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M. Zion Members Continue to Adapt to Tragedy

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tMt. Zion church members are still adapting to their ‘new normal’ in light of a tragic bus accident that occurred June 8, 2017 and led to the death of 17-year-old Sarah Harmening. Since the crash, the congregation has created the ‘Serve like Sarah’ project in order to not only honor Harmening, but to also help the members of the church, especially the students, come to terms with their grief.

With the accident happening less than three months ago, the community is still reeling and students are still finding ways to recover from the loss of Harmening and other personal challenges resulting from the accident. As the community tries to heal, students are finding it hard to return to their regularly scheduled programs.

“I personally wasn’t in the wreck but you can never heal completely from this sort of tragedy. It’s impossible to ever completely recover, but the thing is to kinda get your mind off of the terrible and [focus] more on [the] good that’s coming from it,” senior Tristan Marioni said.

This mindset of finding the silver lining and looking for a purpose behind tribulations gave way to the creation of the Serve Like Sarah project. With the story of the bus accident spreading, and the story of Harmening’s devotion to her religion reaching people around the world, the community decided to turn their loss into a revamped movement that would also benefit Harmening’s favorite charity, The Lottie Moon Offering.

“The Serve Like Sarah project is an awareness thing. It’s also [a] kind of a fundraiser.  It’s mostly themed after the death of Sarah Harmening who loved the lord with all her heart, like a christian should. That’s the theme of the [project] and the [purpose] of the fundraiser is to raise money [for the lottie moon offering],” senior Reid McNab said.

Through this movement, the church has not only spread their message to people all over the world, but they’ve also reestablished their bonds as a close knitted congregation. Despite the feelings of loss and isolation that people feel following a tragic event, Mt. Zion came together under their common beliefs and managed to come out different, but stronger as a community.

“The Serve Like Sarah project is focusing more on the good coming from this and what good can come from this. The environment has changed in a way that you wouldn’t think it would I’ve gotten to know so many more people through this better and I feel more connected to everyone in my church. It feels even more like a family,” Marioni said.

Ironically enough, members of the church were looking for a way to reignite passion in their community. The missionary trip, that they were en route to during the accident, was one attempt to spark enthusiasm for the church into the youth group. However where the new fervor came from was not an anticipated outcome.

“As a part of the church in huntsville we definitely have grown a whole lot. [Harmening’s mother] had actually prayed a few months before that something would come along and, I guess, revive the church have a little rebirth type deal and, I mean none of us expected that it would be an accident of that magnitude but that’s what happened and a whole lot of good has come from it,” McNab said.

 

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The Student News Source of Sparkman High School
M. Zion Members Continue to Adapt to Tragedy