GIANT CROSS: An unofficial artist impression of the big cross planned for the seaward side of Van Stadens Bridge
CALLING: Robbie Hift felt called by God to carry out the project
THE dream of erecting a giant “cross of hope” opposite the infamous Van Stadens Bridge is fast becoming a reality.
The idea to erect the Cross of Hope is the brainchild of Jeffreys Bay publisher Robbie Hift, who says he has had a vision from God to build the biggest cross that one has ever seen on top of a mountain at Van Stadens.
The architectural technologist and a structural engineer designed a scale diagram for the steel cross which will stand 14 metres high. They designed a huge steel framework 22 metres long and four metres high to hold the letters “Jesus Loves You”, which will be carved out of Perspex of 5mm thick.
The cross will be visible during th day and night.
Hift says God is a waymaker who gives impossible visions and is able to make them happen.
He experienced the vision at the beginning of December last year., Hift had the vision to build the gigantic cross.
The main aim of the giant cross is to discourage people who want to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge. Hift believes the cross will also serve as a reminder of God’s love. to all people of all nations that God loves us.
“In December, the farmer who owns the mountain facing the bridge immediately caught the vision from me,” Hift said.
The farmer cleared the mountain of the three metre high bush and there. He then trailblazed a road through the bush for half a kilometre to the site where the cross would stand.
“An architectural technologist and a structural engineer caught the vision and they designed the cross,” he said.
Continued prayer and a commitment to follow through on the plan soon led others to catch on.
“All the time I was praying ‘Where am I going to get the steel, Lord? Where am I going to get R100000’s worth of steel and then the R10000 to galvanise the cross so that it will stand everlasting to encourage our children’s children’s children?’”
The answer came in February when Jan Gun, owner of G Force Engineering in Jeffreys Bay, offered to build the cross.
Gun gave Hift a list of the heads of six different steel manufacturing companies to approach for a donation of steel.
BigHift said he was surprised when the first woman he spoke to said her own father had jumped off the Van Stadens Bridge to his death.
The woman pledged her support to the cause and suggested that Hift contacted everyone on his list for a combined contribution. Every single one of the steel merchants agreed to help, he said.
The first steel trucks have already arrived in Jeffreys Bay and went straight to Gun’s workshop.
Dave Truter of Trekliners in Port Elizabeth promised to clad the steel cross with white plastic to make it visible from 800m across the Van Stadens Valley.
Brian van Niekerk, managing director of Rhino Plastics in Port Elizabeth, said when the cross and the letters were “Jesus loves you” built, he would illuminate the entire structure with the most up-to-date technology.
Carl Trahms of Smart Security offered free security for life.