We have been in the USA for the past couple of months. In just a couple days we will be flying back to Italy again. A lot has happened in the time between so we thought we’d do a little overview of our time here. Traveling to and from isn’t easy because of all the planning and transition it requires especially with a little one fighting jet lag and such. But we did our best to make the most of every moment here! Here’s what we were up to…
While Jon was at TeenStreet helping to run the ArtZone we spoke of in our last post, Erika and Arianna traveled on ahead to the States. This gave Erika a little help while he was gone and allowed extra time for both of them to adjust before Erika was involved in facilitating a training. The training conference was in Florida and followed the Hands that Heal: International Curriculum to Train Caregivers of Trafficking Survivors. Erika was one of four trainers and the sessions she taught included the following titles:
- Introduction to Demand for Human Trafficking and Sex Trafficking
- A Biblical View of Sexuality
- The Essential Role of the Church in Providing Care for Trafficking Survivors
- Intro to After Care
- Cultural Issues in Trafficking and Trauma
- Understanding Culture and Trauma
- Intro to Labor Trafficking Transparent Supply Chains
- Understanding the Social Needs of Survivors
- Caring for the Caregiver
It was a great chance for Erika to better learn to teach the curriculum while being under the mentorship of more experienced trainers. It was also the final step to her completion or requirements to be certified to be a lead facilitator for future trainings.
Then after almost 5 weeks apart, Jon joined Erika and Arianna in the States. The main event for our trip was his brother’s wedding. We timed our trip around this momentous occasion and were so happy to be there in person to join the celebration!
You can see beautiful photos of the happy couple and pictures from their wedding day here. Not only was it fun to be part of their special day, but it was the first time in 4 years that all of the Tellos were together in the same place! This gave us the chance to finally meet our niece and nephew and for the cousins to play together for the first time. Arianna also had some time with her abuelitos for the first time in 10 months. It was so nice to be with everyone rather than sending well wishes from across the ocean this time!
After the wedding we tried to make the most of our trip by staying on a bit longer to build our financial partner team. We were able to travel to Chicago to visit a new supporting church and other friends and supporters along the way. We were also able to visit the TEAM headquarters and meet with the staff there. And we couldn’t go to Chicago without having a little family fun. It is one of our favorite places on earth!
When we weren’t busy with everything else we’ve mentioned, we were at Erika’s parents’ home working remotely. Thankfully this meant we also got to spend some time with Erika’s family.
It was so nice to be nearby for various family events. Erika’s grandpa had major heart surgery so it was such a blessing to be able to be there for the procedures and recovery. We were also able to around for fun things like rooting for Erika’s brother from the sidelines of the soccer field in his senior year of high school.
And Arianna has become very fond of welcoming her Grandpa and Grandma every day when they return from work. She loves all the extra love and attention and will surely miss them when we go back this week!
Boo for goodbyes! Yay for happy memories!! Three days from now we will be on our first of three planes on our journey back to Italia. Ready or not, here we come again jet lag!
Deb Sykora said:
So nice to see the family photos. Prayers for Erika’s grandpa after heart surgery. Safe journey home and coping with jet lag!
Jon and Erika Tello said:
Hi Deb. It was fun getting the pictures of us all together – and being together for that matter! Thanks so much for your prayers. He seems to be improving steadily though much slower than he would like! We made it safe to Italy and it’s been the easiest time yet coping with jet lag. Thanks!
Guys!! You should call yourselves the Hello Tellos!!!!
Jon and Erika Tello said:
Daniel, Good to hear from you! Jon actually uses that as his artist name: http://www.hellotello.net Has a good ring to it, doesn’t it?