NGU graduate returns home after serving overseas as a missionary

Kaitlyn Lundy, News Editor

David McWhite and family in Ireland

David McWhite and family in Ireland

David McWhite, a 2007 graduate of North Greenville University, just moved back to the states with his family after serving overseas since 2015.  Him and his wife along with their three children took their faith global, living on mission in both Czech Republic and Ireland from 2015 to 2019.

David and his wife, April, both felt called to missions in college and were led to Czech Republic because it is the most atheistic country in the world, about 70% atheist and less than 1% Christian.  They partnered up with another family from a church they were attending in Greenville and began their journey living on mission overseas.

The McWhites went to Czech Republic in 2015 in hopes of planting a church, but ended up starting a bible study within their home.  The group of people within their bible study still meet and are in the works of becoming a church plant. 

After serving there for two years, they made a transition from Czech Republic to Ireland.  There they had friends from the states doing similar work that they could lean on and serve alongside.  They felt they were doing good work in Czech Republic, but needed a change of pace from the overall isolating environment. 

In Ireland, they helped build up an existing church through participation in teaching, worship leading, and building relationships among neighbors and church members.  Ireland had much more structure within their church planting which appealed to McWhite.

Raising missionary kids or MK’s as they can be often called was interesting for the couple in both Czech Republic and Ireland.  Overall, it seemed as though the couple had to handle talking about topics that their children wouldn’t commonly be exposed to back in Greenville.  

 David commented, “When in Czech Republic we had to deal with the effects of secularism and how to implement that into the parenting of our children at a young age.  In Ireland, they were in a Catholic school so we had to answer a lot of questions about why we believe what we believe and why we don’t believe what Catholics believe.  It was also good because they grew up around people from all different countries.  Our church in Ireland had a lot of diversity, so I hope my kids have a broader view of the church now.”

Like any change from one culture to another, there’s going to be an inevitable adjustment period.  “Coming home to visit from Czech Republic during our time there was weird because it isn’t a warm culture over there, people don’t talk a lot in public.  Moving from Czech Republic to Ireland felt like moving to the South.  Moving back to the states, it was more fast-paced here than over there which we had to readjust to.  The move back was easiest for my oldest two kids because this is home to them.”

Throughout their time serving on mission and in the transition from overseas to back home, the McWhites have been able to see God provide in numerous ways.  David was able to find a job quickly after their move through a connection between some supporters and a local church in Greenville.  He now works at Edwards Road Baptist Church (ERBC) as their mission’s pastor.

As McWhite and his family felt the call to return home, he said, “The Lord burdened our hearts to help missionaries and we’re hoping to bring a different perspective because we’ve been on the other side,” which is why now they feel God is using them at ERBC to disciple young couples, build relationships and partnerships with current missionaries, and focus on missions and outreach.