Get to know the staff and board of directors of Children of the Nations!
Eric Nachtrieb began his role with Children of the Nations in August 2009, after hearing about the ministry during a presentation by Chris and Debbie Clark. Eric joined COTN to bring a background of strategic planning to our field activities in the US, focusing on the development of area offices that mobilize local churches, community groups, and businesses to partner with COTN. Serving previously as Vice President of Operations, he provided strong leadership to the staff along with project management, assessment, training, and coaching.
Eric, who has been an ordained pastor for 30 years, served in the church and several nonprofits. He received a master's degree in Global Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. In 1998, Eric founded CrosstheWorld Ministries, later to be known as Relationship180, a nonprofit based in Mission Viejo, California, that still provides Christian tools, resources, and coaching for healing marriages and relationships.
Eric works and lives in Orange County, California, where he and his wife, Lynne advocate for those who are marginalized and struggling. He is an avid road bike rider and loves spending time with his three children and three grandchildren.
Scott LaFramboise is the vice president of worldwide sales for Adaptive Insights, a cloud-based business software company in Palo Alto, California. Scott has built a career on his commitment to customer success, which is predicated on delivering solutions that align to the customer’s key business imperatives as well as driving specific business outcomes.
Scott joined Adaptive Insights from Salesforce, where he led the Life Sciences industry sales organization in the US. Prior to Salesforce, Scott led IBM’s overall software business in the Western U.S.
He holds two bachelor's degrees from Washington State University: one in political science and government and another in public relations.
Scott currently lives in Issaquah, Washington, with his wife of 20 years and two teenage children. He and his family enjoy spending time at their cabin in the Cascades where they enjoy fly fishing and snowmobiling. He is also an accomplished musician who performs regularly with a local rock band playing his saxophone. Scott and his family are actively involved in their local Young Life group. They have also been to the Dominican Republic with COTN, serving as volunteers. Scott started volunteering with Children of the Nations in 2013 and joined the board of directors in 2018.
Francisco Tejeda came to the Lord in his teens, and immediately responded to a call to work in the ministry of teaching the Word of God. Since then, Francisco has thrown himself passionately toward the cause of doing God’s work, becoming the regional youth director of the Church of God, Inc. (Iglesias de Dios) and a founding member of the Christian congregation Rio de Dios.
His passion extended toward serving the children of the Dominican Republic. After earning a law degree from Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, Francisco went on to coordinate the formation of the Network for the Protection and Guarantee for the Rights of Children and Adolescents. It was through this work that he first became acquainted with mission of COTN.
Francisco has a postgraduate degree in non-governmental organization management and marketing from the University of Catalunya; a diploma in law from the Children and Adolescents (Grupo Humano); a special certificate of education in Management Accounting for Non-Governmental Organizations; did specialized study in laws governing NGOs in the Dominican Republic at INTEC University; and an accounting degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo. He has also worked as a consultant for other NGOs and as an employee of the Dominican Supreme Court of Justice. He looks forward to expanding the mission of COTN by caring for more children who are in need of help, both in the Dominican Republic and in neighboring Haiti. He is married to Celia Melo, who studied to become an academic counselor. They have three children.
"Pastor James" was born in Kampala, Uganda. He attended secondary school in Lira, and was later accepted to Makerere University in Kampala, receiving a government-sponsored scholarship based on marks. In 1998, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education, majoring in geography and world history. Later that year, he accepted a teaching position at a secondary school in Kampala and went on to teach at various colleges. God continued to call him into ministry; in 2002, he founded Truth Evangelistic Fountain Church in Lira. The following year, he left teaching behind and entered ministry full time.
Pastor James was first acquainted with COTN in January 2005 when Chris Clark came through Lira on his way to Gulu. At the time, Gulu was a rebel-war hotspot where most NGOs were going. In talking with Chris, James shared that all the problems that were in Gulu were present in Lira. “Why not stay here in Lira?” he asked. The next day, at James’ request, Chris toured the displacement camps with him and witnessed for himself the horrible conditions and immense need. As the COTN team prepared to depart for Gulu, Chris told James, “Pray and perhaps we will return.” He prayed fervently. The following year, COTN returned and began ministry in Lira.
Today, James oversees COTN–Uganda staff, continues his role as senior pastor at Truth Evangelistic Fountain, and oversees 10 Truth Evangelistic Fountain churches planted throughout Uganda.
Hopeson Khondiwa comes from southern Malawi. He lost his father at age 4 and his mother at age 13, and was fortunate enough to be taken in by a distant relative as he finished his schooling. He has a heart for serving vulnerable children who were not as lucky as he was.
Hopeson has years of experience in the non-profit sector, where he has worked as an administration and finance director with multiple European Union programs, Danish-Church Aid, and Trocaire, where he served as the country director. He accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and savior in 1995 at a revival meeting in Lilongwe. He is currently studying to complete his PhD in business administration, holds a master’s degree in strategic management, and is a certified chartered accountant.
Hopeson and his wife, Mavis, who works for Save the Children Malawi, have been married since 2004. Together they have three children—two daughters, Tamanda and Mwayi, and one son, Chisomo. He and his family attend and are very involved at their church, Chikuluti CCAP (Presbyterian), where Hopeson serves as an elder.
Samuel was a teenager when the rebel war broke out in Sierra Leone and he spent those years in different parts of the country seeking to avoid the violence. Samuel ultimately ended up in Freetown and says, “that is where I started life again!”
Samuel gave his life to Christ in 1997 after attending a local Bible study group. After completing secondary school Samuel gained various qualifications in electrical installation and refrigeration and worked as a technician for many years in various parts of the country.
After further study of computers and IT, Samuel accepted a position to teach technology in COTN’s Secondary School in Ngolala in 2007. Through diligence and hard work Samuel was appointed Resource Coordinator and then Centre Supervisor and Operations Manager. Passionate about spreading the Gospel in Banta, Samuel has played an active role in the growth and development of Church of the Nations. While working with COTN he completed a degree in Human Resource Management and was appointed to the position of Country Director in May 2019.
Samuel married Alice in 2010 and they have one beautiful daughter, Arlene Ndeleh.
The Children of the Nations (COTN) Global Alliance is comprised of the five countries directly caring for thousands of children—Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda, Dominican Republic, and Haiti—as well as the countries that support these efforts. The COTN Global Alliance shares the same vision, mission, statement of faith, core values, operating principles, and standards of service—joining together to “Raise Children Who Transform Nations.”
The Global Alliance Council is made up of representatives from the countries in the alliance. The council was created to help COTN best carry out its mission in the five unique cultures we work in. We value partnership and the variety of perspectives it provides. Therefore, we believe it is essential to have a forum where representatives from these countries can share their expertise to support healthy growth and fulfillment of our mission.
Council members were chosen by the National Board of Directors in their respective countries and confirmed by the COTN International Board of Directors. The Global Alliance Council is committed to ensuring the best care is provided for children—long-term, holistic care that results in transformation! Children who were once living in desperation are now becoming doctors, teachers, lawyers, politicians, CEOS, and more. They are creating positive and lasting change in their families, communities, and nations.
Mark Drennan is the senior liaison for COTN International. He also serves as the liaison for COTN–Sierra Leone. During his thirteen-year commitment, he has shown his leadership skills, professionalism, knowledge of cross-cultural issues and program management, and dedication to the children in our ministry. Mark lives in Northern Ireland with his lovely wife, Joanna and has two children.
View the rest of the Global Alliance Council here.