December 6th, 2016:
My first stop in this journey was in Bali which is a province of Indonesia. Bali is predominantly Hindu. I went to go visit Uluwatu temple right off the coast of the Balinese sea. The temple is regarded as one of the Kahyangan and is dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (God almighty) who is Acintya or Atintya who is the supreme god of Indonesian Hinduism. It was really cool because it was right on the edge of a cliff and was dedicated to the Supreme god of Indonesian Hinduism. Here it is a different kind of Hinduism called Balinese Hinduism. The province of Bali was really cool to see all of the Hinduism culture and their practices like the worship of their ancestor spirits. They usually have a shrine for their ancestors and give offerings to their ancestor spirits, they usually give agricultural products.
December 9th, 2016:
Next I visited Laos which is 95% buddhist. There I visited Buddha park also known as Xieng Khuan. Buddha park is a sculpture park filled with sculptures of Buddha. They have over 200 religious statues including a 40 meter statue of Buddha. Next I visited Wat Si Saket. Wat Si Saket is a Buddhist wat in Vientiane. A wat is a Buddhist monastery or temple. It has thousands of images of Buddha made from wood, stone, and bronze. I saw many locals come to pray there and some offered food to the monks. It was beautiful to see all these Buddhist ideas and routines throughout the city of Laos.
December 12th, 2016
Next on my journey I traveled to Haifa located in Israel. I came to Haifa to observe Judaism and the followers of Judaism. I went to Elijah's cave where the prophet Elijah took shelter during a journey into the wilderness in the Hebrew Bible. This is a holy place for people who worship Judaism. According to Jewish legend Elijah came there to pray before challenging the prophets of Baal and calling down the fires from heaven. The cave has a Torah Ark and a space in the ceiling where visitors place prayer notes. When I visited, there were a few people quietly praying. Someone told me sometimes there are celebrations here in honor of a circumcision or a 3 year old boys first hair cut. I noticed the right hand wall of the cave has Greek inscriptions and 1 in Hebrew along with two 7 branched candelabra's. I learned a lot of cool Jewish beliefs and practices in Haifa.
December 15th, 2016
Next to learn about Christianity I went to Jerusalem in Israel. There I found the Church of Holy Sepulchre only a few steps away from the Muristan. It was originally built by the mother of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D. This church commemorates the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ's burial. This church is thought by many Christians to be the location of the Crusader facade, place of crucifixion, the Edicule, and the First Century Tomb. I also visited the pools of Bethesda. One person there advised me that in Jesus' day it had 2 adjacent pools which is surrounded on all 4 sides by and one colonnade down the middle and the book of John refers to ''a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having 5 porticoes" (John 5:2) referring to the pools of Bethesda. Jerusalem was super cool and gave me a good insight to Christian's there.
December 18th, 2016
Next I visited the Birth place of Islam, Saudi Arabia. Although I wasn't allowed to go inside the city of Mecca because i'm not Muslim, I learned from those leaving and entering the city that one of Islam's five pillars is that they have to travel there once in their life. It is located in a desert valley in western Saudi Arabia. Mecca is Islam's holiest city. Mecca is the birth place of Muhammad and Islam. I also visited Al-Baqi', which is a cemetery in Medina. The mosque is built where the Islamic prophet Muhammad used to live. It was great coming and seeing all the Islamic culture here in Saudi Arabia.