Spring Festival is the celebration of the Asian New Year and it lasts for 15 days. It is like an American Christmas & New Years all rolled into 1 times 1,000.
During Spring Festival many stores are closed and it is a crazy mass exodus of people going back to their home towns. Our friend Margaret was going home to CQ and she invited us to come and visit her. So we decided that we would embark on our first Asian New Years adventure and boy was it an adventure.
CQ is about a three hour bus ride from where we live. So our first task was to find the bus station and buy two tickets to CQ. It sounds like it would be an easy task but when you are surrounded by hundreds of Asian people all pushing to get a ticket and when you can’t read Asian characters it becomes a bit of a challenge. Luckily we had someone write down the local language for CQ and with a wing, a prayer and broken Asian we succeeded in getting two bus tickets.
After 3 hours we arrived in CQ. Here is a little fact about CQ for those of you who don’t know. CQ is the most populated city in the world and it is basically a huge city built on a mountain.
Autumn and I had bought a big fruit basket (which weighed like 50lbs., at least it felt like it weighed that much) to give to Margaret’s family. Autumn & I thought that we would go straight to Margaret’s house but unbeknownst to us Margaret wanted to take us on a little tour of CQ. So we ended up carrying this fruit basket around for about 2 hrs all over the place. Ahhh!
When we finally arrived at Margaret’s house her parents wanted to treat us to hotpot. Hotpot is a boiling cauldron of the hottest sauce/soup that you could ever imagine and when it starts to boil you throw in all kinds of food. Luckily they also ordered whitepot, which is the none spicy version. It was during this trip that I ate the craziest food (well in K-town I ate grasshopper and maggot but that is a different story). I had pig intestine, pig stomach, and pig teeth (just to name a few). Then that next day at her grandma’s house I had pig ear. I guess her family really likes pig!
Her grandma’s house was a great Asian family experience. But I think one of the best parts was the walk to her house. It was a fifteen minute walk from Margaret’s house to her Grandma’s which doesn’t seem like much but remember that CQ is built on a mountain. In that short amount of time Autumn and I were sweating like mad. Even though it was cold outside it felt like 80º. However it made it all worth it when on the way Margaret asked us about God’s Son. Margaret had already heard the message but we got to share with her again about the sacrifice of Jesus. She was so hungry and she had tears in her eyes as I was sharing with her. She wanted to talk more later but we didn’t get a chance.
After dinner we went to go play with fireworks. It was crazy! You know when you are at the park watching fireworks on the forth of July and it seems like they are right over top of you? You have no idea! Every kind of firework imaginable is available to the public. Parents were even helping their little kids shoot off fireworks. It was insane. Fireworks were going off everywhere all around you and you had to keep alert to make sure you weren’t to close to any. It was soo loud, soo beautiful, and soo fun. (The other day I saw the most interesting firework. The firework would shoot off one big firework and then there would be all of these little fireworks shooting off floating down on parachutes. People would just run into the streets in the middle of a busy intersection to try and catch the parachutes as they came down. It was also amazing to see people lighting lanterns and letting them float up into the sky.)
Autumn and I left the next day extremely tired and cold but very excited to meet up with Margaret when she comes back and start studying the Bible with her.
Please continue to lift up Margaret in your prayers. Ask that the Lord would make himself real to Margaret and that He would break down any barriers that she might have in her heart.