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.
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 email@example.com. 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.”