by Pam Hibbard

Pam Hibbard teaches at City Baptist School, the school
started by First Baptist Church of Hammond exclusively for bus kids.

Upon the seats of our church buses sit the most precious girls and boys with the greatest cries of need. For many young people, the need lies hidden behind the surface of the unseen. She stands before us as a picture of radiance and grace, yet her soul searches for the one worker who is willing to make a difference. Diane, a First Baptist Church bus kid, is a picture of many young people for whom God has given us the challenge of changing lives. Listen carefully to the words of a broken, troubled heart.

“I thought I loved a young man despite the advice of those who loved me. Desperate to do my will, I ran away from home 2 different times. I felt so lonely. I needed my parents’ love, but pride kept me from calling for their help. Feeling so confused, I tried to commit suicide. While in the hospital, I realized how much I had hurt my parents and how unfair I was to my sister. I surrendered my life to God’s will. Today, my sister, brother and I attend Hammond City Baptist. God gave me a second chance to follow His will. He taught me to express my inward feelings to those people who could help me.”

Diane, like many young people, needed loving people to reach deeper than her smile and kindness to find a young lady crying out for help. God tells us, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” (Luke 24:45) In working with young people, we must seek God’s Word to understand the deepest cry of their needs. I pray daily that God will open my ear to the heart of the young person who is smiling on the outside but hurting deeply within. Daily at the feet of Jesus, God lays upon our hearts not only the wants of our bus kids, but the battle plan to combat for these precious lives. Don’t be afraid to enter the battle.

Hidden under the most contented-appearing young person lies fears and hurts almost unimaginable to comprehend. They need us to point them to God, Who has the overcoming power to change lives. Deserted by fathers and mothers, these young people feel unwanted and unloved. Abused by uncontrolled hands, they feel betrayed and threatened. Verbally abused by the ugliest of language, they feel worthless and ugly. We must listen intently to the faint cry screaming for arms of compassion and be a loving hand of support to the best of our young people. The seemingly strongest young people are sometimes crying the loudest.

I beg for God’s wisdom that I may know our young people. We must roll up our sleeves and not be shocked or afraid of their greatest needs. We must hold consistently our love, concern, and desire to help and understand. We must teach confidence in God’s strength for daily needs. We must listen to the cries of our bus kids.