Edvard Torjesen (Undergraduate, 1947)

Distinguished Alumni Award, 2009

2009 Distinguished Alumni Edvard Torjesen

Edvard Torjesen grew up in Shanxi, a province in North Central China. There he experienced World War II and saw his father Peter Torjesen, a Norwegian evangelist, shelter wartime refugees until Peter was killed by a Japanese dive-bomb in 1939. After the war, Edvard came to Canada and studied at Toronto Bible College (TBC), graduating with an undergraduate degree in 1947.

After TBC he served as a missionary in Asia. He became a language expert and worked on translating scripture into Taiwanese and Mongolian dialects. He also published Fredrik Franson: A Model for Worldwide Evangelism (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1983).

In 1990 Edvard and his family returned to Shanxi for the unveiling of a monument to Peter Torjesen. After a special appeal from the governor, the Torjesen family founded the Colorado-based Shanxi Evergreen Service, a non-profit humanitarian group aimed at assisting Shanxi and other Chinese Provinces by developing public benefit services for the common people. Edvard served as Executive Director of Evergreen for several years.

Through Evergreen, Edvard has also been involved with trade policies related to China and the US. On June 17, 1997, Torjesen addressed the U.S.-China Trade Relations and Renewal of China’s Most-Favoured-Nation Status hearing before the Subcommittee on Trade of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives.

After a distinguished career, Edvard retired to Shanxi, Taiyuan. Although suffering from Alzheimer’s, he is happy in his home, and still maintains the aura of one connected to Christ. His son, Finn Torjesen, serves Shanxi Evergreen Service as Executive Director, thus continuing the family’s involvement with the ministry.

Finn Torjesen accepted the Distinguished Alumni Award on behalf of his father.

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