Our Family


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 to work with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Alan used the skills he had learned in the Aviation Bureau of the state police as a helicopter pilot to transport Bible translators in and out of remote villages all over the country of Papua New Guinea. Their youngest two boys were born in PNG. The eight years that the family spent overseas made a large impact on their lives. They were glad to be part of the life-changing work of Bible translation, and also very 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.

They returned to the United States in 2003 to work at JAARS, the support agency for Wycliffe. 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 moved back to North Carolina, but only for a short time. The following year another move was made, to a “far away” land… Texas! Alan took the position of Director of Flight Training in 2008 at LeTourneau University, where he worked until 2013. Wanting to get back into the helicopter field, he took a job with Air Methods Corporation, where he is presently flying medically equipped helicopters out of East Texas Regional Airport.

The VanDoren family enjoys their new home state. Two of their children are living at home in Kilgore, two are married and living in Kilgore with their husbands and children, one is married and lives with her husband in Longview, and the other three are in Dallas, Texas, Lancaster, South Carolina and Japan.

We 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!