Aavik was born in Aavig (now Åvik, Lindesnes). He received education at a missionary school in Fjellhaug, Oslo, from 1921–1926, and was sent to China in 1928 where he started on the China Mission Association's mission fields around Laohekou in Hubei. Aavik married Ragna in 1932 and later moved to the Yunyang northwestern mission area. The situation was turbulent, not least because of robber bands and the communist insurgency in the 1930s. In 1935 the couple decided to return to Norway.
The planned return trip to China had to be postponed because the missionaries in China warned of increasing uncertainty and unease, but in 1938 Aavik traveled alone, without family, back to the same mission field in China. The Norwegian missionaries would later temporarily and definitely leave this field because of World War II and the subsequent communist advance. Aavik returned home for the second time in 1946.
Aavik still came back to the Republic of China, now on Taiwan, where he worked with less interruption from 1952 to 1970. His work consisted partly in teaching at a Bible school at Kaohsiung and at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Taipei and Taichung. He also became the first principal at the China Lutheran Seminary in Hsinchu.
Aavik worked closely with the missionary Marie Monsen.
He was one of the greatest writers of missionary books. In the summer of 1999, a memorial stone was unveiled for the missionary in Åvik.
Selected works (of approximately forty books)
- Maturing in: rich years in China(autobiography)
- They wait(published in 4 editions)
- The white river
- The red lotus
- The China I saw again
- Elisa – Safat son
- Formosa – The Free China
- Grotid in the storm: two World Wars in China
- Sacred unrest
- Heaven's eastern port
- The earth bleeds
- The Battle for boundaries
- Light comes on in Taiwan
- Roses in the rain: Young year in China
- The sand on the sea
- At the border
- Temple of the Spirit'
- Year in the sun: pioneering in Taiwan
- Harald Stene Dehlin and Asbjørn Aavik:The priest with the red ads,Luther, 1979 (if Olaf Stromme) ISBN 82-531-4141-6
- "The mission of a track change" I:Norwegian Journal of mission, Årg. 6, No. 2 (1952)
- "A Christian statesman and the world" I:Norwegian Journal of mission, Årg. 17, No. 2 (1963) (If Chiang Kai-Chek)
- Gunnar Bråthen:Spirit and mission: the revival of Samba Its mission field in China, 1930–1932, with particular emphasis on how Marie Monsen and Asbjørn Aavik experienced this. Unpublished student assignment, MF, 2001
- Asbjørn Nordgård:The wizards: they taught me something for life and eternity. Lunde, 2005 ISBN 82-520-4840-4
- Svein Arne Theodorsen, "Asbjorn Aavik – Chinese guy from Spangereid: of good people, I certainly – but of great people decided not 'I:The Church in the South,Årg. 45 (1996/1997)