MADRID, Spain (BP)–Although the International Mission Board appointed Daniel and Teresa Peters* as city strategists for Madrid, their ministry includes the entire family — Karla, 14, who has lived in Spain since she was 9 and her brother, Tyler, who has lived there most of his life.
The Peters children have mastered the language and culture of their adopted city. And they understand their purpose in Madrid: to evangelize the lost, disciple new believers and help their parents start churches among the city’s 6 million people.
“A lot of what my parents do is through what Tyler and I do,” Karla says. “I have friends from all different places, so when I go to meet with them, my parents get to meet their parents.”
Daniel Peters’ task is to develop strategies to effectively share the Gospel in Madrid. He trains and mentors other Christian workers to plant churches that will, in turn, start other churches. He has learned that most evangelism in Spain starts with building friendships. So Daniel and Teresa seize every opportunity to build a connection with the community and with other parents.
Last summer, they hosted a volunteer team of parents and children from the United States. The group organized four English-as-a-Second-Language summer camps throughout the Peters’ apartment complex “to build credibility and trust with our neighbors,” as Teresa puts it. “We had an excellent response. The parents loved it!”
Karla and Tyler assisted the group as they taught English lessons and Christian values to 70 preschoolers through 6-year-olds.
Daniel says activities such as the English-language camps are conducted with one purpose in mind: planting churches — in this case, to see cell groups form naturally among parents with children in the ESL camps.
Karla also organized a party, inviting the teenage volunteers and her Spanish friends to learn from one another. The volunteers lived out their Christian beliefs while interacting with the Spanish friends, many of whom do not have personal relationships with Jesus. The Spanish teenagers reciprocated by inviting the teens, including the Peters family, on a museum outing.
Teresa says the teenagers’ interaction gave her and Daniel an opportunity to extend the circle of parents they know.
The Peters family maintains a busy schedule as they balance ministry responsibilities with family obligations. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, they transport Karla and Tyler between guitar, piano or violin lessons, horseback riding class and tennis lessons. While the kids practice, Daniel and Teresa build relationships with the other parents.
“My priorities have always been God, family and ministry, and that doesn’t change,” Teresa says.
“Being a good husband to the bride of my youth is important,” he says. “My kids are my first disciples. If I start a church plant, but my kids suffer, then that’s a poor testimony.”
*Names changed for security reasons.