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Meet the Berlins

Who are you?

We are the Berlin family. We have lived in Bangladesh for over seven years and love it. Three years after we moved to Bangladesh, God stopped us dead in our tracks. We learned that we lived right beside the world’s largest brothel and there was no one bringing hope to these little girls and boys, women, and even babies who live in a village that is like hell on earth. God has opened so many doors for us to make an impact on these dear people. We are very excited about the many opportunities we have been given and can’t wait to see how God will use us!

Meet Jacob

Jacob grew up in a military family. Much of his childhood was spent on military bases, working hard and playing sports. As a young teenager, Jacob realized his need for a relationship with Christ when another military family invited him over for a Bible study. He became born again and quickly started sharing his faith. After Jacob graduated from college with a degree in business, God used the story of Jim Elliot to call Jacob to missions. He first went to Alaska on a short-term trip, where he met Joy. He then spent two years in Africa living in a mud hut and overcoming his picky eating habits so that he could eat rats, termites, and other local foods. 

 

Despite the many trials that are part of life in foreign missions, Jacob’s heart grew for bringing the Gospel where it had not been shared before. On his first vision trip to Bangladesh, he knew that this was where God wanted him. Also on this trip Jacob started writing to Joy. He promised her that he would send a package and he did – himself in a UPS box delivered to her door! He jumped out of the box, surprising her, and has kept their married life just as interesting.

 

Jacob has two master’s degrees: one in divinity and one in international business. He is currently finishing his third master’s degree, this time in clinical counseling. This combination has uniquely fitted him to navigate the challenges of running an international nonprofit start-up in Bangladesh and working with the boys who were born into the brothel.

Meet Joy

Joy is one of sixteen children. She spent her childhood in the mountains of New Mexico as a shepherd. When she was twelve, her family moved to a remote town in Alaska. Her father kept his family completely isolated and tightly controlled every detail of their lives. At sixteen, Joy and her older sister ran away from home, exposing their father’s abuse. Joy started learning to read and write for the first time when she was eighteen and three years later graduated from high school.

 

In her early twenties, Joy did prison ministry and missions in the remote villages of Alaska, but always felt that God was calling her to foreign missions. Jacob asked to write to her during his first trip to Bangladesh. After a whirlwind long-distance courtship, they were married and spent their honeymoon in missions training school. The rest of their life together has been a whirlwind too! Joy’s hobbies include photography and lots of quality time with her children.

 

Joy plays a pivotal role in the ministry, counseling women and girls who have escaped the brothel as well as managing the income-generation project, running the home, and homeschooling her children. She recently became a certified medical assistant and her medical knowledge is invaluable in assisting the women and babies in the brothel. Joy has been able to use her own life story many times to share Christ’s love with others who have experienced neglect and abuse. Her favorite quote is by C.T. Studd: “Only one life; ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Meet Joy

Joy is one of sixteen children. She spent her childhood in the mountains of New Mexico as a shepherd. When she was twelve, her family moved to a remote town in Alaska. Her father kept his family completely isolated and tightly controlled every detail of their lives. At sixteen, Joy and her older sister ran away from home, exposing their father’s abuse. Joy started learning to read and write for the first time when she was eighteen and three years later graduated from high school.

 

In her early twenties, Joy did prison ministry and missions in the remote villages of Alaska, but always felt that God was calling her to foreign missions. Jacob asked to write to her during his first trip to Bangladesh. After a whirlwind long-distance courtship, they were married and spent their honeymoon in missions training school. The rest of their life together has been a whirlwind too! Joy’s hobbies include photography and lots of quality time with her children.

 

Joy plays a pivotal role in the ministry, counseling women and girls who have escaped the brothel as well as managing the income-generation project, running the home, and homeschooling her children. She recently became a certified medical assistant and her medical knowledge is invaluable in assisting the women and babies in the brothel. Joy has been able to use her own life story many times to share Christ’s love with others who have experienced neglect and abuse. Her favorite quote is by C.T. Studd: “Only one life; ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Meet Elijah

Elijah is 8 years old. He was assessed in school and was able to skip second grade. He just finished up third grade and is getting ready for fourth grade! He loves reading books and faithfully does his devotions every morning even though we’ve never told him he had to. He is also excelling in his musical abilities, learning to play both the violin and the piano. Elijah is a very deep-hearted and sensitive boy and has lots of questions. He loves to learn and says homeschooling is his favorite because he doesn’t want anyone to hold him back from graduating early.

Meet Grace

Grace is 6 years old and just finished up first grade! She is our little organized, systematic, “get-everything-done” person. She is very diligent and loves to help mommy cook and clean. She is also a wonderful helper with her little sister Amy whom she loves dearly. She has been doing really well in art. Her biggest dream is to start a children’s home in Bangladesh. She says often that she wants to be an artist and a preacher when she grows up. 

Meet Grace

Grace is 6 years old and just finished up first grade! She is our little organized, systematic, “get-everything-done” person. She is very diligent and loves to help mommy cook and clean. She is also a wonderful helper with her little sister Amy whom she loves dearly. She has been doing really well in art. Her biggest dream is to start a children’s home in Bangladesh. She says often that she wants to be an artist and a preacher when she grows up. 

Meet Mercy

Mercy is 4 years old. She is indescribable! She attracts attention anywhere she goes and everyone who has met her talks about her. She has a way of drawing in friends and motivating people. Mommy and Daddy definitely don’t have to worry about her as she has her boundaries and no one can mess with her when she makes up her mind! She is totally into fashion and would put on 20 different outfits every day if we let her. She just finished up Pre-K. 

Meet Lilia

Lilia is 2. She is the cutest little girl; everyone that meets her comments on her beautiful blue eyes and curly golden hair! She is the most outgoing of all of our kids; even though they’re all extroverts she exceeds them all. Very grown-up for her age, she makes us all laugh with the funny things she says! She is very active and could easily never stop moving all day long.She has graduated out of diapers and into a big girl bed and is doing well in preschool. 

Meet Lilia

Lilia is 2. She is the cutest little girl; everyone that meets her comments on her beautiful blue eyes and curly golden hair! She is the most outgoing of all of our kids; even though they’re all extroverts she exceeds them all. Very grown-up for her age, she makes us all laugh with the funny things she says! She is very active and could easily never stop moving all day long.She has graduated out of diapers and into a big girl bed and is doing well in preschool. 

Meet Amy

Amy is the sweetest little baby. She is definitely more attached to mommy than any of the other kids and doesn’t like to be more than one foot away from mommy! Her name was unanimously decided on by her four older siblings who are all very excited about starting a children’s home in Bangladesh. They love listening to the story of Amy Carmichael and are proud to have their little sister named after her.