Our Leadership Team

Isai Torres

Isai Torres

Board President/Founder

Isai has spent the last 10 years traveling to various countries around the world ministering and working with churches. In the midst of traveling, he visited Burundi in 2005 and felt a strong calling from God to return years later together with His wife and follow the vision the Lord has spoken in their hearts. In 2008, Isai and his wife, Samantha together with Eusebio and Marie Gonzalez founded The Cries of a Child in Orlando, FL their hometown and months later in February to 2009 they moved to Burundi and made it their home. He is the Father of 2 beautiful children, Malaki and Isabella who are full of energy and 1 beautiful wife.

Isai also has 23 years of experience in the full scope of Construction and currently leads a wonderful leadership team at the construction site as they build up The Village of Jeremiah 29:11, from the ground up. He is passionate about Lord and encouraging and challenging the body of Christ to go deeper and to experience the power and presence of the living God.

Isai*thecriesofachild.org
Carl Thoenen

Carl Thoenen

Board Vice President

Carl is a resident of St. Charles, MO, where he lives with his wife, Kelly, and four children. Carl received his B.A. in Finance from Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University), and has a passion for helping people with their money. He has been in business as a Financial Advisor for over 20 years. Carl is actively involved in helping his local church with financial affairs, and premarital counseling. He is an Eagle Scout, and enjoys volunteering with the local Boy Scout Troop. He has a passion for missions in Burundi and will talk with anyone who will listen about helping those less fortunate. He strongly believes that together we can make a big difference.

CarlT*thecriesofachild.org
Monica Riederer

Monica Riederer

Executive Director

While she has been involved with the organization in various ways nearly since its inception, Monica joined the TCOAC in 2009 as a board member and Fundraising Director. In 2012, she was appointed Board Secretary. She has been a proud participant in the growth of the organization from a singular vision of helping orphaned and abandoned children in Burundi to the amazing reality of a 4.5-acre village with two orphan homes, 16 beautiful children, a sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry program, and a new health care clinic.

In December of 2013, Monica was unamimously appointed Executive Director for The Cries of a child. In that role, Monica has helped shape a new leadership and board structure for the organization. Additionally, Monica oversees all U.S. operations, coordinates international efforts with the Burundi team, and still holds the reins as chief fundraiser.

Prior to joining TCOAC, Monica served on a number of other non-profit boards, including the board of a local Habitat for Humanity chapter, Buildable Hours-Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association. Monica is a “recovering litigator,” now working as an in-house attorney with Northwestern Mutual, a large Milwaukee-based life insurance and financial security company. When not raising money for “the babies in Burundi,” as they call it, Monica is a devoted mom to her own two children, Tyler and Riley.

Monica*thecriesofachild.org
Samantha Torres

Samantha Torres

Board Secretary/Founder

Samantha spent the first half of her life in small town Winneconne, WI and later moved to Orlando, FL. She started doing mission work in 2004 together with Isai in Burundi, Kenya and Cuba and began to absolutely love being with people from different cultures and tongues as well as loving on broken children who in return captured her heart. She spent 4 years working with a local agency for foster care and adoption with the State of FL working in a therapeutic residential home in which laid some foundational experience and knowledge for the work and ministry she currently is involved in, with The Cries of a Child’s work in Burundi. She loves the Lord and has a deep appreciation for the redemption and restorative power she has witnessed in her life.

She loves to visit people in the mountain, get down and dirty with the kids loving and embracing them… hoping through them, with them and for them. She loves being a wife and Mom and raising a family with Isai in Burundi… where the children run free, and climb trees!

Samantha*thecriesofachild.org
Kelly Thoenen

Kelly Thoenen

Board Member/Director of Finance

Kelly is a lifelong Missouri resident, and wife to Carl. She has four wonderful children, including one in college. A graduate from Truman University, (formerly Northeast Missouri State), she holds a B.A. in Accounting. Kelly has been working with non-profits throughout her career, including 5 years in public accounting doing audits, and 10 years as the Controller for a Fire Protection District. She is currently working as the Administrative Assistant to her husband, Carl and providing consulting services to a small number of clients, in addition to her volunteer work with The Cries of a Child.

