Karil Connor, the leader of the Danbury branch of YoungLives, was recently tagged to lead the Greater New York Division of that ministry, Young Life’s outreach to pregnant and parenting teenagers. (Young Life is a Jericho Ministry Partner.) She’ll be responsible for sustaining and developing ministries for YoungLives’ teens in Connecticut, Westchester County (NY), New Jersey, New York City and Long Island.
We asked Karil a few questions about her exciting new position.
What are you most excited and hopeful about as you move into the new role?
The opportunity to see more young families reached. These are girls struggling to finish high school without adequate childcare; girls are often abandoned by family and friends; many children are growing up in poverty; and many families are experiencing brokenness on systemic levels. They are also resilient. They love their children tremendously. They are compassionate and very gifted. They are all precious to God. YoungLives is a tool that the body of Christ has to present the reality of God’s love and life to each one.
What will be the greatest challenge you face?
Finding a healthy pace. The opportunities to impact thousands of teen moms with the great staff and volunteer team is here. Still, we need to move in a manner that is sustainable and Spirit-driven. Sometimes that means we need to go slower than we wanted or it can mean moving faster than we expected. Danbury YoungLives is one example of a community that moved faster than we anticipated.
How are you praying that the Lord stretches and grows you in this new position?
I pray the Lord grows me as a leader who is also caring for her soul and family, even as I take on a role of leading leaders of leaders. I pray that I will be bold in inviting others to participate in this vision. We are chasing after 35,000 teen moms who often fall through the cracks in society. We need prayer warriors, donors, mentors, childcare workers, cooks, and businesses to join this mission of love. I ask God to grow me in speaking up even more for this important mission.
What is your prayer request for Young Life, overall (local and national)?
Young Life started 75 years ago in a small town in Texas with a commitment to introduce teenagers who were not in church to Jesus. That vision has grown to include kids with disabilities, teen moms, middle school kids, kids in cities, kids in small town and kids from every ethnic background. It is beautiful picture. As our country and world increasingly becomes divided on various issues, may we as believers (Young Life, and the church overall) remain true to this vision that our staff, leaders and kids would reflect the beauty of Revelations 7:9 – together.
Before accepting this new role, Karil served as YoungLives Coordinator for the Danbury region, with regional support for the Metro North Region (CT and Westchester County). Until a replacement is named (interviews are currently underway), Karil is still leading our local chapter.
She and her husband Ernest have been married for just over two years, and live in Bethel. They both serve in leadership positions at New Hope Baptist Church in Danbury.