Beth and Dennis Weibling are members of World Vision's National Leadership Council. This is their story.
Beth Weibling recalls, “When I was in high school I watched my mom, who was an RN, get up at the crack of dawn and drive to one of the worst areas outside of Philadelphia, where she’d give out methadone to the heroin addicts living in the community.” Many of these individuals, Beth’s mother explained to her, were then able to go to work and lead a productive life.
Beth and her husband, Dennis, were both raised by parents who were aware of the needs of those in the United States and also the needs of those abroad. In the late 1970’s Dennis’ family moved into a multicultural community in Florida, and often opened their home to immigrants from Ecuador and other countries.
|The Weiblings with their children.|
So when the couple married, they thoughtfully considered the kinds of organizations they wanted to support financially. Their first step was to identify their passions: both were committed to the well-being of children; Dennis was invested in education; Beth cared about health and nutrition. After identifying non-profits that were meeting these needs, the couple gave careful attention to the fiscal responsibility and sustainability of these non-profits to ensure that their donations would be helping the most vulnerable. Then, they gave.
Beth and Dennis grew their family through adoption, adopting two children domestically and one from South Korea. With a heart to nurture in their own children a love for the people God loves, the Weiblings began sponsoring children through World Vision. Beginning at ages four, six, and eight, each of their kids had their own sponsored children to love and pray for. At one point the Weiblings were sponsoring fifty-eight children!
|Visiting an Economic Empowerment project in Tanzania.|
|Beth in Bangladesh.|
When the couple had the opportunity to witness World Vision’s Economic Empowerment projects in Tanzania, they of course brought an eye for fiscal responsibility and sustainability. Standing alongside forty rural farmers, Dennis and Beth witnessed the local community Savings Group do business. The “bank” was a large wooden box with a padlock that could be opened by three elected key-holders. As they watched members depositing money and paying on loans, Dennis began asking questions. The community Treasurer invited him forward to see their forms and learn more about the processes that allowed families to save money, borrow cooperatively, and care for people in their communities with disabilities. The Weiblings determined that the Savings Group was as strategic as their own local banks!
The joy of seeing World Vision’s work in the world is often mingled with sadness when witnessing the need of others. Beth recently traveled to Bangladesh where she sat with and learned from children who were sent away from home as young as five years old to work twelve-hour days under cruel supervisors. She continues to carry a photo of an eleven year-old girl who called the visit the best day of her life.
Today the Weiblings’ rejoice that their adult children are beginning to take their own steps to help others—tutoring at a local nonprofit and helping foster children transition into adult life. That ongoing family legacy reflects Beth’s spirit, who notices, “If we think of the unique gifts we have each been given by our wonderful Lord, they are only truly gifts if we share them.”
To learn more about sharing the unique gifts you’ve been given, contact the National Leadership Council helpdesk.