Loved ones find glimmer of hope in church bus victim's final journal entry
Authorities say a church bus carrying Alabama high school students on their way to a mission trip in Africa crashed near Atlanta, killing one person and injuring several others.
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A simple piece of paper. But for friends and family of a young woman who lost her life in a tragic accident, it means the world.
Sarah Harmening was on a bus with many other teens and young adults on Thursday when the bus somehow overturned on Camp Creek Parkway. They were heading to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport - and then Botswana - as part of a mission trip from Huntsville, Ala. The crash has sadly changed those plans as family reunites with the injured and all mourn a life no one could have known would end so soon.
But amid the sadness has come a heartwarming moment frozen in time - one last act of kindness from a young woman who intended many more.
The post, shared by friend Taylor Reed on Facebook and later read at a vigil in Sarah's honor shows a final journal entry she wrote as the group began their journey to Botswana:
"I was just sitting here in the bus, feeling a little sad. I guess because I'm going to be gone so long and I was a little uncomfortable. Then I decided to read my Bible. I prayed and opened up to 1 Peter 5 and 2 Peter 1. Pretty much everything I read applies to me now. It talked about watching over the flock entrusted to you, which would be my little buddies in Botswana, humbling yourself which I will need to do (and that also means being a little uncomfortable), it talked about the devil prowling about like a lion seeking whom he may devour, which he will especially be doing on this mission trip, and how we need to be alert and of sober mind, and lastly, how we get to participate in his divine nature! I mean, how awesome is that? So mostly, I was just reminded of why I'm here and that God has called me here and he's done so for a reason. So I know he's going to do incredible things."
Family and friends grieved on Friday night - joining to remember Sarah for the person she was. And as her sister tearfully read the entry aloud, they were given one last beautiful reminder.
Suddenly, her candid words of faith and comfort took on a broader meaning in her passing - not only showing the character of a generous soul but serving as a gentle reminder of hope and purpose in trying times - even in the young woman's absence.
11Alive contributed to this story.