Although an impressive structure just a few miles outside Port Elizabeth in the south-eastern corner of South Africa, the Van Staden’s Bridge has been the site of at least 87 suicides as at December 2012.
Just recently I had news about a publisher from Jeffrey’s Bay, a sea-side town near to Port Elizabeth, who has had a vision to construct a huge cross on a site overlooking the notorious bridge. The cross would be 14 metres high and would have the words “Jesus loves you” in huge letters (+/- 4 metres high) at the foot of the cross. The problem was that over R100,000 would be required to achieve this project. (+/- £7300/$11,000). Where would this money come from?
This cross of hope, as it is called, would be there in an endeavour to remind the folk coming to the bridge to take their own lives, that there IS still HOPE. That Someone cares. The cross of hope would have a constant message – day and night – for those who have lost hope, those who have reached the end of their tether.
Back to the vision – the miracle of provision has already started. Construction companies and steel manufacturers in the Port Elizabeth area were approached by Robbie Hift (the publisher) and are working together to supply and construct the huge cross. When Robbie contacted the marketing manager at the first steel manufacturing company to explain his vision, she stated “This is not strange. My own father jumped off the Van Staden’s Bridge to his death! I know exactly what you are talking about and I will give you all the support I possibly can!” A company offered to supply all the cement 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. And so, one after the other, every need is being supplied.
The farmer who owns the mountain on which the cross will be built, has cleared the area & built an access road to the site; the best lighting/illumination possible has been organized; a security firm has committed to 24 hour protection from vandals and others who might want to destroy the cross; the list is endless. All things are falling into place and the items needed are being wonderfully provided. What does it prove? God is in the project!
Robbie Hift goes on to say: “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.”
I would like to ask the readers of my blog to pray with me for this project. Pray that the Lord will bless and prosper every aspect of the vision as it progresses. Pray that the Cross will indeed be used of the Lord to point people to the God of all comfort, the great Physician, the Saviour of the world. Watch the short video made by a friend in Port Elizabeth to remind folk to keep near the Cross and to continue to pray for the project.
The world has become a very cruel, selfish and lonely place. Folk are finding life increasingly difficult – the economic downturn leading to loss of jobs, financial pressures and feelings of utter desperation. There is no one quick solution BUT, having Jesus in your life can make all the difference. Yes, Christians are also caught up in these dreadful situations and also face suicidal thoughts. But let us remember, Jesus hears the softest cry, and sees the tears – He knows, He Cares, He loves.
If you, dear reader, are going through the darkest tunnel of your life, please do not struggle on your own. I have listed some helpful links below. Feel free to write to me and request prayer and/or helpful literature. Jesus loves you so dearly. Reach out to Him, He is reaching out to you … right now!
For further help:
Nationwide Christian Trust Prayer Support: Why not pick up the phone right now and call 0044 844 576 8876 (international) or 0844 576 8876 (UK).
Premier Lifeline is a confidential telephone helpline which offers a listening ear along with emotional and spiritual support from a Christian perspective and prayer.
Lifeline telephone numbers: 0845 345 0707 (BT Local Rate) / 020 7316 0808
Premier Lifeline is open 9am to midnight everyday of the year.
OTHER COUNTRIES: I do not have local numbers but try to contact a Bible-believing church or contact Nationwide Christian Trust Prayer Support on 0044 844 576 8876 (international)
Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org