1. What is the one thing you know for sure about God?
God is the founder of this ministry that I have faith in. He is the ultimate Leader and Guide on every journey to Israel and Egypt. Each individual that comes forth, and takes the journey, is lead and chosen by our Father. I have no doubt that Live The Land Tours, and myself, Jacci, has been, is, and always will be blessed and protected in Jesus Name. “Yet, I AM…always with you” Psalm 73 v 23
2. Tell us about the business/ministry?
It is different to the usual tour routine. The itinerary is tailor made and can be suited at any given time to the combination of individuals on the journey together. Since 2009, I have listened to people’s opinions, their likes and dislikes, and made it a priority to get to know The Land, surroundings, and people with different nationalities and beliefs. I have met locals from the North to the South of Israel, and beyond. Through scripture and people, God made it clear to me that small intimate groups is the way to go. For this small ministry, the experiences have been peace, heart felt blessings and new friendships forever. We still meet-up!
I have been to Israel and Egypt several times and more. For me, each visit is a new, exciting and unique experience. I see God’s hand in everyday of my life, not to mention big and small miracles that take place daily. No matter what changes occur, and testing we endure, without growth, and without God in it, we are nothing.
3. What gave you the courage to pursue the dream or idea of your ministry?!
There were so many God incidences that I was stunned and amazed! The doors for this opportunity and ideas flung open. Intuition kicked in and I started making phone calls to relevant people, and I followed the advice of those who guided me with care…all I had to do was step through and do it! The seed was planted, and the rest developed in the space of 5 months. Oh yes…I had many questions! I had two reservations, and knew that I had to have peace with no issues and to pull out all the stops for this ministry.
Firstly, I am not good with reciting scripture or verbally quoting scripture, and secondly, the diversity of religions and cultures are strife. It is important to know how to answer questions, and to have insight, understanding and knowledge of other cultures. The first issue concluded: Early hours one morning, 2.30am to be exact, I was restless and my question was, “what shall I do, Lord?” I was in no mood to read my Bible, however, I finally switched on my bedside lamp, took my bible and actually slapped my hand on top and said, “please show me if there is something that I need to know Lord!”
I opened my bible at random and there I read my exact words of my question, minutes before… “what shall I do, Lord?” I sat up straight and my restless mood changed in a flash! You have my full attention Father. I continued reading…
Acts 22 v 10 “what shall I do, Lord? I asked. Get up, the Lord said, and go into Damascus. (this is a road that we all travel, if and when you recognise it) There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.”…
Acts 22 v 14 “then he said: the God of our fathers has chosen you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from His mouth” (immediately the weight was lifted from my shoulders, and I understood what God was saying to me. I only share and say what God gives me to say to someone, other than that, I am to say no more. It is not about me! It is about Him!)
v 15 “You will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard” (little did I know how many more miracles I was to encounter on the Damascus road)
v 16 “And now what are you waiting for?” (Wow! Can it be any clearer than that!) I closed my bible and fell asleep immediately. When I woke later that morning it took me 20min to find where I had read the above scripture.
The second issue being diverse religions and culture concluded: I had a stack of DVD’s regarding diverse religions, and about people’s attitude and choices, you and me included. Finally I started watching, and for three days I wept! (There was hatred, blood shed, killing, hurt, bitterness, un-forgiveness, and more…) I understood what God wanted me to see and grasp. These are the words that I heard… “Love everyone that has breath” “As I love you unconditionally, I LOVE ALL unconditionally” (I was free and experienced the peace that surpasses all understanding) I have come to love all people very deeply… Thank You Jesus!
During this time, being 2010, I was invited to volunteer at a ministry in Israel, and stayed in Israel for 6 months. Previously, during 2009, I volunteered in the Israeli Defence force in the North of Israel. I was then invited by the founder of a special needs home, volunteering near the Gaza strip. These experiences certainly toughened me and was finally the courage that I needed to want to share it with all people wanting to travel the land.
4. What are the lessons learnt from your faith that have seen you through the business?
Not to look at what and how other people do their tours, but to listen to good advice and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Listening to people’s likes and dislikes, and studying their actions and reactions, I have learned to discern and listen to what people want. I decided to go all the way! Registered the company name, registered with the tourism board, district and local tourism association. I got all the necessary insurances. Up to date with my S.A. tourism guide licence for the past 8 years, including first aid, and have kept my public drivers licence up to date.
During my first year of starting Live The Land Tours, I was faced with “doubt”… is this really going to happen? Should I be doing this at all? There are so many people doing tours to Israel, many from S.A. Did I hear from God correctly? Often I wanted to just go and lay on my bed for a moment…Not for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or 1 year, to date, have I been able to get to my bedroom to lay down, even for a minute! Either my landline or cell phone would ring, or a message would ring, or an email sound tone would alert me, or my door bell would sound… I never got to lie down, not even once! The Holy Spirit guided me. God sustained me, daily!
5. Where do you see the ministry in the next 5 years?
People hearing about Live The Land Tours with a difference! As people share and by word of mouth, I believe we will grow. People getting to know one another, becoming lifelong friends, sharing their experiences. Only by His Grace will I faithfully continue to minister in this journey that The Lord has placed with me. From the beginning of this journey, to whenever and wherever He Leads me, I will follow. My passion and love is people. I love organising and connecting people. My weak point is advertising. “Be still and know that I AM God” Ps. 46 v 10
And this is where The Big Story SA comes in to help & bless this ministry by sharing their story for the Body of Christ to go experience! Thanks Jacci, your tours are truly amazing, as experienced firsthand by our founder! Feedback from Talitha (our founder)'s experience of Live The Land Tours:
1. What has stood out for me is the peace and the life in abundance of the country and people. I would like to take it back with me. Feel the Lord's hand on this land since we were in the plane above Israel.
2. The tour was wonderful and really a blessing. Jacci really led us very well. Her time management and planning is really good and she has a way of keeping the atmosphere calm and stress free. I like the small group and intimate unique tours she does. She also makes sure we see things off the beaten track.
3. Live The Land Tours is very special and unique. It's different from any other tours and they 'go the extra mile'! What a wonderful introduction and welcome to Israel!
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