Two times a year Linda Grajewski loads her horses and travels from her home in Tennessee to the Pine Ridge Reservation in SD to minister to the Lakota children and women there through the use of horses. Gaits to Heaven is a faith based healing and helping non-profit program Linda started 4 years ago, though she's been ministering most of her life. Being the daughter of an alcoholic parent, she learned early on the power, pain and suffering of that disease. She credits attending a Billy Graham program for youth at the age of 13 with charting the direction of her life. She credits horses, and their spirit with how to follow that direction and find a way to help others.
|Linda and a 6 year old a Lakota Girl - Everyone needs a hand up sometimes!|
Linda has over 20 years experience in ministry, education and mental health and recovery programs. She has a lifelong love and relationship with horses and is an active participant in many equine activities. Combining her love of the ministry with the power of the spirit of the horse, Linda travels much of the year to work with women and children and provide education and support resources for individuals and families about Alcohol and Substance Abuse and/or Mental Illness, and to lead Bible Study and Worship services at horse events.
|Linda surrounded by kids at the Crazy Horse Memorial Ride for Veterans Ft Robinson, NE to Pine Ridge, SD|
"Since the Lakota people have been known for generations as, 'the people of the horse' I also receive donations of tack that I give to them. They have many fine horses but limited funds to buy good tack and supplies. Several of the Lakota people host rides and horse games for the children and these supplies are much needed and appreciated." Linda explained.
|Volunteers helping the boys to Ride Horse at summer camp.|
This year Linda has been invited to another reservation in SD on the Cheyenne River and now will leading a Recovery Program for the women in the jail at Pine Ridge and in the community at Cheyenne River and helping there with children as well.
When Linda started this ministry 4 years, ago 2 horse friends of hers had committed suicide within a few months of each other. She'd planned to only minister in her local area and at horse events. But, when she was invited to go on a Christian Veterinary Mission trip to Pine Ridge, she was broken hearted to find they had the highest suicide rate in the nation among teens and children. She knew it was God's will, that he had led her and her horses there to use his power and the spirit of the horse to change, and save lives.
Thank you Linda and your horses for all you do. To learn more please visit their website www.gaitstoheaven.org.
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry