Living To Serve
Cold Creek Ranch Ministries was founded by Keith Schwennesen and his wife Christina in November 2014 as an outreach to Veterans. Keith spent more than eight years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps as an infantry officer. He deployed to Iraq twice (2007 and 2009), then spent more than three years on recruiting duty in Texas. By the grace of God, good training, and a lot of good luck, Keith never lost a Marine during his time in Iraq. However, within two years of his return – three Marines killed themselves in a six week period. It was the most devastating season, to that point, he had ever gone through. Clearly, something had gone terribly wrong for these men to have taken their own lives.
At that time Keith was also struggling with his own emotional “numbness”, explosive anger, and a deep depression that seemed to come out of nowhere and would not break. He told Christina that maybe she ought to leave – she was at a loss. As the world came crashing down around him, it took other men stepping forward – providing perspective and sharing life before restoration could begin. More importantly, it took admission that he could not do this alone. It took “letting go and letting God”; and that has reversed his course from a path of certain destruction for himself and his family to one of hope, joy, and “peace that surpasses understanding”. This is what Cold Creek Ranch Ministries brings to others.
After the suicides Keith left active duty and, at Christina’s encouragement, earned his Master’s Degree in Human Services Counseling with an emphasis on Military Resilience from Liberty University. We have combined this technical knowledge with the beautiful simplicity of life at Cold Creek Ranch, and the culture of the Western Cowboy to establish a tangible place where Veterans and their families can find real help from a couple who has really been there.