Adam VanNoord and his wife Laura have been long time Living Waters supporters. They’ve been campers, volunteers, supporters and friends of camps for a long time. I interviewed Adam to find out how the training he received at Living Waters prepared him to serve the Lord with Not Forgotten International.
Tell us about yourself
I am 32 years old and currently work overseas in Northwest Algeria among a muslim refugee people group called the Saharawi. I teach English at our Center and help coordinate all of the work we do with both short-term and long-term teams who come to serve with us. I have been married for 9 years to my best friend, Laura, and have 4 beautiful children between the ages of 8 and 3. We are also expecting another child at the end of January 2016. I studied Graphic Design in college and worked as a freelance artist and web developer for 5 years prior to moving to Africa. I love the outdoors, hiking, camping, trout fishing, science and astronomy. I grew up in Owosso, Michigan prior to moving to Wausau, Wisconsin where we now have a summer home.
When did you first come to Living Waters Bible Camp?
I started coming to Living Waters even before I was old enough to be a camper, because my best friend Raymond was the son of LWBC Executive Director, Dennis Siler. The Silers had lived in my hometown in Michigan and were good friends of our family, so Ray and I spent a lot of time together when we were very young. When Dennis moved to Westby to work for Living Waters, I soon followed during the summers to come—catching anything on four wheels that was heading in the direction of camp. Since the local church was always sending kids to camp, it was usually possible to hitch a ride with someone! Sometimes I’d stay for a couple weeks at a time, and as I grew older I found myself spending more and more of my summers with the Silers, and of course, camp was like our backyard.
What is your favorite memory about being at camp?
It’s tough to choose just one. But I’d say my favorite memory is just being together with friends who shared a common faith and a growing desire to live for the Lord Jesus.
What event at camp had the greatest spiritual impact on your life?
Sure, we had lots of fun. But it was more than that. For me, camp provided a home away from home, a space to clear my head from troubles back home, and an opportunity to grow in the knowledge of God through the study of the Word and fellowship with other believers and mentors. It was an experience I could have never fully appreciated as a kid. I still think back on those days and am filled with the joy of knowing that God placed me there during a very formative time in my life. I owe so much to so many people who made those camps possible. Ordinary people who made both small and great sacrifices that would seldom be recognized for what they were worth. I know for certain I would not be the man, husband or father that I am today without those influential weeks at camp.
How has the training you received at camp impacted what you do today?
In addition to the local churches I attended at home, camp provided many opportunities to hear about what God is doing in the world, to hear stories from missionaries, and to be challenged to answer the call God would place on my life. One of the first mission trips that I ever went on was with an LWBC trip to Juarez, Mexico. That trip provided an encounter with poverty that I hadn’t ever really experienced. And it fueled a growing passion God had been growing within me—to be His hands and feet in a place where there was great need.
Do you have a favorite theme at camp? (Satisfy Your Thirst, In His Image, Path of Life…)
“Consider the Heavens!” I LOVE the way God reveals Himself through what we can see by simply “looking up!”
Why do volunteer at camp?
Yes, my wife and I have served many times as summer camp counselors for various ages. I have worked in the media room, as a sports coordinator, a dishwasher, in the craft room, as a teacher, as a speaker, and in many other “unofficial” capacities—just helping where I can. I would love to one day direct a camp as well!
What would you tell someone who is considering supporting Living Waters Bible Camp financially?
The ministry that is taking place at Living Waters Bible Camp is a wonderful example of God’s tender heart for children and youth. Many kids come to camp from very diverse backgrounds, but it is difficult to leave without being personal challenged or inspired to live a life that honors our God and Creator. If you want to direct a portion of what God has blessed you to a fruitful ministry, be assured that LWBC is multiplying every dime that comes in to reach our children, our nation, and the nations beyond!
Is there anything else you feel led to share about camp?
Please help to spread the word to your local church, friends and family about the amazing summer experiences that are available at LWBC!