Vision to stop bridge suicide jumps
The raising of the cross in photos!
A 14m high steel cross, dubbed the ‘Cross of Hope’ was erected opposite Van Stadens Bridge this week, marking a giant step forward in a campaign to deter suicide jumps from the 140m-high bridge west of Port Elizabeth.
“We are terribly excited. A huge team of us have put in a lot of blood, sweat, tears, effort and money into it [the cross project] for six solid months,” said project visionary and coordinator, Robbie Hift, after a technical team succeeded in the tricky operation of mounting the cross on top of a steel pedestal that was erected in March.
“This victory has not come easily. But when God is behind something, somehow a way always comes up, because He is a waymaker. We believe that with God, all things are possible! This cross will be a huge encouragement to all people of all nations who cross the N2 freeway, and as part of that vision it will make people think twice about jumping off that bridge because there is hope in Jesus.”
The owner of the land where the cross stands, said yesterday that two years ago he had thought about putting up a cross there because of the many suicide jumps from the bridge. “But I never got to do anything about it. So the day that Robbie walked in and shared his vision, it was easy for me to say ‘Let’s go for it’”
Since Hift began sharing his God-inspired vision to erect a giant cross opposite Van Stadens Bridge, many companies and people have rallied behind the project, providing, material, equipment and expertise needed to make it happen. The next stage is the construction of a base with 2m high letters spelling ‘Jesus Loves You’, solar-powered illumination, security and a project website.
Sponsors needed to carry on the project
However, Hift says there is an immediate, urgent need for sponsorship as we go into phase two of the project. This is to prepare concrete foundations for the steel framework that will house the giant letters JESUS LOVES YOU. Anybody who wants to help with this need can contact Hift at firstname.lastname@example.org
True to form, sponsors came forward in time to meet last-minute needs required to erect the cross on top of the mountain. NJO du Plessis Building Contractors lent the heavy duty 10 ton forklift for the operation and a businessman and St Nicholas Anglican Church in Port Elizabeth sponsored the transport of the forklift to the site. A 20 ton truck was needed!
Commenting on the construction of a steel pedestrian barrier that is currently underway on the Van Stadens Bridge, Hift said it was an example of God’s timing and attention to detail. The barrier, which is designed to prevent suicide jumps is being built by the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) following a lobbying campaign by Friends of Van Stadens Bridge Trust (FOVSBT).