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Erika Tello

My Story

I was born in Texas, USA and spent most of my growing up years in Ohio. I grew up in a Christian family with a rich heritage in cross-cultural missions. I trusted Christ at a young age. I attended Moody Bible Institute where I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Pre-Counseling.

I married my husband, Jon, in 2005 and we pursued full time missions but sensed God telling us to wait. We settled in Chicago for the first 6 years of our marriage. I worked as the Executive Administrative Assistant for a financial planner for over 4 years. I then obtained a Master’s in Social Work with an emphasis in ‘Children and Families’ and social justice issues. My clinical experience includes provision of support and advocacy for refugee families as well as individual and group therapy for children with complex trauma. I hold a current USA Social Work license for the state of Illinois.

We moved to Italy in 2012 to serve as full time missionaries with Operation Mobilization. I spearheaded the launch of an anti-trafficking ministry in Italy at the end of 2012. The ministry is now known as Alleanza Tesori Raggianti (www.tesoriraggianti.com). I have been the Director for ATR since it’s inception. Our time with OM closed at the end of 2014. We joined TEAM in 2015 and hope to be on the field working full time with the Bologna Ministry Initiative by summer 2016.

Our beautiful daughter was born in 2013 and we have another daughter due in March 2016.


Family:

Jon (husband), Arianna (daughter, 2013)

Ministry Focus:

I am the Founder and Director of Alleanza Tesori Raggianti?(www.tesoriraggianti.com), a national alliance of evangelical ministries combating commercial sexual exploitation in Italy. I am honored to oversee the ministry of ATR and manage many of its ongoing projects. I am also able to work locally in Bologna to reach out to prostituted persons as part of Vite Trasformate, an outreach ministry of Nuova Vita Church. Finally, I am spearheading development of a safe house and micro-enterprise restorative care program in Bologna.

The People:

There are approximately 50,000 commercially sexually exploited persons in Italy (TAMPEP, 2010).?Most are women?who have been forced, coerced or tricked into a life of sexual exploitation and are unable to walk away.?The majority of prostituted persons are from Nigeria, Romania and Morocco and come to Italy seeking a better life through legitimate work but instead find themselves trapped in the world of sex slavery.?I am able to reach out to some of these victims on the streets of Bologna as part of Vite Trasformate, an outreach ministry of Nuova Vita Church.

The ministry I direct, Alleanza Tesori Raggianti, has members located throughout Italy who are combatting commercial sexual exploitation in a variety of ways from awareness campaigning to victim outreach, to survivor care and restoration.?In this way I also minister to the network of Christian workers across Italy as ATR offers them support and encouragement to equip them to more knowingly, safely, and effectively combat trafficking.

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