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History

Since 2009 The Ravines has been meeting the needs of couples who have been struggling in their marriages.  When we began, we saw the need within our own church and community. From early on, God showed us the need to help marriages was even greater. Today couples have come to The Ravines from across the nation and beyond. The Ravines helps Christian couples overcome damaging dynamics in their relationship so their marriage can be healed and restored to the health and function in the way God intends.

We have a working relationship with the Quiet Waters Ministry in Colorado, a ministry that works with struggling married couples who are involved in church leadership and ministry.


Location

Mailing address: The Ravines | 100 East 81st Ave, Dyer, IN 46311
Retreat Center address: The Ravines |  12107 Belshaw Road, Lowell, IN 46356

The Ravines is a beautiful facility in Northwest Indiana. We provide guest suites for each couple, allowing the privacy necessary to focus on strengthening their relationship. The Ravines has been designed to be free of distractions, a place for couples to embark on a new direction for their marriage.  We are located on nearly 10 acres of wooded property in a quiet, rural setting.


Ravines Administrative Staff

The Ravines is governed by a board of directors. 

Julie Hanks, Executive Director

Julie graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a BS in Management and minors in OBHR and MIS. She worked in sales management for many years and is currently serving a second term on the School Board at Crown Point Christian School. Julie’s background in marketing, fundraising, sales, and ministry has prepared her to lead The Ravines team into this next season. She is thankful for the strong foundation of the ministry and she is excited about how God will guide it into the future. Julie and her husband, Jesse, have been married 16 years and have a busy household as they raise their three children.

Sue Crince, Counseling Liaison
Sue believes God has her right where He wants her at The Ravines. She is a graduate of Hope College. Her background in teaching, care, service, and mentoring has prepared her to compassionately work with our couples. She has four children.

Gary Meyer, Operations Manager
Gary retired in September of 2016 as a Director of Strategic Accounts for DecisionOne Corp. When Gary and his wife, Joy, began volunteering as hosts, the position of Operations Manager was a natural next step. Gary and Joy have been married for more than 30 years. They have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Grace Trovato, Administrative Assistant
During the last several years Grace’s focus has been on her family, along with part-time office positions and volunteering in her community.  Prior to that, Grace worked as an account representative for a national healthcare accreditation organization. She and her husband Tom have 2 teenage sons.

Patti Jabaay, Founding Director
Patti led the ministry of The Ravines since it began in January 2009 until March 2020. She took it from concept and dream to the reality of providing hope and healing to thousands of couples.


Ravines Counseling Staff

The Ravines has six contracted counselors who do Christ-centered Couples Counseling Intensives. We vet our counselors carefully. They each are Christ-followers with 20-30 years of experience and have reputations for integrity in their professional and personal lives.

Hank Zwirkoski, NCC, LCPC, LMHC

Hank is an experienced Board Certified Clinician licensed in both Indiana (LMHC) and Illinois (LCPC). Prior to joining the Ravines Staff in 2009, Hank held counseling and training positions with the West Suburban YMCA Community Extension Program, the Chicago Christian Counseling Center, and the CR Youth Service Bureau.

In addition to his degrees in Psychology, Counseling, and Communications and Training, Hank has completed an Advanced Biblical Studies graduate program at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and he is an ordained minister.
Hank has served the local church as a Teaching Elder, Men’s Ministry Coordinator and Pastor. Hank and his wife, Connie have been personally involved in Marriage Encounter, Retrouvaille, and ENRICH marriage ministries and have raised four children.

“I have been to many counselors and Hank is beyond knowledgeable.”

“I am amazed at the progress we made in these days. Hank is a fabulous counselor.”

“Hank’s help was invaluable. We have already seen the beginning of transformation. We are eternally grateful for this place and its impact.”

 

Thomas K. Jacobs, MA, LCPC

Tom is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, who has been doing individual, marital, family, and premarital therapy from a Christian perspective for 39 years. He works with couples to identify problematic attachment patterns and facilitate change.

