February 5, 2022

A Film, a Wedding, and Two Baptisms   

A journey that involved a trip to Peru, an overseas love story, and a blockbuster movie

Reidar J. Kvinge with Vanesa Pizzuto, Trans-European Division News

Sofie Brandal Ødegård was baptized 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.

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Sofie Brandal Ødegård (second from right) on the day of her baptism in the Mjøndalen Seventh-day Adventist Church in Norway. [Photo: courtesy of Carolyn Ødegård]

Sofie Ødegård is the sister of Christian Ødegård. Christian had heard very little about Seventh-day Adventists. While serving in the Norwegian armed forces, however, he saw a war movie that made a huge impact on him. The film was Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, the true story of the young Adventist medic Desmond Doss. The way Doss stood up for his Christian convictions impressed the young Norwegian soldier. He decided to get baptized and give his life to Jesus.

Carolyn Azo, a journalist working for the Adventist Media Center in Brazil, read about Christian Ødegård 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 some time in a long-distance relationship, the couple got married in Peru, Carolyn’s home country, on July 2, 2021.

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Carolyn and Christian Ødegård married in Lima, Peru, on July 2, 2021. [Photo: courtesy of Carolyn Ødegård]

While Sofie Ødegård 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 baptized. And so, on New Year’s Day, during a short leave of absence from her duties at His Majesty The King’s Guard, Sofie Ødegård was baptized.

This story is based on the version posted on the Trans-European Division news site. The original version was posted on the Norwegian Union Conference news site.