Adventist Logo Adventist Logo Adventist Logo

Adventist Mission


A Unique Name

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, March 16.

By Andrew McChesney


n Kalvin’s first day at the new school, Teacher saw something was different about him. Kalvin sat quietly and listened respectfully while the other children talked and shouted. But that wasn’t what caught Teacher’s attention. It was Kalvin’s name. Kalvin is not a common name in India. It is a Christian name.

At the beginning of the class, Teacher asked all the new students to introduce themselves.

When it was Kalvin’s turn, the boy said with a big smile, “My name is Kalvin.”

Teacher looked surprised.

“Why is your name Kalvin?” he asked.

“It’s because I’m a Christian,” Kalvin said.

Teacher looked even more surprised. Other Christian children studied at the school, but they had Hindi names. This new student had a Christian name. Teacher liked Kalvin’s name. Every time he saw the boy after that, he called Kalvin by his name.

“Hello, Kalvin,” he said.

He liked to say Kalvin’s name. It wasn’t a common name in India, and he liked how it sounded. So, he said, “Hello, Kalvin. Hello, Kalvin.”

Kalvin always smiled when he heard Teacher’s greetings. He was happy.

Soon other teachers also learned Kalvin’s name. They also learned that his name was Kalvin because he was a Christian. They also liked his name, and they greeted him whenever they saw him.

“Hello, Kalvin,” they said. “Hello, Kalvin.” “Hello, Kalvin.”

Kalvin always smiled when he heard their greetings. He was happy.

How did Kalvin get his name? When he was born, his parents asked the church pastor to name him. In India, Christian families think that it is a good thing for a pastor to name a child.

“Let’s call him Kalvin,” the pastor said.

The name Kalvin comes from a famous Christian theologian named John Calvin.

The pastor also gave Kalvin a second name. He saw that the baby smiled a lot, so he gave him a nickname. “Let’s also call him Joy,” he said. In India, all boys have a first name and a nickname. So, from that day, Kalvin was nicknamed Joy.

When Kalvin was old enough, he started going to an Adventist school. He loved the school. He started in kindergarten and studied all the way through eighth grade. It was at the Adventist school that he learned to sit quietly and listen respectfully.

When he graduated, he felt sad. He could no longer attend the Adventist school because it didn’t offer ninth grade. He had to go to public high school. It was on his first day of public high school that the teacher asked all the new students to introduce themselves and Kalvin gave his name.

Today, Kalvin is the only Kalvin at school. He also is the only boy nicknamed Joy.

Kalvin is a witness at the school. The teachers call him Kalvin when they see him. When they say his name, they remember that he is a Christian. His name reminds them that he is a Christian. His friends call him Joy when they see him. When they say his nickname, they remember that he is filled with joy. His nickname reminds his friends that he is filled with joy.

But his names are not the only witness. Kalvin’s actions also are a witness. Teachers remember that Kalvin is a Christian because he sits quietly and listens respectfully. His friends remember that he is filled with joy because he is always smiling.

“I feel good being the only Kalvin and the only Joy at school,” Kalvin said. “I’m a Christian, and I’m happy.”

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help construct a new school building for Kalvin’s old school in Anni, India. The 450 students at the Adventist school now study in an old building that was built by a German missionary in 1976. Thank you for helping give a new school building to the children.