No matter how much they love their job, longtime truckers will readily admit that the road can be an isolating place at times. Women in the trucking industry can feel that isolation on an even greater level.
Professional driver and senior chaplain Mona Beedle is working to make both short and long hauls brighter by creating a group that creates a sense of community among everyone in the trucking industry — particularly women. Her vision is of a group in which drivers can lean on one another and receive comfort from others who truly understand what it means to be on the road.
That group, Trucking Angels for Christ, is the result of that vision. Beedle created the community in 2017; the nonprofit group was officially organized in 2019.
Originally from Lakeland, Florida, Beedle now makes her home in Clarksville, Tennessee.
“I have three wonderful children, Tim, Jessica and Selena, and seven grandchildren now,” Beedle said.
Beedle began her trucking career in 1989 as a company driver; she later became an owner-operator. She says her faith in Christ inspired her to name her company Crimson Rose Express.
“The logo had two nails for the cross and the crimson rose in the middle of cross for Christ and drops of blood coming down,” Beedle said.
Being able to see God’s creation while in the road is what drew Beedle to a career in trucking.
“I love the journey and (seeing) God’s beauty and his creation everywhere,” Beedle said. “When you take a hold of that, it makes your driving so much more outstanding. I love meeting people across the country.”
Faith is the cornerstone upon which Beedle builds her life, and she weaves that faith throughout every aspect of her career. As a child, Beedle says, she was called to a life of evangelism. During her more than 30 years in the trucking industry, she has gracefully intertwined her love for Christ and her love for her career.
“(Trucking Angels for Christ) started out focusing on the women drivers and women in the trucking industry,” Beedle said.
“I knew what their struggles were. Being away from home is hard. Being away from your children and family is hard. Being isolated out here on your own and not having anyone to talk to is hard,” she explained. “Our mission is to evangelize, equip and educate the women in the trucking industry with the infilling of God’s word. The attack of the enemy out here on the road is real in your body, your mind, your spirit and your emotions.”
Beedle says she wants women to know they are not alone. Trucking Angels for Christ has chaplains who are available to speak with those who need care, comfort and to be uplifted. They organize phone calls and even provide drivers with chances to sit and have coffee with someone who understands life on the road.
“My heart’s desire is to share the love of Christ with these women, but we’ve had a lot of men reach out to us too,” Beedle said.
Committed to being as accessible as possible, Beedle holds daily devotionals on the group’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/truckingangelsforchrist. While sharing a cup of coffee with her viewers, the daily virtual gatherings are a time to reflect, share and bond. The group is also working to create a website which Beedle says should be up and running soon at www.truckingangelsforchrist.com.
In addition, every Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. Eastern time Beedle hosts an interactive conference call in which people can participate in praise and worship, ask questions and share prayer requests. The gatherings begin with a short meet-and-greet, followed by the introduction of that week’s speaker, who will share a devotional message before the phone lines are opened for fellowship, questions and prayer requests.
Beedle sees the Trucking Angels for Christ group as a way for those who cannot attend church due to their work schedule to be able to gather together for worship and fellowship.
“We bring church to them,” Beedle said.
While Beedle does her best to make sure there is a sense of community and family while on the road, she does not always travel alone. Beyond being a mother to her kids and grandmother to her many grandchildren, Beedle is proud to also carry the title of “dog mom.” She is often accompanied by a quartet faithful four-legged friends — Crybaby, Trooper, Hope and Katie Sue, all Chihuahuas.
During her travels, Beedle attends trucking shows across the country, sharing her message of hope through the Trucking Angels for Christ booth. It’s not unusual to see Beedle and other group chaplains praying with other truckers at a show and handing out free Bibles.
Trucking Angels for Christ is a nonprofit organization and relies on a partnerships with individuals and groups as well as other donations. The funds given by partners and other donations are used to purchase booth space at shows and to cover the costs of the Bibles the group distributes. Beedle has also been known to use her own personal finances to ensure the continuance of her mission. For information on becoming a partner or donating, visit the group’s Facebook page to connect with Beedle.
Beedle’s advice for women thinking of joining the trucking industry is simple:
“Keep God first,” she said. “I pray before I move that truck. We never know what life ahead will be. There are obstacles and troubles every day. I encourage them to learn everything they can about their truck and about the industry,” she said. I believe we are all positioned for a reason.
“I may not know the reason I am at the place I’m at, but God does. I just want to be His feet and His hands and His mouthpiece,” she concluded.