Kelly*thecriesofachild.org
Tony DiFranco

Tony DiFranco

Board Member/Communications Director

“Tony D”, as he is known to his friends, is a 20-year business management professional with 10 years marketing and 8 years web development and social media management experience. Combining his passion to serve, talent to lead, and experience to grow, Tony focuses on helping nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions by providing relationship based marketing and organizational support.

Tony first heard about The Cries of a Child in 2009 and joined the team in 2012, after some of his close friends traveled to Burundi that summer and introduced him to Isai Torres. In 2013, Tony’s role expanded to oversee all communications efforts including Marketing, Web Development, IT, and Public Relations.

Tony lives with his wife, Michelle, and their six children in the suburbs outside of St. Louis. He is an avid and lifelong baseball Cardinals fan who values faith, family and friends above all else.

TonyD*thecriesofachild.org
Dr Tom Byrd

Dr Tom Byrd

Board Member/Medical Advisor

Tom is a practicing physician in Brownwood, Texas where he lives with his amazing wife of 33 years, Sue Byrd. They have 3 adult children. Tom did his undergraduate studies at The University of Texas, attended  medical school at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and did his residency training at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Tx. He is board certified in Internal Medicine/Hospital Medicine and has a masters certificate in global health.
He is passionate about improving health care in Burundi and has seen God’s work there. Tom has previously worked in clinics in Burundi and has traveled the country extensively.  His hobbies include reading, jogging and long distance bicycling.

Audrey Biziyaremye

Audrey Biziyaremye

Burundi Country Director

Audrey is a Burundian National and came on board as Country Director with The Cries of a Child in 2010, at the beginning of its inception in Burundi. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and is passionate about seeing transformation in communities through the word of God. Audrey has served in various roles in her local church over the past 10 years and plays crucial role in the leadership of The Cries of a Child believing that God will restore hope through many of the initiatives TCOAC has set out to do. She loves to sing, laugh and be together with people.

Audrey*thecriesofachild.org
Josiane Karorero

Josiane Karorero

Human Resources Manager

Josiane is a Burundian National and rejoined the team at The Cries of a Child in April 2017, having worked with TCOAC for a year during 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Law in Burundi and has various experience working with the United Nations and other NGOs.

Josiane is married to Parfait and lives in Bujumbura when she is not at work in Bukeye. She is quietly confident and very passionate for God. Josiane has also served in the Children’s Ministry at her church and is actively involved in seeing the Kingdom God furthered in Burundi.

Viator Nsabimana

Dr Viator Nsabimana

Medical Director

Dr Viator is a Burundian National and qualified as a doctor from the University of Burundi in 2013. He worked in Public Health Services in Burundi and was Vice Director in charge of medical care at a district hospital. He came on board as the Medical Director for Cornerstone Clinic at The Cries of a Child in March 2016. He leads a staff of 22 at the clinic and also consults patients and performs echographies for pregnant women.

As well as his medical and management skills, Viator is a committed Christian and was actively involved in leading the Christian Medical Student Fellowship in Burundi. He loves to disciple people and share the word of God including at the clinic morning devotions and community outreach programs.

Samuel Anderson

Samuel Anderson

Missionary

Samuel is a missionary with Liebenzell Mission Germany. He is married to Sabine and they have three beautiful daughters, Noémie, Lia and Eline. After studying at Liebenzell Mission Bibleschool in Germany, Samuel and his family went to Burundi in September 2008. Serving with the Anglican Church in Muramvya they got to know Isai and Samantha in 2009.

Knowing TCOAC in Burundi from the beginning, they followed the Lord’s call to Bukeye in September 2016. Samuel is passionate about sharing the word of God with and among the people of Burundi. Within the TCOAC family he is helping to develop biblical training materials and together they love serving the TCOAC kids and staff.

Sabine Anderson

Sabine Anderson

Missionary

Sabine, married to Samuel is a Liebenzell missionary from Germany. She trained as a dental assistant and a nurse. Before coming to Burundi she had the privilege of spending one year at Bible school. Sabine loves the stunning countryside of Burundi and is amazed by the hospitality of Burundians.

Currently she is homeschooling her girls in German. During free time she is involved in programs with the kids of the children’s home as well as in the outreach program. She loves the Lord and is passionate to see God work in many ways in the hearts of individuals to bring healing and restoration.