LUTHER — Although Saturday was cold with rain and snow, Stevie Kuempel’s new home was warmed with blessings from the community.

On Saturday afternoon, Stevie and her children, Robert, Gabriel and Nevaeh, opened their new Habitat for Humanity home to neighbors, friends and those instrumental in building their house in Luther for a celebration service.

The service opened with a welcome and introduction of Lake County Habitat for Humanity board members by Shawn Washington, executive director.

“We are very excited for today,” she said.

Pastor Joseph Taylor, of Luther Baptist Church, gave the opening prayer, asking for the family to be protected, supported, guided and blessed in their new home.

Father Ron Schneider, of St. Ann and St. Ignatious Catholic Church, gave a scripture reading. Lake County Habitat for Humanity members then presented Stevie with a planter, a hammer, a photo album of the building process, a Bible for each family member and a presentation of the keys.

“This project was started because of God’s love for us,” said Lori Braginton, as she handed the family the Bibles. “This project is to make things better for you and your family. Building habitat houses is God’s work.”

Stevie was overwhelmed with all the blessings and support.

“It has been a very, very long process,” she said. “I thank my dad most of all. I couldn’t have done it without him and all my family. He was there day and night helping to make it happen.”

Taylor closed with a final prayer.

“Thanks to all who worked on this project day and night to provide a wonderful home for this family,” he said.