I had the amazing opportunity to visit different children homes, and orphanages around the world this month. My first visit was to the Harvest Missions orphanage in New Delhi, India. They provide a loving home for 14 children that are being raised by employed care takers as if they were their own. Most of these children were found in a leprosy colony with no parent or guardian able to provide a shelter or food for them, and now are being raised with a hope for a better future and love surrounding them.
Our team had the opportunity to sing, play and help them make bookmarks. They were so proud to have an item with their name on it and made sure to show it off. The simple things in life that bring such joy ….
Breathtaking is the best word to describe the Taj Mahal. I love the story behind this beautiful wonder of the world and seeing it for the second time made me fall in love with it all over again. The story behind it is mentioned below for your enjoyment.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan erected the Taj Mahal in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahanmet Mumtaz Mahal at the age of fourteen and fell in love at first sight. She was a Muslim Persian princess and Shah Jahan was the son of the Mughal Emperor, Jehangir. Five years later, in 1612, they got married.
Mumtaz Mahal, an inseparable companion of Shah Jahan, died in 1631 while giving birth to their 14th child. It is believed that during her last moments, Mumtaz Mahal obtained a promise from Shah Jahan declaring that he would build the world’s most beautiful monument in her memory.
Shah Jahan did indeed build a magnificent monument as a tribute to his wife, which we today know as the “Taj Mahal”. Shah Jahan, himself also, lies entombed in this mausoleum along with his wife.
The construction of Taj Mahal started in 1631 and it took approximately 22 years to build with the help of 22,000 laborers and 1,000 elephants. It was built entirely out of white marble, which was brought in from all over India and central Asia. After spending approximately 32 million rupees (approx US $68000), the Taj Mahal was finally completed in the year 1653.
India will always be one of my favorite places on earth. I was blessed to go back this year for my second visit, and the only way I could describe my experience this time was that it felt like I was visiting cherished friends. I tend to get asked “What is it that you love about India so much?” … Although I can not answer that question in just a few words, I can say that the main reason is the people. Their warmth, sincerity, and beauty is something that I will never forget.