Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Where Is Home?

By Merlin Metsla*

What do you do when your heart is divided between different people and places around the world? This quote by Miriam Adeney keeps coming back to me: “You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”

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Merlin Metsla with one of the children she works with at the Shade and Fresh Water project in Brazil. PHOTO: MERLIN METSLA

A part of me wants only to focus on the here and now, but people from home keep asking about what life is like in Brazil, and Brazilians ask what life is like in Estonia. I talk about snow to Brazilians and the amount of sunshine to Estonians; about varieties of foods to Estonians and potatoes to Brazilians; about Atheism to Brazilians and churches to Estonians.

And then, the fears and questions start coming into my mind. When I’m back in Estonia, will I fit in again? Or will I be laughed at because of how different I might have become? How can I use the experience I am having here to make a change? Will I continue this work and what will be my next steps? What is God’s next plan for me?

Home is where your heart is, but where is my heart? I know that it will be divided once more when I leave. One thing to comfort me is that wherever I go, God is there already. In God, my heart can be complete and at home. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38, NLT)

*Merlin Metsla is a Global Mission Fellow from Estonia serving as a social educator with the Shade and Fresh Water Project of the Methodist Church of Brazil.