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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 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 over 30 years, reside in South Holland, IL, and have two sons, a daughter in law, and three grandchildren.

Grace Trovato, Administrative Assistant

Grace is the newest member of the Ravines staff joining us 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, she worked as an account representative for a national healthcare accreditation organization for 7 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 felt was 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.  He has been a sought-after consultant/presenter to schools and churches in addressing the needs of children, adolescents and their families.  Kevin has worked with Professionals, Executives, Individuals and Couples 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 that God, as the author of relationship, is the source of all healing, nurturing and grace.  Kevin has been married to his wife, Lynne for 34 years.  They have raised 2 children and 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, he is a therapist with a large counseling and psychotherapy practice in Illinois. Tom is married with 2 children and 2 grandchildren.

Matt Molenaar, LCSW, CSAT
Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. He is also trained in Emotional Focused Therapy.  EFT was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and is an empirically validated approach to couple therapy.  The basic message of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy is the following:  much of the distress couples experience is the result of disruption in the attachment bond with our spouse.  Additionally, that distress gets expressed in many ways, such as angry pursuit, silent withdrawal and tedious, stubborn patterns that can wear down even the most committed couples.  As couples are able to slow down and get under these reactive patterns and talk about the underlying hurt and alienation, they give their spouse a way back in, leading to new patterns and engagement and strong, stable bonds.  In addition to his work at the Ravines, Matt runs a private practice based in Lansing, Illinois where he specializes in conducting couples’ therapy utilizing the EFT model and in helping people heal from compulsive sexual behaviors and the wounds that drive those behaviors.

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 licensed professional counselor for more than 25 years.  Experienced and engaging, she integrates biblical principles throughout her work. Rebecca believes the intensive model used at The Ravines is the most effective model for marriage counseling to help couples move through problems that felt insurmountable.  She also offers professional counseling services to individuals, couples, and families through her private practice located in Texas.

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 MBI Chicago and is an ordained minister. He 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.