About us

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Terebinth Refuge is a Christ-centered non profit shelter and transitional home that brings hope and provides strength-based, trauma-informed and holistic services for sex trafficked and sexually exploited women, transitioning them from bondage to a life of health, stability and independence. The shelter opened April 2018.

Significance of the Terebinth (Oak) Tree 
Throughout the Old Testament Terebinth and Oak are referred to and the reference interchanged. The word used in Isaiah 61:3 which is often translated ”ram” as it’s root, refers to strength and power and can also mean “pillar”referring to a strong leader. Terebinth (pistacia) develops a very large deep and extensive root system and therefore remains green in years of drought, it often sprouts from the stump after being cut. Because of its large size and great age, terebinth tree were places of significance, well known landmarks in the scripture, also seen as a resting place of shelter and shade.

God refers to His children as becoming a “terebinth of righteousness”, a position of resilience, strength and rest to bring Him glory.

our EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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Cynthia Terlouw (CeCe) has dedicated her life to the development and advancement of others.  

Raised in Arden Hills, MN, CeCe graduated from Mounds View H. S. and received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where she received her B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation and a dance minor. After graduation, her passion for helping others led to positions at the Home of the Good Shepherd, Outreach Group Homes, and the Hennepin County Home School.

CeCe joined Heartland Girls Ranch in 1992. During her near 24 year tenure, her responsibilities encompassed everything from operations to program development. She was named HGR's Executive Director in 2008, and Executive Director of Strategic Development in 2015. Under her leadership, Heartland became a model program recognized throughout the state for at-risk and sexually exploited/trafficked girls.

CeCe has served on the Safe Harbor Statewide Director Advisory Panel and is an active member of the Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. She is certified in the My Life, My Choice curriculum for sexually exploited youth and has completed the Executive Director Leadership Program through the University of St. Thomas.  CeCe co-authored “Heartland Girls’ Ranch Hearts for Freedom Project: A Resource Guide for Working with Sexually Exploited Youth & Minnesota’s Safe Harbor Law”, and has also written her own curriculum, designed specifically for sexually exploited girls. CeCe is frequently invited to speak on human trafficking and the hope of restoration for exploited women.

Board of Directors 2018

Mike Housman-Chair
Meeker County Commissioner, Owner-Housman Properties, Housman Farms

Mike has been self-employed in IT consulting since 1994, doing business in analysis, software design, development and implementation. He is owner of Housman Properties, specializing in single family home rental properties, He is also owner of Housman farms, raising organic chicken and breeding Great Pyrenees dogs. Mike is currently and has served several terms as Meeker County Board of commissioners. He has served as chair, treasurer, finance chair and on various subcommittees and joint power boards as part of his commissioner duties.

Todd Zaun-Vice Chair
President, Farmers and Merchants State Bank

Todd is the CEO of Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Pierz.  Todd is also the President of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of the Dioceses of St. Cloud and a member of the finance committee of CentraCare. Before becoming a banker, Todd had a 15-year career as a journalist that included stints as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and as a business writer for The New York Times. Todd has a law degree from Pepperdine University School Of Law, a masters degree from the University of California, San Diego and a B.A. in Economics from the University of St. Thomas.  

Michael Contardo-Secretary
Laser Dentistry

Michael graduated in 1978 from the University of Minnesota school of Dentistry. Since then he has been dedicated for over 30 years to providing comprehensive care at his private practice of Laser Dentistry in St. Joseph, MN. Michael states "I look at the big picture, listen, give feedback, and offer hope."

