Giant cross vision to stop bridge suicide jumps

An unofficial artist’s impression of the big cross planned for the seaward side of Van Stadens Bridge.

A Jeffreys Bay publisher, Robbie Hift, is mobilising support for a vision to erect a giant steel cross opposite the Van Stadens Bridge to deter people from jumping off the bridge where yet another person died this week.

The latest person to jump off the 140m high bridge west of Port Elizabeth was  a 43-year-old Uitenhage man who plunged to his death shortly after 8am on Monday (December 10).

Hift said: ” On Saturday 1 December 2012 I had an incredible vision to build a gigantic cross on the seaward side of Van Stadens Bridge high up on the mountain so that anyone tempted to jump off the bridge would see this giant cross and be encouraged by God not to jump.”

He said that at the time he did not know that a week before he had his vision a group of about 150 Christians had gone on a spiritual warfare outing to pray against the spirit of death over the bridge.

He said after a small group of prayer warriors prayed over the vision he approached the owner of the land where he envisioned erecting the 18m high cross. The owner immediately supported the plan and said it was something that had been on his own heart for two years. He and Hift identified an ideal site for the cross and the landowner has cleared bush to provide access to the site.

An area that has been cleared for erecting the giant cross and for providing access to construction teams.

The plan is for the cross to be clearly visible by day and night. At the foot of the cross there will be the words “Jesus Loves You” and a helpline telephone number in 4 metres high letters.

Several PE companies have said they will help with the structural design of the cross which will have to cope with winds of up to 100km an hour, said Hift. Two businesses and one individual have volunteered to contribute financially towards the project in the last two days.

“This is a healthy start, but much, much more financial and practical help will be needed from businesses and from individuals to make his life changing giant cross become a reality,” said Hift.

Hift said that anybody who wants to support the project in a practical way should contact him at info@ecmirror.co.za. Current needs include architectural design, materials, a construction team and funding. He said a bank account for donations would be available within a week.

Commenting on the giant cross vision, Pastor Geert Jansingh, who coordinated the recent prayer warfare outreach at the bridge, said: “It is great to see the spinoffs happening. God is good.”

He said that on Saturday (December 8), a team from  Cedar Branch Church and Harvest Christian Church went to “clean up the bridge from all slogans and satanic signs and other filth that has been there for decades”.

“We climbed the arch with the help of a mountaineer as it was wet and very slippery. Hallelujah, All ungodly signs have been removed inside and outside the bridge as well as from the lower bridge!”

He said it was very sad to hear of a man jumping off the bridge two days after they cleaned it.

“It certainly was not because anything was drawing him on or under the bridge. The bridge is free! It shows it is not just the satanic influence there was on the bridge, it is also the ungodly morality and hopelessness people encounter in their daily lives, that cause them to want to end their lives, instead of calling on Jesus. We need to continue to pray that the church will be ready and available to ‘find’ these desperate people, and help them before they are caught up in desperation.”

11 Comments

  1. Pastor Geert has got it right when he points to “ungodly morality and hopelessness people encounter in their lives” as the root cause of evil actions such as suicides. The Cross of Jesus Christ deals with this, and its message is the power of God to save people from ungodly morality and hopelessness. The apostles didn’t go around destroying idols, but they went everywhere preaching the Gospel, and people “turned to God from idols”. May God use the message of the Cross to turn hopeless people to Himself.

  2. Rev. Erroll Mulder

    I still think, with respect to my colleagues, ‘the ungdoly morality etc’ statement is incomplete. There have been many, many, committed believers who have been at the point of suicide through acute, clinical depression and burnout. My wife and I were at such a point 19 years ago… Today we praise God for His love and a ministry to many in a similar place. 2 Cor. 1:3-11.

    • Wyse woorde Rev Mulder! Om saam met depressie te leef, is baie erg, maar Jesus Christus se genade en liefde is baie groter en help my keer op keer uit daardie put. Plant die kruis, mag dit mense se oë oop maak vir Jesus se liefde!

