1 February 2022 | Mjøndalen, Norway [Reidar J. Kvinge with Vanesa Pizzuto]
Sofie Brandal Ødegård was baptised in the Mjøndalen Seventh-day Adventist church, Norway, on New Year’s Day. Her unexpected journey of faith involved a trip to Peru, a transatlantic love story, and the blockbuster movie Hacksaw Ridge.
Sofie is the sister of Christian Ødegård. Christian had barely heard about Seventh-day Adventists. However, while serving in the Norwegian armed forces, he saw a war movie that made a huge impact on him. The film was Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge with the young Adventist paramedic, Desmond Doss, as the main character. The way Doss stood up for his Christian convictions really impressed the young Norwegian soldier who decided to get baptised and give his life to Jesus.
Carolyn Azo, a journalist working for the Adventist Media Centre in Brazil, read about Christian in a news bulletin. Impressed by the story, Carolyn contacted Christian on social media to interview him and write an article in Spanish. Carolyn and Christian stayed in touch and, in time, fell in love. After a long-distance relationship, the couple got married in Peru, Carolyn’s home country.
While Sofie was attending her brother’s wedding, she felt impressed by the way Adventists in Peru lived their faith. Sofie decided to send a text message to the pastor at the Mjøndalen Seventh-day Adventist church in Norway, asking to be baptised. And so, on New Year’s Day, during a short leave of absence from her duties at His Majesty The King’s Guard, Sofie was baptised.
The original version of this story was posted on the Norwegian Union Conference news site.