Adan Magana had no idea he and his wife would end up in Colton.
"I'd never even heard of it before taking this position," Magana said. "While I was in seminary, I really thought I'd end up overseas doing Bible translation. There are about 300 million people who don't have the Bible translated into their language. My master's degree really focused on Greek and Hebrew and translation. I already knew that I'd be heading to a place I'd never heard of, but I thought it would be a little further away than Colton, Oregon."
Magana said it was while he was finishing seminary that COVID hit and the whole world started closing down borders, and missionaries were being sent home. He said the opportunity to go abroad to do translations was no longer an option.
"I went back to asking, 'OK, Lord, now what?'" he said.
During that time, Canyon Creek Bible Fellowship was looking for someone to preach on some Sundays. Magana said the church already had a rotation of pastors, and he was just going to be a fill-in when needed. He said he was soon filling in every Sunday.
In January, Magana took the position of full-time pastor for the congregation and he and his wife, Rebekah, moved into the parsonage. The church members held a meet and greet event May 14 for the community to stop by, enjoy some fun and food and get to know the new minister and his wife.
"This is my first lead pastor position," Magana said. "I have served for about 10 years now in other ministry positions. Before this role, I served in a yearlong pastoral residency that was really geared to this role as a senior pastor. I've served as a chaplain at the Veterans Hospital during all the fires and riots of 2020. A lot of my work before that was with a street ministry in Salem, and I even traveled all over for a time as an illusionist drawing crowds and sharing the gospel.
" Oh, and during my undergrad days, I co-hosted a show on the campus radio station where we just answered questions about the Bible."
Magana performs magic tricks. He said a few years back his church decided to host a series of birthday parties for children of incarcerated parents. He went online and learned some "things." He got to know some big-name magicians who loved Jesus and who took him under their wings to help him develop illusionist skills. His illusionist act was mostly used when working with inner city youth, foster organizations and orphanages.
"Magic works because our eyes are liars," Magana said. "I loved going into these groups and demonstrating to these kids that you really can't trust what you see. And no matter how hopeless their lives might look at the moment, there is a God of hope. There is a future of goodness and promise, and there is so much more to their lives than what their eyes have convinced them is true."
Magana grew up in Louisiana and graduated with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Embry-Riddle. He later went to Corban University where he earned a master's degree in business administration in 2018 and a master's of divinity in 2021.
Magana said he worked for Garmin as an engineer in avionics, a job he loved, before taking the step into ministry. He married Rebekah in 2013 in Israel. They have been foster parents for many of the years since and are expecting their first biological babies, twins, later this year.
His hobbies include Brazillian jui jitsu as a fun way to stay in shape, and he enjoys archery.
"My job involves a lot of people and a lot of talking," Magana said. "I talk and listen for a living. So, archery is my go-to when I need to be alone, and I need to be quiet. I think there are times that we all need to get alone and get quiet. We were designed that way."
When asked what he would want the community to know about him and his ministry Magana said, "One of the areas of my job that I absolutely love is sharing the hope of Jesus with those who have lost hope. A whole lot of my training and experience over the last 10 years has been working with people affected by addiction and with veterans dealing with PTSD. I see a lot of those guys who have really just given up. And if any of your readers fall into that category, I want them to know more than anything, there is hope. His name is Jesus. And we can absolutely help people walk out of addiction, out of PTSD, out of the things that are destroying their relationships. We do it all the time. And we are happy to help. People can find us at www.canyoncreekcolton.com."
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