Carl* and his translator wandered down a dirt road looking for a shop to buy a cold drink. Their feet were screaming with pain after walking all day, facing rejection after rejection while sharing the gospel. The soil in this Middle Eastern country was very hard.
The two found a shop to buy a beverage but no chairs to give their feet a rest. They ordered their drinks from the man at the counter and struck up a conversation. The man told Carl and the translator his name, which means “gospel” in Arabic.
Surprised, Carl immediately had two thoughts. First, this encounter would be very memorable if the conversation turned to spiritual matters. Second, this man would likely reject the gospel. After all, Carl had experienced nothing but rejection all day.
Still, he took a chance. He asked if Gospel knew the meaning of his name.
“No,” he replied. Gospel grew up Coptic, a small religious group that believes in Jesus and that people can get to Heaven through good works.
Carl and his translator began explaining the truth of the gospel, that salvation is a free gift only received through faith. Gospel had never heard the real meaning of his name and asked to accept Jesus into his life right away.
Neither Carl nor the translator expected Gospel to accept Jesus so quickly, but this shop owner couldn’t deny the truth of Jesus’ gospel. He said, “Yes,” to Jesus, and his life has been changed for eternity.
God can use anything to draw people to Himself—even a person’s name.
"'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'" -Isaiah 43:1b
*Name changed for security purposes.