Peter and Melissa met during their high school years and bonded through common interests, sports and their youth group at Houston’s First Baptist Church. Peter, already possessing a strong faith, played an encouraging role in Melissa’s walk and ultimate full surrender to God’s grace. Their friendship blossomed through their high school years at Northwest Academy in Houston where they both were strongly drawn to sports activities and the resulting lessons of dedication, discipline, teamwork and leadership. This love of sports has been picked up by their four children: Joshua, Gabriel, Nathan, and Betsy.
In 2001, as juniors at Dallas Baptist University (DBU), Peter and Melissa married. The following year, Peter received his BS in Christian Education, and Melissa her BA in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Peter served as Student Minister and in full-time positions at three different churches in Dallas/Fort Worth, was active in church plants, apartment ministry, and worked in multiple positions at DBU. Upon graduation in 2002, Melissa began a ten-year service as Pastor’s Assistant at First Baptist-Irving. Peter completed his MA in Christian Education from DBU in 2007. Peter was named Facilities Manager at DBU in 2011, and in 2015, he and his family moved to Waco, TX, as he became the Facilities Manager for Highland Baptist Church.
Peter first visited Nicaragua with a team from First Baptist Irving in 2006, returning almost every year as his love for the Nicaraguan people grew. In 2014, Melissa was able to travel with a team of women to Puerto Cabezas, where she experienced for herself a strong connection with the people and a confirming call on her life. Continuing to work with short-term teams, last year saw the entire Murrell family involved! Peter and Melissa are preparing to work alongside MVI Ministry Partners, Jim and Viola Palmer, as members of NICA Team. During their years of service in Nicaragua, Jim & Viola planted 300+ churches among the Miskito people in Eastern Nicaragua. The network of US churches, Nicaraguan ministry partners, and field missionaries has been developed for the ongoing support of the indigenous churches. NICA Team’s three-fold mission is to serve others, train leaders, and share Christ. Serving others is accomplished through community ministries of seed distribution/banking, water well drilling, and construction projects. Indigenous pastors are provided with multiple opportunities each year for continued theological and practical training for ministry. And the ultimate goal is to share Christ with others through evangelism, church planting, and discipleship. The Murrells are excited to partner with NICA Team and MVI to reach unbelievers in the Mining Triangle of Nicaragua.
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