This is a very important place to me, for is my home church. It is a nondenominational Christian church located in Plano and Frisco. The pastor at this location is Pastor John McKenzie. They teach to live your life through Jesus Christ, and teach us to be thankful for the sacrifice Jesus made for us. As Christians, they teach to believe in one and only one God. They have student ministry on Wednesday, and regular services for worship and messages on Saturday and Sunday.
The Church of Nativity is located in Bethlehem and was an incredibly interesting place to visit. It is built upon the cave that is thought to be the location of the birth of Jesus Christ. You immediately notice the ancient feeling of the place and can easily identify it as being built many centuries ago. There are 44 long columns along the walls that contain beautiful paintings of the past. They have life size nativities set up all around the church signifying the history told in the bible. There is a place that shows a replication of Jesus Christ laying in the manger, as told in the Bible, that makes you feel as if you were there on the day of his birth. It was a very powerful and emotional experience that I am so blessed to have gotten to see with my own eyes.
Todaiji Temple was an absolutely stunning place to visit. It was built in 752 by the order of Emperor Shomu, and is the largest wooden structure in the world. Inside, there is an enormous statue of Rushana Butsu. There is also a massive bronze structure of Buddha, in whom the religion revolves around. There are several more statues in the temple which are absolutely beautiful. Outside, there is the purest green grass I have ever seen, with the most beautiful cherry blossoms. Hundreds of people come from all over to see this incredible temple, and I am absolutely honored to have been able to see it's beauty. It is an experience I will never forget.
This Temple is one of the four holy sites related to the life of Buddha. It was built in the 3rd century B.C. in India, the main location of Buddhism. This massive temple is the earliest temple in the world to be built completely out of brick and to remain standing. It was a once in a lifetime experience to see this structure. It is said that Buddha, the king, once spent some of his nights here in this exact temple. Along the walls, there are paintings of Buddha to honor him. In all four corners there are shrines for buddha and statues of him. Many travelers told me they could feel the presence of Buddha when they were inside. On the outside, there are these beautiful, massive trees, each one corresponds with a week one should spend under it to honor Buddha. Leading up to the entrance, there are these pillars with designs of faces and lions on it. The whole experience was simply breathtaking.
The Dome of the Rock is 7th century edifice located in Jerusalem. It was built to enshrine the rock from which Muhammad is believed to ascended to from heaven. This was the first ever domed shrine to be built. The bottom is built like an octagon which is covered with beautiful persian tiles and marble slabs. The dome on top is built completely out of wood. It is built on Mount Moriah where it is believed is where Abraham sacrificed his son, Isaac. Inside, there are scriptions used to glorify Islam. Everything about this place is holy, empowering, and absolutely exquisite.
This wall was built in 20 BC. It was one of the most important walls to the Jews, until the Romans knocked all the other walls around it down. It is is part of a retaining wall that enclosed the western part of Temple Mount. It is now considered to be the most holy place for the Jews. Thousands of Jews come to this wall on Fridays and Jewish Holidays to thank God for all he has done for them. It is also known as the Wailing Walls because the prayers spoken their are so heartfelt. As I stood by the wall, the prayers surrounding me was completely overwhelming and glorifying at the same time. And just the simplicity of it just being a simple wall makes the experience even more peaceful and holy than I ever could have imagined.
The Kaaba, also known as the cube, is built around a sacred black stone which is believed by the Muslims that Abraham and Ishmael. The stone and the building is a symbol of God's covenant with Abraham and Ishmael. Muslims will come here to pray facing towards Kaab during the hall and then the pilgrims walk seven times counterclockwise around it seven times. Being able to be a part of this ritual was very strange at first, but you feel so relieved and peaceful after. I am so thankful I was privileged to experience this.
This beautiful building was built around the Kaaba and is the largest mosque ever built. Due to it being built so long ago, it has been modified several times by Muslims. The walls are built enormously high, and the columns are painted a dazzling gold. Its massive walls are built to protect the Kaaba, making the holy site feeling even more safe and secure. Just the massiveness of it is breathtaking itself, not mentioning the beautiful marble and coloring it is built out of. It is 100 percent an experience I will never forget.
The temple of Gangotri is located on these gorgeous mountains with an altitude of 3,200 above sea level. A pine and cedar forest surrounds it as well, so just the sight is luxurious enough by itself. It is one of the most important holy sites for the Hindu's to visit. It is believed by the Hindu's that this is the exact spot wheres the goddess Ganga descended on earth from heaven. It is also located by the holy river, Ganga Jal. Even though the building itself isn't as beautiful as the others, the peaceful feeling and serene environment make it an almost more enjoyable visit. I will definitely be going there again.
Yamunotri temple is also located in the mountains of India at an altitude of 3293 meters and is surrounded by beautiful forestry. It is another major holy site for the Hindu's, and is devoted to the Goddess Yamuna. It is right next to the river, Yamuna, named after the Goddess. The temple opens on Akshaya Tritium, and is closed on Yama Dwitiya. The overall experience is very serene and breathtaking. I had a wonderful time, and I highly recommend visiting it.