Habitat for Humanity hosts house blessing for home No. 20

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[October 26, 2016]   LINCOLN - On Sunday afternoon a large crowd gathered on the front lawn at the latest home built by Habitat for Humanity of Logan County. The home, located at 509 North Madison Street in Lincoln now belongs to Linda Brown and her three grad-children; Terry, Destiny and Donathan.

This past Sunday, Habitat President Cince Bowns led the official ceremony that in the end led to the presentation of the house keys to Brown. Bowns welcomed all in attendance and introduced city officials on hand for the ceremony; Mayor Marty Neitzel, Alderwoman to Ward 2 where the home is located, Kathy Horn, and also Ward 3 Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs.

Neitzel addressed the group briefly, noting that the community, on the whole, was made better through the work of the Habitat for Humanity. She said that when Habitat builds a home for a family, it not only provides that family with a great new place to live, but it removes the potential for neglected properties in the city and makes the city of Lincoln a better place to live.

Spud Newhouse came forward to share moments about the house construction. As the Co-foreman of the project with Tom Frost, he thanked all of those who gave of their time and talents to make this home building project run smoothly.

Habitat Board Member Mitzi Rohlfs came forward to present to Brown and her grandchildren the Habitat Book. This book is given to every new homeowner, a gift from the Habitat Organization. Rohlfs spoke to and about Linda, remembering her personal relationship with Linda began when Rohlfs was an employee of the Community Action Agency in Lincoln, working in the Head Start Program. She commented on how nice it had been to renew this long time friendship with Linda and how good it was to be able to participate in the house blessing ceremony for Linda and her family.

It is a tradition that at each house blessing, the family is given a family Bible. That presentation was made by Leonard Krusemark, a member of the HFH board, and the one responsible for the donation. He spoke about the importance of bringing God into this new home and allowing Him, through his word to lead and protect the family moving forward.

For this blessing, special music was performed by the Music Makers of St. John United Church of Christ, led by Darlene Begolka. The three children played two gospel hymns on their chimes. Afterward, Begolka explained that at the summer Vacation Bible School program this year the theme was “Serve.” She said the participating children had paid a visit to the Habitat building site, had gotten to know Linda and had even driven a nail or two in the new home. She said they formed a special bond with Linda and with the home being built. As a result, they were very happy to be able to come and participate in this particular home blessing and had also brought a housewarming gift for the Brown family.

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Ed Tibbits of His Hands Outreach was called upon to read Scripture. He also presented Brown with a plaque to hang on the wall of her new home. He would later return to deliver the benediction for the day. At the groundbreaking in March, Tibbits explained that Browns grandchildren participate in some of the activities held at the community center, just around the corner. Brown had asked that he be a part of the Habitat groundbreaking and the eventual home blessing, because of his relationship with her grandchildren.

As the ceremony began to wind down, Bowns was left to present the keys to the new home to Brown. She commented that she and Linda had known each other since Junior High School, and it was a great pleasure and honor to be the one to hand over the keys, welcoming Linda, Terry, Destiny and Donathan into their new home.

The day ended with a group reading of the poem/song "Bless this House."

After the keys had been presented, all guests were invited to come into the home, take a tour, and enjoy cookies and lemonade.

The house is a three bedroom, one bath home with an open floor plan kitchen, dining and living area. It comes complete with kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer. The bedrooms are spacious with a larger room that will be shared by the two boys and separate bedrooms for Linda and Destiny. The home has a nice front and back yard area as well as a small storage building for lawn tools and other storage.

The groundbreaking for the home was held in March of this year. Also this year, a second build was started with a groundbreaking in September. During the Sunday home blessing, project number 21 was mentioned as in progress with the Lincoln Technical Education Center Building and Trades program being involved in the construction of the home. The students will work on the home throughout this school year, with the anticipated completion date to be next spring.

[Nila Smith]

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