Monday, April 30, 2012

Feeding 5000 in Gaoli Village

We have never seen anything like this anywhere else. Charly came to Gaoli Village for a Memorial Festival back in November and showed us pictures when he got home that fascinated us. Since we've been living in the village this month we've had the privilege of participating in three festivals ourselves. The miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000 has taken on new meaning after experiencing the amount of food preparation and the orderly system for feeding up to 5000 people here!

This video clip shows women in the kitchen making steamed buns called baozi, with a sweet filling (served as one of the first courses) and with a potato filling (served as a later course). Steaming racks are stacked on top of each other with fires going underneath to cook them.

Steaming racks of baozi

Cooking beef in big pots

Frying flatbread

Arranging the fried flatbread called "momo" on straw with a slice of beef on top for every guest at the festival to take home.

Putting dates in bowls for each table of 12-14 people. The first course is dried fruit and nuts. (The last course is beef noodles, one of the local specialties.)

Our first festival on April 2: Joshua (with red sweatshirt hood) and CJ (to his right) are in the bottom left corner. Jordan and I are toward the middle, a little more to the upper left corner. Charly took pictures from the roof and ate in the second shift.

The young men of the community serve the food, and the older men fill up the cups of tea with hot water. People sit directly on the green matting rolled out on the ground or on short stools around tables that are about 5 inches high.

Women refilling the trays with plates of baozi just outside the kitchen. Generally, people from other towns and villages (up to 3000 people) are served first. Most of those from Gaoli Village (just over 2000 people) wait to eat in the second shift. Some of the workers wait until both shifts of people are done eating before they eat themselves and then begin the clean up. Everyone knows their work and their role to play in this important community event, and it runs like clockwork.

This video shows a portion of the people eating at the most recent festival on April 29, for the dedication of the newest building of the Memorial Tombs. The other two festivals were to honor the current Sufi leader's great grandfather's death (who was the founder of this Order) and the current Sufi leader's mother's death.

I wanted to share these pictures and videos first. Next time I will share some reflections about Jesus' feeding of the 5000, related to the feeding of 5000 in Gaoli Village, and what God is teaching me through stories of drama and through birds...


  1. Replies
    1. Sandy, We think so too! We've also been impressed by how close this community is (we've discovered that many of them are related in one way or another) and the way they look out for and serve one another. It is very different from the big city life we're used to in China.



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