Minutes before she was killed in a church bus accident, a 17-year-old missionary wrote of her love for God and expressed belief that He called her on earth for a reason.
Sarah Harmening of Huntsville, Alabama died last week when the church bus, which was headed to the airport for a student ministry mission trip to Africa, collided with another vehicle on a four-lane road and flipped over.
At the Sarah's funeral on Thursday, her mom Karen read aloud her final diary entry, which the teen penned just before her death.
"I was just sitting here on the bus feeling a little sad," Sarah wrote. "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 applied to me now."
The teen added. "It talked about watching over the flock entrusted to you which would be my little buddies in Botswana. We will get to participate in his Divine Nature! I mean how awesome is that? So mostly, I was just reminded of why I am here and that God has called me here and has done this for a reason. So, I know he's going to do incredible things."
Jerry Sims, 71, struck the bus during an improper lane change, according to a report released by the Fulton County Police Department in Georgia. Sims, who remains hospitalized, has been charged with misdemeanor second-degree homicide by vehicle and failure to maintain lane in the crash
At press conference, Karen referred to her daughter as a "gift" who had "lived and breathed" for her faith, Fox 5 reports. "She loved the Lord with a love that was tangible," the grieving mother said.
"They were on the mission trip to Botswana," she added. "And she was so excited. She earned all the money to go and share Christ with children of Botswana."
Sarah's sisters, Katelyn, Kristen, and Sophie also spoke; Katelyn said she received the scripture 1 Peter 5:23-25 followed by Sarah's thoughts.
"'This is such a great reminder. We are like a wisp of smoke. We are only here for a moment and this not about us, life is not about us, it's about God who is eternal. So, I want to dedicate the one moment I am here, completely and entirely to Him,'" Katelyn read.
Sarah was part of a youth group from Mount Zion Baptist Church. Dozens of high school students and adults were on board when the accident took place, and at least 10 people were hurt. While Sarah died at the scene, police said no other injuries are life-threatening.
"'There's no words that can be said at this time to truly make people feel good. I can say this, and I want to thank so many people. We've been a city now for less than two months, but I saw what we can do when challenges come," said South Fulton Mayor Bill Edwards.