From the moment Dr. Diana Weber walked into her first Women of Vision meeting in 2014 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she felt like she belonged.
When she met the other women in the chapter, she thought, “‘I want to be with these people. I want to join them. I want to be their friend,’” Diana says. “As a woman, as a professional, and as a Christian, it’s been very difficult in my life to find a group of women that I could really relate to and serve with. And so the first time I was at a Women of Vision event, I thought, ‘Oh, this is my tribe. These are people who are like me.’”
As a surgeon, Diana first heard about Women of Vision several years ago in a place where she spends a great deal of time — the operating room. A colleague mentioned his wife’s work with Women of Vision, and what he shared piqued her interest.
Diana was invited to attend a Women of Vision tea where the speaker was Reneé Stearns, wife of Rich Stearns, then president of World Vision. About a year later Diana went to another World Vision event, and she was hooked.
“I knew the work of World Vision peripherally, just because that name is so well known if you grow up in a church,” she says. “I felt like it was a reputable organization. What I wanted was to be part of this smaller group of women whose faith was compelling them to be active in the community and active globally.”
At her first meeting, Diana heard about an upcoming trip to Ethiopia being planned for early 2015. She wanted in. The chapter needed a new secretary, so Diana dove in and signed up. Her husband, Tom, an engineer, fully supported her involvement. She began learning more about the projects the chapter was supporting, helped with fundraisers, and engaged in book studies with other members.
“I definitely fit into the Women of Vision culture here in Albuquerque,” she says. “I had longed for that kind of connection, and I just couldn’t find it. And to walk into a room and immediately feel a connection was really a gift.”
The following year, Diana traveled to Ethiopia with a group from her chapter. As the mom of three of children, she was especially excited about getting to meet her family’s sponsored child.
“I went to visit [her] and her home with her family,” Diana says. “She showed us the farm that her grandfather was farming. Because this [area] had gotten access to water year-round, her grandfather was able to have three growing seasons a year instead of just one during the rainy season. He was able to irrigate his fields and grow crops.” It was rewarding, too, for Diana to see that her sponsored child and her sister were both able to go to school and get an education.
Meeting the World Vision staff in Ethiopia was another highlight for Diana.
“World Vision in Ethiopia is staffed completely by Ethiopians, and I just love to see that,” she says. “We got introduced to the team — overwhelmingly brilliant people who are educated and really good at what they [do] and really devoted to the work that World Vision is doing to make an impact in that country. Their talents, their skills, their love for their county, and their love for World Vision were just so evident, and that was really impressive.”
For Diana, seeing the work that her chapter was helping to support solidified her impression of World Vision as a leader in community development. It made her grateful to be a part of such a well-respected organization.
“[Seeing] the reputation that World Vision has globally was so heartwarming,” Diana says. “We were welcomed everywhere because of World Vision.”
The experience of visiting Ethiopia deepened Diana’s relationships with the women she went on the trip with. Back at home, she continues to feel blessed by her friendships with other Women of Vision.
As a part of the leadership team, Diana respects how all of the women she serves with contribute their individual talents and expertise to the mission of World Vision in ways that add to the work they’re doing. From engineers to teachers, nurses, home-makers, and business owners, the chapter is a diverse group that brings unique perspectives to the table.
The chapter currently supports Hope for Honduras, a project aimed at addressing the root causes of migration from Honduras like violence, poverty, and lack of clean water and sanitation. It’s a cause Diana is excited to support.
“I think we’re seeing the results of the problems in Honduras every day on our borders because people are forced to flee,” Diana says. “And I think the work World Vision is doing there to help people stay safe and be able to support themselves is so impactful.”
For Diana, every Women of Vision project brings with it the opportunity to learn more — and do more. But no matter what their chapter’s current focus is, Diana says, “The most meaningful part is being with like-minded women whose hearts are broken over the things that break the heart of God and seeing that faith in action. I like that fact that we are unapologetically Christian. That we’re Christ-followers compelled by God’s Word to do the work that we’re doing.”
In the years she’s been involved, Diana has watched God grow her chapter of Women of Vision and work through them to accomplish big things outside their comfort zones, together.
“I’ve seen the way He’s moved through the work that we’ve done,” she says. “We have planned events, and we’re not event planners. I’m a physician. I don’t know anything about planning events, and yet, we were able to pray fervently and put our skills together, and people showed up. And afterwards, people said, ‘That was a fantastic event. It was great hearing about what World Vision is doing and how you, as Women of Vision, are contributing.’” God has honored their efforts. He’s also taught them more about their own capabilities.
“God is showing that I have a place where I can contribute in a way I hadn’t been able to before, and opening my heart to be willing to dig deeper into seeing and experiencing and impacting extreme poverty,” Diana says.
Today, Diana serves as chair of the Albuquerque chapter of Women of Vision. Grateful for the opportunity to lead such a passionate group of women in supporting vital projects around the globe, she has confidence that God is using Women of Vision to accomplish His work.
“What we’re giving to is life-changing,” Diana says. “It’s changing people physically, spiritually, [and] materially, and the world is going to be a different place because of the work that we’re helping World Vision do. Lives are being transformed. People are hearing the gospel. It’s an investment in the world now, as it is, as well as for eternity.”