Today we visited a Bible school in Xi’an and had the opportunity to meet with the students and ask and answer questions. We sang together and learned from each other and had a grand time.

I am continually impressed with the dedication of the Christians in China. Many of the students travel a long way from home to attend school, often leaving behind families and jobs. And many are not even training to be pastors, but are simply full-time volunteers.

There is such a severe shortage of trained and ordained pastors and elders here, most groups rely on volunteers to preach, evangelize, and pastor their communities. The volunteers are (obviously) unpaid, but they are so dedicated to spreading the gospel that they bear many hardships to serve their churches.

In the afternoon, we visited the museum of the terra cotta soldiers, which was a highlight of the trip for me.

The museum is build over part of the excavated tomb of Emporer Xin, the first ruler to unite all of China. His tomb covers several hundred square kilometers and includes many underground chambers, called “pits.” So far, 60 pits have been discovered, although only a few have been excavated.

Three of the pits contain thousands of life-size terra cotta soldiers — each with a different face, different clothes, different weapons. There are foot soldiers, officers, generals, bowmen, and chariot drivers. There are life-size horses and chariots. They go on and on, as far as you can see. And they were crafted in 200 BC! The history of China is just stunning — and seeing the terra cotta army is the fulfillment of a long-time dream for me.

Tomorrow, we head out EARLY to visit a rural church, then catch an afternoon plane to Beijing. I have done more traveling in the last two weeks than I ever have, by bus and by air. But I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of this place.

I’m already planning my next trip here. I’ve caught the China bug!