Phillip and Kandace Connor first stumbled upon Casa Chirilagua through an internet search upon their arrival to an Arlington neighborhood within a few blocks of Chirilagua. They were intrigued by the immigrant community not far from their home and were curious to identify which ministry organizations might already be reaching out to this community. Phillip sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and before I knew it, I (Dawnielle) was on my way over to the Connor householdfor dinner to meet the entire Connor clan.
I was particularly struck by their understanding of the Casa Chirilagua mission/vision, as well as their deep knowledge of ministering in a cross-cultural context. During that same visit, the kindred spirit nature I felt from being with them began to make sense when I found out they both had a background in missions training and had written a book which was based on their experiences living and ministering in immigrant communities and happened to be titled, Who is My Neighbor. By the end of the evening, I knew this interaction was a divine appointment and this couple would play a significant role in mentorship, guidance and support for the Casa Chirilagua staff over the coming years.
Since that dinner two years ago, Phillip and Kandace have hosted and served on the Middle School Program Planning and Development team, have opened their home to two summer interns, have offered much wisdom and guidance regarding organizational growth, discipleship and church planting and and have given generously of their time, talent and treasure. Additionally, through the role of the local missions coordinator at Great Commission Community Church, Phillip has put in significant effort to recruit volunteers and encourage members of his church to get involved at Casa Chirilagua. Phillip and Kandace have recruited people to attend prayer meetings, to become mentors, and to volunteer at events such as the Summer Celebration, Art of Restoration and the annual Turkey Rally.
For their commitment to and support of Casa Chirilagua over the past two years, we name the Connor family (including all 4 children) the December 2011 volunteers of the month.