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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. God showed us from early on that the need to help marriages was even greater. Today couples have attended The Ravines from across the nation and beyond. The Ravines has helped Christian couples overcome many damaging dynamics in their relationship so their marriage can be healed and restored to the health and function God intends. We also 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 provides 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 Staff

The Ravines is governed by a board of directors from our supporting churches in the area. 

Patti Jabaay, Executive Director of The Ravines                                         Patti is the Executive Director of The Ravines since it began in January, 2009. She has also been on the staff of Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana for 17 years and serves on the Executive Board of U Turn Church Ministries, Inc. She and her husband, Jim, have been married for 38 years and live in St. John, Indiana. They have two married sons, a married daughter, and six grandchildren.

Marilyn Miller, Assistant Director of The Ravines                                   Marilyn is the Assistant Director of The Ravines. She joined the staff in January 2016 after serving other ministries throughout her professional career. Marilyn and her husband Ves have been married for more than 40 years and they live in Highland where they raised their four children. They have one granddaughter.

Gary Meyer, Manager, Ravines Operations                                               

Gary is the Operations Manager of the The Ravines, starting in August of 2017.  Gary retired in September of 2016 as a Director of Strategic Accounts for DecisionOne Corp.  Having an interest in food preparation and hosting, Gary and his wife, Joy, began volunteering as hosts, and serving in the position of Operations Manager seemed like a natural fit.  Gary and Joy have been married for more than 30 years, reside in South Holland, IL, and have two sons, a daughter in law, and three grandchildren.

Grace Trovato, Administrative Assistant

Grace joined The Ravines staff in April of 2018.  She lives in Crete, Illinois with her husband Tom and their two teenage sons. During the last several years her focus has been on her family, along with working various part-time office positions and volunteering in her community.  Prior to that, Grace worked as an account representative for a national healthcare accreditation organization for seven years.


Ravines Counselor Staff

The Ravines currently has six Counselors on contract to do Christ-centered Couples Counseling Intensives. In the process of selecting these counselors, we have spent countless hours of interviewing to strive to find what we feel is the best fit for the Ravines ministry.

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, IL.

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.

Kevin 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 is married to his wife, Lynne, and they have raised two children. They have two grandchildren.

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.

Matt Molenaar, LCSW, CSAT

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He is trained in Emotional Focused Couple Therapy and he is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist.

You want to feel secure in your relationship, and it is distressing when your attachment to your partner breaks down. People typically handle that distress by either angrily pursuing their partner or by withdrawing into a stony silence. These impasses are deeply discouraging. Our work together will focus on identifying your negative couple cycle, slowing it down, and paying attention to your vulnerable emotional experience and then sharing that with your partner. Learning to do this for each other gives your partner a way back in, and helps to create a more secure bond.

We need to know our loved ones have our backs. When we know this, we can flourish because we feel secure in our connection.

Matt runs a private practice in Lansing, Illinois, where he specializes in couple therapy and in helping people who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior.

Bob Weaver, LCSW, CSAT, MDiv
Bob is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist.  Bob has treated clients with a broad array of challenges for more than 20 years.  He is experienced in marriage and relationship therapy, as well as issues of sexuality including sexual addiction.

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.

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 & 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.