Our Family

1981-2003

Alan and Debbie VanDoren were married in New Jersey in 1981. After working for the New Jersey State Police for twelve years, their family of eight moved to the other side of the world with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Alan used the skills he had learned in the Aviation Bureau of the state police as a helicopter pilot to transfer Bible translators in and out of remote villages all over the country of Papua New Guinea. Their two youngest children were born in PNG! The eight years that the family spent overseas made a large impact on their lives. They were glad to be a part of the life-changing work of Bible translation and also glad for the opportunities to experience many different cultures. They worked, lived, played, and worshiped with families from over fifteen different nationalities and learned a lot from them.

2003-2019

They returned to the United States in 2003 to work at JAARS, the support agency for Wycliffe Bible Translators. Alan served as the aviation training manager, working with prospective new missionary pilots. During that time, the family had one more opportunity to go overseas — this time to the country of Cameroon, in western Africa. The mission was to get a new helicopter program up and running. When this job was complete, they returned to North Carolina, but only for a short time. The following year, another move was made, to the “far away” land of Texas! Alan took the position of Director of Flight Training at LeTourneau University, where he worked until 2013. Wanting to get back into the helicopter field, Alan took a job with Air Methods Corporation, flying medically-equipped helicopters out of East Texas Regional Airport.

The VanDoren family enjoys the state of Texas immensely. Up until the end of 2018, six of their eight children were living in Texas, and five of those six living locally in Kilgore. That meant having fourteen grandchildren in town,
a grandparent’s dream!

We really enjoy living and working in Kilgore.
It has a friendly, down-home atmosphere, with so many interesting, wonderful people to get to know! Downtown Kilgore is a happy place to be. Come visit, enjoy some tasty and nutritious homemade food, in a cheery atmosphere…
and introduce yourselves to us!