Madison pastor reflects on importance of mission work

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MADISON, Ala. - As the community continues to mourn the death of 17-year-old Sarah Harmening, others in the Tennessee Valley are on their way to do the same work she intended to do.

Members of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison left this weekend to go on a mission to Panama.

​"To hear this news hits home because we are involved in so many mission trips, we get on buses, we ride to Atlanta or other places, we go on airplanes and go to foreign lands," said Pastor Alan Weatherly.

Weatherly said the Mt. Zion bus crash is a reminder of what can go wrong during a mission trip.

He said the hearts of members at Asbury United Methodist church are heavy, as many of them participate in similar missions.

"There will be a stretch this summer where we will have people in foreign countries for nearly 90 days in a row," explained Weatherly.

The pastor said mission work is important, and it speaks to the character of those who were on the bus.

"We know at Asbury from our own people that young people are so inspiring that choose to engage in significant selfless activity rather than looking out for their own pleasures," said Weatherly.

He said the group of students will be helpful in the healing process.

"I know that Mount Zion church will draw a great deal of strength from the example these young people have set, and Sarah in particular who lost her life and certainly with what she journaled her legacy will be enduring," said Weatherly.