The Lord Leads Tillamook Chaplain Follows

July 01, 2008 | Shawna Malvini

Danny Parada is proof the Lord works in mysterious ways.

An El Salvador native, Parada and his family lived in Portland for 14 years before moving to Mexico in 1998. After completing a theology degree at Montemorelos University, a tragic car accident brought Parada and his family back to Portland in 2002. “We came back, not because we wanted to, but because God had a plan for our lives,” says Parada.

With a degree in one hand and a family to feed in the other, he wondered what God’s plan was. The economy wasn’t good, and the Oregon Conference had no openings for a pastoral position. In desperate need of employment, he went to Adventist Medical Center where he previously worked and was hired as a financial counselor. “It was hard to work with people who were very ill or dying,” says Parada. But he needed to support his family and care for his wife, who had been seriously injured in a car accident months before.

Eventually, he was asked to apply for a chaplain position at Tillamook County General Hospital. “I did not want to be a chaplain so I didn’t apply,” says Parada, but he was continually pestered about the position. “Many times we feel discouraged, disappointed and negative. But thank God He is always willing to risk and give us a second chance,” says Parada, who finally completed the application. “I mailed it in and forgot about it. I knew I didn’t have the skills or certification to be a chaplain. But I forgot that whomever God calls, he also equips.”

Three months later, Parada received a phone call from the CEO at TCGH inviting him to interview for the chaplain job. “I couldn’t believe it!” says Parada. “I had no chaplaincy experience, and it was a bit intimidating to meet so many people asking me questions about a topic that I did not always know how to answer.

“When I got home my family was very excited, but I wasn’t. I told them to forget about it. They were disappointed with my attitude, but I thought I was being realistic,” he says.

A long month passed by and another phone call came from the CEO, this time extending the call for Parada to be chaplain at TCGH.

“I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe they chose me,” recalls Parada. He underwent training and eventually became a certified hospital chaplain.

That was four years ago, and Parada hasn’t looked back. “Chaplaincy is a ministry full of wonderful opportunities to do evangelism ‘behind the curtain,’” says Parada. “In my four years of chaplaincy, I’ve been fully involved in pure evangelism all day long when I visit patients in pre-op getting ready for surgery or spend time beside the beds of inpatients or listen to families grieving for their loved ones.

“I thank God for sending me here to TCGH. And I thank the administration for giving me the opportunity to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Him be all the glory.”