Ever thought about the possibilities our God can open for you and me?
Let me tell you what God did for my wife, Janice, and me recently. In our walk with Christ, we have experienced the intervention of God many times, even when we could never, ever imagine it to be possible. The story to follow is but only one of those.
Approximately ten years ago, during the 2005-2006 housing boom in South Africa, we joined a very close friend of ours and started investing in new housing developments together. In short it meant that we bought new housing units, mostly in estate developments, from the plan, even before building the units even started. Once these dwellings were built we then either rented them out or sold it at a reasonable profit. Looking back now, we did not always assess the risk exposure related to the specific investments. This eventually backfired when least expected. We befriended a real estate agent specializing in estate properties. Over time he won our trust and became a good friend of my business partner and me. He even entertained us a couple of times. It was a very good relationship, I thought at the time.
Needless to say, unknowingly, it was like a time bomb waiting to explode and it surely did, somewhere in 2007. At that time I became aware of the Spirit warning me not to invest any further. I humbly yielded, thank God, and decided not to invest in any new developments until such time as the last unit we invested in, was completed.
My dear business partner continued to invest in more units, as we did before, from the plan, before being built, along with our agent and without my knowledge. In the process he invested in quite a number of developments that were planned.
The developer of our last common investment went bankrupt just before our unit was built. We instructed the agent, through our lawyer, that we intended not to go ahead with the construction of the house but that we planned to sell the stand we were already fully invested in.
In the meantime the housing boom had gone tummy-up and selling property became very difficult. The developments my dear business partner invested in, by himself, were completed, one after another, ready to be sold. Because the housing market collapsed, interest rates were rising and he could not manage to sell any of the five units he owned. Besides, the prices he paid per unit were far above the market values of the properties at the time. He was forced to carry the bonds, levies and rates and taxes of these properties by himself, using his savings!
I met with him one morning for coffee and could immediately sense something seriously wrong with him. I wanted to know how I could help, but did not expect the news he was about to break to me. As he told me his story, I was very surprised to learn that he sold his own house, which was bond-free, to help pay the bonds on his new properties. At that time it amounted to four empty units with another nearly finished. He could not find buyers or anyone to rent any of these units. Eventually the bondholding banks foreclosed on him. That is what he broke to me that morning.
I immediately realized that, because of his situation, my wife and I could also be sucked into the mess, as we still owned a common property with him. It was already too late to do anything about this situation and we had to wait until his curator was appointed. All this took a long time and the unfamiliar territory made it very stressful for us.
He was eventually declared insolvent, sequestrated and lost everything he had. Within a month after the foreclosure, I managed to find a buyer for the stand we owned with him and forward the offer to his curator trusting that my wife and I could get out of the mess we had landed in. For another year we continued to carry the costs of the bond on the stand we co-owned with him, including the levies and taxes. The curator eventually advised us to stop as it would not make any difference anymore and said that we were wasting our money. We sensed then, that because we were the solvent partners, the bank could hold us liable for all the escalating, compounding costs.
We received various excellent offers over the years for the stand but the bank always delayed decisions until the prospective buyers’ offers expired. We realized only God could get us out of this mess. We stopped relying on people but instead trusted God (Ps 46). He is Almighty God and works in ways we cannot understand.
Our requests to our Father during this time for His supernatural intervention became part of our daily walk with Him. He carried us during these very difficult and frustrating times. Today I know He never left us and sometimes in small ways made us understand that He is with us, as promised in Psalm 23.
This situation continued until around 2014 when, through God’s intervention, we realized that we needed to appoint a lawyer to assist us to resolve this mess. By then the debts we were unfairly being held liable for has escalated to quite a frightening sum. Through a friend we were introduced to a lawyer in Hermanus, a true Christian. We have never met him personally or even know what he looks like, but he was a real Godsend angel! His advice and encouragement strengthened our faith and lifted our spirits many times when we were a bit down. We knew then that God was in charge of our situation and that relief was near.
For 4 years we could not manage to get an appointment with the bank to attempt to resolve the situation. It was very tiring and frustrating. It was during this time that the Holy Spirit (Our Helper) guided us to a specific scripture in Jeremiah 39:17-18 which reads as follows: “But I the Lord will protect you, and you will not be handed over to the men you are afraid of. I will keep you safe and you will not be put to death. You will escape with your life because you have put your trust in Me. I, the Lord have spoken”. How powerful – “I the Lord have spoken”! It was such an awesome scripture and we knew then that God gave us confirmation and that we need not fear. He was in control of the situation. Sleeping and resting was a lot easier after getting this confirmation. This powerful scripture still carries us, even today.
All fear subsided immediately and we could not stop thanking God, even though at that time, we had not yet met with the bank to resolve the issue. The big breakthrough came shortly after this when the bank finally and miraculously made a “special” concession to meet with us. The meeting took place in the middle of Johannesburg, on the eleventh floor of their very high Head Office building of the bank.
The morning before we left, we again read the scripture and asked God for peace and guidance through this meeting. Calmness overwhelmed us as we entered the boardroom and the peace of God came over us in an amazing way. We knew then God had a miracle lined up for us.
During the meeting the two bank officials told us that they don’t normally grant meetings with clients, but somehow in our case they felt they had to. We knew it was only God that could have opened doors like this. At one point during the meeting, in a miraculous way after listening to our case, the officials unexpectedly acknowledged that the bank seriously erred in not accepting offers we submitted at least four times and apologized to us for the poor treatment we received. They further acknowledged the efforts and pressure received from our lawyer, Danie, on our behalf!
We provided them with a file full of correspondence and evidence my wife, Janice, kept to support our case. Then the impossible happened: after more than six years attempting numerous times to resolve the situation they, through the powers and responsibilities ceded to them by the Bank, exonerated us from any further liabilities related to this property. A day later it was confirmed in writing! Isn’t this amazing? Only almighty God can do this! He did it for us and is ready to do the same for anyone of his children that asks. What an assurance!
After the meeting they even accompanied us to our vehicle parked deep in their basement and waved us off! It is impossible to describe the elation, the thankfulness and absolute joy we experienced in our hearts when we left the basement parking! We cried and could not stop thanking God for yet another awesome miracle He has done in our walk with Him. It cemented our faith in Him even further and we knew that He truly is the God of the impossible!
When you and I trust Him, seek Him and live righteously His Spirit lives in our hearts and He will give us everything else (Matt 6:33)! If He can do it for us, for me, who often is not proud of how, in my life, I have let Him down, He will do it for you too and is waiting for you to call on Him. Don’t delay; it could be your last chance!
Why don’t you, at this moment, turn to God, surrender your life to Him and experience how faithful He truly is. Now is your time! Please do it.
Andre and Janice Venter
If and when this Testimony has spoken into your heart, please go to the Commitment page.