Emden family will spend Thanksgiving in a new home thanks to the community and Habitat for Humanity

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[November 22, 2017]   EMDEN

On December 14th, 2016 Lucas and Alecia Sutton found themselves in a terrible position, just 10 days before Christmas. They had lost their home to a fire, and with it everything they owned. Not only had they lost Christmas, but they had lost some of the things the rest of us take for granted, like the clothes they wear. With three children and one on the way, the couple was facing a very dismal Christmas.

While it was a painful time for them, it was also a time when a community had an opportunity to show its love and ability to pitch in and take care of its own when times are tough.

The couple lived in rural Emden, and soon after the fire, they began experiencing the love of their community as people had clothing drives, and gathered things for the family. They found a home to rent in the Hartsburg area, and soon, they would learn that they would have a new home, thanks to the work of the community and the Habitat for Humanity of Logan County.

This past Sunday, just a few days before Thanksgiving, the couple, and now their four children, were handed the keys to a brand new, four bedroom home on the edge of town in Emden. The event marked the 23rd home build for the local Habitat for Humanity, and fell on the actual 25th anniversary date of the organizationís existence in Logan County.

In 23 building projects over the past 25 years, this would be the first home to be built in the town of Emden. But, before the home could be built, there needed to be a location upon which to build it. Habitat does not purchase property, relying solely on donations of property for its building sites.

For the Suttons, it was the work of Kent Cross of the Emden Bank that got the ball rolling. Cross helped the couple get in touch with Habitat, and then also worked to answer the need for a property. At the ground breaking earlier this year, he said everything fell into place as it was Godís plan for this family to have a home in Emden.

Once a property was located, it was then the Emden community who helped raise the money for the purchase of the property.

In the meantime, the couple applied for a home through Habitat and began completing their hours of service required as part of the program. They worked with their mentor Jodi Trussel to fulfill all the requirements for home ownership. In June of this year, the couple enjoyed two milestones. The birth of their fourth child, Oliver, and the groundbreaking of their new home.

Because there was a sense of urgency to get the family into a home before Christmas this year, the home construction project had already started when the groundbreaking occurred, but it was still the day that no doubt many will remember as a significant accomplishment for the Suttons, but also for the Emden community.

This week during the home blessing ceremony Alecia spoke of all the she was thankful for, the community who stepped up and the people who spent time helping the young family to accomplish this major goal.

Lucas brought a few chuckles as he talked about the home building experience. His adventures of being involved in putting a wall in the wrong spot, as well as taking a tumble off the roof of the house during construction. He punctuated the last portion by saying, ďI was alright, just couldnít move very well the next day!Ē

During the Sunday event, HFH President Cince Bowns (white jacket) shared that with the completion of this home, the local Habitat has impacted the lives of 23 families, which also equates to a total of 90 people.

She too commented on the community and the volunteers, saying that for this home builtd more than 50 people had volunteered so as to keep this project moving for the Suttons.

Larry Zumwalt, Mark Coers, and Spud Newhouse were co-foremen on this project. Sunday Zumwalt spoke on behalf of the three, talking about the build but more than anything, expressing his appreciation to all those who volunteered. He noted that all levels of help from actual construction to painting, to bringing out food and beverages was a tremendous help and meant a great deal to him and his co-foremen as well as Habitat in general and the Suttons.

In honor of the 25 year anniversary of the Habitat for Humanity of Logan County, founding president Bill Sahs led the Litany of Dedication.

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Larry Zumwalt had the honor of delivering the keys to the couple while Dean Leesman delivered the Habitat Book Ė Grandpasí Hammer.

An emotional Leonard Krusemark presented the family with a new Bible, encouraging them to read and find passages that were important to them, and to live with God and Godís word in their lives. He was rewarded with a loving hug from Alecia.

Pastor Chris Bivens delivered the Blessing of the Home as well as the final benediction and prayer. He told the Suttons to remember that the house is wood and nails, but the people in it are the home and Godís desire is for the home to be filled with His presence.

Because the weather was a bit chilly this day, the service was held inside. The larger than usual home, for a larger than normal family features a big open floor plan family room and kitchen. There was barely standing room inside as the area was filled with family, friends, people from the community, and people from HFH.

As the service came to an end, the couple mingled with those there to congratulate them, while others took a tour of the entire home.

Remarkable to many was the master bedroom. With a large family, two bathrooms are necessary. The floor plan includes three bedrooms for the kids and a master for mom and dad. Inside the master there is a modest walk in closet and a separate bathroom with sink, water closet, and a shower. Each bedroom includes large closets behind accordion doors, and one bedroom has two such closets for extra storage. There is a large full bath accessible from the hallway, and in this home the laundry room is located in the hallway as well neatly hidden behind according doors.

The front porch is large and in the yard there is already a swing set and play area for the kids.

As this story ends, the tale of the Sutton family is one that will stick with a lot of people for a very long time. This is a story of community, a story of hard work and determination, and most of all, it is a wonderful story of Thanksgiving, of being thankful for God, family, and community.

Congratulations to the Suttons, to the people of Emden and to Habitat for Humanity for a job well done!

[Nila Smith]

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