A Little About Lytle
On Father’s Day weekend in 2016, David Lytle hung up the phone and wondered how a trip to Southern California from Tennessee with his family for vacation had turned into a job interview with Woodcrest Christian the next day. An interview wasn’t in the plan as evidenced by the limit of his wardrobe-shorts and flip flops. Nevertheless, he interviewed for a teacher position the next day. Several months later, he was driving a loaded minivan across the country and preparing a new life for his wife and three children as the new AP History teacher at Woodcrest Christian High School.
Traveling across the country to the “alien” landscape of SoCal was just another in a series of journeys God and taken David since his childhood. Born in Missouri, David spend the first seventeen years of his life growing up in Panama where his parents were missionaries. They did church planting, Bible training, and even started a small seminary in the country. Growing up, he was an avid fan of all sports including basketball, football, and soccer and played whenever he could. When it was time to head to college, David chose Welch College in Nashville, Tennessee. Time in college meant majoring in History and Biblical Studies and minoring in missions. While there, David met his future wife, Bethany, who then got married in 2004. After earning his Master’s Degree from Middle Tennessee State and having their first child, Isaac, David and the family moved to Indonesia to teach in an international school. A primarily Muslim country, Indonesia was a very different country with a very different culture. In fact, David remembers people stopping the family almost daily and wanting to take their picture because they had never seen anyone with white skin before. In this very different environment, David and Bethany welcomed two more children, Jude and Naomi, to the family. However, the three years in Indonesia was challenging as they were so far from family and the culture was so different.
But, as has been so often found to be true in David’s life, the Lord had other plans. Calling them overseas again but this time westward, the Lytle’s found themselves in Lima, Peru, teaching in another international school. A year and half went by when David’s wife, Bethany, began to feel ill. After consulting a doctor, the diagnosis was breast cancer. Less than a month later, in January 2018, Bethany was called home to be with the Lord leaving David a single father with three children ages 5, 3 and 1. Now what? How do you move forward? David recalls, “For some unknown reason, I started reading a lot of books having to do with heaven and the resurrection in the months and years before Bethany’s passing. I also found myself reading and studying Job and Ecclesiastes for a Bible class I was teaching. I was being immersed in Biblical truth concerning suffering, the fleetingness of life, and the promise of a glorious future.” Unknown to David, God was preparing him for the unexpected. David remembers that there were a lot of questions but the big one was “I moved my family to Peru for a year and half and what was the point? We had everything stripped, I had no job, and we had to move away from our home in Peru.”
But God knew why. In Peru, David’s wife, Bethany, had become close friends with Jackie who was often present as the family progressed through the loss of wife and mom. In God’s timing and blessing, David and Jackie grew to love each other and got married in November. Moving back to Tennessee to be closer to family, David was soon working as a full-time youth minister in their old home church. But soon he realized that he was better suited for teaching than youth ministry work and wanted to a career where he could enroll his children in Christian school. He also believed moving to California and closer to Jackie’s family would be a good thing for the kids. Thus, he found himself sitting in an interview on a Monday morning, just several hours before flying home from vacation with his family and ultimately answering God’s call to California and WCS.
Early in 2018, the Lytle family was expecting their fourth child. Baby Theodore entered the world on August 23rd. What was supposed to be a normal delivery, turned into a medical emergency as veins that were supposed to connect his heart to his lungs were not connected on one side. While Theo pulled through multiple surgeries, the next two years were challenging, and ultimately, little Theo went home to be with the Lord.
As his interview came to an end, David shared what the most important thing he wanted people to know was. “As a teacher,” he said, “my life is always on display. I try my best with the Lord’s help to live my life His way. Despite the challenges, it is rewarding and the only way to live!”
We are blessed to have David as part of the staff and the entire Lytle family as part of the Woodcrest Christian community!