreach. There is a whole different spirit about him this time.”

Aga’s passion is for those on the streets of Spokane.

“I’ve been where they are,” he said. “I felt a fire in my heart to give what I had received.”

In July, with the encouragement of Padula, Aga launched Mighty to Save Ministries.

“Thirteen of us filled backpacks with water bottles, granola bars and Bibles and hit the streets of Spokane,” recalled Aga.

In August, Bikers for Christ donated a 16-foot trailer to the ministry. Now, they bring clothing, sleeping bags and medical supplies, along with food, water and Bibles. Every Sunday, regardless of the weather, Aga and his crew set up downtown at 2nd and Division, and every Sunday, he eyes the nearby Redemption Church.

“It’s up for sale,” Aga said. “My dream is for Mighty to Save to grow into a church with a door.”

He’s in his second year of online classes at Colorado Christian University, majoring in Biblical studies with a focus on evangelism.

Padula continues to mentor him.

“I believe he’s going to have an impact and reach lost souls,” he said.

‘We give them Jesus’

For now, the nonprofit continues to build relationships with those who show up for a meal. Usually, they offer soup or pizza, but in December, the ministry fed prime rib to 200 people. The meal was leftover from a dinner The Altar had served in Coeur d’Alene.

Aga said Altar Pastor Tim Remington is their biggest supporter and that 95% of their funding comes from church members. In addition, he said quite a few members of different churches in Spokane have joined them.

“More than food and clothing, we give them Jesus. We pray with them. We love on them.” said Aga.

And he shares his Damascus Road story.

“I was a drug addict. I used to gang bang. I’ve lived on these streets, and I know there’s a way out. I know the Gospel sets people free.”

Cindy Hval
Cindy Hvalhttp://cindyhval.com
Cindy Hval is the author of "War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation," and has been a  columnist and correspondent for The Spokesman-Review newspaper since 2006. In addition, her stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including 12 volumes of the "Chicken Soup For the Soul" series. Cindy is the mother of four sons, Nana of twin grandsons and is owned by two cats, also boys. She and her husband, Derek, recently celebrated their 37th anniversary. Her idea of heaven is a room full of books and all the time in the world to read them.

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