Righteous, Dude!

Hello from St. Louis! I arrived safely, and forty minutes early, on Wednesday night. 

My dad took the day off Thursday and shuttled me first to a dentist appointment, then to Righteous Rides to pick up my wheels for the next 2 months: a beige Dodge Caravan. Righteous Rides literally exists to provide vehicles to missionaries in the US for initial support raising, furlough, medical leave, repatriation, and the like. It's a niche, but a very much needed one. The Righteous Rides fleet is 150 strong with 12 rental locations nationwide, St. Louis being the flagship. The branch is almost all volunteer run; the gentleman who helped me was 81 and clearly passionate about the organization's mission. 

What a welcome! No Dominican flag, though :( According to a giant wall map across from the "World Brew" coffee shop (just wait!), I wasn't the first Dominican missionary they've served, but I was the first from Santiago, now proudly marked with a red dot sticker. 

The facility is huge. Yes, there's a coffee shop - no charge for missionaries. There's also the "Blessing Boutique" thrift shop - you guessed it, also no charge for missionaries. I walked out with some chai tea, a sweater, a shirt, and some leggings in addition to my car keys. 

They think of everything. A DVD player, GPS, and phone holder were all options, and I saw car seats, as well. In fact, there's a whole storeroom full of donated items. If a missionary family has kids, each child receives a personalized bag full of age appropriate books, toys, toiletries, and snacks. Even I got a goodie bag of the latter.

I didn't leave the office until almost 3 pm and still had several errands to run in preparation for the busiest weekend ever. The peanut butter crackers I was thrilled to find in my goodie bag really hit the spot. Among my stops was Kirkwood Public Library to pick up the books I'd put on hold a few days prior. Though I'd gotten a series of emails telling me they were available, I panicked when I didn't see them shelved alphabetically by last name with the others...until I realized I had so many I had my own stack at the bottom!

Until next time, blessings in Christ!