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Chogik and Tei

Bus-Stop Miracle

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, May 18.

By Andrew McChesney


hogik spoke four languages, but she didn’t like to read in any of them. She had never liked to read, and she had not opened a book in years. Then she met Tei at a rural bus stop in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Chogik was waiting at the bus stop when Tei arrived. Tei was a Global Mission pioneer, a missionary who shared the gospel with people from her own culture in Georgia. The two women were waiting for the same bus.

“When will the bus come?” Chogik asked.

Tei knew the bus driver.

“The bus should arrive in just a few minutes,” she said. “I called the driver, and he said he was getting close.”

Tei and Chogik began to talk.

Soon they realized that they lived in the same town some distance away. It turned out that Tei knew Chogik’s mother, brother, nieces, and nephews. She had taken food to them during the COVID lockdown.

The two women enjoyed their conversation and exchanged contact information after they boarded the bus. For the next few weeks, they exchanged text messages by cellphone.

On Chogik’s birthday, Tei surprised her with gifts of a saltshaker and a bouquet of red, white, and yellow roses from her garden. Chogik was overjoyed to receive the gifts at the store where she worked as a salesclerk.

After that, the two women began to visit each other at home. Chogik learned that Tei was a Seventh-day Adventist. She had never heard of Seventh-day Adventists, and she wanted to know more.

Tei learned that Chogik could speak four languages but didn’t like to read. She hadn’t opened a book since she graduated from high school 15 years earlier. Tei wondered, “How can I teach Chogik about God if she doesn’t check my words against the Word of God?”

As Tei pondered the question, she invited her new friend to worship at an Adventist church in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, located some distance away by bus. Her plan was to worship in the church in the morning and then stay for an afternoon seminar on how to give Bible studies. She invited Chogik to the morning worship service, thinking that she would not be interested in the afternoon program since she didn’t like to read.

But Chogik was so pleased with the invitation to go to Tbilisi that she declared she would spend the whole day with Tei. Not wanting to offend Chogik, Tei agreed.

Chogik enjoyed the Sabbath worship service. She went up to the front when the preacher offered to pray for those desiring a closer walk with God.

At the afternoon seminar, a group of pastors sat on the church platform. The sanctuary was filled with church members who wished to learn how to give Bible studies. One of the pastors called out to Chogik, “Sister, are you baptized?”

“No,” she said.

“I need you,” he said, and invited her onto the platform.

Chogik shyly went forward. Tei took a seat beside her on the platform to make her feel more comfortable.

Then the pastor modeled giving a Bible study, using Chogik as an example. The pastor asked Chogik to open a Bible to find answers to Bible study questions. Chogik opened a Bible for the first time in her life. The pastor showed her how to find the verses and the answers to the questions.

On the trip back home, Tei asked Chogik what she thought about the Bible study.

“I liked looking up answers in the Bible,” she said. “I feel so good now. I feel a peace that I never felt before.”

Tei reached into her bag and pulled out a Bible. “I have a gift for you,” she said.

Chogik asked Tei to give her Bible studies.

Tei was so happy. The Holy Spirit had done the seemingly impossible. Chogik not only wanted to read for the first time in her life, but she also wanted to read the Bible.

Today, Tei and Chogik are studying the Bible together, and Chogik is learning a fifth language, heaven’s eternal language of love. The women worship together on Sabbath.

In an interview, Tei praised God for the unexpected meeting with Chogik at the bus stop. “I met Chogik at the bus stop by accident,” she said. “But it was no accident. It was a great miracle of God.”

Chogik said she still doesn’t like reading books — with the exception of the Bible. “I don’t like to read, but I love to read the Bible,” she said.

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a health center in Georgia. Thank you for planning a generous offering on June 29.