Columbia-Willamette Women of Vision

October 2022

Celebrating Girls

Dear Women of Vision Partners and Friends,

Everything about celebrations is so fun: looking forward to them, keeping them a surprise (sometimes), and creating memories that last a lifetime.

One celebration will always be in my heart. It was June 2020 when my husband, Tom, and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. In anticipation, we planned our overseas trip a year ahead. We also thought about having a family gathering. But you all know what happened next…..Covid hit! All the plans we looked forward to were cancelled. We needed to live very cautiously, and we were so disappointed.

A month before our anniversary, Tom and I were talking about the important pieces of our lives together, and our conclusion was family and friends. We decided to contact people who were special in our lives and ask them to send us their picture. We just wanted to see their faces. What happened next was a surprise! People sent us their picture but also included stories and special notes. For the whole month around our special day, these kept coming. We got to celebrate for a whole month!

I'm writing this story on the International Day of the Girl Child—October 11, 2022. This day was declared by the United Nations ten years ago to honor and respect girls all over the world. This day is relatively new to me, and I wondered how I could celebrate something like this. Sometimes it calls for the simple things we can do. Does it all have to happen on one day? No, it can happen all month long!

Try one of these ideas this year and add to it next year in October.

Ideas I try to embrace in October in honor of girls around the world:

  • Write to your World Vision sponsored girls. Encourage them as they go to school and help their families.
  • Write to your World Vision sponsored boys and tell them about this day and why we celebrate it to make life better for girls and boys.
  • Text your daughter, granddaughter, or special girl in your life and encourage her in her life.
  • As you gather at meetings or with friends, share with them about the day and about a project that our Chapter supports that directly affects the girls. (Kenya Big Dream, Central America Faith Development, and Global Emergency Response all prioritize protection and safety for girls.)

International Day of the Girl Child gives us a way to honor girls around the world and also here at home. There is still time to carry out one of these ideas this month. Or add your own idea! Would you email me and share your ideas?

Have fun celebrating!   

Ann Zelenka

Chapter Co-Chair

PS: Our daughter-in-law, Leah, made a smaller version of our delicious banana wedding cake for us on our anniversary. So fun! 

Raising Girls (and Boys) with Tenderness in Honduras

Three-year-old Janie and 6-year-old Ines play in front of the church in Honduras where their parents are attending World Vision’s Positive Parenting workshop.

World Vision partners with the local church to offer new ideas on parenting. The program is officially called Child Friendly Christian Discipleship. It consists of seven modules that take 16 to 24 hours over the course of two to three days.

Oscar Nunez came with his wife and daughter when they asked him. He was skeptical at first. He thought maybe he’d just attend one class, but after hearing that lesson he decided to do all the modules. He’s learned to express his emotions more now to his children.

One morning soon after he took the class, as his son headed out to take a test, Oscar gave him a hug and wished good things for him. “I never used to do that,” he said. The workshop helped him to use and act out tenderness.

This is just one example of how World Vision's Central America Faith Project is reaching boys and girls, moms and dads with practical Bible teaching.

Story collected from the field by Laura Reinhardt, World Vision U.S.

Kicking Off Our New Year...and Focus Teams

What a great way to start the new fiscal year with Women of Vision….the October 8 Kick-Off! With almost fifty women attending our first in-person Kick-Off in three years because of Covid, it was a fun morning. We started the morning blessed to see friends and meet new ones. We shared a delicious continental breakfast. We heard about our new World Vision projects. We embraced what we heard from Cindy Mesko, our National Women of Vision Director. And we learned about our new Focus Teams.

Cindy reminded us of I Peter 4:10 that says, “Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.” She went on to remind us that “she saw so many gifts of God at work. Your gifts include the heart you have for the poor, your willingness to amplify the voices of those living in poverty as you tell their stories, and your gift of time, talent, and treasure. Some of you are good organizers, tracking details that the rest of us don’t see. Others are good communicators, prayer leaders, hospitality hosts, or mentors. God has given each of you gifts to use to reflect Him. You get to do that as Women of Vision.”

Have you thought about which Focus Team you would like to be a part of? By being on a Focus Team you can build relationships, grow in your faith through devotions and prayer, and together you can plan and carry out our Women of Vision activities.

We have four teams, and it’s not too late to jump on board! You can read more and sign up on the Partner tab of our website.

  1. Gatherings Team: Events, Hospitality, and Communications
  2. Global Focus Team: International Projects, Advocacy, and Treasurer
  3. Chapter Development Team: Partnership, Education, Child Sponsorship, and Spiritual Life & Prayer
  4. Connections Team: Local Action and Book Groups

We're looking forward to a great year ahead!

Have questions? Contact Ann Zelenka at

Focus Team leaders invited Kick-Off attendees to join their teams!

National Women of Vision Director Cindy Mesko shared a message of encouragement. With World Vision and Women of Vision lives are being transformed.


Women of Vision in Action

October 22, 2022

Union Gospel Mission Thrift Store

Click here to learn more and RSVP

About Us

Women of Vision is a volunteer ministry of World Vision that cultivates dynamic partnerships resulting in significant investments of time, talent, and treasure in support of World Vision’s work, facilitating transformational impact in the lives of the poor and our supporters in the name of Christ. Please partner with us! Click here to learn what that means and update your commitment for this new year (or for the first time).

The Columbia-Willamette Chapter of Women of Vision supports World Vision's work in Kenya, Central America, and areas around the globe struck by disasters. We also volunteer at many local organizations to help the disadvantaged in our own community. Please read about this work on our website.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.