Good morning! How has your Christmas been? I hope it has been full of joy and that you made wonderful memories. My Christmas this year was totally unique and unlike any other Christmas I have ever spent before. My children and I decided to do something completely different since Carina’s passing was so recent and she was always the one who made Christmas so memorable for us.

So we decided spend Christmas visiting New York City for the first time, and wow – what a change of environment that was for us! The pace there is astonishing. What a contrast it was to all the trips I have taken to the third world.

Visiting Manhattan with my children during Christmas

Visiting Manhattan with my children during Christmas

We visited Ground Zero and of course my thoughts went to everyone who lost loved ones in that tragedy. What a shock. But now there is a moving monument has been erected that combines light and darkness, heaviness along with an uplifting encouragement to never give up – that we will rise again.

Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas show outclassed any Christmas concert I’ve ever seen. Several times a day 600 tourists gather and rejoice over the message that Jesus Christ is born. It was also awesome to experience the atmosphere in Madison Square Garden when the Rangers beat the Ducks in hockey.

The burgers here are way too good – they are addictive! One of my favorite spots is Shake Shack, but I can’t even finish off the milkshakes there – they taste like they have more sugar than three bags of candy – but they are delicious!

On Broadway we saw “The Illusionist”. It was so well done that I was sitting there just waiting for us to all disappear in a black box. On Christmas Eve we ate dinner on the 53rd floor with a view of the Hudson River. The whole restaurant, full of hundreds of guests, rotated so that after an hour we were sitting right over Times Square.

My son Daniel liked the hockey game the best. My daughter Rebecka enjoyed just walking around in the Big Apple. I loved seeing Daniel Craig at Madame Tussauds and the Bumblebee from Transformers in the middle of 7th Avenue.

This whole Manhattan experience really helped me to recharge my batteries, maybe because there was nothing here that was similar to my home environment in any way. Our theme as we switch over to the new year is that in 2016 we will “help as many as possible”. I am so thankful for you and for everyone out there who has been encouraging us. We have received a calling from Jesus for 2016, and it is such an honor to get to answer that calling along with your help.

Have a wonderful Monday!