Psalm 91:11-13 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; You will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Justin KruckmanBorn March 29, 1976Died May 24, 2014Age 38 YearsJustin arrived at Changing Gaits March 2012 broken, battered, struggling with his addiction alcoholism. slowly very slowly Justin started to trust God. He started picking up his bible. He loved reading out of his Jesus Calling book. His quiet calm Demeanor and his background in the military brought out leadership qualities. In time he became our resident manager. God restored his relationship with his son Grady and his ex wife Shannon. Before long Justin had 16 months clean. He left and stopped working his program and fell. He came back again for a short period of time and struggled with depression only to leave and fall even harder for several months but because of his relationship with Jesus Christ he checked himself into treatment in the fall of 2013. He arrived back at the ranch Feb 1st 2014. He was making strides and working his program in hopes of rekindling his relationship with his son Grady that he loved so dearly. His depression finally got the best of him and he took his life, way too soon. His favorite horse to ride was Orion that he loved spending time with. He loved his mom and sister and his son.To Justin everything was a knueter valve. He loved to make us all laugh.Justin had an incredible sense of humor. He would keep a straight face when telling a joke and pull everyone in.I loved Justin like a son. words can not express just how much we loved him and will miss him. Please tell all the gang from CGI
In Loving Memory
ANTHONY BENSONBorn June 11, 1992Died April 1, 2014Age 21 Years, 9 Months and 21 DaysAnthony arrived at the ranch on 3-20-14. Though we were blessed with Anthony presence for just a short moment, His smile and attitude was infectious. He loved the Lord with all of his heart. He was in the bible all the time and was eager to be set free from his addiction by Jesus Christ. My daughter in law Lanie Schaber met him on march 30th 2014. She came out for a horseback ride with the rest of my family. Anthony assisted Lanie to get on a horse named Akita. Lanie mentioned to me "what an incredible blue aura" she noticed around Anthony as she sat up on the horse. Anthony knew that John Wayne was my hero and days before his passing he picked up a beautiful knife with John Wayne pictures all over it. The very next day Anthony did volunteer work for Nancy the Office coordinator and to his surprise Nancy took him to a shop and picked up an antique knife and it was the happiest Nancy had ever seen in him.The day of his funeral a bald eagle flew over. Twice since then at the ranch Anthony has flown over and once his grandparents were here to wittiness him.Anthony we love you and miss you and will never forget you. Keep flying by every once in a while and say hi.them all smile and laugh up in heaven like you did for us down here.
Annie Rose Lemieux-Betlach, 27, of Stacy died on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in Newport, Minnesota.She was born on March 22, 1986 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Edward and Debrah (Lillard) Lemieux. She lived in Minneapolis until the age of five when the family moved to Harris. Annie attended school in Cambridge and graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School in 2004. After high school she stayed at home to care for her mother who had health issues. After Annie’s mom passed away in November 2007, she moved to the metro area. She would go on the start a business with Charlie Keen called Storm Guard Restorations, operating in the Oakdale area.Annie was involved with Teen Focus. Annie loved horses and had her own horse while in high school and she volunteered at Changing Gaits, a horse therapy program near Brook Park. While living in rural Stacy, Annie loved all kinds of animals, from her dogs and cats, to collecting bugs, her pet tarantula, and iguana. She loved the outdoors, enjoyed knitting hats and mittens, and was an excellent care giver. More recently she was very spiritual and was passionate about getting her relationship back with God. She also was becoming more interested in her Native American heritage and becoming more in touch with the Oneida Tribe. She was preceded in death by her father in 2003, her mother in 2007, and uncle Mark Lillard. Annie is survived by her four children Ashlyn Long, Eli Okeson, Jordan Keely and Justice Thorson, sisters Nicole Betlach of Rogers, Maddie Betlach of Stacy, Hope Lemieux of Wittenberg, WI, brothers Matt Betlach of Duluth, Ed Lemieux of Green Bay, WI, Mark Lemieux of Moorh
