Culture of the Heart

Last week we spent celebrating with over 4,000 people from Vineyard churches from over 60 countries at the International Vineyard Conference in Columbus, Ohio.  With all the amazing experiences of worship, teaching and interaction that happen at such an event, I am always touched by the "God-incidents" that happen when we are least expecting them. I want to share one such incident that we experienced towards the end of the week.  There was a special room set aside for people from countries outside the United States where folks could come to enjoy food and fellowship in between the regular sessions.  Janet and I went there one afternoon looking for some folks from Chile who we knew were at the conference but whom we had not seen up to that moment.  The room was quite full of people from many different countries but we did not see the folks from Chile we were hoping to find.  As we started to leave we notice several seats by the door so we sat down just to rest from all the activities.  Within minutes, a young Latin man came over to us and said, "You may not remember me but I spent some time in your home in ViƱa del Mar over ten years ago when a friend of mine and I came on a retreat." He proceeded to tell us he had just started coming to the Vineyard in Santiago in those days and previously had grown up in a rather conservation Christian environment where the clergy were very formal and set apart.  He then began to laugh and said that he remembered one thing that happened that weekend which he will never forget.  After getting acquainted with the two young men, we took them into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door and said, 'Help yourself to anything here while you are with us because we want you to feel right at home.'" The young man said something that touched me deeply and his words will pierce my spirit for years to come.  He looked at us and said in perfect English, "You changed the culture of my heart while I was in your home." I can still feel the impact his words had on my heart when he first spoke them!  As I have thought about them over the past few days, I realized that what happens when we give our hearts to Jesus!  Our old culture, no matter which one from any country, begins to be overtaken by the "culture of the Jesus"...we want to do the things that he did, love as he loves, and see people with his passion.  The simple caring that we do for one another from our hearts which have been overtaken by Jesus as he loves us can create a whole "new" culture of the heart!  We want you to meet Rodrigo Parada and his wife Keila who are now pastoring a Vineyard in Lima, Peru and someday soon we hope to go visit them there!