  3. Christina Engela

    Seriously folks? This will be an eyesore and a huge blight on the landscape. Are you so arrogant and blinded by your narrow-mindedness that you think people wanting to kill themselves could give a crap for a silly symbol in the distance – or are you insinuating that most people who jump from “the bridge of death” are Christians, or find some significance in the symbol? Some people might actually be pushed over edge seeing that there! For others like me, it will be yet another reason to avoid the bridge or get past it as quickly as possible, rather than to slow down and enjoy the beautiful view from it…. Honestly, I’m sick and tired of Christians sticking up their garish symbol and cheesy “Jesus Loves You” rhetoric everywhere aside from on their churches, like on signs in public places, in newspapers, flyers and booklets being thrown in people’s faces in public, on billboards, in work “prayer meetings”, and now in giant obscene monuments to your hubris in the middle of the N2! I don’t ram my religion down your throat – why don’t you try to be a little more like me? I can sell you a wrist band that says “WWTD” – (What Would Tina Do?) cheap-cheap.

  4. What an eyesore this is going to be! What is it about Christians that they feel the need to use the symbol of a terrifying and agonising death to “promote” their religion? I fail to see how a neon sign is going to stop somebody from jumping. There are far more constructive ways to spend that money to make the bridge less attractive to jumpers without offending people. I don’t shove my beliefs in your face, kindly show me the same respect!

  5. I’m as Heathen as they come – yes, father bless me for my sins – BUT I do believe that in this Country there is freedom of Religion so, the idea behind putting up a cross, which is a bastardization of the Heathen equal armed cross anyway, is with merit. I just have it against raping Mother Earth to have it done. That area happens to be one of the most beautiful on the N2 and I for one would not like to see it ruined by a symbol that no-one knows is even going to work. Apart from the fact that it would be offensive to many other tax-paying citizens as well! Pagans and heathens are not the only Groups in this Country that does not adhere to the rule of an Abrahamic God and surely, those people and their rights need to be considered seriously? There’s nothing wrong with Christians, they’re just walking their Path as I am and many of my Pagan friends are. The only difference is, Christians are not scared or reluctant to show their loyalty to their Faith/Religion. I agree that they are fanatical about it but, Live and let Live. I surely wish this would be approved because that would set a president for future acts of the same kind by the Pagans and heathens of this Country and Christians, take note, there are MANY of us! I suggest before you go ahead and do this, imho, silly thing, first find out through surveys etc. if it would have any impact what-so-ever but do brace yourselves, you might not like the outcome!

    • Dear Nanny. Whether you or I or anyone else believes in the message of the cross or not, when Jesus was lifted on the cross at Calvary 2 000 years ago the history of the world changed. Christianity rapidly became the largest and most life-changing and community-changing faith movement the world has ever known. It still is. Though on a present decline in the west it is expanding rapidly in other parts of the world. And for each of us who comes to Christ there is a moment when we believe that on that dreadful cross he opened a way for us to become children of God. Christ’s message of love and reconciliation through the price He paid on our behalf on the cross is still available to all mankind.
      The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. — 1 Cor 1:18

  6. If you check your history , in the early days of your holy religion , christianity was forced on people by means of torture and death. Thousands of people have been killing in the most horrific ways in the name of your god. for simply having a different belief and NOT believing in the Christian god.
    YES I Sir would find this proposed eyesore very offensive

  7. It’s disturbing to know we share this planet with such self absorbed beings that feel the need to comment on another mans good and sincere gesture to assist an obvious cause for good. Why don’t you you keep your negative comments to yourself because if we even keep religion out of this you aren’t making a positive contribution either. In actual fact your contribution about the beautiful scenery that will be “ruined” by no means adds value or assists in the cause these men of God are trying to do.

  8. Wow, I had sum amazing days on that bridge! Good memories! Wonder if woodridge pupils still dangle of the edge like we used to do??!??