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Guardian Angel Rescues "Jumpers"

The Yangtze River Bridge, a national landmark in China, is always crowded with traffic, while the great river 100 yards below is filled with barges. The bridge also has thousands of pedestrians, so it is not easy to spot those determined to jump. Over 1,000 people have jumped since the bridge opened in 1968. A man who works on the bridge observed, "It's a place that has a 100 percent success rate."

In 2003, Chen, a man in his mid-30s, became a self-appointed guardian angel, coming to the bridge every weekend to try to stop people from jumping. He counts 42 people whom he has stopped from committing suicide, talking some down and wrestling with others. He has also had five people slip from his grasp to their deaths.

What an extraordinary picture for Christians to consider. For this man, whether he knows it or not, has the heart of an evangelist. "If I save one person," he says, "one is a lot."

Asked how he can identify potential jumpers from the sea of people, Chen answers, "It is very easy to recognize. A person who walks without spirit."

Chen has gained some attention in the press and now several college students help him patrol the bridge, as do a few people whom he has saved from jumping. "We have to teach people to love life and treasure life," Chen says.

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