'Partnering with Habitat is a part of my life and my family's life, and it will be forever

New project in Bethel the first interfaith Habitat for Humanity project in this area.

EUGENE, Ore. - For Brena Martinez, it's been a summer and fall cram course on homebuilding.

"I secured those light fixtures," she said. "I put in the sub-flooring."

For Martinez and her husband Andres, their dream home is going up in the Bethel area thanks to the volunteers at Habitat for Humanity.

"There were some congregations who were very excited about the opportunity to work with members of another faith tradition," said Don Griffin, executive director.

Tthis is the first ever inter-faith local project for Habitat, with Christian and Jewish volunteers working side by side.

The Martinez family put in 800 hours of sweat equity, too.

"Habitat only requires you give 400," Brenda said. "we're not finished yet, so it's probably going to be quite a bit more than that by the time everything is done."

"I've had a lot of issues in the past that started making me think I wouldn't be able to build my own house," Andres said.

That issue for Andres was cancer.

The disease melted away their savings and their hope.

But thanks to Habitat and financial management help from the NEDCO group, the couple were able to get the down payment together and break ground in July.

For Brenda, the project has opened her eyes to something bigger than this 2-bedroom house.

"The feeling that you get is the biggest blessing," she said. "It's a way of life. Partnering with Habitat is a part of my life and my family's life, and it will be forever."

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