Israel Study Tour with The Kings University

October 27 - November 8, 2016

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It would be nice to debrief on the MANY glorious, ancient sites we embarked upon today; yet, I’d prefer to express the moments of transformation that happen as we visited each site of purposeful meeting with YHVH—The LORD. Out of six sites, three stand supreme due to its unveiling moments of transformation that took place within each student of the Scripture at large.

I count it a marvelous thing when God chooses to show Himself strong in “large groups.” Was it not before the children of Israel that He opened the Sea of Reeds? Was it not on the day of Pentecost that He chose to fall upon 120 which overflowed into the streets before EVERYONE?

Bet Shemesh

It began at our 2nd Stop Site: Bet Shemesh. Whereby after hearing Rabbi Rod teach on the Ark being brought by cows back to Israel after its capture that a student, Paul, begins to exclaim how animals obey the LORD better than humans. This sermonette was God-inspired that touched everyone’s ears, or, better yet, hearts on one’s total obedience to God. As I reflect, this was just a “warm up” for everyone feeling His Presence simultaneously. However, a more vigorous touching was ahead of us as a group.

Beth Shemesh

A border city between Judah and Dan, Beth Shemesh was given to the Levites. Beth Shemesh was the most important Israelite city in the Sorek Valley as it watched both east-west traffic through the Sorek Valley and north-south traffic along the “Diagonal Route.” Recent excavations have shown a thriving city here from the Middle Bronze Age through the Iron II period.

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Valley of Elah

Our 4th Site was the famous David & Goliath terra firma. It goes without saying the biblical account that is known to all—Little Boy David defeats Goliath. After this teaching, at the spirited prodding of Rabbi Rod, we were once challenged to give Scriptures that David wrote as God gave him victory. The Spontaneous utterance of “Victory Scriptures” each person spoke impromptu caused a great welling up in my heart. And I know every heart as well. It became so FULL on that hillside of the gloriousness of God’s power that it then turned into “Blessing” one another in Spirit. Many spoke about their individual “Families” whom were just introduced to one another 1 day ago! However, that moment became the MOMENT that we all became FAMILY, such that everyone felt the “connection” of love which flowed from heart to heart. As Rod stated at the head of the transformation experience (tour), “We’re a ‘we’”. We became WE. This too was revolutionary.

Tel Azekah and Elah Valley

The Brook Elah is famous for the five stones it contributed to the young slinger, David. Some surmise that David chose five stones instead of the one needed in case he needed to face Goliath’s four brothers.

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The Cave of Adullam

Our 5th Stop: The Cave of Adullam. This became our most transforming stop as we entered a possible cave of David’s who was running from Saul at the time. It was, once again, our Rabbi, Rod, asking RIPE questions which drew one into “Transformation” rather than “Site-Seeing”. The question of testimony of how the YHVH (LORD) delivered one from a cave-setting toppled in “Us—the group” becoming ever conscious of “We—the people”. :) After two testimonies, and one on forgiveness and how God brought a heart of hate out of the cave into the freedom of total forgiveness—it was at this MOMENT no one could deny not only a transformation of some, but a healing for others, and then a cleansing for the next, and freedom for ALL.


I could go on and on about the transformation that took place today on Shabbat, Saturday October 29, 2016. Yet, I will end with this brief statement. There is no way transformation could take place lest our “Tour Guides” had not had it THEMSELVES. Thus, from this day forward, with 10 days left, I’m sure I can speak for everyone on this: GTI Tours is not “A Tour”, it is “A Transformation!” A re-naming must take place. And yes, if it affects the paperwork, then it affects the paperwork. May it be renamed: GTI Israel Transformation Experience Company.

Rod and Libby are not “Tour Guides”, but have become, in my eyes: TRANSFORMATION GUIDES!

Thanks you, GTI Tours and all those who serve alongside you!

God Bless,


~Jodi A. Matthews

TKU MJS Student

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