A new family blesses and is blessed by the Chicago Kroc Center

by Major Darlene Harvey

RichardsonsWhen Saeed Richardson attended The Salvation Army Chicago Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Center's grand opening "Real Men Cook" event, he'd been praying God would lead his family to a church home. Two years prior, they'd relocated to Chicago and, although they'd visited many good churches, none of them seemed to fill the void in their heart for their entire family to feel a part of ministry. 

When Saeed read about the mission of The Salvation Army and the history of the Kroc Centers, it confirmed in his heart this was the place for them. Even before he'd learned about the Kroc Centers, he dreamed about building a community center open seven days a week with a church. When Saeed's wife, Anne, and their children, Jeslyn, nine, and, Jonathan, four, came to visit the church, everyone realized they'd found their "own place."  Anne shared it's important to them not only to attend services on Sunday but to live out their faith each day.  

Saeed and Anne have been blessed by the Lord's provision. They met while students at Virginia Tech.  After marriage God led them to pioneer a new church in North Carolina focused on young people ages 18 to 35, who were not a part of a church family and had been hurt in the church. They started holding services in their home, and saw God perform miracles as the attenders were healed from past hurts. When they outgrew their living room, God opened the door for them to meet in a Jewish Ministry Student Center.

During this ministry they never took a salary, but saw how God provided for them. They operated their own computer-software business, and The University of Chicago, one of their clients, offered Saeed a job in Chicago.  Although it was a challenge to leave their church of three years, they felt this was an open door from God. Saeed became the Associate Director of the University of Chicago Medical Stimulation Center, and both Anne and Saeed became resident heads at a house of 120 students.

Anne and Saeed have been enrolled as soldiers, and Jeslyn was enrolled as a junior soldier in December.  Anne says that Jeslyn takes pride in being a soldier in the Army and likes to wear her uniform.  She feels like she is representing God to the world. She has grown leaps and bounds spiritually.  Anne and Saeed are grateful four-year-old Jonathon is cared for and learns lessons in the Kid Zone. They've seen him grow in his prayer life and talk about his Bible lessons at home.  

Anne and Saeed currently lead the Chicago Kroc Corps Community Center's couple's ministry where God is using them to help couples grow stronger in their relationships. The Chicago Kroc Center is grateful for their expertise, which comes at a good time since one of the focuses this year is to reach young adults. Anne is part of the praise team, uses her gifts in praise dancing and has a passion for prayer ministry and working with women. Saeed has the gift of leadership, enjoys connecting to people and is leading a Kroc Bible study.

We are thankful God has answered the Richardson family's prayers and the prayers of the Kroc Center leaders. The Richardsons were looking for a church home where they could use their spiritual gifts, and the Kroc Center needed more leaders, especially for young adult ministries.  God is so good in working and using all events and circumstances, even the grand opening, "Real Men Cook" event to bring people into His work and ministry. 


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