For the second year in a row, a Wallingford pastor will lead a group of people back and forth across the Aurora Bridge as part of a 24 hour prayer vigil. The vigil, set for October 8 and 9, is designed to bring attention to the problem of suicide jumpers.
Pastor Heath Rainwater, a Seattle firefighter who also leads the Vine Christian Ministries in Wallingford, started the “Take Back the Bridge Project” after responding to a suicide on the bridge. He was with the fire crews staging at the bottom of the bridge when he looked up and saw what was happening up top.
“I could see the young man. He was desperate,” Rainwater recently told KIRO-FM. “My heart wanted to be on top of the bridge saying something that could give him hope.”
Unfortunately, that young man jumped and died instantly. The “Take Back the Bridge Project” now helps raise money for the Crisis Clinic in Seattle which fields tens of thousands of calls a year. Rainwater says he also hopes the new suicide prevention fence currently being built across the Aurora Bridge will help.
“The reason why we’re so happy about the fence is it causes that separation of time for you to be able to get through that moment when you would impulsively jump and make a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” said Rainwater.
The 24 hour prayer vigil starts Friday, October 8 at 11am. That’s followed by a community march across the bridge on Saturday, October 9 at 12pm. Click here for more information or to register.