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‘You want me to DO WHAT?’  

By Staff | Dec 4, 2019

PHOTO BY CAROL SHETLER Examples of jewelry by Muncian Debby Bower will be available at Bush Manor this weekend. Funds are to be donated to "Oasis of Hope,” a recovery residence for human trafficking survivors.

MUNCY-Debby Jongkind Bower of Muncy has been cruising along life’s pathway; a wife and mother, currently caring for a 22 month-old granddaughter.

Like many fellow travelers, Debby experienced a bump in life’s road, so much so she decided to alter directions and turn toward God. Growing up in the traditional religion of Catholicism, she sought a more faith-based alternative. “As a Catholic, talking to God was through an intermediary. I learned I could talk directly to God and He to me. And boy does He, sometimes we argue as I don’t want to follow his lead,” Debby said.

Debby’s family describes her as a strong-willed person, controlling some might say. “It’s difficult turning over control to someone else,” she said.

One of her latest instructions attributed to this higher force is creating jewelry for a cause. Whether one describes it as a command, a nudge, or intuition, Debby and God had an argument.

The reveal of her task began while at Bethany Beach on August 8, 2019. Debby shared that, “We were in a restaurant where I planned to order clams as an appetizer for our table. Everyone agreed on clams, however when the waitress came to our table, out of my mouth came the request for oysters. No one really liked them but my son-in-law and I got them down. God said, ‘take the shells home with you,’ so we did,” she explained, thinking they were meant for her friend Leslie Stiger James. Leslie, who creates jewelry, refused the oyster shells, insisting Deb “was to do something with them,” she said.

“When God instructed me to make jewelry, I said, “You want me to do what? I haven’t one artistic bone in my body,”” she countered. Now a hesitant jewelry designer and with tools from her friend, Debby began coiling wire and choosing pearls and beads for accent. Impatiently waiting for further instruction, Debby said, “We get anxious for an ending and try looking ahead, but I’ve been led step by step. After scrubbing the shells, I added designs with stones collected beforehand in exotic places.” The new designer didn’t know it when gathering the rarities, but with them, all have been turned into an inventory of 50 pieces.

With her efforts boxed for display, she sought God saying, “You gotta open some doors here, and He did.” She was accepted into the group of vendors at the Bush Manor Estate’s third holiday art show and sale for Dec 7 and 8, beginning at 10 and closing at 4 p.m. The site is off Route 180 across from the Target Plaza entrance.

“At first it was unclear where to donate funds. I felt it was to be a ministry, one of honoring or in memory of someone, but who?”

“Through prayer I’ve received clarification that a woman, either currently or a future resident at the ‘Oasis of Hope,’ needs help toward a college scholarship. The site near Troy is one of only a few places sheltering sex trafficking survivors in a state high on the list for such abuse,” Debby said.

One hundred percent of shell sales and a significant portion of the remaining jewelry will go to the ministry at Oasis of Hope. Commenting on the comparison between pearls and humanity, Debby said, “Both begin as grains of sand or particles of dust, both irritate until they emerge from their protector as something beautiful.”

More information can be found by visiting the organization’s website at www.oasisofhopeusa.org or by telephoning (570) 673-4544.