Greg HansonGreg passed away in July 2009. Some of you may know Greg had been a close personal friend of mine in recovery for a little over a decade. He shared in the vision and was a big part in laying down the foundation of what C.G.I. is today. Greg built the tack room in the barn, assisted in coming up with the idea of having clients sign their names, and as only Greg could say, “They can leave their junk here at the cross with the Lord.” Greg reached out to so many people during his short stay here on earth and we believe he is still promoting C.G.I. in conversations with Jesus now. How comforting it is to know we have a board member sitting at the throne with our Lord. Greg never hesitated when I went to him about my idea of starting up a recovery center using horses. His first words were, “Great Guy, what do WE have to do.” He understood the importance of: “We can only keep what we have by giving it away.” He gave so much of his time and money to assist C.G.I. in reaching those that were like him, back in his using days. He personally witnessed the change in his own daughter as she went through a session with a horse named Akita. He saw enough of a change in her to drive all the way out to Montana to get certified so that he could walk along side the broken and abused horses to heal their afflictions. His insight was like no other. His wisdom and understanding always had clients focusing on making the changes necessary to change their lives around. Back on March 14 of this year, well after he had been diagnosed with cancer (last October), I received a text message from Greg at 3:44 pm. I had just left his place. He had called myself and our good friend Tim Mehner to come and see him, he figured he had maybe two weeks left. My faith told him to quit thinking that way and God was not ready for him yet. Here is that text in Greg’s own words; “Guy, my friend has displayed for me a giving heart. When he conceived of C.G.I., Guy took it as a way to help God revitalize his children, to validate them in their own eyes. Guy resides at C.G.I. But, lives in faith.” Thank you Greg, for enriching my life and on behalf of all that knew you, we love you and miss you. Keep talking Jesus’ ear off and keep sending those blessings.
Tyler John HoleTyler lived at the ranch from Jan. 2012 to April 2012. Tyler enjoyed morning devotions and especially enjoyed leading Gods special needs kids around on Gods horses. Tyler's Dad John shared with me Tyler's happiest moments were when he was at the ranch. He also wanted me to share with all of you to help get the word out that HEROIN IS KILLING OUR KIDS, please reach out to anyone you know that is struggling with this drug. share this with them. JESUS CAN AND WILL HEAL THEM if they will COMMIT ALL THEIR WAYS TO HIM, lets not let Tyler's death go in vain.Tyler John Hole, age 23 of Hudson, passed away unexpectedly February 19, 2013 in River Falls. Tyler was born March 3, 1989 in River Falls, WI; the son of John and Sherri (Kreutzian) Hole. Tyler graduated from Hudson High School's class of 2007. While in high school, Tyler played football and participated in many school and church activities, was voted prom prince and was proudly involved in the Youth Synod Board at Bethel Lutheran Church. Most recently, Tyler was working on his general studies at Riverland Community College. He had many plans for his future and hoped to someday find a special girl and have a family. Tyler had a big, beautiful smile and wonderful sense of humor that lit up any room. He had a kind and caring heart, great intuition and understanding of the feelings of others, and was always looking out for his friends. Tyler was a fun loving and social guy, who thrived on connecting with others. He was low key and comfortable just hanging out with people he cared about. He was in his element when in the company of his friends and brothers. He loved playing Magic, watching movies, spending time at the beach, hiking the waterfall at Willow River, seeing his nephews, disk golfing and snow boarding. He took pride in being a good friend and making people happy and comfortable. Ty's battle with addiction began in his late teens. He received the best treatment and care possible and cherished the relationships he formed while in recovery. His ability to love others and take part in our family as a son, brother and uncle never faltered during his struggle. He was surrounded by love and support at every step. Tyler’s smile and caring heart blessed the lives of all those around him. His presence in those lives will be dearly missed.Tyler will remain in the hearts of his parents, John (Sherri) Hole of Hudson; brothers, Brian (Rachel) of Robbinsdale, MN and Robert (Holly) of Owantonna, MN; nephews, David, Rylan and Terran; grandfather, Robert Kreutzian of Luck, WI; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, LaDonis Kreutzian; paternal grandparents, Everett & Geri Hole; uncles, Kenneth and Gary Hole and Richard Spaulding.
