Jacob J. Boerling 1802-
Jacob was born in Russia. As a young child he experienced God’s mercy in a wonderful way – his life was spared from drowning no less than five times in his childhood! As a young adult he devoted himself to the study of Kabbala and Talmud, but was disillusioned by the inconsistencies he perceived in those he had admired as godly men. Jacob’s first contact with Christians seems to have been in 1821, when he received a tract from missionaries, Saltet and Betzner, who visited his home town. When his mother discovered it she tore it to pieces. Later, the Jewish missionary Johann Moritz visited his town. The fact that a fellow Jew believed in Jesus made a great impression on Boerling and inspired him to begin to study the scriptures. He came to faith, and was baptised in 1823 by Saltet, the man who had first given him a tract.
In 1825 Boerling accompanied Joseph Wolff to the Persian border and shared in his ministry there. In 1828 he returned to Persia with the mission of rescuing German citizens who had been sold into slavery there. His mission was, thankfully, successful.
Boerling studied in the mission house at Basel and in 1834 was appointed to minister there with the Berlin Society. He worked there until 1840, when he was called to pastor a church in Bellowesch, in Tschernigoff.
Boerling’s wife was the daughter of Johann Goldberg, a well known Jewish believer. Another of Goldberg’s daughters married Hausmeister who wrote biographies on both Boerling and Goldberg.
Bernstein, A. Jewish Witnesses for Christ. Oliphant, 1909. New edition by Keren Ahvah Meshichit, Jerusalem, 1999.
Haustein, A. Leben und Wirken des Pastors J. J. Boerling. Basel, 1852.