Couples find him easy to talk to and appreciate his active counseling style. Tom has also worked extensively with men struggling with sexual integrity issues. In addition to his work at The Ravines, Tom is a therapist with a large counseling and psychotherapy practice in Illinois. Tom is married with two children and two grandchildren.

“Tom’s guided counseling gave us a hope we had almost completely abandoned.”

“Tom was incredibly insightful, thoughtful, caring and helpful. Thank you, Tom, for helping us learn about our individual gifts that we can better share with each other. We felt God’s love.”

Rebecca S. Witzke, BS, MSW, LCSW

Rebecca, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has been a professional counselor for more than 25 years.

Rebecca believes the Bible’s truths have practical application to every part of life. She integrates biblical principles with marriage counseling to offer couples an opportunity to grow in their relationship with Christ and to experience God’s plan for a successful marriage. Rebecca believes marriage counseling is most effective when offered in intensive doses. Committed to this transformative process, she helps couples effectively move through problems that felt seemingly insurmountable.

Rebecca has a private practice serving individuals, couples and families.

“Our therapy with Rebecca was world-class – better than any of the many therapists we’ve tried before. She ‘dug deep’ – and we needed that.”

“Rebecca explained the Bible in ways I had not previously understood. Her counseling promoted our much-needed healing. We are leaving with a brand new marriage and hope in Christ.”

Kevin Huyser, MA, LCPC, CAMF

Kevin is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Anger Management Facilitator.  He is a senior member of Associates in Professional Counseling and Coaching located in suburban Chicago.

Kevin pursued Post Graduate studies in Child and Adolescent Therapy and served as Allied Professional Staff at Linden Oaks/Edwards Hospital in Naperville, Illinois.

Kevin has worked with couples, individuals, professionals and executives with difficulties in Emotional Regulation and Escalation.  Trained as a Prepare and Enrich Facilitator, he has worked with many couples to identify strength and growth areas, conflict resolution, exercising emotional intelligence, and enhancing communication.

He is committed to the truth of Scripture as it applies to his life and to marriage, and believes God, as the author of relationship, is the source of all healing, nurturing, and grace.

Kevin and his wife, Lynne, have raised two children. They have two grandchildren.

Kevin was direct and patient. He helped with all our areas of concern and gave us options for solutions. We were stuck spiritually and needed some nudging. ‘Truth, spoken in love.'”

“Kevin was very knowledgeable in his approach and did a great job of incorporating Scripture and biblical teachings in his counseling.”

Matthew J. Burch, M.A., LMFT

Matthew resides in Pella, Iowa with his family. His private practice offers individual, conjoint, and family therapy. Matthew also provides organizational development trainings/services.

Matthew received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with an emphasis in Biblical Studies and a minor in Psychology at Azusa Pacific University.. While at Fuller Theological Seminary, he received a Master of Arts in Theology and a Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy. He is a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC) through the World Association of Business Coaches (WABC), and a John Maxwell Certified Coach.

Matthew is most passionate about building up the body of Christ by growing and developing believers and leaders.

“Matthew was phenomenal. He quickly gained our trust. He was firm but gentle, compassionate, and intelligent.”

 John Deyo, M.A., LMFT, LPCC

John is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. He earned his Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology: Marriage & Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA. He holds an undergraduate degree in Christian Ministries from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN, and has worked in both clinical settings and private practice.

“I love this profession and believe that being a therapist is not only a vocation but a calling. I grew up in a dysfunctional, though Christian, home and subsequently embarked upon my own journey of recovery and healing. I have been the husband of one for 46 years and we have raised three children. These life experiences, combined with my education and training enable me to bring a depth of personal understanding to my work with couples. I am committed to providing a non-judgmental, hope-filled space for you to explore and better understand your experiences, gain insight into your relationship dynamics, and discover healing for the broken connection with your partner.”

JOHN’S FOCUS AREAS include Couple relationships using both Attachment Theory and Emotionally Focused Therapy, affair recovery, trauma, sexual addictions, and ministry couples and adult children of ministry parents.