Staff 2020-10-27T15:35:19-06:00

Patrick Atkinson

Founder & Executive Director

Patrick John Atkinson was raised in Bismarck, North Dakota and attended Minnesota State University – Moorhead. After graduation in 1981, Patrick turned down lucrative corporate job offers to work with runaways, prostitutes, and gang members in New York City Hell’s Kitchen. Two years later, Patrick moved to Central America where he began a twenty-five-year international career in war-zone reconciliation and post-war reconstruction. He has been knighted, is the recipient of numerous human rights awards (including the Guatemalan Congressional Medal) and is the subject of the biography, The Dream Maker, by Monica Hannan. Patrick is most proud of having been named Father of the Year by his son, Ernesto, this book’s illustrator. He is the founder and executive director of The GOD’S CHILD Project and the Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons (ITEMP). When not being shot at, knifed, caught in car-bombings, or traveling worldwide advocating on behalf of abused, abandoned, or human-trafficking victims, Patrick resides in Central America and at Hippo Wallow Pond, his family home outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Learn more about Patrick Atkinson by visiting The Atkinson Center website.

Contact Patrick: or 612.351.8020

Emily Tenneson

Operations Director

Emily began working at The GOD’S CHILD Project in March 2016. She always wanted to work for a group that helped women and children in great need and provided that assistance in a financially responsible and ethical manner. She is very proud to be a part of the wonderful team at The GOD’S CHILD Project.

Emily is responsible for various administrative and operational procedures.  Her favorite part of this position is learning about donors and their experiences, and what makes them donate their time and support to The GOD’S CHILD Project’s amazing mission of helping children and their families rise out of poverty.

On multiple occasions, Emily has lead teams to Guatemala for the home building project and to volunteer at Casa Jackson.  She loves to talk to people about this opportunity and what an amazing experience it is for families, friends, coworkers, and groups.  If you are interested in taking a humanitarian aid trip, please feel free to contact her at any time.

Contact Emily: or 612.351.8020

Dr. Travis Spangler

Director of Strategic Development

Dr. Travis Spangler is a graduate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University (Providence, RI).  He joined The GOD’S CHILD Project team in 2020 to help cultivate strategic partnerships and work with individuals and organizations that want to provide help where it is needed most.

Travis has observed the practices of various medical capacities in which The GOD’S CHILD Project provides assistance to children and families in Central America.  He promotes charitable programs that assist trafficked women and children recover from their traumatic experiences, and recruits medical professionals to volunteer in impoverished countries where resources for victims are scarce or non-existent.

If you would like to explore a special project or strategic partnership, please feel free to contact Travis anytime.

Contact Travis: or 612.351.8020

Carrie Koch

Office Assistant and Community Donations Manager

Carrie joined The GOD’S CHILD Project in the Spring of 2020.  She brings to the office a great enthusiasm for helping children and families in need and our communities as a whole.  Carrie is responsible for various office functions and working with our local communities in need to facilitate charitable operations The GOD’S CHILD Project can assist with.

She enjoys working to help people, and is responsible for community, national, and international in-kind donation distribution functions.  If you represent an individual or community in need or would like to donate goods, please feel free to contact Carrie.

Contact Carrie: or 701-255-7956