Sunny Side of The Stream: Evangelist Detained by ICE for 6 Months Encourages Christians to Take ‘New Steps of Faith’ in 2023

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on December 31, 2022

Have a blessed new year!

Just as I was trying to finish up a draft on an article on Torben Søndergaard, the Danish evangelist seeking asylum in the U.S. since 2019 who has been locked up since June 30, I noticed a new video from Torben has just come out. It’s his second update from detention in his own voice, rather than in written from.

I’m a member of a local house church fellowship whose leaders are connected to Torben’s ministry, The Last Reformation, and have been deeply impacted by his life and ministry. Together we’ve been following his updates and praying for his release. Previous updates have said that Torben isn’t detained as part of a judicial proceeding and hasn’t been charged with any crimes. It’s been at an ICE officer’s discretion, likely because of misleading and false statements from an individual Torben’s legal team is suing for defamation, according to updates.

This audio message is a good summary of his experience in detention. He said he has baptized five people, started Bible studies, trained one or more Spanish speakers to lead Bible studies in Spanish, and started a “Bible school.” He includes an encouragement for 2023:

I really want to encourage all of you out there and I want to you say to you don’t be afraid. Don’t fear man but fear God and serve Jesus with everything that is in you. Do not only read the Bible, but live it out. Take some new steps of faith here in the new year 2023. Decide that your life should look more like Christ. More like Paul and those people in the Bible who was following Jesus. Pray and fast and study how the early church was following Jesus — how they were going around preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, making disciples. Read it and then take some steps in faith like you have never done before and then start to live it out, because this is a life for all of us and God has so much more for us. And I have experienced that in the last six months in here.

Torben’s call to read God’s Word and act upon what we read encourages me. I hope you are encouraged as well.

And, in Sunny Side tradition, here’s a Twitter roundup. I came across some good, heart-warming content this week:

Twitter Roundup

A lot of bravery:

A little shepherd: caught my eye this week with some amazing stories on adoption, abortion pill reversal, and a miraculously healthy pregnancy that started as an ectopic pregnancy.

Here’s a quote from Mirror on the story below:

“But 24 hours later [after surgery to remove the mom’s one remaining fallopian tube and the attached embryo (who turned out to be two embryos!)] blood tests revealed that despite the fact that my last fallopian tube had been taken away, I was still pregnant. Somehow the embryo had travelled through into the womb.”

But despite being told there was a strong chance Natalie could miscarry, she went on to have Heidi and Halle in August 2013, by a planned Caesarean section. concluded the article with this note:

Ectopic pregnancies often mean death for mother or her unborn child, but LifeNews has documented several other cases of babies and moms surviving the tragic diagnosis. In 2008, an Australian woman gave birth to a baby girl who was ectopic. Doctors called her a miracle baby and said the chances of both mother and baby surviving were a million to one. In another case, a mother in Missouri gave birth to a baby girl in 2013 after a rare, undiscovered ectopic pregnancy.


I hope you are full of hope for what God is doing now and what He will do in the future when Jesus returns and there is “no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.” In 2023, may we long for Jesus’ appearing and “press on towards the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously said Søndergaard’s latest voice message from detention is his first such message, rather than his second.


Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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