Project visionary shares faith journey lessons
[notice]Jeffreys Bay publisher Robbie Hift says ‘God is a Waymaker’ who gives ‘impossible’ visions and is able to make them happen. The dream of erecting a giant ‘Cross of Hope’ opposite a bridge known for suicide death jumps is becoming a reality.[/notice]
Two weeks ago I was facing an impossible situation. How on earth was I going to get my hands on R100 000 worth of steel to make a giant cross? I felt like Moses facing the Red Sea. I felt like Joshua carrying the Ark of the Covenant when he came to the mighty Jordan River. They both must have wondered: “How on earth am I going to get across to the other side?”
In my dilemma I was tremendously encouraged by the knowledge that God is a Waymaker. He can make a way where there is no way, and I took great heart from these two great stories in the Bible. I realised that you need two things to achieve the impossible: Faith and Obedience. You need to have the faith to believe that with God all things are possible, and secondly, when He tells you what to do, you have to be obedient even if it doesn’t make sense what He tells you to do. God told Moses to do a crazy thing. God told Moses: “Cast your rod on the water.” When Moses had faith in God and when he did what he was told to do, the miracle happened. In the same way, when Joshua was standing on the banks of the Jordan River, he did not have a clue how to carry this heavy Ark, which contained the two stone tablets of Moses, across the river. Joshua did two things: He believed God is a waymaker, and Joshua was obedient. God told him, “Just put your feet in the water,” Joshua didn’t argue with God. He instantly did what he was told to do, although it must have sounded like a crazy request. As soon as he put his feet in the water, the miracle happened, the waters stood up in a giant wall and the priests and the Israelites walked across the river on dry ground. God made a way where there was no way!
Success with obedience
Coming back to the vision God gave me: to build the biggest cross that you have ever seen on top of a mountain at Van Stadens. From the very start I have experienced phenomenal success when I began to implement this vision and to put it into practice.
By December 2012, a total of 87 people had jumped to their death off Van Stadens Bridge, and for years everyone has wondered what can be done to change this terrible situation.
In December the farmer who owns the mountain facing this infamous bridge immediately caught the vision from me and we began to implement the vision. He gave the top of the mountain a giant haircut, because the bush was three meters high. Then he trail blazed a road through the bush for a half kilometre to the site of where the cross will stand. We felt God wanted us to make huge letters standing four meters high at the base of the giant cross that proudly proclaim: “Jesus Loves You.”
This vision is not just to encourage unfortunate people who might want to jump off the bridge. It is much, much more than that. We want to encourage ALL peoples of ALL nations that God really loves us. Our tears are His tears. Our problems are His problems. He really wants us to turn to Him in ALL situations and He is the God who can make a way where there is no way. He is the God of the impossible.
Then an architectural technologist and a structural engineer caught the vision and they designed a scale diagram for the steel cross which stands 14 meters high. They designed a huge steel framework 22 meters long and four meters high to hold the enormous letters: JESUS LOVES YOU, which is carved out of Perspex 5mm thick.
Dave Truter, the owner of Trekliners in Port Elizabeth caught the vision, and he promised us: “When the steel cross is built, we will clad the steel cross with white plastic to make it very visible, even from 800 meters across the Van Stadens Valley.
Brian Van Niekerk, the managing director of Rhino Plastics in Port Elizabeth promised us, “When the cross and the letters JESUS LOVES YOU is built, we will illuminate the entire structure with the most up to date technology in the world, with the best solar lighting known to man.”
All the time I was praying: “Where am I going to get the steel, Lord? Where am I going to get R100 000 worth of steel and then the R10 000 to galvanise the cross so that it will stand everlasting to encourage our children’s’ children’s children?”
I prayed like this: “You say in your word in 1 Chronicles14:11 that you are Jehovah Perazim, which means literally ‘The Master of Breakthrough’ and so I pray to you Lord for a breakthrough for the steel.”
On a Monday early in February, I got my breakthrough. Jan Gun, the owner of G Force Engineering in Jeffreys Bay offered: “I will build your cross. Just give me the steel and I will manufacture the 14m cross and the 4m framework for JESUS LOVES YOU.”
I was overjoyed! “Yes,” said Jan Gun, “I believe that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life and I believe that with Him all things are possible!”
“That’s fantastic! Can you introduce me to some of the steel merchants, Jan?”
“Yes, sure. I deal with all the major steel manufactures in Port Elizabeth and I know the managing directors very well and they all know me.”
So, armed with the list of phone numbers and the names of the heads of six steel companies, I began phoning them one by one. The response to my first phone call to the marketing manager at a major steel company shook me to my very roots. I simply did what the Lord had told me to do, and I cast the vision for her. I explained: “We want to build a giant cross to encourage people, and to give them a fresh vision so they won’t want to jump off the bridge. I know this must sound a bit strange to you…….” I trailed off.
‘This is not strange’
The marketing manager replied: “This is not strange! My own father jumped off the Van Stadens Bridge to his death! I know exactly what you are talking about and I will give you all the support I possibly can!”
I was stunned, and as I stuttered my thanks, she advised me: “Why don’t you contact all the other steel companies and maybe we can all contribute some of the steel that you need. That way, we all share the load.”
So I took her advice, and I remembered Jesus’ famous words: “My yoke is light and my load is easy to bear.” And when I approached the other five steel companies, armed with my list of steel requirements, I sowed the vision for them and explained that they only needed to give a little of the steel and not all the items on the R100 000 list of materials.
Wow! Do you know what happened? Every one of the steel merchants caught the vision, and said, “Yes, we can help.”! It was absolutely amazing to see these highly competitive companies suddenly all working together, united by a common cause, to stop suicides and to give new hope to a discouraged nation.
By Friday, February 8, I was promised all the steel that I would need to build the biggest cross I could imagine with a gigantic display proclaiming JESUS LOVES YOU! God showed Himself faithful in this situation to be the Waymaker and to be the Master of the Breakthrough!
On the same day PPC Cement offered to give us the 35 bags of cement that will be needed to build the foundations for the cross and the four concrete blocks to anchor the steel cables reaching up to the crossbar of the cross. Then Vlakteplaas Crushers kindly said, “We will send a 6 ton truck out to the site with sand and stone for the foundations for the giant Cross.”
I forgot to tell you about Smart Security, which is a leading security company in the Eastern Cape. The owner, Carl Trahms, caught the vision properly and said to me: “Robbie, you are going to need security from vandals trying to steal valuable materials. You are also going to need security from Satanists. They are not going to like a big cross at all! I tell you what; I’ll give you free security for life. Just take one of my guards out there on the mountain to the site of the cross, and he will organise continuous patrols for you. Also I know someone high up in MTN. I will ask them to put up palisade fencing for us around this cross of hope!”
On February 12, the first steel truck arrived in Jeffreys Bay and the first of the steel arrived at Jan Gun’s workshop! Further deliveries have been made daily since then. God is moving in a mighty way, and so swiftly!
It’s the steel that makes the vision real!