BELLEVILLE - Lynn Peachey and Nina Gunter are surrounded by the unmistakable presence of God.
His guidance brought the duo to a mission that has been encouraging women through a shared love for jewelry.
Peachey said "WORD on YOU," a mission outreach for working mothers of small children, had humble beginnings. She learned to make beaded necklaces at a ladies retreat hosted by her church, Maple Grove Mennonite in Belleville. Peachey said she enjoyed it so much that she bought her own supplies and starting making jewelry at home.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Lynn Peachey, left, and Nina Gunter craft beaded necklaces and lanyards in Lynn’s home near Belleville Thursday evening. The women’s jewelry ministry — ‘WORD on YOU’ — is an outreach to mothers with young children.
Soon after that, Peachey's aunt, Nina Gunter, received a jewelry-making kit for her birthday. The project grew from there.
Peachey said the women tried selling their jewelry locally, but felt God pulling them in another direction.
"God, give me some kind of little ministry," Peachey said she asked of Him.
Then she heard the news that two women from her church had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I wanted to do something to help them feel God's love and presence in their lives as they went through the healing process," she said.
From there, the ministry started to take shape.
Peachey began researching different colors and their Biblical meanings online. She came across the color amber, which signifies the unmistakable presence of God. One of the supporting verses she found was Daniel 3:19-27, which tells about three men who were thrown in the furnace because they would not bow down and worship the king. When the king looked in the furnace, there were four men in there and none were harmed - the unmistakable presence of God. Another verse is Exodus 3:5, when Moses went to the mountains and saw a burning bush that was not consumed because it sat on holy ground. The amber color of the flames again signified God's unmistakable presence, she explained.
Peachey was inspired by the significance of the color and used it to design necklaces for each of the women.
"I made them both a necklace with amber stones in it," she said.
She included a note that read, "When you go through your treatments and your operations and you don't feel well, I hope that you think about the unmistakable presence in your life."
Peachey said the response she got from the gift was much greater than she expected.
"I felt, from that, that what we were supposed to do is make this jewelry, and through my research, point out what the colors mean in the Bible," she said. "Maybe the piece of jewelry that a woman buys ... that color and what it stands for will speak to her in her life."
After discussing the idea with Gunter, "WORD on YOU," jewelry was born. Peachey said the duo creates jewelry inspired by the Biblical significance of different colors. Every piece comes with a card that explains the color and includes the associated Bible verse on the back, she said.
But that was only the beginning.
Peachey said she and Gunter began selling the jewelry at Friendship Bookstore and Bushmen at Home in Lewistown and Yoder's Tees and More in Belleville. What they decided to do with the proceeds turned their jewelry business into community outreach.
Peachey said it was a discussion with a young, working mother of preschool-age children that gave her an idea. The woman explained how difficult it was sometimes to leave home and work all day, then come home and put a meal on the table among other chores. Peachey felt that God was leading her again.
She and Gunter gathered names of mothers with young children. After paying local carriers their commission and putting some money back to buy more beads, the pair uses the rest of their proceeds from each jewelry sale to buy gift certificates to local restaurants for the young mothers.
"We put (the names) in a basket, and we just pull one out, and that's the woman we bless," Peachey said.
The recipient can use the gift certificate to pick up an easy dinner for her family on the way home.
"The pressure's off, she can just enjoy her family at night," Peachey said. "I don't care if the mother is single, married, divorced ... I don't care if they go to church or not."
So far, sales from the jewelry have funded two gift certificates to pass along to those who could use a pick-me-up. Peachey said she hopes that local ladies will remember the jewelry and her mission during the upcoming holiday shopping seasons.
"It's a way to to do your shopping and bless some hard-working mothers out there," she said. "This little mission is not going to change anyone's life in a huge way - but it can make a woman feel loved and supported on that one day ..."
Peachey and Gunter also plan to set up a display of their jewelry at HarvestFest in October at the Mifflin County Youth Park and at an open house, set to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 16 at Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Belleville.
For more information, WORD on YOU can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WordOnYou.