We spent the morning visiting two rural churches about 100 kilometers outside Xi’an. The churches were beautiful. One is built into the side of a hill, with more than 100 steps from bottom to top. We saw many houses built into hillsides in the country. Very cool.

At the second church, it seemed that the entire congregation had turned out to see us. They sang for us. We sang for them. They prayed for us. We prayed for them. Then everyone hugged everyone, and several of the women wept. It was tremendously moving, and something I will never forget. I had the gut-level realization that we are all truly one in Christ Jesus. I’ve read that and sung that and said that, but I never really GOT that until this trip.

This afternoon we flew to Beijing. We are in Beijing! It is a big, beautiful, bustling, and very busy city full of skyscrapers and cranes building new skyscrapers. And everything is getting a new shine in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Tomorrow we attend a church service and then visit the Great Wall. We are all exhausted and running on sheer adrenaline at this point, but we keep telling ourselves we can sleep when we get home. In the meantime, we are making every moment of this wonderful trip count.

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