The Vision of the Youth of the Yuba.
First read the account of the great Yuba City High School bus disaster that happened in Martinez in 1976 from the Martinez Gazette.
“On Friday, May 21, 1976, a bus transporting Yuba High chorus students on route to Miramonte High School in Orinda for a friendship day took the Martinez off-ramp southbound from the Martinez-Benicia Bridge for a planned, brief rest stop in Martinez.
The bus turned into the sharp curved off-ramp and hit the east side of the concrete barrier of the ramp, flipping the bus over the railing, plunging 30 feet before landing on its top. The bus slid a short distance before coming to a halt. The top was crushed nearly to seat level, trapping both passengers and the driver inside.
Officers who responded identified the driver as Evan Porthero, 49, who had been employed by Transportation Lines of Marysville, a private firm who owned the bus. Porthero was injured but alive, as reported by the officers.
The Yuba City High School choir director, Dean Estabrook, was following close behind in his private vehicle. His wife, however, was onboard with the students and perished in the accident. Dean was only questioned briefly before being taken to Mt. Diablo hospital in Concord to be treated for shock.
Will Perry, head of Contra Costa Emergency Services, said the accident was one of the worst in U.S. history involving students, and was by far the worst bus accident in Contra Costa County.
Early rescue efforts resulted in the removal of only two students; rescuers initially used metal saws to get to the trapped students whose moans and cries for help could be heard. It soon fell quiet, leading rescuers to believe the worst. A crane was secured from a nearby location and with the help of four wreckers, lifted the bus enough that rescuers could get inside by 11:55 a.m.
Miraculously, 10 students were uninjured and after being checked at John Muir were brought back to help in the tragic task of identifying the seriously injured or dead. Twenty-six students were pronounced dead at the scene and two succumbed to their injuries later that day.”
Our ministry is located in Martinez CA. Martinez and Yuba City are eternally linked by the tragedy that occurred on Friday, May 21, 1976. Unbeknownst to me, I became a part of this mystical link after I was invited to speak at the Bridge of Yuba City by Pastors Jim and Cristina Carpenter.
I have often said that you cannot minister to a city fully unless you can weep over it. While interceding in Yuba City I began weeping over the youth. When I asked what this all meant I became suddenly aware of the bus disaster that occurred in the very city that God to which I am now assigned.
It was now clear to me that his tragedy had left a gaping wound in the soul of this area. A vision of a lost destiny became very overpowering. It was as if a generation had been skipped over. I could feel a palpable despair that said “no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you work it will not open doors for you. There is no use in trying” A shroud still hung over the hopes of an entire generation of youth in the Yuba City area.
Then I could see something coming toward me. I sensed a raging river and became aware of the fact that just a river runs through this city the River of God will run through it and heal the wounds of a generation. I could feel the voice of God saying:
“The prediction of Joel 2:28 extends to the youth of the Yuba. Yes, I will be poured out on them. An army will be raised up from here that will embody the very opposite traits of what they feel now.
Here now are the characteristics and the uniform of the Youth of the Yuba. Boldness of purpose, clarity of destiny, and unstoppable zeal in the face of adversity. These will be the young lions who do not back down or let up until they see the vengeance of God on the enemy.
Central to their method will be signs and wonders. They will prove the Resurrection of Christ to their contemporaries not by debate or salesmanship but by the raw demonstration of power. Most notable will be the fact that this will happen almost entirely on the streets and campuses.
In conclusion: Jim and Christina did not just become a ministry connection to Mechelle and me but real friends. This is how I believe the Kingdom is organized. People find each other and develop a bond of friendship and ministry extends from that bond of friendship.
It is in this bond of friendship that I believe and await with great expectation the miracle outpouring on the Youth of the Yuba.