By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
The 45-year-old Torben Søndergaard, who the evangelism and church planting movement The Last Reformation, has denied wrongdoing and appealed for prayers.
In comments obtained by Worthy News, the evangelist confirmed he had been held for nearly two weeks “in isolation” at ICE’s Baker County Detention Center, a medium-security prison in MacClenny, Florida.
He wrote he had been “put up against the wall and put into handcuffs” by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Homeland Security agents. “They had heard falsely that I’d been smuggling weapons from Mexico to America, so they saw me as a national threat,” Søndergaard added.
However, “it was all about Jesus and bringing the Gospel. But as we know, we have an enemy who doesn’t like us when we do that. And that is why I’m now sitting here in jail falsely accused of weapons smuggling.”
He said his troubles began after, “We’ve just had a Bible school in Rosarito, Mexico, and San Diego, California at the same time.” Søndergaard stressed, “Many from our teams, and our students, often went to Mexico to join the school there. And to go out on the street, preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and make disciples!”
He claimed that “Many, many people got healed, and set free, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Yes, it was beautiful what God did there, and through the school, we just had in San Diego also.”
However, U.S. authorities have their doubts and continue their investigation. “First, they put me in handcuffs, and a chain around my wrists with the handcuffs, and then they took me to Orange County Jail for one night,” Søndergaard recalled.
“And from there to Baker’s [jail] where I am now, and I have been sitting the last ten days in isolation, 24/7. I was allowed to come out thirty minutes daily where I could call my wife. She is truly an amazing woman, and I love her incredibly much,” he stressed.
“She is so strong and has been such an encouragement to me. She’s been updating me on what’s happening, having people worldwide praying for me and sending greetings and words from our Lord Jesus Christ!”
Life isn’t easy in prison. “I have spent time with no one, alone in my cell, getting a meal three times per day through a hole in the door. I still don’t know anything. I will speak with my lawyer next week,” he added in the remarks seen by Worthy News.
The evangelist acknowledged, “There have been times of great terror, great fear and panic.” But, he said, “those have been taken over by moments with God in prayer, worship, and His Word like I have not had for many years, or never. It has been amazing, and I could write a whole book about the last ten days.”
Søndergaard said that when he first came into his cell, with a bunk bed in the wall, and a toilet with drinking water and a shower, he was in shock. “It was also very dirty, with leftovers, underwear, mold on the ceiling, old wrappers left from old food. And papers were stuck to the air conditioner, trying to keep the cold out. And it is really, really cold here in the cell. Everything with this little room just shocked me, like I was in a very bad movie…. “
He recalled being “put in here, and they locked the door behind me, and I was like, “WHOA! What now?!” Panic and fear started to arise in me… I was also extremely tired; after the 36 hours before, I had almost not slept. It was truly difficult to keep myself together and not go into a panic.”
His fears are linked to his youth, he wrote. “When I was nine years old, I actually locked myself into the restroom at the school. Even though it was only a few minutes before I got the door open, it was enough to impact me so much. For the next eight years in school, I didn’t use the restroom if there was not a wall I could climb over,” he explained.
“This often left me coming home from school with a bad stomach because I was afraid to go to the restroom and had not used the restroom all day. Jesus set me free from that, but the first night, those thoughts came up to me again. It was truly a night I will never forget.”
However, the evangelist said that prayer and reading the Bible had helped him through challenging days. He said he had read about Joseph in the Bible, who was thrown in a pit by his brothers and was later jailed for years on false charges of attempted rape.
The evangelist read that “the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” The evangelist also referred to Apostle Paul, who he noted trusted God while facing challenges in prison.
After asking for prayers for himself and his family, the evangelist was apparently ordered to interrupt the writing of a statement to supporters. “I need to end now, but I want to say like 3 John 1:13-14 says, “I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink, but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you.”
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