It was December 2019 and Righteous Rides fleet scheduler Sue Mitchell couldn’t understand the van reservation numbers she was reading. Normally the Righteous Rides fleet would be completely booked for the upcoming summer by December, but this year missionary requests were at an all-time low. “It was really weird because that never happens,” Sue said. All the pieces started to click together when coronavirus hit in March. Sue could never have predicted the number of missionaries whose travel plans would be cancelled. She couldn’t have planned to save vans for missionaries with an unexpected furlough extension. But God knew what the future held and provided for His children. “Every time the van schedule gets full and I think I’ll have to say no we don’t have a van available or turn a missionary family away, a spot opens up,” said Sue. “I haven’t had to say no to any missionary families all year!”
Missionaries are dealing with great uncertainty in this time, trying to work around visas not renewing, border closures, and quarantine. It is especially difficult for families that are separated. For one family currently using a Righteous Rides van, the husband is in the United States for medical treatment and had planned to return to his wife and four young children this summer. Now, they don’t know when they will be reunited.
The uncertainty about travel has led many missionaries to change or cancel their van reservations over the last month. Thanks to our faithful volunteers, we are managing all of the necessary changes. Volunteer Karen Reighard says she is grateful that “God is still allowing the ministry to continue with a very limited amount of staff.” She is confident that “God’s in control of this” and He will guide Righteous Rides.
Our volunteers have been busy keeping up with the requests for van reservation changes from missionaries during coronavirus. Wendy Hood, longtime data-entry volunteer, says, “There’s a ton of people behind the scenes. It’s crazy the number of people who are involved in every single van reservation change.” Through all the changes and the uncertainty, we are thankful for God’s provision for missionary families and for our faithful volunteers like Karen, Wendy, and Sue who help keep the ministry running.