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
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
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
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
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.
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
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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!