Jenny Langereis has learned to trust the God of the miraculous in difficulties and in grave danger.
But she says it was not always so. There was a time when she lost her faith and she did not believe it 11 years ago when three different people prophesied that God was calling her to do for people what she did for animals. But Langereis, who had been running an animal sanctuary for 25 years, decided to yield to God’s will after she lost her business and had to sell her home and possessions.
“I said ok, Lord. Your will, not mine.” And from that moment she says her life turned “upside down and inside out”.
She had moved into a small cottage in Prospect Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth. After three women came in quick succession looking for work she says the calling to start a domestic placement agency “dropped into my spirit”. Her market research confirmed the need and she decided to start ‘Best Placements’ in 2004. Then the miracles started. Each night she went to bed with a notepad and in her dreams God gave her ” my terms and procedures, my forms, and how to run the company”.
At the end of 2005 she was told she could no longer run her business from the Prospect Road property because neighbours were complaining about the growing number of work-seekers. She was seeing 60 to 90 job-seekers a day. During that time Albert, a young man from Walmer Township, who had been crippled by a lightning strike visited her regularly although she told him she could not find work for him because of his disability. He said he came because he kept dreaming about her. After she prayed to God to help her find a suitable and affordable new office, Albert called on her. She told him about her problem and he immediately suggested she rent space in the Walmer Enterprise Village at the entrance to Walmer Township. He connected her with the person renting the space and Best Placements has been there ever since.
“God has provided every time I have been in need,” she says, mentioning her car and present home as two more among many examples of God’s miraculous provision.
A car from God
Two years after she started the placement business her old car was in poor shape. “I prayed and told the Lord I really needed a good car.” The next day she got a call from a woman who needed a domestic worker for a few hours. After she took the worker to the new client’s home, the woman showed her a car and said her husband was selling it for R20 000. Langereis said she did not have the money to buy the car. The woman called her the next day and told her her husband had prayed and heard clearly from the Lord that he should give her the car, which he did. Her old car broke down that day and she paid somebody to tow it away.
When she had to find a new and affordable home within two weeks after her landlord decided to sell the cottage she rented she again brought her need to God in prayer. She says that the Holy Spirit led her to ask a client who lived in Chelsea if she knew of any cottages to rent in that area. She explained she had always wanted to live in the semi-rural area on the outskirts of the city. The client, who was going away on holiday for a fortnight, said she had a cottage but it was unlikely to become available because the current tenant had been there for 15 years. But when her client came back from holiday she said her tenant had left and the cottage was available. Langreis says she is still living in the Chelsea cottage eight years later. The peace and quiet helps her to offload the trauma she deals with during her daily work.
She says the greatest heartsore for her after she lost her former business and had to close down her animal sanctuary was having to put down 48 cats. But she says that since she moved Best Placements to the Walmer Township venue she has rescued 33 dogs.
Dogs arrive on their own
“It’s amazing how they [the dogs] just come when they are in desperate need and they are sick and hurt. They just arrive on their own at the office. The first one came on the very first day that I opened the office.”
Langereis says that with the help of a veterinarian and Animal Welfare, she rehabilitates the dogs and finds good homes for them.
“God is so gracious. He really knows what we need as individuals and for me I absolutely have to have animals to love,” she says.
Langereis has also experienced a great heart transformation as God has given her love and a great burden for the people she serves.
“Up to date we have placed just over 6 000 people in jobs. It is wonderful, especially when they come back: you just see the difference in them.”
She says people come to her from many different townships. The local people call her “Granny” and for some reason foreigners call her “Jane”. Some foreigners come to South Africa and to Port Elizabeth just with her name. She says she sees miracle after miracle as God provides work for broken and destitute people and convinces them of His love and care for them. It would take hours to share all these stories she says.
Langreis has also learned to trust God for supernatural protection. Last year a group of Walmer Township residents tried to get her out of the Walmer Enterprise Village centre simply because she is white.
“A group of them terrorised me in our offices for a fortnight. Then one day an angry crowd of about 300 to 500 people threw out my assistant Godess and prevented me from entering the centre.”
Langereis says the crowd wanted to attack her but she said she would not leave as God had placed her there and He would protect her. She called the police who dispersed the crowd.
The next day she says an “enormous” man came into her office and she thought the trouble was starting again.
“But he put his hand out and said: ‘My name is Rabie and I am here to protect you. You don’t know me but we know you and what you have done for our community over the years. If anyone comes to harrass you here’s my number; you
Langereis says five men who were instigators of the mob action against her came to her office the next week and hurled angry, racist abuse at her. She called Rabie who arrived within two minutes. One of the angry men hit Rabie who then gave him a hiding and chased the five men out, saying that if anybody else tried to touch Langereis they would have to deal with him. Rabie also joined her in laying charges against the men. She said that since that day the people who were aggressive toward her have had a total change of heart for the better.
“I know that what I am doing is part of God’s plan because He has protected me and looked after me in all aspects of my life,” she says.
She says that her faith in God has grown “a thousand fold” over the past decade.
“I dont question God’s goodness anymore. When difficulties come I say: ‘What do you want me to learn from this?’ “
She says her joy is in helping the people for whom God has given her such a great burden. While she is able to help people who have some skills she says her desire now is to start offering skills training in order to help more people and to skill-up people already in domestic employment to give them more pride in their work.
“So I believe that it will come. Somebody will see the need with me. I have got my manuals — housekeeping manuals, baby manuals and cooking manuals. But it will need finance.”