Penny Magnuson Penny Sue Magnuson went to be with the lord on Saturday, Feb 5,2011 as the result of a car accident. Penny was 42 years old and grew up on a farm out by Pease and then out by Bock. She enjoyed working with her goats and riding horses. As a child she was active in 4-H, and in her church she participated in youth groups and enjoyed camping with her family. Penny is survived by 6 beautiful children and her husband Rick and parents Rosemary& Ivan Black along with many other loving relatives. Penny graduated from Pine Technical College, worked as a waitress, loved being a soccer coach for her children's soccer teams and also volunteered right here at Changing Gaits. A little over 2 years ago I received a call from Penny seeking some spiritual help along with her having an interest in boarding her horse Toby here .Well as time went by Penny would come out more and more seeking the peacefulness of God out in the barn .One day she offered her services in the office to assist us in any way. She jumped right in on the computer helping to get files in order and doing what was ever asked of her. Penny enjoyed being out in the barn as well caring for and grooming the horses. When we had events she was there to lend a helping hand. Penny and her girls' enjoyed their horse Toby, and when I received the call on the following Friday from a friend about her passing I was on my way to talk to a 17yr old boy about his addiction. Honestly I didn't feel like going, yet I thought what would Penny want me to do. When I told the young man about Penny and her beautiful horse he was quick to show compassion. Well a few days later Penny's funeral was held and afterwards I received a call from this young man's father wanting to bring him out to the ranch, once again I really didn't feel up to it but I could hear Penny's voice echoing "move forward, help this kid". As they came out we went over a few things about working a recovery program, finally I took this young man out to the barn to do a demonstration. I grabbed Shadow and began to tell him the miracle story of Shadow, not knowing God had a much different plan. We set up the course and walked over to open up the barn door to go get Shadow but in my total astonishment standing right next to the door was Penny's horse TOBY. There was not another horse within 50 yards of the barn. Toby walked right passed me and up to this young man. The young man looked up, asked me if this was Penny's horse and with a lump in my throat I told him it was. And that in the 2 years of Toby being at C.G.I., Toby had never participated in a therapy session. His Dad and girlfriend stood and watched in silence as this hurting boy and hurting horse came together. We did the demo and as we finished I opened the door to let Toby out but instead of going out he followed the young man to the north end of the arena where our twelve steps are hanging. When they were done they walked back and as we held hands to pray, Toby busted into our prayer circle and stood right next to his new found buddy. As we finished I looked at this boy with a great big smile and said, "I told you once you got out here you wouldn't want to leave". "Youre right," he replied, "I don't want to leave". Thank you Penny and Jesus for all the beautiful memories.
Liz Bilotta While in treatment in September of 1998, I met Liz a very spunky outspoken young lady that shared with me her love for Horses. A few years later as I was working as a guide at Wild River Stables I received a call from Liz who was struggling in her recovery, I naturally invited her to come for a trail ride and introduce her to Hank the owner of WRS. Well it didn't take much to give Liz hope that she didn't have to keep relapsing. Hank and I invited her to start coming to our Bible study, Liz stepped up and started working a recovery program based on Jesus Christ. In a short period of time Hank hired her as a trail guide and Liz was living a new life. Liz in time purchased her own Horse named Cody,as you can see in the picture they were a perfect match. As hard as Liz tried she had a continuous battle with bile-ma ,never fully believing in her own mind that she was a pretty young lady. Liz fully supported the idea when I shared the dream about starting this ministry, Liz was able to witness the Miracle of Shadow that day, in fact she led us all in prayer that day before we loaded him into the trailer. Liz became like a daughter to me, at one point she needed a place to stay, and my kids and I welcomed her into our home. I wound up buying Liz a dog named Buster that was always by her side. I will never forget the day my son called to give me the news that Liz had suddenly passed away, I was out in the barn by myself with Shadow, just standing their petting him I fell to the ground hearing that she died of a Heart Attack at such a young age thinking how can this be. Liz you are still missed even though it will be 4 years in October that you went home to be with the Lord, It is Beautiful Angels like yourself that we know are helping us from up ABOVE..........