November 10, 2020

Dr. Issam Raad

Speak His Name…Jesus with Dr. Isaam Raad
By Bill MacLeod

According to Eric Metaxas …”in 1934 an African American pastor from Georgia made the trip of a lifetime, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, through the gates of Gibraltar, and across the Mediterranean Sea to the Holy Land. After this pilgrimage, he traveled to Berlin, attending an international conference of Baptist pastors. While in Germany, this man — who was named Michael King — became so impressed with what he learned about the reformer Martin Luther that he decided to do something dramatic. He offered the ultimate tribute to the man’s memory by changing his own name to Martin Luther King. His 5-year-old son was also named Michael — and to the son’s dying day his closest relatives would still call him Mike — but not long after the boy’s father changed his own name, he decided to change his son’s name too, and Michael King Jr. became known to the world as Martin Luther King Jr…

Not everyone has as dramatic a story as Martin Luther King Jr. when it comes to their name or its significance. But each of us has been given a name that has significance and meaning. As we reflected upon the Name of Jesus Christ in preparation for his year’s Mission ConneXion Northwest event, it occurred to us that from a biblical perspective, speaking the Name of Jesus is one of the most powerful actions in the New Testament. Given the way in which the year 2020 has rolled out, it seemed fitting to “Speak His Name” as we entered 2021! We also thought about the meaningfulness of our own names, so asked each plenary speaker to briefly share the meaning of their names with us.

Dr. Issam Raad is considered one of the leading experts and physician inventors in the field of healthcare-related infections, and infections in cancer worldwide. A Distinguished Chairman and an Endowed Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Dr. Raad has chaired the University of Texas MD Anderson’s Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health for the last 20 years. This is the story behind his name…

Bill: Do you know what your name means? How has your name, and hearing your name spoken, helped to shape who you are?

Dr. Raad: MY name means “self-made man” – It reminded me that I am a God-made man and not self-made, it is only by His grace and power that I was able to live the three lives of a pastor, physician and professor for Christ, in addition to being a husband and father.

How did the power of Jesus Name draw you toward Him and into the work and ministry you now carry out?

Jesus’ name means “God who saves”. Very early in my life, I realized that I needed a Savior and I am reminded constantly that I have a Savior who loves me, gave His life for me and who would rescue me and lead me to a better tomorrow.

Given the unprecedented world-wide circumstances facing us this year – what do you think speaking the Name of Jesus can do to the world you minister in or have influence in?

Jesus is truly the only one who can give peace, hope and future during those tough times.

In your plenary session, what do you hope those listening potentially from other parts of the globe will come away with?

A renewal, a commitment, encouragement and a deep desire to serve while it is day and light and while we have an opportunity to do His work and shine through Him.

We look forward to hearing why the Name of Jesus means so much to Dr. Raad right now when he comes to speak in January!