Les Engel
CEO/Metallurgical Engineer

Les lives in St. Cloud, MN. He has four grown children and lost his wife, Sallie, to pancreatic cancer in 2004. He has a Bachelor of Science, Metallurgical Engineering, 1963, and a Master of Science, Metallurgical Engineering, 1969, from the University of Cincinnati. In the past, he has worked for the General Electric Company in their Nuclear Systems Program and Aircraft Engine Group and Brown Boveri Turbomachinery. He then founded Engel Metallurgical in 1983. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Minnesota and Ohio. Besides work activities, Les volunteers on the boards for the Central Minnesota Manufacturing Association, Benton-Stearns Workforce Investment Board, Partners for Student Success, and the Terebinth Refuge. He is also involved in a number of Industry Advisory Committees for some Minnesota colleges, he is a RDAC member for MPR, and he is a member of St. Cloud Sertoma Club. To fill out his weekends, he volunteers as an AV technician at his church.  

Michael Milbauer
Doctor of Chiropractic

Michael Milbauer earned his B.S. in Human Biology from Northwester Health Sciences University ad his doctorate in Chiropractic from Northwestern College of Chiropractic. He has been a practicing chiropractic and acupuncturist on the Central Minnesota area since 1994. He works together with medical Clinicians and physical therapist in an integrated health care Practice, Williams/Integracare Clinic in Sartell, MN. He is an Adjunct professor of Northwestern health Sciences University. He is a father of four and volunteer activities include youth sports Coaching, sports medicine staff of the Granite Games in St. Cloud, MN, free clinic provider for Place of Hope.

Cherie Miller
LPN & Ridgewater College Instructor

Cherrie Miller is an LPN and has also worked as a medical assistant educator at Ridgewater College in Wilmar, MN for 12 years. She is married and has seven children and four grandchildren. In addition, she has volunteered monthly at Heartland Girls Ranch for the past two years. 

David Bentrud
Chief of Police, Waite Park, MN    

Chief Dave Bentrud has been a police professional in Central Minnesota for the past 25 years and presently serves as Chief of Police for the City of Waite Park. Prior to Waite Park, Chief Bentrud was with the St. Cloud Police Department for 16 years. Dave has a B.A. Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of St. Thomas and a M.S. Degree in Criminal Justice from St. Cloud State University (SCSU). In addition to his policing career, Dave has been an Adjunct Instructor in the Criminal Justice program at SCSU for 22 years. Dave serves as Director on the board for the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) and was recently elected 3rd Vice-President. In 2013, Chief Bentrud was appointed by Governor Dayton to the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST). Chief Bentrud is a graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS). In addition, Chief Bentrud has attended numerous police related trainings on topics such as leadership, community policing and police operations.

Carol Lund
Director at Bridging the Gap, MN District Assemblies of God

Carol Lund is a Christian visionary, leader and mentor, but she is also a wife, mother of five and grandmother of thirteen.  She has learned that God’s Word will mix with life’s experience to create the wisdom that is needed for living.  She walks that principle out in her everyday pursuits, as well as the many opportunities she has to speak at churches, colleges, seminars and conferences.  Her vast experience and sense of humor create an environment that is motivational, educational, and fun. Carol is the Director of Bridging the Gap Women’s Ministries and the Department of Women’s Ministries for the Minnesota District Council of the Assemblies of God.  She sees the state of Minnesota as a vast harvest field in which God has called her to minister, and reaches across denominational and cultural lines to provide ministry for women in every facet of life.  She is passionate about evangelism and uses every opportunity to share the compassion and love of Jesus wherever she goes.

Dr. Kathryn P. Mayhew                                                       Department of Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy, St. Cloud State University                        

"Currently, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses for Community Psychology, School Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy specializations at St. Cloud State University. Prior to becoming a Professor, I worked as a Registered Nurse and as a Crisis Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist. My work and research experiences include issues related to trauma, mental health, family health and substance use."  

Dr. Mick Mayhew
Program Director, Master of Science Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy at St. Cloud State University

Mick has served as a professor at St. Cloud State University since 1998. He earned MS and PhD degrees in Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) and holds a License and holds Approved Supervisor rating with the State of Minnesota. He has eight years of fulltime clinical experience and over 15 years of part-time clinical practice and supervision. Throughout his career he has analyzed and consulted on conflicted problems in complex social systems. Another focus area has been the integration and application of psychology and theology. He and his wife, Kathryn, have two children and have been married over 30 years.